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Universal gift to aid research

By : staff reports

President Lois B. DeFleur and Ian deSouza, president of Universal, display one of the circut boards produced at Binghamton using the donated electronics assembly machine.
The hum of machinery that filled the lab on Oct. 28 as the AdVantis electronics assembly machine was activated signaled new possibilities for students and researchers in the Department of Systems Science and Industrial Engineering (SSIE), Integrated Electronics Engineering Center (IEEC) and the High Technology Commercialization Center (HTCC).

Donated by Universal Instruments Corp., the $355,000 piece of equipment 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.”

DeFleur and Ian deSouza, president of Universal Instruments, visited the lab on Oct. 28 to announce the gift. Designed locally, the equipment is a recent addition to the Universal line and is being sold around the globe, deSouza said. Developed about 12 months ago, the company has been shipping the AdVantis AFC-42 since March.

“The AdVantis AFC-42 being donated by Universal leverages technologies and was developed specifically for advanced semiconductor assembly,” deSouza said. “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.”

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. Daryl Santos, associate professor of systems science and industrial engineering, is leading one of the research teams that will be 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 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.
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Last Updated: 10/14/08