Upper Midwest (Minnesota, Iowa & Dakotas)


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Chapter News

February 20th: SMTA Upper Midwest Chapter hosts

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 | 01:30 PM
Location: CyberOptics Corporation
Upper Mid-west Chapter is bringing in a speaker for the following topic:

Printing in the Third Dimension; Design, Materials, Equipment & Applications in Electronics
Speaker: Charles E. Bauer, Ph.D., Senior Managing Director of TechLead Corporation
Date:     Tuesday, February 20th, 2018
Cost:      $30 Members/ $40 Non-members (make checks payable to SMTA)
  • 1:15 to 1:30 PM - Registration
  • 1:30 to 1:35 PM – SMTA announcements
  • 1:35 to 2:30 PM – Chuck’s Presentation
  • 2:30 to 4:00 PM – CyberOptics Presentation/Tour
  • Times subject to change so please arrive before 1:15 PM.
RSVP by February 13th to guaranty a spot for this session.
Address/Directions to CyberOptics:
CyberOptics Corporation
5900 Golden Hills Dr.
Minneapolis, MN 55416

Presentation Overview:
Printing in the Third Dimension;
Design, Materials, Equipment & Applications in Electronics
Excitement around 3D printing continues full speed ahead whether in electronics, consumer goods or industrial systems. Understanding the capabilities, limitations and most importantly the complexities of 3d printing remains challenging despite significant progress in both equipment and materials. While not a comprehensive tutorial on 3D printing, this presentation introduces the application of 3D printing in electronics prototyping and manufacturing including;
  1. Types of 3d printing
  2. Design tools for 3d printed products
  3. Materials selection (availability and alternatives)
  4. Equipment choices
  5. Process capabilities and constraints
Specific examples include batteries, shielding, high density capacitors, and simple circuits. Discussion also includes applications outside the electronics world to stimulate creative thought, e.g. jet engine turbines and hyperbolic airfoils.
Charles E. Bauer, Ph.D. – Bio:
Charles E. Bauer, Ph.D. serves as Senior Managing Director of TechLead Corporation, a technology management company specializing in the electronics packaging, interconnection and assembly industry, as well as Director of the University of Portland’s Global Executive Leadership MBA program.  Dr. Bauer focuses in the areas of strategic technology planning, market analysis and business development, particularly in the international arena. Recent foci include an emphasis on medical device applications including sensors and imaging systems.
Combining applications experience in implantable, surgical and diagnostic medical devices with extensive background in design and manufacturing, Dr. Bauer presents a balanced perspective between technology and practical implementation for real world products. With more than 40 years’ experience spanning the range from complex interconnection technologies (printed circuit boards, hybrid and IC metallization and fabrication) through complex packaging (multichip modules, system in package, 3D packaging) and assembly (die attach, wire bonding, flip chip, etc.) as well as nano-technology applications in electronics manufacturing, his publications exceed 250 papers, articles and columns.  He lectures throughout the world on technology, business and market topics as well as serving on several corporate boards and international corporate, government and educational institution advisory councils.
A Senior Member of IEEE, he remains active in the SMTA, JIEP, ASM and IMAPS Europe as well.  Dr. Bauer served on the Boards of both the SMTA and IMAPS and as President of IMAPS in 2001-2002.  Awards received include Tektronix Technical Innovation Award, Fellow of IMAPS, the International Leadership Award from the SMTA, Jesuit High School Hall of Fame, University of Portland Significant 75 Alumni and SMTA 25th Anniversary Luminary as founder of the Pan Pacific Microelectronics Symposium.

To RSVP, please click here, or copy and paste the following address into your web browser:

Payment Instructions:
$30 Members/ $40 Non-members (make checks payable to SMTA)
Questions? Contact:
Ed Knudson

October 17th SMTA UMW Chapter hosts: Selective Soldering Conference

Upper Mid-west Chapter is bringing in speakers for a Selective Soldering Conference.


Who Should Attend:

This presentation is intended for Manufacturing, Process, and Quality Engineering personnel, management and owners who involved in automated soldering tools or looking to get into it.  It will give the participant a perspective on all methods of Selective Soldering.

