Application Note #20003 Rev: 2008-02
Most electronics assemblers utilize a pilot line or prototyping lab to develop a process for a new board design that will deliver high yields and quality product. New Product Introduction (NPI), sometimes referred to as Technology Transfer, is the procedure that ensures that a process developed in a prototyping lab is exactly replicated on multiple production lines in multiple geographical locations.
A new product procedure perfected on the pilot line is of little value if it cannot be transferred effectively to the factory floor. A “copy exact” policy for new product introduction is one solution, albeit an expensive one. An improvement on this policy is to standardize processes by quantifying the process and controlling how well it performs relative to its process window.
KIC’s Process Window Index (PWI) enables efficient technology transfer from the prototyping lab to production with significant cost savings. Using the PWI to characterize and standardize the process, (ex: “Maximum PWI of 80% using Process Window X”), eliminates the usual variables that can impact New Product Introduction: equipment, personnel, and factory location. Use of the PWI allows users to develop profiles that will yield the same process specs (Process Window) and parameters (PWI) on multiple types of ovens in multiple facilities.
- Setup the new product thermal process on the prototype line using the SlimKIC 2000/KIC Explorer with the Navigator oven recipe search engine. The process development engineer sets process limits based on solder paste specs, component thermal limits, and required throughput or cycle time.
- The process development engineer optimizes the process using the KIC Navigator and determines the maximum acceptable PWI for the process.
- Distribute the process specifications to production facilities. This can be done by sending the KIC process spec file (
System Default.KICProcessSpec), which should include the thermocouple placement details in the notes, as well as the defined maximum acceptable PWI.
Note: If the oven make and model are the same the KIC data file (
*.KICProfile) can be sent and the original recipe setting can be used as the starting point.
- Setup the new product process at the production facilities. Facilities need to have a SlimKIC 2000/KIC Explorer with Navigator. The process engineer uses the KIC 2000 software to open the process specs file developed in the prototype lab, attaches the thermocouples as per the notes in the file, then runs a profile and compares the resulting PWI to the specified PWI.
- If the PWI is below the specified limit, the process is ready. If the PWI is too high, make additional profiling runs using the Navigator to optimize the process until the PWI is below the specified limit.
- If it is not possible to get the PWI below the specified process limit, this indicates that the oven is not capable of processing the new product within spec and needs to be either serviced or replaced.