AREA Consortium

Welcome to the AREA Consortium! 

More than twenty years ago, Universal Instruments’ SMT Laboratory initiated a pre-competitive cooperative research effort with various Fortune 100 companies for the comprehensive development of the assembly processes for Ultra Fine Pitch and Tape Automated Bonded components. The project was organized to defray the high costs and associated technical risks among a large group of principals and to allow the researchers from the member companies an opportunity to cooperate in research projects. This highly successful research collaboration has evolved and adapted to the ever-changing demands of the electronic packaging and assembly industry.  It developed into a series of funded research projects now known as the Advanced Research in Electronic Assemblies (AREA) Consortium.

Today, the Universal Instruments AREA Consortium is comprised of leading companies in the electronics assembly industry. It’s not the usual 'work-in-kind' consortium where members conduct research and group decisions are made during committee meetings. In the AREA Consortium, a team of experienced scientists conducts fast-paced research and reports back results at regularly scheduled meetings throughout the year, as well as posts research results on this website for on-demand access. All research is conducted in the Universal Instruments Advanced Process Laboratory and takes advantage of the lab’s comprehensive production and analytical equipment set. Member companies are invited to participate in the research as they see fit.  Some chose to keep resident employees in the laboratory for periods ranging from days to years.

The goal of the Consortium is to develop a fundamental, mechanistic understanding of the materials and processes utilized in electronics assembly, with special focus on maximizing assembly yields and long-term reliability. Each year, research goals are established by continual consultation with current and potential Consortium members, as well as other industry and academic researchers, guaranteeing research that takes full advantage of current knowledge.

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