Here’s a round-up of some of the top five manufacturing stories for the past few weeks –
U.S. manufacturing sector stabilizing; producer prices tame (REUTERS)
U.S. manufacturing output increased for a second straight month in October amid gains in the production of motor vehicles and a range of other goods, suggesting that the battered factory sector was slowly recovering…more
Apple could make iPhones in U.S. in future (Nikkei Asian Review)
TAIPEI — iPhones might one day soon carry “Made in America” labels. Key Apple assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry, also known as Foxconn Technology Group, has been studying the possibility of moving iPhone production to the U.S., sources told the Nikkei Asian Review…more
CNC machine brings real-world manufacturing to students (The Chronicle)
GOSHEN — Goshen High School students are learning to use real-world advanced manufacturing technology with the Technology Department’s new CNC machine.
CNC — or computer numerical control — machines use digitized data to control, automate and monitor the movements of a machine…more
A strong manufacturing sector fuels economic growth (FORBES)
Manufacturing continues to be one of the most important bellwethers regarding the health of the U.S. economy. The broader U.S. economy will not be able to grow robustly without a rebound in manufacturing. Faster real GDP growth is possible, but not until we get manufacturing humming along strongly once again. Some analysts have posited that recent improvements show manufacturing is less important to economic growth than it once was…more
Make manufacturing great again? (U.S. News & World Report)
The recent presidential election included calls for a return of good, high-paying industrial jobs to the United States. Such promises were well intentioned, yet failed to account for dramatic global and national shifts that are underway. These shifts are fueled by changes in economic and technological capabilities…more
Note – Starting December 1, 2016 Hisco will begin a three-part series of blog articles entitled Made in America. Topics will include how to label products made in the U.S.A. (Dec. 1), reshoring (Dec. 15) and the growing need for upskilling manufacturing workers.(Dec. 29)
Electrical Overstress (EOS)
In August 2016, the Industry Council on ESD Target Levels released a new white paper on Electrical Overstress (EOS). The Council gathered information via a survey sent to more than 90 companies asking them about the importance of EOS to their business and their methods for addressing EOS issues. One of their first steps—create a universal definition of EOS –
EOS – an electrical device suffers an electrical overstress event when a maximum limit for either the voltage across, the current through, or power dissipated in the device is exceeded and causes immediate damage or malfunction, or latent damage resulting in an unpredictable reduction of its lifetime.
In general, they found that ESD damage was often confused with EOS damage and those responsible for identifying failures were many times either inconsistent or incorrect in their findings. The Council also created multiple goals after gaining insight from the survey and laid out plans for the future.
Industry Council goals –
- Reduce EOS occurrences
- Create a unified global understanding of what constitutes EOS
- Understand how EOS damage signatures can result from a wide variety of root causes
- Address possible preventable failures showing EOS damage
- Explain the non-correlation between EOS return rates and component ESD target levels
- Standardize EOS reporting to reduce mislabeling damage as EOS
- Continue to dispel the notion that EOS can be avoided by making devices more ESD robust (ref. JEDEC publications JEP155  and JEP157)
The white paper contains very detailed explanations and diagrams to help EOS data reporters improve. (IC suppliers, i.e., customers, applications engineers and system builders). One of their most significant findings concerned Absolute Maximum Rating (AMR) and the actual meaning of maximum limit. (see definition of EOS) and the different methods a manufacturer uses to determine a device’s AMR values.
The survey concluded –
- Some suppliers do not include ESD limits as part of their AMR because testing to establish the ESD limits often does not have the similar statistical data required for setting more traditional items such as voltage.
- Some suppliers do place ESD limits in their AMR definition believing this is part of the overall agreement that must be met between supplier and customer.
- Other suppliers placed ESD limits in AMR sections because it was the only place that made sense to them.
The Council asks manufacturers to go back to suppliers to verify the AMR information published before the release of their EOS white paper.
The white paper concluded –
- EOS has never been fully understood or accurately and thoroughly explained or interpreted.
- Meeting ESD levels beyond the specification targets does not mean a reduced rate of EOS returns. Overwhelming data from the Industry Council supports this assertion.
- Industry-wide surveys indicate a) EOS is the most common attribute of reported returns, b) most respondents indicated they use “damage signature” to determine EOS.
- EOS almost always represents permanent damage.
