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PCB Manufacturing, Assembly & Test Blog

8 May, 2013

Mark Laing

Hi there This week I would like to ask for input on assembly variants. For the context of this post I would like to state that an assembly variant is one where the base bare PCB is common to all assembly variants and that the variation is through the presence and absence of parts including part substitution of functionally different parts. Therefore using an Approved Vendor List (AVL) to substitute

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1 May, 2013

Michael Ford

Unbelieveable! Don’t get me wrong, it is not the fact that pop-up ads appear all over commercial websites that annoys me; after all, we have had the same thing in magazines and newspapers for many years. Advertisements appear almost everywhere these days, the funding from which is an important part of many companies’ business plans. This is not the issue. The issue starts with the difference between

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24 Apr, 2013

Mark Laing

Hi there This may seem a strange topic for a Process Engineering Blog but bear with me on this. Over the past few years, car manufacturers seem to be in a race to develop the cars with the highest number of gear ratios in them. Currently cars on the market have automatic gearboxes with 8 forward ratios. Manual gearboxes exist with 7 forward gears now.  I have also heard about possible future gearboxes

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17 Apr, 2013

Mark Laing

Hi there Many of our customers have seen an increase in the number of products that need to be grouped together to enable them to run with a single SMT setup to reduce the time taken for change-over from one product to another. The challenge is knowing which products can be incorporated in to a single group given the unique part numbers on each product and the feeder capacity of each machine in the

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5 Apr, 2013

Nepcon China – The Chinese Way

Posted by Michael Ford

Michael Ford

Nepcon China Rocks! There is so much going on, so much potential, so many companies focussed on success, to be the best in their field, to be number one. Electronics in the West is like the Mississippi river, huge and powerful, but slow moving, quite boring actually. In China, it is like the riding the rapids. This is where skill and vision come in to play. Creating the best production factory is the

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2 Apr, 2013

Mark Laing

Hi there One of the areas that we constantly look to enhance with each release is our support for the machines that are in use with our customers. Although we use the Mentor Ideas site as a opportunity to derive feedback from yourselves, I also wanted to take this chance to ask you to let me know which machines you still need us to support either because they are new to the market or needed to address

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Solder Paste Inspection, AXI Programming

26 Mar, 2013

Mark Laing

Hi there As the next installment of the new capability in Valor MSS 11.3, I shall today talk about the improvements we have made in the Stencil Design module of the product. We added a number of new standard apertures to the Stencil Design with this release. These were specifically to address commonly created stencil openings that were previously challenging to create quickly. Now they are automatically

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solder paste

21 Mar, 2013

Michael Ford

They say that you are what you eat. If so, it means that many people in the UK are rather more horse than they thought. Endless jokes about “why such a long face?” aside, this really shouldn’t have been a surprise. For years now, there has been food on sale in the UK simply described as “meat”, such as meat pies, meat sausages etc. When someone asked about what the meat actually was, DNA testing was

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19 Mar, 2013

Mark Laing

Hi there I have heard of a couple of cases of PCB designs where a common pad is shared between two separate components. At it’s simplest case, two 0603 components lie end to end but instead of four pads, two for each, there are only three in total. The two pads closest to each other overlap meaning only one is visible on the board. In other words they share a common pad. This scenario is typically

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5 Mar, 2013

Mark Laing

Hi there We recently had a successful trade show at Apex 2013 in San Diego. During the event I was interviewed with iConnect PCB007′s Andy Shaughnessy. We discussed the main themes that we were promoting on the booth in the area of Process Preparation, namely being able to use a single solution for all areas of PCB manufacturing data preparation as well as simplying the many types of part library

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ODB++

26 Feb, 2013

Mark Laing

Hi there I recently discussed the new capability in Valor MSS Process Preparation 11.3. I mentioned that I would go in to more detail on some of the areas that are part of this version and I will cover the new Test Probe Placement capability today. We have added an all new Test Probe Placement Session in 11.3 that performs the physical test probe placement analysis natively within the application. This

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AXI Programming

21 Feb, 2013

Mark Laing

Hi there The Valor team are here in San Diego at the IPC Apex Trade Show. We’ve had a great couple of days, meeting our customers, plenty of new ones as well as meeting with some of the other vendors at the show. Our theater presentations have been well received, bringing people in to the booth and then stopping afterwards, asking questions and looking for more information. If you are at the show

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13 Feb, 2013

Michael Ford

The World-Class Executive’s Five Year Survival Plan Throughout successive peaks and troughs of the business climate, there are always opportunities to succeed over competitors in the market. The more volatile the electronics industry becomes, the greater the opportunities, but the more difficult it may seem to address them. Today, with business being challenged in so many areas, and with such key changes

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12 Feb, 2013

Mark Laing

Hi there Last week I discussed the new capability in Valor MSS Process Preparation 11.3. I mentioned that I would go in to more detail on some of the areas that are part of this version and I will start with our new capability for inspection machines. There are three main types of automated inspection machines, Automated Optical Inspection (AOI), Automated X-Ray Inspection (AXI) and Solder Paste Inspection

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AXI Programming, Solder Paste Inspection

6 Feb, 2013

Extreme Chicken & Egg

Posted by Michael Ford

Michael Ford

It is always interesting to hear about those companies who have actually taken radical action to succeed, rather than just talking about it. Seeing changes in market demand and hearing how new tools can help, they jump in and address the challenges head-on. Making the changes creates for these companies something that in a real business sense, sets them apart from their peers. Such a success story I

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