Tuesday, October 25, 2016
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High Quality Manufacturing Support at Clover Electronics
As part of Clover Electronics' process control strategy, solder paste deposition height is closely monitored.

Today's electronics manufacturing services (EMS) customers expect their contractors to offer a full range of services, regardless of size. EMS provider Clover Electronics is meeting that challenge with a combination of internal expertise and strategic alliances. Founded in 1981, the company specializes in supporting customer needs for high quality, low-to-medium volume electronics manufacturing services.

Services provided include: quickturn prototypes, high mix RoHS-compliant and leaded board-level production, specialized subassemblies, Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) design and fabrication, box build production and post-manufacturing support. Manufacturing support capabilities include X-ray inspection, virtual profiling and a 100 percent final inspection process. Test capabilities include ICT, highly specialized functional testing including satellite uplink, and burn-in. Its customer base spans the homeland security, defense, medical, telecommunications, automotive and high-end consumer electronics markets.

In addition to standard electronics manufacturing services, the Company also provides a low-cost solution for the integration of LCDs that are either Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) or custom cut for most commercial, industrial and military applications. This expertise has been developed as a result of 20 years of experience in design, manufacturing and testing of LCDs for military and commercial programs. All work is done under Class 100 laminar flow booths in a Class 1,000 clean room. There is a well-established supplier base for all required materials.

Clover Electronics is located in a 33,000ft2 facility near Atlanta, GA, enabling it to provide both local support to Atlanta's high technology community and centrally-located regional support to customers throughout the Southeast.

The company changed ownership in December 2007 and the new management team is focused on enhancing capabilities while maintaining competitive costs. It is using strategic alliances and technical association affiliations to enhance its internal expertise in several areas including:

  • Product development support.
  • Training and certification.
  • Process validation and process monitoring.
  • Materials management.

Clover Electronics teams with several local design firms, enabling it to offer design support options tailored to specific customer requirements. Its engineering staff provides DFM/DFT recommendations as part of its New Product Introduction (NPI) process. Prototype capabilities include quickturn support, automated and semi-automated placement capability, RoHS and leaded production options, and flying probe test.
Training and certification
The Company utilizes several industry-recognized training and/or certification programs to ensure both a well-trained staff and conformance to industry standards. The facility is certified to ISO 9001:2000 and IPC-610 Rev. C Class 1, 2 or 3 workmanship standards are used. Every operator is trained to IPC-A-610C workmanship standards by an IPC-certified instructor. Program manager training includes the IPC EMS Program Management Certification Program (CEPM). As part of an internal continuous improvement effort, process audits and certification are performed by ITM Consulting, Inc.
At regional EMS provider revenue levels, it can be cost prohibitive to have a full-time process engineering staff capable of providing all the answers in paste deposition or thermal profiling that may be required by that company's 30 or more customers.
Clover Electronics has addressed this by developing strategic alliances with KIC for process monitoring, ITM Consulting, Inc. for engineering consulting services, and DEK for support of solder paste-related issues. In addition, the company has automated key points in process monitoring to support fast development of robust processes and make it easy for technicians and production operators to handle a portion of what has traditionally been an engineering workload.
Solder paste deposition is monitored using a 2D (DEK) Hawkeye in-process vision system followed by an off-line 3D laser measurement system for key characteristics of first article inspection, and statistical process control (SPC). The reflow soldering process is optimized with a KIC system for quick, precise profile development and continuous monitoring of the thermal profile. Process monitoring of both the paste deposition and thermal profiles assure the highest degree of quality as well as fulfilling specialized customer traceability requirements.
Materials Management
The company offers its customers the choice of consignment or turnkey manufacturing. When consignment is preferred, materials integrity is verified as part of the kitting process. The procurement function uses a combination of distribution support and global sourcing, and actively monitors supplier performance to schedule, quality and cost. Where appropriate, strategic alliances with distribution are used to minimize raw material liability and increase ability to support customer requirements for schedule flexibility.
Clover Electronics' business model delivers its customers the best of both worlds: access to world class processes and expertise, in a facility that is focused on high mix, variable demand manufacturing. Its management philosophy of leveraging strategic alliances and technology to cut product realization cycle time and minimize overhead provides customers with responsive solutions at competitive costs.
Contact: Clover Electronics, 136 Hillwood Circle, Newnan, GA 30263 770-251-5323 fax: 770-251-7542 E-mail: jroberts@cloverelectronics.com Web: http://www.cloverelectronics.com

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