Date:     Tuesday, October 17th, 2017
Cost:      $35 Members/ $45 Non-members (make checks payable to SMTA)

Time/Agenda (UPDATED):


  • 8:30 to 9:00 AM – Registration/SMTA announcements

Point-to-point Type:

  • 9:00 to 9:30 AM - MTA Automation
  • 9:30 to 10:00 AM - Fancort/Japan Unix
  • 10:00 to 10:30 AM - Apollo Seiko
  • 10:30 to 11:30 AM - Open Discussion 
  • 11:30 to 12:30 PM – Buffet Lunch

Fountain Type:

  • 12:30 to 1:00 PM - Ersa
  • 1:00 to 1:30 PM - Pillarhouse
  •  1:30 to 2:00 PM – RPS Automation
  • 2:00 to 2:30 PM - Vitronics
  • 2:30 to 3:30 PM – Open Discussion/Close

Free buffet lunch is provided for this session.

Oak Ridge Country Club
700 Oak Ridge Road
Hopkins, MN  55021 

Session Notes:

People are welcome to come for part of the day or the full day. Speakers will be respected vendors in the electronics industry representing a variety of selective soldering approaches.

To RSVP, please click here, or copy and paste the following address into your web browser:


Todd King from EI Microcircuits Receives 25 Year SMTA Award

Todd King from EI Microcircuits received their 25-year Corporate Membership plaque from SMTA.

If you see someone from EI or Todd, please congratulate them on their membership tenure.


SMTA Upper Midwest Chapter

2017 SMTA Upper Midwest Expo & Tech Forum




Upper Midwest 

Expo & Tech Forum

Your local electronics assembly and manufacturing trade show!


June 22nd, 2017

DoubleTree by Hilton Minneapolis - Park Place

Minneapolis, MN 55416



Plan Now to Join us at the 

SMTA Upper Midwest Expo & Tech Forum!

- 3 Great Technical Presentations

- FREE Lunch

- Networking with Exhibitors

ALL FREE but you must RSVP to reserve your spot!

Technical Program & Schedule


Thank you to our Coffee Sponsor:


8:00 am:

Registration Opens

9:00 am:

Expo opens


Benefits and Implications of Finer Mesh Solder Powder

Speaker: Tim O'Neill, AIM Solder 


Real Life Recommendation Engine

Speaker: Patrick Delaney, Lab651 



Complimentary Lunch

Thank you to our lunch sponsor: 


2D, 2.5D, and 3D X-Ray Inspection - What's a "D"?

Speaker: Bill Cardoso, Ph.D, Creative Electron 


Expo Closes



Current Exhibitors

(as of 6/7/17)


Aligned Solutions Inc. 
Alpha Assembly Solutions 
Amitron Corp 
Analog Technologies, Corp. 
Apex Tool Group - Weller 
Ascentec Engineering 
ASM Assembly Systems, LLC 
Aven Tools, Inc. 
Batten & Allen International 
BEST Inc. 
Circuit Check Inc. 
Conductive Containers, Inc. 
Coridian Technologies 
Dimation, Inc. 
Easy Braid Co. 
Electronic Systems, Inc. 
Ellsworth Adhesives 
ERSA North America 
Fuji America Corporation 
Garland Service Company (GSC) 
Henkel Electronics 
HISCO, Inc. 
Indium Corporation 
JBC Tools USA Inc. 

Koki Solder America/Tagarno USA 
KYZEN Corporation 
Logic PD 
LPKF Laser & Electronics 
MET Stencil 
MTE Solutions 
Nikon Metrology, Inc. 
Nortec Humidity 
Omni-Tronics, Inc. 
PACE Worldwide 
Panasonic Factory Solutions 
Rehm Thermal Systems LLC 
Safari Circuits, Inc. 
Seika Machinery, Inc. 
Solid Design Solutions 
SPEA America 
TEK Products, Inc. 
Tonka Electronics, Inc 
Transforming Technologies 
TTM Technologies 
Universal Instruments 
Vi Technology Inc. 
ZESTRON Americas 




Any Questions?

