Process monitoring strategies for surface mount manufacturing processes

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 22 - Publication in policy or professional journal

7 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-112+187
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Flexible Manufacturing Systems
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2003
Externally publishedYes


Establishing reliable surface mount assemblies requires robust design and assembly practices, including stringent process control schemes for achieving high yield processes and high quality solder interconnects. Conventional Shewhart-based process control charts prevalent in today's complex surface mount manufacturing processes are found to be inadequate as a result of autocorrelation, high false alarm probability, and inability to detect process deterioration. Hence, new strategies are needed to circumvent the shortcomings of traditional process control techniques. In this article, the adequacy of Shewhart models in a surface mount manufacturing environment is examined and some alternative solutions and strategies for process monitoring are discussed. For modeling solder paste deposition process data, a time series analysis based on neural network models is highly desirable for both controllability and predictability. In particular, neural networks can be trained to model the autocorrelated time series, learn historical process behavior, and forecast future process performance with low prediction errors. This forecasting ability is especially useful for early detection of solder paste deterioration, so that timely remedial actions can be taken, minimizing the impact on subsequent yields of downstream processes. As for the automated component placement process where very low fraction nonconforming frequently occurs, control-charting schemes based on cumulative counts of conforming items produced prior to detection of non-conforming items is more sensitive in flagging process deterioration. For the reflow soldering and wave-soldering processes, the use of demerit control charts is appealing as it provides not only better control when various defects with a different degree of severity are encountered, but also leads to an improved ARL performance. Illustrative examples of actual process data are presented to demonstrate these approaches.

Research Area(s)

  • Cumulative count conforming charts, Demerit control charts, Forecasting, Neural network modeling, Surface mount manufacturing