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PCB Design Considerations for High Power LEDs (Part 1)
By Stanley L. Bentley, P.E., Senior Technical Advisor, DIVSYS International LLC
The transition to light-emitting diodes (LEDs) from conventional forms of lighting has not been without issues. However, the high light output vs. input power and long operating lifetimes make LEDs attractive for many applications, such as automotive systems. Engineers have quickly learned that the ...
Solder-Bearing RF Shields Cut Costs, Improve Quality
By Joe Praino, Interplex Industries, Inc., College Point, NY
Radio-frequency (RF) shielding is an important part of the design and manufacturing of modern electronic products, including Smartphones, computer tablets, and other handheld electronic devices that require consistent quality from high-volume production environments. As these devices become smaller ...
When a Corrective Action Report Corrects Nothing
By Stanley L Bentley, P.E., Senior Technical Advisor, DIVSYS International, LLC
An automotive company was experiencing field failures of an electronic module. Failure analysis on one module led to a via that, when cross-sectioned, showed a circumferential void. Predictably, the lab report regressed back through the system from the auto company to the module supplier to the contract ...
Benelux EMS Pioneer Embraces 3D AOI Measurement
By Thorsten Niermeyer
Defects must be found and their causes corrected so that the EMS can deliver high-quality assemblies on time — a key focus at LIAD Electronics, a privately owned contract manufacturer in Breda, The Netherlands. The company has been at the forefront of manufacturing and quality assurance for its ...
Understanding Component Library Management
By Paul B. Taubman, Paul B. Taubman Engineering
Component library management may not be the topic of greatest interest to design engineers, but it is certainly important to developers and users of electronic-design-automation (EDA) tools in the electronics industry. In performing test-and-measurement engineering for a large defense company, it ...
Solder Recovery: Reduce, Recycle, Reuse
By Graham Norman, Managing Director, EVS International
Solder recovery serves not just the electronics industry but the entire world, helping to make economical use of materials while avoiding poisoning the environment. EVS International supplies the solder recovery market, having received 16 international awards for its equipment, focuses ...
Advanced Device Serialization Using an External Serialization Server
By Nader Shehad, BPM Microsystems
Serialization is the process of writing unique data to each programmed device. It can be used to program basic numeric serial numbers to a single device address and also to program more complex data such as MAC addresses, encryption keys, GUIDs, and randomization seeds to several device addresses ...
Vertical Processing Line Etches Fine PCB Features
Schmid Group Staff
Printed-circuit-board (PCB) producers are being asked for thinner circuit boards, with narrower line widths and spacings. Fortunately, the Vertical Developing/Etching/Stripping (DES) line of PCB production systems from Schmid can help meet these demands. These high-performance production solutions can ...
Why Is There So Much Variation in PCB Quotes?
By Stanley L. Bentley, P.E., Senior Technical Advisor, DIVSYS International LLC, Indianapolis, IN
There is no such thing as a "standard cost" for a PC board. What you have is a base cost derived from the number of layers to process and then adders that begin with the laminate choice and continue for every process operation. Every seller — Fabricator, Broker, Representative — have a concise ...
Onshoring with Automation
Automation GT Staff
Last quarter, Tim Cook announced that Apple would invest $100 million into US manufacturing. Although a small portion of Apple's total net worth, the announcement is a high profile example of the recent Onshoring trend that is predicted to be at the forefront of company agendas throughout ...
Change Is Coming to the Cleaning Industry — Again
By Bill Schreiber, President, Smart Sonic Corporation, Canoga Park, CA
Cleaning is once again the focus of new government regulation. The last big change in cleaning came in 1995 as a result of the Montreal Protocol which eliminated the use of chlorofluorocarbon solvents (CFCs) for cleaning everything from PCBs to aircraft engines.
Step Stencils: Where and Why to Use Them
By William E. Coleman Ph.D., Photo Stencil, Colorado Springs, CO
The demand for step stencils is increasing. Why? Shrinking components. Step stencils offer significant flexibility in achieving the proper solder paste height and volume for the overall paste printing process. Steps are available on the PCB side, squeegee side, or on both sides of the stencil. There are ...
Troubleshooting: Platinum Catalyzed Silicones
By Rob Thomaier, Technologist, and Bob Umland, Sales Manager, NuSil Technology LLC, Carpinteria, CA
Curable silicone systems can be challenging to use because each is formulated with specific amounts of catalysts, crosslinkers, polymers and inhibitors that can be sensitive to different processes, additives, and environmental conditions. Specifically, catalysts and inhibitors have ...
Not Just Talk: Flashtalk Upgrades Screen Printing
By Chris Round, Global Marketing Manager, Europlacer & Speedprint Technology
Flashtalk Technology understands the importance of selecting the right electronics manufacturing services partner. Because of this, the company commits itself to providing the highest quality, cost-effective and responsive electronics assembly services available. Its experienced team ...
How Diamond Die and Mold Goes Green
By JoAnn Hinds, Diamond Die & Mold Company, Clinton Township, MI
While the tool and die industry hasn't always been known for its environmentally friendly practices, the tide is turning at Diamond Die and Mold Company in Clinton Township, Michigan. Under the leadership of JoAnn Hinds, Diamond Die has made improvements to the physical plant as well as changes in ...
Copper Wire Bonded Devices: Using Plasma Mold Decap
By David Foote, Global Applications Manager, Nordson MARCH, Carlsbad, CA
Copper has been replacing gold for wire bonding to enhance performance and reduce semiconductor package costs. While beneficial for the customer, it presents challenges for those performing failure analysis of molded copper bonded parts. Gold is immune to attack from the fuming acids used to etch ...
PCB Prototyping: Building a Relationship
By Nolan Johnson, CAD/EDA Manager, Sunstone Circuits, Mulino, OR
In a 2010 report, "Manufacturing Insecurity," High Road Strategies, a Virginia consultant, cites that US-based PCB manufacturers have shrunk by 74 percent since 2000. The widely-held belief is that the small, local-market PCB manufacturers were often the first to go. While the shrinking supply of ...
Cut Wire Processing Costs While Increasing Efficiency
By Pete Doyon, VP Product Management, Schleuniger, Inc.
Cutting costs is still high on everyone's list of priorities, especially on the production floor. Organizations throughout the world have been greatly affected by the decline in the global economy, which is now taking baby steps toward recovery in the U.S. The manufacturing industry ...
New Continuity Checker Made in U.S.A. Fills Market Void
By Dan Beaulieu
Yankee ingenuity, California style, combined with a pressing void in the market and a serious need to say "Made in U.S.A." on the product have combined to bring an impressive new technician's helper to market. Called the "CheckMark", the new gadget has just been introduced by Circuit ...
A New Breed of Salesperson
By Dan Beaulieu
San Francisco Circuits is a full a full service PCB supplier, but it's not in San Francisco; it's in San Mateo, about 40 miles south of the cable car city, on the way to San Jose. The company was founded six years ago as a prototype supplier, but soon grew out of that limited format. As customers ...
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