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Agilent Technologies and Speedline Technologies conduct joint research on closed-loop practices for PCB paste printing


Results suggest significant process-control improvements for move to lead-free manufacturing

PALO ALTO, Calif., Jan. 31, 2006, Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) and the Advanced Development Group of Speedline Technologies Inc. today announced they are conducting research on the implementation of closed-loop process control for paste printing of printed-circuit-board assemblies (PCBAs). This research will utilize Agilent’s lead-free-ready post-print inspection systems and Speedline’s award-winning Accela printer for measuring and providing accurate compensation in order to achieve maximum process performance in lead-free manufacturing.

Based on their recent jointly developed lead-free study, Agilent and Speedline determined that the positional accuracy of the paste deposit relative to the pad is a key element for ensuring high quality in fine-pitch and small-device lead-free assemblies. This conclusion suggests that closed-loop process control could be very advantageous for achieving superior quality during the transition to lead-free manufacturing.

In follow-on testing still under way, Agilent and Speedline have demonstrated that there is potential to establish a closed-loop control method between the AOI system and the printer to manage positional accuracy of the pasted deposits. Further details regarding this testing will be discussed at the upcoming APEX trade show in Anaheim, Calif., Feb. 8-10, during Technical Conference S16: Equipment II -- Closed Loop. Joe Belmonte of Speedline will give a presentation titled “Closed-Loop Process Control in the Solder Paste Printing Process.” A joint preview of this technology by Agilent and Speedline and discussion of the research project will be presented at the Speedline booth, No. 1207.

Legal mandates for lead-free technologies are forcing manufacturers to transition to robust, lead-free processes. Based on this significant change in manufacturing methods, there is typically a noticeable increase in defects, which lowers production yield and dramatically increases costs. This project represents an ongoing collaboration between Agilent and Speedline to understand and mitigate challenges faced during the transition to lead-free manufacturing.

About the Agilent Medalist SP50

The Agilent Medalist SP50 Series II Solder Paste Inspection (SPI) solution provides 100 percent 3-D inspection required for comprehensive process control. The SP50 camera and patent-pending imaging chain incorporate the latest-generation CMOS sensors, which have more pixels and a higher read-out rate than past-generation sensors. This, coupled with proprietary hardware and software to handle the high data rates, allows the SP50 to achieve its best-in-class throughput. Find out more by visiting Agilent at

About the MPM Accela

With the innovative MPM Accela stencil printer, a new standard of productivity has become a manufacturing reality. Aided by unique parallel processing and a superior design that reduces the causes of downtime, Accela achieves throughput gains of more than 20 percent over the nearest competitors. See how Accela’s superior design means more throughout at

About Speedline Technologies

Speedline Technologies Inc. is the global leader for single-source process knowledge, solutions, and service to the PCB assembly and semiconductor packaging industries. Based in Franklin, Massachusetts, the company sells five, best-in-class brands -- Accel microelectronics cleaning, Camalot dispensing systems, Electrovert wave soldering, reflow soldering, and cleaning equipment, MPM stencil and screen printing systems, and Protect global services, support, and training solutions. For more information, visit Speedline Technologies at

About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is the world’s premier measurement company and a technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company’s 21,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $5.1 billion in fiscal 2005. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at


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