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PCB Manufacturing, Assembly & Test Blog

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 … Read More

lean manufacturing, FMEA, Manufacturing costs, zero defects, Yield, corrective action, PCBA, Quality, Defect opportunities, Route cause, CAPA, Manufacturing execution system, Manufacturing System Solution, 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 … Read More

OIB, mixed vendor, vPlan, AOI, Flying Probe, ICT, BOM, AVL, documentation, bill of materials, Enhancement, Design For Test, data preparation, VPL, testability, stencil, programming, Planning, process

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 … Read More

mixed vendor, AOI, Flying Probe, apex, ICT, IPC, bill of materials, BOM, approved vendor list, documentation, data preparation, Design For Test, vPlan, stencil, Sequence, programming, san diego, process

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 … Read More

vPlan, bill of materials, AOI, programming, data preparation, BOM, SPI, stencil

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 MSS 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 … Read More

Library, mixed vendor, AVL, test expert, vPlan, bill of materials, part library, data preparation, fabmaster, programming, BOM

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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8 Jan, 2013

Mark Laing Hi there Some of you have responsibility for production planning but it may also be handled in other groups. We are hosting a webinar on the often ignored area of production planning next week. I’d urge you to register for this event and let other people in your organization know about it who might benefit from hearing what solutions we have as part of Valor MSS. Below is the link to register … Read More

Sequence, vPlan, production, Planning, process

2 Jan, 2013

Mark Laing Hi there Firstly, let me wish you all a Happy New Year and Best Wishes for 2013. I appreciate everyone taking the time to read my blog and to also comment on the areas that we have discussed. This week I am going to continue on from my theme from the last posting where I discussed the auto-generation capability in Valor MSS Process Preparation. I described the capability to create machine specific SMT … Read More

documentation, mixed vendor, programming, AVL, vPlan, approved vendor list, Planning, data preparation, process, bill of materials, BOM

18 Dec, 2012

The Power of Auto-Generation

Posted by Mark Laing

Mark Laing Hi there I have talked about the Valor MSS unique capability to use the Valor Parts Library or VPL in multiple ways during PCB manufacturing. VPL data is manufacturer specific information about the actual component body and pin areas that can be used for multiple uses across DFM, Stencil, Documentation, SMT programming, test programming and inspection programming. I’d like to focus the specifics … Read More

Sequence, programming, AVL, mixed vendor, bill of materials, process, documentation, data preparation, Flying Probe, Design For Test, BOM, vPlan, stencil, VPL

13 Dec, 2012

The Forecast Is Killing Me!

Posted by Michael Ford

Michael Ford

Grand-father clocks have always been interesting for me. Big old timepieces, made what appear to be hundreds of years ago, with a slow and somehow imprecise tick-tock.  Looking at the second-hand going around, it is not the precise tick of a modern digital device, the hand drops forward to the next second, then somehow rears itself backwards ready for the next lurch forward. It reminds me of the ageing

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3 Dec, 2012

It’s Not The End Of The World!

Posted by Michael Ford

Michael Ford

Oh boy, the 21st of December is the end of the world. Again. I think in this case, we can be pretty sure that it is not going to happen, apparently there were errors in way that the calculations were done with the Gregorian calendar mean that we probably should already have disappeared. Data can be quite so misleading, as can selective interpretation. It happens all over the place, including on the

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27 Nov, 2012

Mark Laing Hi there I have talked to a number of users who are asking for capability to manage the Process Preparation needs of multiple locations around the world. I would like to hear from you on what requirements you consider important to this discussion. For example we have some customers running a single database across multiple locations allowing them to share data across all their facilities. One downside … Read More

programming, ICT, AVL, multi-site, data preparation, documentation, bill of materials, Flying Probe, BOM, Design For Test, database, server, testability, vPlan

20 Nov, 2012

Mark Laing Hi there It has been a few months since we launched the World Class Process Preparation Webinar including a video of an overall product demonstration. Over the past couple of months I have met with a number of people who implemented the Valor MSS Process Preparation solution and are achieving the efficiencies and improvements that we describe in the Webinar. Therefore I would like to provide you with … Read More

mixed vendor, AOI, Flying Probe, ICT, BOM, boundary scan, AVL, bill of materials, documentation, data preparation, Design For Test, vPlan, Planning, testability, VPL, stencil, programming, process

14 Nov, 2012

Aegis & DiPlan

Posted by Michael Ford

Michael Ford

Here we go again. Another merger of companies with significant overlap of portfolios. In the past when this has happened, as in the case with Technomatix, Unicam, Fabmaster etc., many customers were confused about how any “new solutions” would appear. Would there be a move to one standard system, would the systems co-exist, how would they connect? These were initial questions. The next questions were

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