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PCB Manufacturing, Assembly & Test Blog

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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6 Feb, 2013

Bernard Sutton

Should we focus more on measuring the results, or the process that get us there? This is the constant balancing act that we all address. I personally prefer to work on the processes that ensure high quality. But without some measures on quality, how do we know these are working? Until someone invents a foolproof process, I would guess we still have to do both. We can, however, take steps to remove errors

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zero defects

4 Feb, 2013

Mark Laing

Hi there We have just released a new version of Valor MSS (11.3) that brings a number of significant enhancements to existing customers as well as those looking to invest in cutting edge process preparation solutions. I’ll be covering some of these enhancements in more detail in future blogs but here is a short summary of some of the new capability that we have in 11.3. We have made significant

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29 Jan, 2013

Mark Laing

Hi there Next month on February 19th, 20th and 21st is the annual IPC Apex Convention in San Diego and there will be more than 400 exhibitors from 50 different countries represented at the show. Here are five reasons you should attend: 1. The Valor Division of Mentor Graphics will be exhibiting at booth 1227. So, you will be able to meet the U.S. sales team as well as some of the Product Line personnel

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22 Jan, 2013

In-line Solder Paste Inspection

Posted by Mark Laing

Mark Laing

Hi there A few months back I talked about in-line AOI but this time I’ll mention a similar capability we have in the Valor MSS Process Preparation suite of in-line Solder Paste Inspection or SPI. The idea with in-line AOI and SPI is for the outputs to the different inspection machines to understand where components are being placed in the line and to create output that matches the placement. In

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17 Jan, 2013

Process Preparation Now on YouTube

Posted by Mark Laing

Mark Laing

Hi there This week yields a new medium for the Valor Process Preparation suite in that you can now hear from me through the YouTube video below. Here I talk about the advantages of our suite for those users who are still using multiple products for process engineering or are having to maintain multiple part libraries across the various types of equipment on your production line. I’ve had discussions

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fabmaster

8 Jan, 2013

Fix The Problems, Not The Symptoms!

Posted by Michael Ford

Michael Ford

Fixing problems can seem hard, there is always a momentum resisting change. Is it better though, to spend time and effort to fix the symptoms of the problem? Quite honestly, no. The UK had a lot of rain recently, but, the growing season is coming around again and the greenhouse is only partially complete, so the week-end was spent outside digging in the mud, again. The next door neighbour comes along,

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