ICSR (Soldering and Reliability) Conference Proceedings

Lead-Free Supply Chain Management Systems: Printed Circuit Board Assembly & Test Audit And Technology Qualification

Authors: Matt Kelly, Marie Cole, Larry Pymento, Celeste Zippetelli and Willie Davis
Company: IBM Corporation
Date Published: 5/4/2011   Conference: ICSR (Soldering and Reliability)

Abstract: Assuring quality and reliability performance for high complexity, high reliability server and storage products is not a trivial task. Although the practice of product assurance is not new for the electronics industry, with the continued migration to lead-free solder constructions for high complexity hardware products, new technical and supply chain management challenges have been identified over the past several years; learned through numerous new product introduction cycles.

Since many original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) such as IBM, continue to outsource manufacturing operations to contract manufacturing firms (CMs), two primary activities must be well understood and executed in order to deliver highest quality and reliability performance products to clients. First, identification of key technology risks when migrating high complexity products to lead-free solder constructions is critical in defining research and development strategies as well as product level qualification requirements. Secondly, ensuring supply chain partners can build and deliver to specified quality and reliability requirements is critical. Simply focusing on technical risks and solutions will not ensure that delivered products will meet quality and reliability expectations.

This paper discusses three important supply chain management processes developed to work together as a system to ensure technical risks are sufficiently identified and to ensure supply chain partners effectively understand final system specification requirements via rigorous audit protocol and hardware qualification testing. This paper will discuss important elements to include during lead-free audit, lead-free product conversion assessment, and hardware qualification activities targeting high complexity, high reliability hardware systems.

Key words: Audit, lead-free product conversion, hardware qualification, high complexity, high reliability server and storage applications

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