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This proposal has a dual objective: the development of automated tools for the continuous quality improvement of electronic assembly processes and the establishment of the basis for the formation of a network of US and Mexican universities working on research and educational projects in the area of electronics manufacturing. The network, to be identified as MANET, will involve, in its first phase, Arizona State University (ASU), and Texas A&M University (A&M) on the US side and involve the Centro de Investigacion y de Estudios Avanzados (Cinvestav-IPN) and the Universidad de Guadalajara on the Mexican side.


It is expected that the proposed network will serve as a model to be extended later to other universities in both the United States and Mexico. It is also envisioned that the formation of MANET can be a catalyst for the development of an integrated electronics manufacturing industry in the Southwest US and Northern Mexico, with consequent economic benefits to both countries.

The research projects that have been identified as the starting activities for the network include: (i) the development of interface for teleoperation of remote surface mounted devices (SMD) assembly and inspection equipment, (ii) development of solder paste inspection algorithms, (iii) development of statistical process monitoring techniques for SMD Assembly, and (iv) integrated monitoring, diagnostics and operations scheduling. The project has a significant educational component based on the interaction and rotation of students and faculty among the participating universities.

The broader impact of the proposed activities is an important component of the proposal. For instance, the proposed activities enhance the infrastructure for research and education, promotes collaboration among students and faculty from universities in the USA and Mexico, develops virtual laboratory tools, exposes US students to global activities, and broadens the participation of Hispanics in engineering research and education. Another contribution of the proposed research activities is the development of tools for the continuous improvement of electronics manufacturing processes. This continuous improvement will have a direct impact on increasing the competitiveness of the electronics manufacturing industrial base in both the United States and Mexico.

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