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electronic assembly services

Understanding Selective Soldering

Defining Selective Soldering

In the world of electronic assembly services, one soldering process reigns supreme – selective soldering.

In the simplest of words, selective soldering is a way of soldering parts onto a printed circuit board in a fast and efficient amount of time, when compared to doing it by hand. It has become a go-to soldering method for many companies. In a more technical sense, selective soldering is an automated soldering process in that parts are soldered to a PCB in quick succession or all at once. In a sense, it sets up a template to make the process quicker.

Selective Soldering Processes

Laser Selective Soldering – The laser is what makes this process different. It uses the laser to perform the process, thus making it a precision-intensive option.

Miniature Wave Select Solder Fountains – Using a “wave,” the board is manipulated to solder in premeditated locations. You do not need the aperture tooling and masking for this method.

Selective Dip Solder Fountain – Relying on the solder fountain, this process works on exact points where the board is meant to be soldered. Once the board is dipped into the fountains, soldering components are sought out and correctly soldered, while other parts remain untouched.

Aperture Tooling Over Wave Soldering – The second “wave” process in which the board is pushed through a wave of solder which creates a molten solder pool. Un-soldered areas are masked for protection.

After any of these processes, the soldering machine is left to cool and the finished board continues through the manufacturing process.

Why Use a Selective Soldering System?

Because of its efficiency and accuracy, a selective soldering system has become the preferable way of soldering. Reflow ovens and hand soldering is still used and have their benefits, but mass production demands selective soldering. The question comes down to this – how many boards need to be produced, and will it be cost efficient for you to use a selective soldering system?

In conclusion, for many modern operations, selective soldering is the most efficient electronic assembly services for precision and speed. It does so without compromising the delicacy of the board. The companies that use them are able to create and deliver the products their customers seek out in the most effective way.

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PCB layout service

Rigid Flex PCB Basic Layout Guidelines

As technology changes and evolves, the printed circuit boards that enable devices to work have to evolve as well. With this trend, investing in PCB layout service is more important than ever before as it can save you both time and money. Durable rigid flex PCBs are able to withstand today’s challenge of flawless performance, regardless of the application.

Rigid flex circuit boards are a hybrid of all the best qualities of the rigid and flex circuits boards. These hybrid circuits provide better quality control and more design options. Organizations that produce aerospace, medical, automotive, military, and consumer electronics, are increasingly utilizing the versatility of rigid-flex PCBs.

When designing and building a rigid-flex circuit board, there are a few basic layout guidelines that can help to ensure consistent quality, while still adhering to production timelines. Here is an overview of the guidelines to follow when building a rigid-flex PCB.

Insulate with Bondply: Take the time to insulate the rolled-up copper cladding that is used within the flex layers of a rigid-flex PCB. The bondply prevents the copper from becoming brittle over time.

Adjust Via Spacing: The best way for pliable flex materials to remain stable is to place vias 50 millimeters from the edge of the rigid area, adjacent to the flex ribbon. This distance is greater than that found in rigid-only stackups, but it is essential to retain stackup stability.

Alternate Flex Traces from Layer to Layer: For the PCB wiring to continue functioning as intended, ribbons need to remain flexible. In order for this to happen, traces cannot be positioned on top of each other, layer upon layer. Instead, stagger the traces vertically to allow for optimal ribbon flexibility.

Adapt Adhesive Application: Be aware of where adhesive is being placed. Do not apply adhesive to the bendable parts of circuits that have more than four flex layers.

At BESTProto we know the best practices when providing PCB layout services and assembling PCBs. If you are looking for PCB assembly services or want to know more, visit bestproto.net today.

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PCB layout service

The Fundamentals of PBC Layout

Printed Board Circuits are the backbone to electrical devices, and the connections made between components lead to electrical signals. Poor functioning design can lead to problems along the production line, which is why there are some key fundamentals to be aware of when designing a PBC layout.

PBC Design Flow

There are four specific steps used by a PCB layout service to create a functional design flow:

Step 1 is Part Research and Selection, which evaluates the physical components and examines how each part will function within the design cartography.

