Gift from Universal Instruments supports Binghamton University small systems packaging innovation


Universal Instruments Corporation, a major manufacturer of electronics assembly equipment, has presented Binghamton University's Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science with approximately $355,000 in equipment to support small scale systems packaging research and educational programs in the Department of Systems Science and Industrial Engineering (SSIE), Integrated Electronics Engineering Center (IEEC) and the High Technology Commercialization Center (HTCC).

The equipment donated – an AdVantis electronics assembly machine - will be used by students and faculty in the Watson School labs to study the placement of chips, fine pitch semiconductors and end-of-line assembly tasks. 

“This gift from Universal will be used to build upon the strengths of the University’s research and instructional programs and offer a unique opportunity for our students to gain hands-on exposure to cutting-edge technologies," said President Lois B. DeFleur. "It reinforces firmly the link between the University and Universal who have been long-time collaborators in furthering the research and technologies associated with small scale systems packaging.” 

According to Ian deSouza, President at Universal Instruments, “The AdVantis AFC-42 being donated by Universal leverages technologies developed specifically for advanced semiconductor assembly.  It will enable students at Binghamton University to learn on state-of-the-art equipment and address today’s industry challenges and those to come.  Added deSouza, “Universal has established long term relationships with leading research agencies world-wide, and we are eager to further this endeavor with Binghamton University here in our backyard.”

The addition of the AdVantis pick-and-place machine gift to the circuit board assembly equipment currently in the Watson School’s manufacturing laboratory is the final piece in the puzzle for a complete surface mount assembly research and instruction capability at Binghamton University, said Charles R. Westgate, dean of the Watson School.

“This machine will fill a critical hole in our infrastructure,” said Westgate. “It will allow students and researchers the ability to place advanced components on a circuit board, a key piece in the learning process and a capability we have not had before.”

The circuit board assembly process involves solder paste deposition, adhesive deposition, pick-and-place, underfill, and solder paste reflow, and with the addition of the AdVantis will enable a complete hands-on experience for students and researchers.

The equipment will also benefit certain courses in SSIE and other departments, which concentrate on electronics packaging at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Undergraduate students will be able to perform and run placement type experiments while graduate students will be able to devise and conduct reliability tests on assembly accuracy and yield.

In addition, the AdVantis will also create great strides towards advancing the University’s research school-wide.

“The equipment knowledge that undergraduates and graduate students can obtain will help secure external industry-sponsored research projects,” said Westgate. “It will help position these researchers effectively to walk into a facility, in or out of New York state, and experience little or no learning curve as they will have knowledge of the complete circuit board assembly process. “

Westgate also notes that in addition to being a support vehicle for gaining external industry-sponsored research projects, the AdVantis will open up a large number of research doors for both in-house sponsored research through the IEEC and its member companies, and for government-sponsored research such as NSF grants.

Universal Instruments is a global electronics productivity specialist, providing innovative circuit, semiconductor, and back-end assembly technologies and equipment, integrated system solutions, and process expertise to manufacturers in every sector of the electronics industry.

Last Updated: 9/17/13