Friday, April 29, 2011

SMTNet: A New (Better) Approach to Tin Whisker Mitigation

As published in SMTNet......

Most of the electronics industry by now knows about tin whiskers. They know whiskers are slim metallic filaments that emanate from the surface of tin platings. They know these filaments are conductive and can cause shorts across adjacent conductors. And they know that these shorts can cause some really bad failures (see for a list longer than you need).

But, with all of this knowledge, the industry is still struggling on how to predict and prevent these "Nefarious Needles of Pain".

Read Article...


Craig Hillman, Gregg Kittlesen, and Randy Schueller


DfR Solutions

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Where in the World is DfR? Check out our Google Calendar!

DfR Solutions' Google Calendar

Look for DfR at upcoming events, conferences, webinars, and sales visits that may be in your area on our new link to Google Calendar. Hunt for us on the web. For more information on a specific activity, please contact June Caswell,

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

DfR Solutions' Cheryl Tulkoff presents Intro to FMEA at ASQ Spokane Section Meeting on 4/28

ASQ -Spokane Section Spring Meeting

Join us April 28th at the Sacred Heart Campus for an evening of FMEA education, networking, good food, and an insight into latest in medical performance measures!

· Schedule

§ 4:00-5:20 Webinar with Cheryl Tulkoff of DFR Solutions on "FMEA: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly"

§ 5:30 Catered Light dinner from Ferys

§ 6:00-6:45 Presentation by Russ Shear on Hospital Quality Incentive - Value Based Purchasing. How hospital payment structures will be tied to quality care and performance under reform.

§ 7:00 -7:45 Short Tour of Russ’s Choosing

· Location: Avista Classrooms A&B, Main Floor, Sacred Heart Women's Health Center/Surgery Center in the West Addition. Parking garage attached via skybridge will lead right to the Main Floor where the classrooms are located.

· Cost - $10:00 for all

· RSVP to by April 22nd. If attending the Webinar remotely, please indicate so and we’ll email you the details to attend.

· FMEA Trainer Background – Cheryl Tulkoff - DfR Solutions, Senior Member of the Technical Staff

o 20 years in Electronics -IBM, Cypress Semiconductor, National Instruments

o Triathlete – Sprint, Olympic, Half and Ironman finisher in CDA, Idaho in June ‘10

o A published author, experienced trainer and a Senior member of both ASQ and IEEE. She holds leadership positions in the IEEE Central Texas Chapter, IEEE WIE (Women In Engineering), and IEEE ASTR (Accelerated Stress Testing and Reliability) sections, and is also an ASQ Certified Reliability Engineer.

· Evening Speaker Background

o Russ Shear -Director of Quality - Performance Improvement at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children's Hospital and Providence Holy Family Hospital

o Quality supervisor for the Cardiovascular Department and Electrophysiology Department.

o Cardiovascular Technologist by training, former educator. Has been with Providence for 23 years.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

DfR chairs the iMAPS High Reliability Microelectronics for Military Workshop in Baltimore, MD May 17-19

The International Microelectronics And Packaging Society (IMAPS) is sponsoring an Advanced Technology Workshop on military high reliability packaging issues and applications which is chaired by Greg Caswell. The technical program will focus on the latest military electronic devices, systems, and applications with particular emphasis on system level issues that have an impact on mission assurance as well as the connected issues at the design and applications level. Abstracts are currently being solicited for the technical program. To register for this conference, please contact Greg Caswell,, or go to the website.

Monday, April 25, 2011

DfR Solutions' Cheryl Tulkoff will be teaching at the ICSR in Toronto on May 3rd

Cheryl Tulkoff, a Senior Member of the Technical Staff at DfR Solutions will be in Toronto, Canada at the International Conference on Soldering and Reliability, May 3-5. On May 3rd, she will be teaching two programs: “2nd Generation Lead Free Alloys: is SAC the Best We Can Do?” and “High Reliability: Solving Problems with Reliability in the Lead-Free Era”. Check website for details:

While Cheryl is in the area, she will be available an onsite complimentary presentation, please contact June Caswell at If you would like more information regarding DfR’s services, please contact

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Central Texas Electronics Association Symposium at 3M - May 10, 2011


Central Texas Electronics Association
Electronics Design & Manufacturing 
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
3M Innovation Center, 6801 River Place Blvd & RR-2222


