Posts by Andy Arner

quick turn pcb assembly

An Intro to Printed Circuit Boards

quick turn pcb assembly

When electronics first made their debut, components were soldered to each other or to terminal strips and tube sockets. Thanks to advances in technology, this method has evolved into printed circuit boards via quick turn PCB assembly, making connecting components easier and cheaper.

 

What are PCBs?

PCBs, also known as printed circuit boards, PWBs (printed wiring boards) and Circuit Cards are thin boards made out of an insulating material, (usually fiberglass) with a metal-coated surface. In some instances, the metal-coated surface can be coated on both sides of the board. Within the metal, there are tiny etches made by using acid  to remove the unwanted metal, that allows electricity to travel across the surface to various components that are mounted to the board with solder.

 

Advantages of PCBs

The growing demand for smaller electronics is possible thanks to PCBs. Not only do PCBs allow devices to be smaller, but they also allow them to be more compact with everything contained on a convenient, rugged circuit board. On a printed circuit board, you will find drilled holes, allowing resistors and capacitors to be inserted and soldered through automation.

 

Where Can You Find PCBs?

The good news is that PCBs are everywhere! Just about every electronic appliance you use on a regular basis contains a printed circuit board. Some of the most common devices that have PCBs include smartphones, computers, printers, televisions, stereos, digital clocks, microwave ovens, cell phones, and so much more!

In computers, the largest PCB is known as the “motherboard” and serves as the heart. Other circuit boards inside computers perform necessary functions, such as RAM (random access memory), power supplies, modems, and video cards. It is easy to see just how important printed circuit boards are for helping devices function the way we have come to know and expect them to. Printed circuit boards and quick turn PCB assembly have made dramatic changes to the world of electronics.

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pcb repair services

What You Need to Know About PCB Repair Services

pcb repair services

When a printed circuit board (or PCB) fails or malfunctions, do you repair or replace it? Unfortunately, most organizations don’t have the time or the resources to try and repair PCBs and opt to purchase a new one. This is generally done because it used to be time-consuming and expensive to try and figure out what was wrong with it. This has changed with a growing number of organizations deciding to offer PCB repair services, making fixing your circuit board more affordable.

Find an Honest Contract Manufacturer

There is an abundance of manufacturers who are eager to repair your PCB. But be careful who you entrust with your repair work, not all are going fulfill their promise with honest and effective repairs. Find a manufacturer who has IPC trained and certified technicians with the knowledge and expertise necessary to address any faults or issues with it. Another thing to keep in mind is that you don’t always know if a company made the PCB to spec to begin with or if high-quality components were used, or if it was even properly tested. To avoid these costly mistakes, it is crucial that you take the time to do your research and find a reputable manufacturer who will stand behind their work.

Quality Work and Repair Services Saves You Money

When you take the time to find a manufacturer that offers IPC quality repair services, you’ll save money. Additionally, quality PCB repair services will take great care to use the highest quality parts available, ensuring that your electronic device lasts longer. Having quality, dependable equipment and devices allow you to focus your energy on growing your client base, offering quality service, and improving your business overall.

One of the biggest advantages that PCB repairs offer is their environmental-friendliness. They promote recycling of old parts, allowing your business to leave a smaller carbon footprint. While not every circuit board can be repaired, consider it before purchasing a new one.

At BestProto, we specialize in creating new PCB boards and providing quality repair service that you can count on!

http://info.zentech.com/blog/bid/310658/PCB-Repair-Services-It-s-More-Affordable-Than-You-d-Think

 

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proto PCB

Common Applications for Printed Circuit Board Assemblies

proto PCB

From smartphones to kitchen appliances, the heart and soul of each electronic is composed of a Printed Circuit Board Assembly that was, once upon a time, a prototype PCB. Each one comes in an array of configurations that allows it to serve a specific function.

As electronics continue to evolve and change, so will PCB Assemblies. Currently, they are found in just about every industry, continually evolving to create new applications. Because PCB Assemblies can be printed on a variety of materials and are pliable and sturdy, they can be used for nearly anything. We will explore the most common applications.

