Medical electronics OEMs may be able to move forward with their prototypes into pilot, medium, and high runs right here on American soil. And it may be sooner than later due in large part to the advances in PCB microelectronics assembly.
Advanced medical devices like wearables, portables, insertable, and ingestible products are now either being produced or in the planning and development stages. Those types of new products require technologies associated with PCB microelectronics assembly, such as wire bonding, chip on board (CoB), flip chip, die attach, among others.
Let’s take a look at what is involved in transitioning medical electronics PCBs from small prototype quantities into microelectronics assembly production. Such a microelectronics assembly line is shown in Fig. 1.
Much more detail is covered in our SMT007 article. However, here are some tips that will help you understand this transition from prototype to U. S. production for advanced medical devices.
- Microelectronics assembly has a clean room environment with extra sensitive material and special equipment for assembling medical insertable and ingestible devices.
- Assurances must be made that the process is solid when transitioning from prototype to pilot runs. For example, dies need to be in a specific format for pick and place machines to pick the dies in the clean room.
- Dispensing material must be fully automated, regardless whether epoxies or other materials are being dispensed on the board, substrate, or underneath the dies, as underfill.
- An infrastructure that combines machines and capabilities is critical to automatically pick and place dies accurately for production runs.
- A conveyorized microelectronics assembly process like in traditional SMT manufacturing makes it production friendly.
Keeping these products in the US protects the medical OEM’s IP since there’s virtually no theft when it comes to manufacturing within the US due of stringent laws. These are strong safeguards that are available to OEMs. Plus, the other major benefit is logistics and supply chains are here in the U. S. OEM personnel can eliminate costly and time-consuming travel back and forth between the U. S. and offshore countries where production has been located.