3:00 - Registration Begins

3:30 - Welcome and Introductions

3:35 - "3M's High Speed Cable Products"

Bill Ballard, 3M

4:05 - "MTBF: Your Mileage May Vary…"

Ed Tinsley, Dell

4:35 - Break & Networking

4:45 - "LDI Imaging, LDI Solder Mask, Silkscreen, and Vision Drilling”

Bryan Fish, Streamline Circuits

5:15 - "Touch Screens: Staying on Point in 2011 and Beyond"

Michael Woolstrum, Touch International

5:45 - Closing Remarks

6:00 - Food & Refreshments Served and More Networking


RSVP to Bob Baker at:

There is no charge for SMTA and IMAPS members; $10 for all non-members

Event Location:

3M Innovation Center, Hill Country Room, 6801 River Place Blvd in NW Austin

Right turn off RR-2222 going west and follow signs to Innovation Center parking area

See Map at: (Map to 3M)

In Central Texas, SMTA and IMAPS work together as the Central Texas Electronics Association (CTEA)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Copper, Copper Everywhere

The copper revolution has reached component packaging (just in time for 3D integration!). Copper wirebonds and copper pillars are proliferating like wildfire throughout multiple platforms. Copper is cheaper than gold, but has lower resistance. What's not to like? However, with every material change come potentially unknown risks. Copper wirebonds require special atmospheres, higher bonding forces, and changes in bond pad dimensions. The need for palladium plating can also drive galvanic corrosion. Copper pillars can increase the risk of white bump, drive complete consumption of solder to intermetallic at elevated temperatures, and increase stress states during thermal cycling. For more information, contact Craig Hillman,

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

DfR Solutions' Nathan Blattau at iMAPS New England Symposium & Expo in Boston, MA: May 3

Nathan Blattau will be making a presentation entitled "Automated Design Analysis: Accurately Capturing Warranty and End-of-Life Risks Early in Product Development," at the iMAPS New England Symposium & Expo. For more information on this topic, contact Nathan Blattau,

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

DfR Solutions' Cheryl Tulkoff at APEX 2011

DfR Solutions' Cheryl Tulkoff at APEX 2011 - Video Interview Link.

APEX was the usual whirlwind of activity and DfR was there in full force! Over the course of the week, we taught two professional development workshops, presented two papers, participated in a panel discussion and interviews, and attended multiple iNEMI and technical workshops. The show floor was bustling as well. All in all, a great week of renewing and making industry connections.

Monday, April 18, 2011

DfR Solutions in New England: Boston, MA: May 2-5

Nathan Blattau will be visiting companies in the New England area discussing a variety of topics related to reliability prediction and failure analysis of electronic components, products, and systems. If you and your associates are interested in an onsite visit and/or presentation while Nathan is in New England, contact June Caswell,

Friday, April 15, 2011

DfR at The International Conference on Soldering & Reliability 2011

International Conference on Soldering & Reliability 2011
Co-located with Lead-Free Academy & SMTA Toronto Expo
May 3-6, 2011
Crowne Plaza Toronto Airport Hotel
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The drive for smaller, more functional consumer electronics along with the need for highly reliable electronics for industrial, bio-medical, aerospace and automotive applications have kept the material, process and quality engineers busy planning for the future. These drive the many challenges such as the use of finer powders in solder paste, the greater need for heat dissipation, the use of novel components and technologies. In addition, the European Union’s RoHS directive has now been joined by those of REACH, the dimethyl fumarate ban and the new Canadian Management plan on substances of concern for electrical and electronic equipment complicating matters considerably. The use of tailored alloy systems, the variety of alloy choices, and smaller passive component assembly are among the concerns being addressed. Soldering and reliability engineers and designers need to come together to share their knowledge and their vision for addressing these challenges.

SMTA Lead-Free Academy
Tuesday May 3, 2011

Click on the tutorial titles below to view the full descriptions.

Tuesday, May 3
T1: 2nd Generation Lead Free Alloys: Is SAC the Best We Can Do?
Cheryl Tulkoff, DfR Solutions: 8:30a.m. – 12:00p.m.

T2: Solder Joint Reliability—Failure Mode and Root Cause Analyses (Fatigue, Brittle Fracture, ENIG)"
Werner Engelmaier,Engelmaier Associates, L.C.: 8:30a.m. - 12:00p.m.