- Most common cause for EOS – 1) misapplication, 2) violations to absolute maximum ratings, 3) exposure to electrical stress events during assembly and in the field that violate the AMR
- Establishing a universal definition of EOS should foster better communication in the industry when addressing EOS problems
- Absolute maximum rating requires a more in-depth definition informing customers that exceeding the AMR value has risks and can lead to irrecoverable device damage. Also, an EOS event occurs if any AMR is exceeded for any period of time.
- AMR specifications must include constraints for excursions in system operation and environmental conditions needing to be accommodated by system design to allow safe operation and handling of semiconductor components.
- Electrical and environmental conditions for intended AMR values must be documented in datasheets.
- In unique systems requirements, the AMR values must be provided by semiconductor component suppliers according to electrical and environmental conditions given by system manufacturers.
The Industry Council hopes to foster understanding of EOS, the root cause determination for resolving EOS issues and implementation of methods for EOS mitigation.
Methinks ESD has been a problem since the 1400s. Consider gunpowder stores in military forts. Even before Shakespeare’s time, soldiers were charged with keeping them uncharged for fear of blowing them up. By the 1860s, paper mills were thwarting ESD in the drying process via grounding, flame ionization techniques and steam drums.
What does that mean for 2016 processes and beyond? Today’s electronics manufacturers are continually innovating to offer customers better, more cost-efficient solutions. While costs associated with latent damage are difficult to pinpoint, industry experts estimate average product loss as high as 33 percent. Even with technological advances, ESD continues to impact virtually every aspect of the global electronics environment. In fact, as electronic devices advance, our voltage tolerance decreases as well as our capacity for heat dissipation.
To mitigate some risks associated with modern processes, a new range of dissipative materials based on fluoroelastomer and perfluoroelastomer polymers has been designed for wafer processing and wafer handling applications. Of course, you’ll want to make sure these materials are compatible with your specific process environment and with the devices themselves. It is important to note, however, that with the correct material and precautions in place, you can continue to combat ESD in the future without getting medieval.
Afraid to try adhesives? Worried they’ll make too big a mess or won’t be reliable? Think again.
Today’s adhesives are making a clean sweep. Used as an alternative to mechanical fastening, welding and other joining methods, adhesives are relied upon daily—and rightly so. Engineers around the globe use them because they are a viable, cost-effective solution for industrial production processes.
For almost every application, adhesives beat nuts and bolts. In threadlocking, for example, vibration, shock and temperature changes cause nuts and bolts to loosen. When this happens, equipment failure is all but inevitable, costing millions of dollars every year. Adhesive solutions for structural bonding reduce labor costs and fill large gaps between parts.
Interested in gasket sealing? No problem. Sealants prevent fluids and gases from leaking by creating strong, impervious barriers.
If you’re considering an adhesive solution for your business, consider some free advice from Henkel, the industry leader. All-Spec has partnered with Henkel to offer an exclusive, four-part, LOCTITE webinar series during February and March. Attend one or all of these one-hour, live sessions.
Just by attending, you’ll receive:
- Free, on-site process review by LOCTITE engineers
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- Access to exclusive offers and information
- $50-savings on LOCTITE Syringe Dispensing System Kit (#883976)
Don’t be afraid to click here for more information or to register; adhesives can help you achieve that much needed competitive advantage.
Do you suffer from headaches, blurred vision or eye strain? You could have computer vision syndrome (CVS). CVS affects about 90 percent of people who spend three hours or more a day at a computer.
One of the biggest culprits? Inadequate lighting. Improper lighting exacerbates the problem and also reduces productivity, and yet the amount of light in the workplace remains one of the most common complaints. Specifically, ambient lighting is frequently too high and task lighting too low. Glare from computer screens and light sources also leads to unwanted aches and pains.
With ergonomic lighting, the problems associated with CVS are typically alleviated, and operational efficiencies improve. Proper and adjustable task lighting at every workspace is necessary to mitigate the symptoms of CVS.
Your lighting needs will vary by task and by your age; reading, for example, requires more light than computer work, and a 60-year-old needs more light than a 20-year-old. Task lights with adjustable arms and dimming controls provide maximum flexibility. When your workspace is properly lit, the entire space should be illuminated, and glare should be minimized.
Improve well-being, productivity and job satisfaction with All-Spec’s selection of ergonomic task lighting for every task, and combat the serious effects of CVS in the workplace.