// A few “small things” about SMTAi 2018

There is a saying that “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”  I had this expression in mind throughout my trip to Rosemont, where I would speak at the SMTAI conference technical sessions.

I was invited to join the rework session and to present a paper on rework practices for microLED and other highly miniaturized SMT components.  Finetech has long been the leader in presenting complete rework solutions for small component repair.  But the definition of “small” has changed over the years, or maybe not?  

We were first to offer 0201 passive rework solutions and then on to 01005 and 008004 devices.  So this is certainly a topic that Finetech has years of experience with.  I looked back in my files to see that I had presented on 0201 rework practices at Semicon in July of 2004.  Yes, that is correct.  Then our 01005 solutions were presented worldwide throughout 2007.

For some in the audience, working within this component range is a new challenge; it is a real “change”.  But for Finetech, it is a bit more of the “same” with further miniaturization.

However, this is a good thing.  Finetech’s depth of experience has allowed us to quickly offer solutions to the new emerging microLED market.  That is where I tried to focus the presentation and paper.  This new volume manufacturing is producing displays with millions of LEDs.  Rework is inevitable, but a daunting challenge.  This requires novel solutions for tooling, site preparation, paste deposition, very precise thermal management, as well as high accuracy and optical resolution.  Oh yes, and please do it quickly!  More to come on that topic in the near future.

It was great see a lot of colleagues that I have worked with since joining this industry in 1995.  Many faces are still familiar despite more grey hair and some talk of retirement. I was also happy to meet recent graduates who are new process engineers, sales engineers, and product specialists.  It certainly had me thinking a bit nostalgically about what has changed and what has stayed the same. 

To learn more, click the link to SMTAI:  smta.org/mpage/smtai

11/08/2018, created by: Neil O'Brien
Your Sales Contact Thomas Müller

Finetech GmbH & Co. KG
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