Medical Devices

Electronics play key roles in the healthcare industry. You can find PCB Assemblies in diagnostic, monitoring, and treatment devices. As electronics continue to develop and evolve, there are infinite possibilities as time goes on.

PCB Assemblies can be used within medical devices are extremely specialized so they can fulfill unique tasks.PCB Assemblies used for medical applications tend to be highly dense interconnections.

Because these devices are used for medical applications, medical PCB Assemblies are held to a higher standard than most other PCB Assembly types. Medical devices that depend on PCB Assemblies to operate include:

  • Monitors
  • Scanning Technology
  • Control Systems
  • Internal Devices
  • Scientific Instruments

Consumer Electronics

We use these types of electronics on a daily basis. Types of consumer devices include smartphones, computers, kitchen appliances, and entertainment devices. Located in each of these devices, you will find a PCB.

Because consumers purchase electronics in mass quantities, it is necessary for the production of PCBs to keep up with the demand. These types of PCBs come with a low per-unit cost, facilitating a low-cost final product.

The biggest challenge that PCB manufacturers encounter with PCBs for consumer electronics is that they must achieve uniformity and maintain quality. As a result, PCB manufacturers are required to comply with strict industry standards and quality-control measures that ensure every consumer electronic will function as it is designed and expected to.

The most common consumer electronics include:

  • Mobile Devices (smartphones, tablets, GPS)
  • Computer Electronics
  • Recording Devices
  • Entertainment Systems
  • Home Appliances

Industrial Applications

High-powered industrial applications depend on PCBs to control the mechanisms used in factories and manufacturing facilities. As a result, these devices need to be able to survive harsh conditions that are often found in industrial installations.

Because the industrial industry is a fast-paced environment, industry standards are equally rigorous. Examples of PCBs being used in industrial applications include:

  • Industrial Equipment (electrical drills, presses)
  • Measuring Equipment (measure and control pressure or temperature)
  • Power Equipment (DC to AC power inverters, solar power cogeneration equipment)

As you can see, PCBs are everywhere. They are responsible for the functionality we experience every day, from mixing a batch of cookies to reading our blood pressure. All of these electronic devices were once merely a prototype, with a proto PCB that was tested, tried, and, eventually, perfected.

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The Technologies Transforming PCBs

PCB assembly services

Several new technologies are shaping the PCB assembly services sector, and most of these have been developed in response to market pressures. Whether they’re responding to forces from the environmental sector or from legislative changes, engineers have been hard at work developing new techniques that are transforming the industry.

Wearable Computing and the Healthcare Sector

A recent push from the healthcare industry to produce smaller devices that could be used in surgery has spurred on the development of new nanotechnology solutions that focus on building components smaller than 100 square nanometers. Minimally invasive surgical procedures necessitate the use of tools that can fit into extremely small openings.

Consumers have been contributing to this type of transformation as well since the demand for wearable computer parts has also created a strong need for ever smaller components. Engineers are beginning to manipulate surfaces on an atomic scale, and this is helping them to design materials small enough to meet exacting specifications.

Green Manufacturing Processes

The demand for greener products has influenced the PCB market on more than one end of the market. On the production side of the equation, PCB manufacturing and prototyping companies have retooled their factories to comply with the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive. While this directive was primarily designed to influence the sale of products in the European Union, many North American companies like BESTProto have sought to eliminate the following six substances from their circuit boards:

  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Hexavalent Chromium
  • PBDE
  • Cadmium
  • PBB

RoHS rules forbade the use of any lead-based solder that’s greater than 0.1 percent of the weight of an assembled printed circuit board. Consumers, too, are demanding greener products. With a societal push for environmental conservation, more people are looking to make ecologically-friendly choices. In response, some companies have had to eliminate many chemicals even if they didn’t necessarily have to abide by the rules from a legal standpoint.

New chemical technologies are quickly replacing the use of these toxic substances when it comes to consumer-grade equipment. Lead-free solders using tin, silver, indium, zinc, antimony, and other metals are quickly making it possible to assemble circuit boards that don’t have poisonous chemicals in them. Advances in recycling have also made it possible to recycle existing electronic waste and prevent the release of these chemicals back into the environment.