Tuesday, May 3
T3: High Reliability: Solving Problems with Reliability in the Lead-Free Era
Cheryl Tulkoff, DfR Solutions: 1:30p.m. – 5:00p.m.

T4: Solder Joint Reliability—Acceleration Models, Accelerated Reliability Tests and Screening Procedures
Werner Engelmaier,Engelmaier Associates: 1:30p.m. – 5:00p.m.
Conference Schedule
Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hours: 8:50a.m. - 6:00p.m.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Hours: 8:50a.m. - 5:30p.m.
Friday, May 6, 2011
Hours: 8:40a.m. - 12:00p.m.

The 2011 ICSR speakers include:
  • Vladimar Igoshev, SENTEC Testing Laboratory
  • Emad Al- Momani, Binghamton University
  • Barbara Koczera, Test Research USA
  • Keith Howell, Nihon Superior
  • Walter Jager, Intertek
  • Mike Bixenman, Kyzen Corporation
  • and many more...
  • Registration

    Friday, April 8, 2011

    DfR Solutions in Europe (France, Finland, Sweden, England, Austria, Switzerland: April 11-18)

    Responding to overwhelming demand, Craig Hillman will be visiting several companies in Europe to discuss a variety of topics, including QFNs, Pb-free, design for reliability, copper interconnects in component packaging, and wearout of integrated circuits. If you and your associates are interested in an onsite visit and/or presentation on a these topics or others, please contact June Caswell,, as soon as possible.

    Thursday, April 7, 2011

    Reliability and Safety Workshop (Greenwich, United Kingdom: April 14)

    Craig Hillman will be making a presentation on "The Synergy between Reliability & Safety in Automotive Electronics" at the Reliability & Safety Workshop jointly organized by IEEE, Reliability Society UK&RI and the University of Greenwich. For more information on this please contact Craig Hillman,

    Wednesday, April 6, 2011

    DfR at IPC APEX in Las Vegas, NV: April 10-15

    Several members of DfR staff will be teaching courses and making technical presentations at the IPC APEX EXPO. Courses will be presented on "The Transition to High Brightness Light Emitting Diodes," by Greg Caswell and "Design for Manufacturing," by Cheryl Tulkoff. In addition, Cheryl Tulkoff,, will be presenting a technical paper on "Automated Design Analysis: Accurately Capturing Warranty and End-of-Life Risks Early in Product Development," and Ed Wyrwas,, will be presenting on "Accurate Quantitative Physics-of-Failure Approach to Integrated Circuit Reliability." DfR staff members will also be meeting with customers at the conference. To arrange a meeting, please contact June Caswell,

    Tuesday, April 5, 2011

    Fundamentals of Random Vibration & Shock Testing Course at DfR Apr 19-21

    Fundamentals of Random Vibration & Shock Testing Course

    Course Date & Location:

    April 19-21, 2011, at DfR Solutions, College Park, Maryland

    Special 2 for 1 Signup offer! Enroll 2 students and pay for only 1. Save $1400!

    Course Outline:

    Discussion, supported by projected visuals and video clips. Commencing with a review of basic vibrations, sources and causes, we will explore vibration measurements, analysis and calibration. We’ll compare sinusoidal vs. random vibration testing systems, specifications, standards and procedures. We will discuss ESS, HALT and HASS. We’ll emphasize vibration and shock test fixture design, fabrication, experimental evaluation and usage. Also shock measurement, shock response spectrum (SRS) and shock testing. Review of modal testing. We emphasize topics you will use immediately.

    Today and in the near future we protectively install commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) equipment in our flight, land vehicles and shipboard locations where vibration and shock can be severe. We laboratory test the protected equipment (1) to assure twenty years equipment survival and possible combat, also (2) to meet commercial test standards, IEC documents, military standards such as STANAG or MIL-STD-810G, etc. Few if any engineering schools teach about such protection or such testing. Hence this specialized course.

    Friday, April 1, 2011

    Toughest Test Program...EVER

    DfR can't take the credit for these laptop tests, but our engineers are equally creative when it comes to developing viable test plans for assessing the reliability of our customer's products. Looking for assistance in developing design verification, product qualification, accelerated life tests, or environmental stress screens? Please contact Cheryl Tulkoff,