Ron Lasky: A Perspective on Writing About Solder Defects
Nolan Johnson speaks with Dr. Ron Lasky about The PCB Assembler’s Guide to … Solder Defects. Dr Lasky is a full-time professor at Dartmouth College and he works part-time at Indium Corporation as a Senior Technologist, helping his clients resolve faults. This I-Connect007 eBook, he says, is a compilation of everything he’s learned over the years along with the in-depth technical knowledge from the team at Indium Corporation.
Nolan Johnson: Dr Lasky, it’s nice to talk to you. In your role at Indium Corporation, you have just published a new book. Tell me about it.
Dr. Ron Lasky: The folks at Indium Corporation made a commitment to provide the industry with a targeted book that would explain how to troubleshoot faults in electronic assembly; we felt there was a real need for it. People who work at companies like Indium Corporation, which supplies materials to its customers, usually help their customers with defects. So Indium Corporation engineers and technicians are probably more knowledgeable about fault resolution than many people in their working companies who assemble, because every day many of them are on the phone helping people with problems. problems. They sort of saw it all.
Johnson: Indium Corporation’s experience is based on multiple people, multiple facilities, multiple technologies, solving problems every day. Of course, they have a huge body of knowledge to work with.
Lasky: In addition, new failure modes are appearing. For example, probably go back 10 years when the head-in-the-pillow defect first appeared. In addition to helping their customers solve problems, companies like Indium Corporation are improving their solder paste to minimize this defect. Engineers from Indium Corporation lab test the new solder paste and directly investigate the pillow head defect. It is natural that they have the information necessary to write a book about faults.
If you had asked me when I was 25 if I would make part of my living writing tech articles, I would have laughed because I was still the lopsided guy who was really good at math and science and who got a B- in English. But I have now worked with Indium Corporation for 20 years. Often the engineers there will have worked on the head-in-pillow defect, helped clients, and created a PowerPoint presentation to share with clients on how to minimize the head-in-pillow defect there is. therefore a considerable knowledge base to draw from.
It really is a collaborative effort. When our engineers don’t have the bandwidth to write an article, I write a presentation – for example on head-in-the-pillow fault – in an article or poster, and they provide a review.
When we thought about doing this book on flaws, I had a rich body of articles, posters, and PowerPoint presentations to draw on. The book’s co-author, Chris Nash, Senior Product Manager at Indium Corporation, handled the majority of the editing duties. He’s an invaluable co-author because although I think I know this world very well, Chris works on it every day. I don’t have a lab where I can do experiments. So, in a sense, I’m doing my experiments through people at Indium Corporation, like Chris, Ed Briggs, and Tim Jensen, who provide the real world data.
Johnson: This clearly shows the in-depth technical knowledge of the team. How practical do you find the contents of the book?
Lasky: Well, that’s one of the things we were really looking for: to be practical. If you are having problem with urination, pickup, head defect in pillow, or tombstoning, you can read this book and then go to your line and perform process improvement.
We tried to make the book practical and something you could take with you online, hopefully helping the reader with a real world problem.
Johnson: Who do you see as your target reader?
Lasky: I would say a process engineer. It would be great if operators read it. But the implementer and the process change should be the process engineer.
Johnson: What about roles at the management level? Is the book useful to them? How? ‘Or’ What?
Lasky: Yes, absolutely, because the manager must understand what is happening in the queue and must be informed. In some cases, just to know how to signal to the process engineer and operators, we have discussed that it exists, and you should read it.
Whether you’re a process engineer, an operator, or someone in a management role, I think we can all step back from time to time to brush up on the basics. One interesting thing I find is that when I give workshops I always do a “pre-test”. I ask 10 questions to see where the workshop participants are in terms of knowledge. Basic questions, such as “What is the S in SAC solder?” “” What is the typical conductor spacing for a plastic quad flat pack? “” What is the melting point of lead-free solder? ” Things like that. I’m almost always stunned by the answers I get on these 10 question tests.
One of my missions — and that of Indium Corporation as well — is to help people through education.
Johnson: Final thoughts?
Lasky: It’s gratifying to finish something like this. There was a thing or two that I thought I understood pretty well, but now as I wrote it down and walked through it, I really solidified my own understanding of the flaws.
Johnson: So you can even be an industry expert, with your own firsthand experience on a subject like this, and by writing a book you learn something new?
Lasky: Yes. Or you’re asking yourself a question you’ve never asked before. I find that is still the case, even in the writing papers. It can even be a little embarrassing: why haven’t I thought about it before? But you have to be humble, right? We must all be humble.
Johnson: This is valuable information for readers, of course. Dr Lasky, thank you for taking the time to tell us about the book.