Please contact 

Kaitlyn Gherity

SMTA Expo Manager


We Look Forward to 

Seeing you in June!



The SMTA Upper Midwest Chapter




2017 SMTA Upper Midwest Golf Tournament


July 28, 2017 SMTA Golf Tournament

The 26th Annual SMTA Golf Tournament is moving to The Wilds Golf Club in Prior Lake, MN and moving to a Friday.  This year we’re going to have a shot gun start at 10:00AM.  The deadline to register is July 14th.  Payments must be received by July 21st to ensure your spot.  The sign-up for the golf tournament is on a first come, first served basis with a maximum of 80 golfers.  Below is all the information on this year’s tournament.

Twenty-Sixth Annual SMTA Golf Tournament 

When: Friday, July 28th, 2017 @ 10:00AM  

The Wilds Golf Club
3151 Wilds Ridge
Prior Lake, MN 55372
(952) 445-3500 

Shotgun Start: 10:00AM. Please arrive by 9:00AM for check-in.  Lunch will not be provided.

Register by Friday, July 14th to Erik Stromberg via email at estromberg@e-tronix.com.  Include your name, company name, telephone #, and your average score for 18 holes. If you have any questions you can reach me at (612) 803-2619.

$65 for 18 holes. This fee includes golf, cart, prizes, and an early dinner. All fees must be received by Friday, July 21st. No-shows will be invoiced. Space is limited so please make your reservations early.

Checks Payable to:

Send Checks to:

Erik Stromberg
6333 Cambridge Street
Suite 201
St. Louis Park, MN 55416

Tournament: The tournament will consist of a four-person scramble. We will organize the teams based on your golfing caliber in order to make the teams fair. The number of suppliers and users in the four-some will also be taken into consideration. As most of you know from previous years, the tournament will be played in rain or shine unless it is lightning outside, so plan accordingly to the weather conditions.

Dinner:  ASM Assembly Systems and the SMTA local chapter will be sponsoring an early dinner after the tournament for everyone in the clubhouse starting at approximately 3:00 p.m. 

Prizes: Each supplier donating a prize will get a sign at the tee box stating their name and what event the prize is awarded for. Prizes will be presented at the dinner at the end of the tournament. All winners must be present to receive their prize. Please direct all prize offerings to Jeff Kennedy at (612) 902-6259


Hole In One Contest:  A Rolex watch valued at $5000.00 is up for grabs for anyone who can put the ball in the cup.  NO MULLIGANS

May 16th SMTA UMW Chapter presents: “Deadly Sins” of SMT by Phil Zarrow

Upper Mid-west Chapter is bringing in a speaker for the following topic:
Deadly Sins of SMT

Who Should Attend:

This presentation is intended for Manufacturing, Process, and Quality Engineering personnel, management and owners who involved in SMT electronic manufacturing.  It will give the participant a perspective on how to keep from being burned by SMT process, tooling, and design issues.

Date:     Tuesday, May 16th, 2017
Cost:      $25 Members/ $30 Non-members (make checks payable to SMTA)


  • 12:15 to 12:45 PM - Registration/Lunch
  • 12:45 to 12:50 PM – SMTA announcements
  • 12:50 to 2:30 PM – Phil’s Presentation
  • 2:30 to 3:00 PM – Q&A
  • Times subject to change so please arrive before 12:45 PM.


Free lunch is provided for this session. Contact smta.umwc@gmail.com for any dietary restrictions.

RSVP by May 11th to guaranty a lunchbox for this session.