With consumers continuing to push for smaller and more environmentally-friendly devices, PCB assembly services should keep moving forward with the development of new techniques and materials for the foreseeable future.

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What to Look for in a PCB Assembly Partner

prototype PCB assembly services

While large companies might be able to handle production delays, you’ll want to look for a PCB assembly partner that can work quickly, while providing regular updates about the process and provide design for manufacturability (DFM) feedback. Keeping a few simple tips about the best industry practices in mind can save a good deal of grief when it comes time to send in your design.

Red Flags

If you’re looking to hire a company to provide prototype services, keep an eye out for any of the following red flags:

  • Minimum production order requirements
  • Prototype partner wants you to source all the parts by yourself
  • Quotes take too long to get to you
  • Quotes seem outrageous
  • Long periods of time pass before the company gets back to you

You’ll also want to make sure that you’re dealing with a domestic prototype PCB assembly services company. While overseas companies might offer lower quotes, dealing with language, time zones, logistics and customs can add unforeseen delays and costs on top of whatever amount they claim it will cost. Shipping times between countries can also be extremely slow, which is a huge problem if you represent a smaller firm that needs to get a product to market as quickly as possible. Recent advances in PCB technology are making it possible for American manufacturers to now offer landed prices that are competitive against offshore options anyway.

Signs You’ve Picked a Good Partner

Companies that adhere to the best practices in the industry tend to make excellent partners. While it used to be rare to find service providers that accepted small production runs, many of the best domestic companies now have much smaller minimum orders. Established companies like BESTProto also offer PCB testing services, which gives you the option of going with a single service provider to assemble and test your circuit boards, thus cutting out the middleman. This also helps to decrease the amount of time it takes to get to full-scale production.

If you’re able to quickly get in touch with a representative from the assembly service provider, you’ve more than likely picked a good partner. Pay attention to how knowledgeable they seem. Prototype PCB assembly service providers that share the industry’s best practices with all of their employees are likely to make good partners.

Once you’ve made your decision and you’re sure that you’re working with the right partner, the prototyping process should be a breeze.

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Why Use a PCB Layout Design Service?

PCB layout service

You have a spectacular idea for a new gadget with functions that are easily controlled by a printed circuit board. However, you only have a schematic. The PCB cannot be released to the public in its current form. It’s time to consider a PCB layout service to take your PCB based product to market.

 

Designing as a Functional Feature

A layout service takes your circuitry connections from a schematic or breadboard, and they create a manufacturable PCB unit. Every circuit must be logically arranged on the board so that the electrical signals move through each component with ease.

This service will include an in-depth look at the safety of your circuits. Certain elements, such as microchips, must have the necessary insulation surrounding them. Without this design feature, the chip’s functions might break down because of interference from nearby resistors, transistors or capacitors. You can avoid any functional headaches with a PCB layout service.

 

Outsourcing to Professionals

Your idea and overall business could benefit from PCB services for a number of reasons. By turning to professionals, you’re freeing up resources within your business. An entire department can concentrate on other aspects of your gadget.

Outsourcing the design process is simply more convenient. Allow the experts to figure out any issues that might be plaguing the circuitry. You’ll receive feedback on the work, which keeps the rest of your project on track. Dedicating the right people to specific tasks will only boost your productivity and success over time.

 

Creating a Dialogue

It’s easy to have tunnel vision when it comes to your circuitry design. Hundreds of hours have probably gone into this design, and it finally offers the functionality that you demand. Working with a service gives you a third party’s view of your work. They may see improvements or changes that you’ve overlooked. These suggestions aren’t comments on your abilities, however. A fresh look at the design may be what you need to move the project forward.

 

Saving Production Funds

One of the costliest mistakes in the production world is faulty dimensions. You might have a PCB size in mind, and housings for your creation are being built right now. Any changes to the PCB size, however, renders your housings obsolete. PCB services will get the circuitry and size right the first time. Therefore, reducing the probability that your production will suffer.

