Sunday, June 24, 2018
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How New Production Challenges Are Met with Tools from VJ Electronix
VJ Electronix, Inc. manufactures production ready, automated rework and X-ray inspection solutions with many advanced capabilities. The company also provides custom rework and X-ray solutions tailored to satisfy specific application requirements. VJ Electronix is a well-known source for X-ray inspection and rework solutions. Here, President and General Manager Donald Naugler, answers questions about the company.

Q: Don, what new rework challenges are your customers currently facing and how can VJ Electronix address them?

Naugler: The volume of rework for servers, high-end computing and communications products is driving the demand for greater throughput and higher yield. In response, we have introduced a new 7.8kW bottom heater for our best-selling Summit 1800. With the new bottom heater, our customers are typically benefiting with more than a 30 percent reduction in preheat times.

Q: What new products can we expect to see from VJ Electronix to address these rework challenges?

Naugler: We have seen a large increase in the desire to rework smaller assemblies such as cell phone boards. Not long ago, the cell phone was viewed as a disposable commodity. The cost to rework exceeded the cost of a new printed circuit board. Today, these devices have become so sophisticated and so highly integrated that rework makes economic sense.

Many of our customers have asked for something smaller than our Summit line, but with similar performance. We are introducing our new SRT Micra platform, designed for small, high-density assemblies.

Q: What sets the SRT Micra apart from other rework platforms?

Naugler: The SRT Micra is a tabletop model, and aside from its size, all of the Micra's features have been optimized for the types of components that are used in cell phones, netbooks and other portable devices. Our large heaters are replaced with smaller, more responsive and efficient heaters. We have developed new tooling and processes for RF shields and 0201/01005 passives. In addition, we have simplified our user interface with greater use of graphics and a new automated profile technology.

Q: Tell us about the latest developments in through-hole rework.

Naugler: There has been a lot of work done lately with hot gas rework for through-hole devices, especially connectors. The problem of copper dissolution when doing rework with solder fountains is well documented. Convection, or hot gas through-hole rework, minimizes exposure of the delicate barrels to molten solder. We have provided hot gas solutions using "spot heaters" on our Summit 1800 and with our dedicated 400ST Through Hole rework system.

Q: Do you have any new X-ray technologies?

Naugler: We recently introduced a new feature for inspecting double-sided boards. Analysis of boards that have passive components beneath BGAs, for instance, was difficult unless one had access to a true 3-D X-ray system. For many, 3-D X-ray is cost-prohibitive. Our new NEXUS Mask Software allows the system to analyze solder joints in areas that are partially obstructed by backside passives.

Q: What else do you anticipate will help you and your customers expand in 2011?

Naugler: We see a great need for an efficient and reasonably priced X-ray solution for the production floor. Very few of our customers plan to use X-ray to inspect 100 percent of their production. They also do not want to invest in a high-end lab tool for first article, random sample and in-process validation. We have focused much of our X-ray development effort on serving the needs of the production floor. Our Vertex is not designed to be a super laboratory tool. It will not give the same magnification, nor is it designed for multiple high angle oblique views. On the other hand, it does not require a skilled engineer to operate. We apply enough automation to ensure repeatable inspection results from day-to-day, operator-to-operator, or site-to-site.

Contact: VJ Electronix, Inc., 234 Taylor St., Littleton, MA 01460 978-486-4777 Web:

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