Address/Directions to North Hennepin Technical College:
Brooklyn Park Campus
9000 Brooklyn Blvd
Brooklyn Park, MN 55445
952- 995-1300


From Eastbound or Westbound 94:

  • Exit from 94 onto Highway 169 North
  • Exit from 169 at the Brooklyn Boulevard exit
  • Turn right onto Brooklyn Boulevard and follow to Northland Drive
  • Turn left to Brooklyn Park Campus
  • The campus is one block east of 169 on the north side

From Northbound or Southbound 169:

  • Exit from 169 at the Brooklyn Boulevard exit
  • Turn east onto Brooklyn Boulevard and follow to Northland Drive
  • Turn left to Brooklyn Park campus
  • The campus is one block east of 169 on the north side

Presentation Abstract by Phil Zarrow:

Everyone has heard of the “7 Deadly Sins” that will, supposedly, lead one to Hell.  There are also the “Deadly Sins” of SMT - there are more than just 7 – and they can make your assembly process a “hell on earth”.

During the course of ITM’s assembly process audits and troubleshooting work, we tend to see trends in the types of errors and problems.  In other words, a lot of people are making the same mistakes.  The resulting process problems wreak havoc with an impact on assembly yields ranging from 5 to 20%.  In addition to this direct cost, there is also additional financial impact with regard to time spent reworking and repairing, the on corrective action by QC, Engineering and Management, and, of course, “do-over”.

This workshop identifies the “deadly sins” of SMT assembly, both for Pb-free and “leaded” processes.  Besides the symptoms and consequences of each type of error, root-cause, rectification and prevention techniques will be presented.  Best Practices will be discussed for each of the key process steps. The workshop will, thus, provide the participant with an understanding of how to identify and correct the most common SMT assembly problems.  It will include identification of vendor and source problems including components and materials as well as design related problems.  

Topics Covered:

Areas of General Process “Sins”

  • Utilization of Process Feedback Data
  • Design for Manufacturability and Assembly
  • In-Process Inspection and AOI
  • MSD
  • Procedures and Documentation
  • Stencil Printing

o   Stencil Design

o   Stencil Cleaning

  • Component Placement and Feeders
  • Reflow Soldering

o   Parameters and Nitrogen

  • Wave Soldering
  • Inefficiency

o   Unbalanced lines

o   Excessive Downtime


Phil Zarrow – Bio:

Phil Zarrow has been involved with PCB fabrication and assembly for more than thirty years. His expertise includes the manufacture of equipment for circuit board fabrication and assembly of through-hole and surface mount technologies.

In addition to his background in automated assembly and cleaning, Mr. Zarrow is recognized for his expertise in surface mount reflow soldering technology and in the design and implementation of SMT placement equipment and reflow soldering systems.

Having held key technical and management positions with Vitronics Corporation, Excellon-Micronetics and Universal Instruments Corporation, he has extensive hands-on experience with set-up and troubleshooting through-hole and SMT processes throughout the world.


April 27th: Incredible Shrinking World of Electronics

Upper Mid-west Chapter is bringing in a speaker for the following topic:
The Incredible Shrinking World Of Electronics – Can DFM Survive? Can Traditional Manufacturing Survive?
Speaker: Dale Lee, Staff DFX Process Engineer with Plexus Corporation


Who Should Attend:
This presentation is intended for anyone that is interested in electronic assembly processes and how they are affected by ever shrinking component dimensions.

Date:     Thursday, April 27th, 2017
Cost:      $25 Members/ $30 Non-members (make checks payable to SMTA)


  • 12:15 to 12:45 PM - Registration/Lunch
  • 12:45 to 12:50 PM – SMTA announcements
  • 12:50 to 2:30 PM – Dale’s Presentation
  • 2:30 to 3:00 PM – Q&A
  • Times subject to change so please arrive before 12:45 PM. 

Free lunch is provided for this session. Contact smta.umwc@gmail.com for any dietary restrictions.

RSVP by April 21st to guaranty a lunchbox for this session.

