Thermoforming Quarterly is a journal published quarterly by the Thermoforming Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers. The magazine is a great way to keep up with industry trends and developments. SPE Thermoforming Division members receive the magazine by mail four times a year. Non-members can access old issues here via PDF file. If you are not an SPE member this is a great reason to join! Become a member today to start receiving this valuable information in your mailbox.
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First Quarter 2019
Understanding Electronics Packaging
By Jimmy Shah, Impact Plastics, Hamlet, NC
With continued population growth, urbanization, and real-time global connectivity, electronics has become one of the fastest growing industries in our modern society. Constant innovation in the fields of smartphones, tablets, laptops, gaming devices, video recorders and television, increases the need for packaging material to provide safe, easy to handle, lightweight, and to keep products safe from Electro Static Discharge (ESD). North America is the headquarters for some of the leading consumer electronics markets. Products that were previously designed and assembled in North America but manufactured in Asia, are now returning to North America for production as a result of increasing labor costs in Asia. It is very important that part shipment and assembly lines for these expensive electronics are ESD safe.
Let’s start with a definition of ESD. ESD is the sudden flow of electricity between two electrically-charged objects caused by contact, an electrical short, or dielectric breakdown. A buildup of static electricity can be caused by tribocharging or by electrostatic induction. So, what if a minor electric current (electrons) passes through our body to the electric part? What harm could that cause?
Measuring Wall Thickness Distribution
Excerpted from “Advanced Thermoforming” by S. Engelmann
Normally the exact positions of the measuring points for measuring the wall thickness distribution are at the container walls, often at the angles. If necessary by the geometry of the containers, additional measurements are taken at the each container’s base.
Examples of Measuring Wall Thickness of cups
The exact positions of the measuring points (x, y, z) are often indicated by the customer (see Figure 24.1). The (measuring) points at the cup wall and at the angle are measured four times at the circumference of the cups—each case with a 90° offset. The customer indicates the minimum wall thickness for the particular measuring points that must be maintained—with a confidence level—for all the cups of one multicavity matrix. The measured values will have a certain tolerance range due to processing differences, and they will alternate around an average value. For example, if the required minimum thickness at the middle of the wall is 300 µm, this means that when the results are statistically evaluated, the average values must be within the tolerance range 3σ above 300 µm. In more simplified terms, the background is as follows: The products that the customer must fill into the cups may be sensitive to oxygen and water vapor. For this reason films with so-called barrier layers are used for thermoforming.
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