When you turn to BESTProto, you’ll be working with professionals who understand the PCB layout business.

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Most Common Uses for PCB’s

PCB assembly

 

Electronics play a major role in your daily routine. You use them for everything from your kitchen appliances to your smartphone. A printed circuit board (PCB) is at the core of each electronic device. In fact, they are the foundation of electronic products. The components come in an array of PCB assembly configurations.

 

Serving a Variety of Functions

 

Nearly every vein of the electronics sector utilizes PCBs. These boards use a series of circuits that connect multiple components to each other. They are the small chips on a green PC board that are at the heart of most electronic devices.  As electronics develop and expand across a variety of industries, PCB applications have extended and adapted to new applications with ever smaller size and more powerful capabilities.

 

There is an infinite number of PCB assembly configurations. That flexibility allows them to function in different applications and capacities. Those applications and capacities include:

  • Medical devices
  • Consumer electronics
  • Industrial applications
  • Aerospace applications
  • Lighting applications
  • Smart homes
  • Marine applications
  • Security applications
  • Broadcasting and telecommunications applications

If electronics are part of an application, PCBs are part of the configuration. For example, smart homes are filled with various PCBs.

 

Smart Home Usage

There are more gadgets than ever connected in the homes of today. They include locks, switches and speakers. Some homes even have real-time energy monitoring systems. With the help of PCBs, such systems show energy consumption of individual appliances, monitor solar power and control smart devices connected to the app.

 

A PCB is also part of the smart thermostat that intuitively understands the cooling and heating equipment in your home. It functions based on data points that are unique to your home energy profile and the weather outside. Similarly, a home sound system expands to other rooms with a device that uses a PCB.

 

Soft white lighting enhances your home with a PCB-enabled remote that uses timers and light schedules. These lights can also turn on automatically even when you are away. Would-be intruders will be unaware of your absence. Even voice-controlled personal assistant devices make use of PCBs.

 

In many smart homes, people can control appliances that are connected to Wi-Fi electrical outlets. The devices can be turned off and on by smartphones that include PCB configurations. Indoor and outdoor lights are also controllable via smartphone.

 

If you’re in need of PCB Assembly prototypes, partner with a reliable tech company. BESTProto provides solutions that meet the requirements of many businesses.

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What You Need to Know About Circuit Card Assembly

For entrepreneurs, start-ups, and specialized businesses that focus on developing, designing, and launching new technological products, the suppliers of the parts for their prototypes are key partners in their success. Circuit cards, also known as printed circuit boards (PCBs), connect and support the components used in electronic products in all industries.

Printed circuit boards, which were developed and refined in the early half of the 20th century, provide a cost-effective means of housing electronic components, and they can be mass produced by automated machines. This is in contrast to traditional soldered circuit boards, which required hands-on assembly. Traditional boards were also subject to breaking easily under any stress due to the soldered parts, glass vacuums, and sometimes bulky components. Creating viable prototypes of new electronic products requires reliable PCBs that can be designed, printed, and altered quickly and efficiently.

What Is Involved in the Assembly Process?

The circuit card assembly process to build PCBs involves several steps. First, the design and layout of the circuit card must be done using specialized CAD software or schematic capture tools. Once the PCB layout has been designed to meet the schematic requirements for maximum efficiency, the PCB is printed by etching copper that has been laminated to two sides of a non-conductive material. This material serves as the substrate of the PCB.

After the PCB is etched or printed, the assembly process that best meets the needs of the project is chosen. Different assembly processes for PCBs include both automated and manually operated equipment. The process may include SMT assembly, through-hole assembly, leadless device assembly, or ball grid array.

Within each different assembly method, the electronic components required for the circuit card assembly are soldered into place. This is typically done through an automated process such as wave soldering. In some cases, hand operators do the job of soldering.

PCB Services Companies

Companies such as BESTProto offer services that cover all stages of the assembly process. From the design, layout, and etching/printing of the PCB to the placement and soldering of components, these companies follow an efficient and quick process that can produce early prototype PCBs within a few business days. All PCBs are created using innovative processes, advanced automated equipment, and highly skilled operators.