Address/Directions to Hennepin Technical College:

Eden Prairie Campus
13100 College View Drive
Eden Prairie, MN  55347

From 494 East:
Exit from 494 at Flying Cloud Drive.  At the top of the ramp, go left.  Proceed south on Flying Cloud drive approximately 2.5 miles.  Turn right at College View Drive proceed to Eden Prairie Campus.
Room J110

From 494 West:
Exit from 494 at Highway 212 west. Proceed south on Highway 212 west approximately 1 mile and take Prairie Center Drive exit. Turn right and proceed to Flying Cloud Drive. Turn right and drive south for 1.5 miles. Turn right at College View Drive proceed to Eden Prairie Campus.
Room J110

Presentation Overview:
Today’s electronic component packaging technologies of  smaller packages (0201/01005/008003), finer lead pitch (0.4/0.35/0.3/…), bottom terminated components (QFN/LGA) and printed circuit board designs (high layer counts, finer lines, VIP, increased copper thicknesses, copper routing, …) have impacted traditional assembly processes with very addition of tight solder application, component placement and soldering constraints.  Using traditional, simplified mass production techniques may not be sufficient to achieve a high-yielding manufacturing process.  This presentation will highlight elements of the impacts of these technologies on reliability and yield when not properly addressed in the design/assembly/inspection-test process, introduce the elements of design for matched process (DFMP), and provide examples of several opportunities within the DFMP for yield improvement through manufacturing tooling design, SMT and PTH assembly process matching.

What you will learn:

  • Component packaging and PCB design impacts
  • SMT and PTH solder design impacts
  • Thermal balance, trace routing, equipment limitation/tolerance, PCB array tolerance, process tooling design
  • Process control impacts
  • Paste volume, thermal shock SMT and PTH, reflow process warpage
  • Cleaning impacts
  • Compatibility issues, low stand-off components

Dale Lee’s – Bio:
Dale is a Staff DFX Process Engineer with Plexus Corporation primarily involved with DFX analysis and definition/correlation of design, process, legislative and tooling impacts on assembly processes and manufacturing yields. Dale has been involved in surface mount design, package & process development and production for over twenty years in various technical and managerial positions. These activities have included research, development and implementation of advanced manufacturing technologies and interconnect techniques, design and development of CSP & BGA packages, PCB & PCBA support, DFM/DFX analysis of flex & rigid PCB/PCBA’s including supply chain, process qualification and new process introduction for domestic and foreign low, medium and high volume production applications. Dale has authored, instructed and presented topics including advanced SMT packaging, PCB and SMT design, assembly, DFM/DFX and rework. He is a past recipient of the Surface Mount Technology Association’s “Excellence in Leadership” award. He has been very involved with multiple industry associations and activities including INEMI, SMTA and IPC.

SMTA Upper Midwest Chapter Social Media

Want to get up to the minute info on SMTA UMW Chapter events and SMT technology? Connect with us online!

     “Like” our Facebook Page and “Join” our LinkedIn Group

Call for Papers: Upper Midwest Chapter Expo

Call for Papers:  Upper Midwest Chapter Expo June 22, 2017       

The Upper Midwest Chapter Expo is scheduled for June 22, 2017.

Anyone interested in presenting at the Expo is invited to submit an abstract for consideration. Please send abstracts to Kaitlyn Gherity, kaitlyn@smta.org, by March 25.

We are open to all ideas, and possible suggestions are:

·        New Developments in PCB Technology

·        Conformal Coating/Hydrophobic Coatings

·        2.5/3D Packaging

·        Robotic Laser Soldering

·        Nano-Technology with Polymeric Structures

·        Photonics Integration

·        Flexible Substrates and Flex/Rigid Hybrid Substrates

·        IoT  Manufacturing

·        Industry 4.0 development

·        Manufacturing of Sensors

·        New developments in Board Level Adhesive & Underfills

·        New developments in  Lead free Solders and Interconnect

We look forward to your response!

SMTA Certification

Now available in Minnesota!

