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PCB Manufacturing, Assembly & Test Blog

19 Mar, 2014

Come Talk With Us At APEX

Posted by Michael Ford

Michael Ford

APEX is in Las Vegas this year, a great place to have fun, and if you are so inclined, have a little bit of a flutter as we call it in the UK at the gaming tables. What is not so much fun however is the daily gamble that the majority of electronics manufacturing still seems to be taking. Chasing ever increasing demands from customers for higher mix, more product variations, shorter NPI time, more flexible

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27 Feb, 2014

Mark Laing

Hi there IPC Apex 2014 in Las Vegas is only a few weeks away, being the week of March 23rd. I'll be presenting at the PCB Designers Forum on the morning of Monday 23rd and then be attending the Exhibition for the following days at Booth 617. I hope you will be able to make the trip to Las Vegas and attend the show and the presentations. If so please stop by our booth and introduce yourself so we can

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10 Feb, 2014

Want To Be A Boy Racer?

Posted by Michael Ford

Michael Ford

In the UK, late in many evenings if you go to a large supermarket, you will see them in the car park. Boy racers gathered with their friends, showing off their cars. I remember my early cars, old rusty death traps which, nonetheless, I was proud of, even though they frequently they left me standing at the side of the road….in the rain….  I wish that I had the skills and confidence to be able to enhance

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21 Jan, 2014

Mark Laing

Hi there In previous postings I have asked about assembly variants and the management of the data associated with them. For this posting I am interested to hear about your feedback on a similar but different topic. This is particularly common in the automotive market but I suspect it occurs anywhere a single PCB design board supports many different variants and these need to be managed dynamically on

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Variant management

18 Dec, 2013

Mark Laing

Hi there We have just posted 12.0 Update 1 to SupportNet for those users who have already downloaded and installed 12.0 which came out a few weeks ago. This update includes the first release for the IPC 2581 Revision A format as a CAM reader in Process Preparation. Although not common, we have had some requests to support this format so we have released this now as part of the Process Preparation suite. For

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20 Nov, 2013

Productronica Was A Great Show

Posted by Mark Laing

Mark Laing

Hi there Productronica was a great show last week in Munich, Germany. We met a lot of existing and prospective people there. This gave us plenty of opportunity to discuss our latest software offerings, which were received very well, as well as getting new ideas for future releases. Furthermore, with so many of the PCB manufacturing vendors at the show, it was also an ideal time to discuss industry trends

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6 Nov, 2013

Mark Laing

Hi there I hinted a few weeks ago at new capability to reduce the programming time for AOI machines that we recently released in Valor MSS 11.3 Update 3 but I wanted to provide further details on this. With the introduction of an enhanced programming format for the Cyberoptics AOI machines, it has enabled the Valor MSS Process Preparation team to update the interface to this machine taking advantage

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5 Nov, 2013

Jay Gorajia

What if you had a tool that could prevent problems in your processes and products before they occur? Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) is that tool.  FMEA is a formal process of identifying all the ways a process or product can fail, and then determining how to reduce or eliminate them. Product development groups and quality groups work tirelessly to identify ways their products and processes

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5 Nov, 2013

Michael Ford

You think that you have seen it all before, but you feel the need to go to a trade show, just in case there is something interesting, right? Technology continues to evolve, but we wish it would go faster. Mostly you see things like minor machine enhancements, that are probably not particularly relevant to most people, or, you see yet another solution claiming to be the “ultimate”, having been “re-engineered

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23 Oct, 2013

Mark Laing

Hi there November 12th is the start of Productronica, the show for PCB Manufacturers in Munich, Germany. I hope to be able to meet a number of our existing customers as well as plenty of new ones looking to improve their design to manufacturing NPI flow with our tools. We’ll be showing the upcoming release of MSS at the show. New DFT capability will be available along with an all new programming

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30 Sep, 2013

Mark Laing

Hi there The first in a series of three webinars is now available on Mentor.com where David Wiens and myself promote Best Practices for PCB New Product Introduction. We discuss six steps that should be used to improve the speed of introducing new products in to manufacturing for both PCB designers and process engineers alike. One of the most beneficial areas for PCB Designers is to take control of the

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24 Sep, 2013

Perfection – Why Should I Bother?

Posted by Michael Ford

Michael Ford

Over the week-end, I decided to change the lights in our family bathroom. Having been lit by “feeble little wicks” since we moved into the house, now many years ago, I thought it about time we changed from the “gas guzzling” incandescent bulbs to nice new cool LED lighting. The result was amazing – instead of a hazy yellowy bathroom that consumed 260 watts of power to light up, we now have something

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5 Sep, 2013

Mark Laing

Hi there On September 23rd and 24th in Frankfurt, Germany, we will host a day and half seminar on the Valor MSS Process Preparation product line. I have talked alot about this over the past couple of years on my blog and enjoyed meeting a lot of you at last years very successful event. I will also be there this year so I am looking forward to meeting you again as well as meeting some new faces who for

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19 Aug, 2013

The Worst Meeting In The World

Posted by Michael Ford

Michael Ford

As a young engineer, starting out developing software solutions for manufacturing, I did get quickly involved in pretty much all aspects of production at the Japanese company for whom I was working. The software programs that I wrote were often used at the senior management “communications” meeting which took place on a Monday morning. Monday morning then, was a scramble for managers to get in early

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1 Aug, 2013

Mark Laing

Hi there We have released Update 3 for Valor MSS Process Preparation users. This addresses a number of defects that were found recently but also adds new capability to support a MS SQL Server database in addition to the Oracle database that has been supported since the product was first released. We have also made significant improvements to support the SRFF format for Cyberoptics AOI machines due to

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