These companies provide both prototype PCBs for early product testing and high-volume PCB assembly for finalized product designs in the telecommunications, industrial, medical, and military industries. With the right PCB assembly services, companies across all industries can meet their business goals.

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Different Types of Printed Circuit Boards

Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) are used in a wide variety of electronic devices, including radios, computers, pagers, and radar machines. The boards support and connect electrical components using traces, pads, and other features.

Because they can be used for a variety of different applications, printed circuit boards are available in several designs. Some of the major types include:

• Single-sided
• Double-sided
• Rigid
• Multilayer
• Flex
• Rigid-flex

Single-Sided
The single-sided PCB consists of only one layer of base material with one end coated with a very thin layer of metal, typically copper. It also includes a wide range of electronic components on one single side. This type of PCB is usually used in simple electronic devices.

Double-Sided
The double-sided PCB is more popular than the single-sided boards. Both sides consist of metal conductive layers. They also contain other elements that allow designers to attach circuits on one side of the board to circuits on the other side of the board.

Rigid
The rigid PCB consists of solid and rigid material such as fiberglass. The rigid material prevents the board from twisting. Great examples of rigid PCBs include motherboards found in computer towers.

Multilayer
The multilayer PCB is more complex and has at least three layers of conductive material. The boards include additional layers that are situated beyond the bottom and the top layers in a design that is similar to that of a double-sided configured board. Multilayer PCBs are used in a variety of devices, including computers, file servers, and satellite systems.

Flex
Unlike the rigid printed circuit boards, the flex board is made of a flexible plastic surface. This type of material allows the board to conform to a specific shape during its application. Additionally, unlike the rigid boards, they can be shifted or turned during use without harming the circuits.

Rigid-Flex
As the name suggests, the rigid-flex board features elements combining those found in both the rigid and the flexible PCBs. These types of boards have been used in the military and aerospace industries for over two decades.

The professional team at BESTProto offers circuit board testing and circuit board Assembly for a wide range of customers, including businesses and governmental organizations. Contact BESTProto today for high-quality circuit board repair service delivered with the support of experienced technicians.

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5 Different Ways to Use PCB Assemblies

compChip

Printed circuit boards have found their way into everything from toasters to web servers. They help mechanically support electrical components while also providing high-quality conductors to allow electricity to pass through a circuit freely. This versatility is helping engineers and hobbyists think of many new ways to use PCB Assembly technology. The following examples are just a few of the exciting ways that circuit boards can change electrical engineering.

  1. Prototyping Innovative Circuits

When technologists develop a new circuit, they work with a bare P.C.B. assembly to make sure that the design is viable. Breakout boards consisting of a minimal PCB and a single component have helped prototyper’s speed up how long it takes to test new circuits. Some people have even turned this aspect of engineering into a hobby.

  1. Attaching Hardware Devices Together

Computer bus architecture is making a huge comeback because the number of transistors that can fit on a single circuit board is skyrocketing to some amazing levels. Devices that were once external peripherals can now fit on tiny PCB assemblies. Integrated logic boards are helping marry some types of interfaces directly with the microchips they send data to. This is helping engineers make some very small devices.

  1. Testing Out New Greener Designs

RoHS rules have banned the use of solder containing more than 0.1 percent lead by weight when building printed circuit boards. Engineers are now testing newer greener alternatives that use other compounds to adhere to these rules.

  1. Educating Tomorrow’s Electricians

Printed circuit boards have come down in price so much that schools can buys pallets of them for use in technology classes. Some of these don’t even need to be soldered, which is great for students.

  1. Controlling Consumer Products

Home and business automation is a hot topic, and this means that countless new types of circuits have to be developed that can connect analog and digital components together. Engineers are starting to really push the envelope when it comes to fitting circuit boards into every type of consumer product imaginable.

While printed circuit boards have been around for a long time, engineers are still developing innovative ways of using them. You never know where you might see one turn up next. BESTProto leads the pack when it comes prototytping, assembly and production.

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