SMT Processes- May 2-4, 2017 (Eden Prairie, MN)

·        May 2- Course (8:30-5pm)

·        May 3- ½ day of course + exam

·        May 4- All day exam (8:30-5pm)

Instruction: English 
Test: English 
Instructor: Jim Hall, ITM Consulting


For more information, http://www.smta.org/certification/ 

Click on links to view these Upper Mid-West Chapter newsletters:

April 2014 Newsletter
May 2011 Newsletter

March/April 2011 Newsletter
February 2011 Newsletter
June 2010 Newsletter
May 2010 Newsletter
April 2010 Newsletter
July 2009 Newsletter - Golf edition
July 2008 Newsletter
June 2008 Newsletter
May 2008 Newsletter
Mike Carano presentation, Solderable Surface Finishes Overview and Recommendations
Dave Hillman presentation, How PCB Surface Finishes Impact Assembly Processes from an OEM Perspective
March 2008 Newsletter
November 2007 Newsletter
May 2007 Newsletter

Chapter Calendar of Events

Date / Time Event Location Contact/Email
February 20, 2018
01:30 PM
February 20th: SMTA Upper Midwest Chapter hosts CyberOptics Corporation Ed Knudson 
June 14, 2018
Upper Midwest Expo & Tech Forum DoubleTree by Hilton Minneapolis - Park Place Kaitlyn Schmiel
(952) 920-7682 

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Our Chapter Officers

President : Edward A. Knutson  (Dimation)
Phone : 952-746-3030

Vice President : Kris Meacham  (JW Sales, LLC)
Phone : 612-807-4382

Secretary : Holly Olsen  (Electronic Systems Inc.)
Phone : 605-338-6868

Treasurer : Tara Dunn  (Omni PCB)
Phone : 507-332-9932

VP of Technical Programs : Brian Peterson  (All Flex Flexible Circuits)
Phone : 507-663-7162

VP of Membership : Bob Breu  (Bosch Automotive Service Solutions)
Phone : 507-363-6390

Past President : Michael Havener  (Benchmark Electronics, MN Division)
Phone : 507-452-8932

VP Communications (Appointed) : Alex Zeitler  (NRI Electronics)
Phone : 651-726-1333

VP of Operations (Appointed) : Sue Blankenheim  (Omni-Tronics Inc.)
Phone : 763-425-7910

Volunteer at Large (Appointed) : Pete Glasspoole  (Benchmark Electronics, Inc)
Phone : 507-453-4744

Volunteer at Large (Appointed) : John P. Japs  (Tonka Electronics, Inc.)
Phone : 952-831-8969

Board Liaison : Robert Kinyanjui (John Deere Electronic Solutions, Inc.)
Phone Contact : 701-451-3785

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Global Participating Members of our Chapter

Creation Technologies


NEO Technology Solutions

Corporate Members of our Chapter

AbelConn, LLC

All Flex Flexible Circuits

Altron, Inc.

Analog Technologies Corporation


ASC International

Benchmark Electronics, MN Division

Bergquist Company

BTW Inc.

Circuit Check Inc.

Conductive Containers, Inc.

Control Products Inc.

CyberOptics Corporation

Digi International


EI Microcircuits, Inc.

Electronic Systems Inc.

Great Lakes Engineering

Itron, Inc.

John Deere Electronic Solutions, Inc.



NRI Electronics

Polytronics Technology Corp.

Production Automation Corporation

Quality Circuits Inc.

Raven Industries Inc.

RiverSide Electronics Ltd.

Seagate Technology

Solid Design Solutions, Inc.

Sparton Onyx

TEK Products, Inc.

V-Tek, Inc.

Versa Electronics

Professional Members of our Chapter


Infinite Graphics Inc.

Tonka Electronics, Inc.

SMTA Global Members

Amazon Celestica Inc. Cisco Systems, Inc. Creation Technologies Inc. FCA Group Harris Corporation Henkel Electronic Materials LLC HISCO, Inc. IDENTCO ITW EAE Jabil Circuit Sdn. Bhd. Keysight Technologies KYZEN Sdn. Bhd. Metallic Resources, Inc. Micro Systems Technologies Management AG NCAB Group USA NEO Technology Solutions Nokia Plexus Corp. Samtec Microelectronics SMAC Specialty Coating Systems Vexos ZESTRON Americas

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SMTA Headquarters
6600 City West Parkway, Suite 300
Eden Prairie, MN 55344 USA

Phone 952.920.7682
Fax 952.926.1819