Step 2 is Schematic Capture and Simulation, and this process involves capturing the circuit components and linking them together to form the substantive design as well as simulating the circuit to analyze the signals and behavior of the components.

Step 3 is the Board Layout, and this is comprised of placing all the physical components and integrated circuits onto the circuit board and checking the form factor of the PBC.

Step 4 is Verification and Validation, which implicates a two-step process of a prototype test and manufacturing test to verify the design meets the original blueprint and proper testing standards for the customer.  

PCB Design Optimization

Optimize the design by organizing the circuits into segments in congruence with function.  Group each section to maintain short conductive traces. Arrange the path of electrical current on your board to be linear.  Lastly, sustain a star configuration so that the components get equal voltage in equal length.

Thermal Issues

The most optimal thermal design for a PCB will produce equal temperature across the whole board. Achieving proportionate thermal conduction is by using copper planes and thermal vias as follows to distribute the heat evenly thus lowering the temperature of the PCB.

Test a PBC for functionality

Decisively test the PCB to check all available outlets making secure that all components are functioning as designed. Do white-box and black-box testing to analyze the inputs, outputs, and any pathways to ensure no failing components.

BESTProto uses advanced software to create PCB layouts. If you’re interested in a PCB layout service, our staff will work with you through every stage of the process.

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Why Should You Consider Circuit Board Repair Services from BESTProto?

circuit board repair service

Organizations rely on circuit boards to conduct their business daily. When a circuit board gets damaged or stops working, consider circuit board repair service before tossing it out. Here are a few reasons to consider a repair before a replacement.

Save Time, Save Money, Improve Bottom Line

When you invest in repairs from a reputable company, such as BESTProto, you will save time and money, thereby improving your overall bottom line.

Knowledge and Experience

When it comes to knowledge and experience, you can’t find anyone my knowledgeable and with more experience than BESTProto. With our years of experience, we are able to offer affordable repair services for a variety of printed circuit boards. You’ll be hard pressed to find another company that offers repair services that are equal to our level of experience and knowledge.

Superior Quality

Because printed circuit boards are highly complex and sophisticated, they require individuals who are highly trained to repair them. Through years of experience, all of BESTProto’s technicians have gained the necessary skills and experience to handle any circuit board repairs that you may need. Additionally, we only use the highest quality tools and materials needed to ensure quality repairs.

As you can see, when you are looking for quality circuit board repair service, you can’t go wrong with Best Proto. We offer quality service that can’t be beaten anywhere else. Our services are affordable, reliable, and supersede industry standards. If you need any circuit board repairs, contact us today.

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Different Industries that Rely on Printed Circuit Boards

prototype pcb

The most common devices associated with engineered prototype PCB assembly designs and implementation include computers, cell phones, TVs, radios, digital cameras, and host of other plug-in and battery operated devices. Although, printed circuit board assemblies are not limited to consumer electronics, there are various industries that rely on this technology as well. Read on to learn more about the different industries that use PCB assemblies to help power their electronics.

Medical

The medical field is heavily dependent upon electronic devices to not only administer medication but also provide valuable information and monitoring. Because many electronic devices are now denser and require less power to operate, it has become possible to test new and exciting technologies. Because medical devices need to be small and as dense as possible, they utilize high-density PCBs. High-density PCB assemblies allow medical equipment to accommodate the unique requirements that many devices face, that allow them to be small and lightweight. PCB assemblies can be found in pacemakers and larger medical devices such as X-ray machines and CAT scan equipment.

Industrial

PCB assemblies are commonly found in high-powered industrial machinery where they utilize thick copper PC Boards in lieu of one-ounce copper PCBs. Most often, these are found in motor controllers, high-current battery chargers and industrial load testers.

Lighting

LED lighting has rapidly gained in popularity, due to their low power consumption and high energy levels. Ironically, the PCB assemblies that are used to make these lights also require low amounts of energy. The specific type of PCB assembly allows heat to transfer at a higher level than standard PCBs.

 

Automotive and Aerospace

Both the automotive and aerospace industry utilize flexible PC Boards, as they are designed to withstand the various high-vibration environments which are commonly found in both. Depending on the specifics of the device, these types of PCB assemblies can also be lightweight. Other restrictions that are common in both the automotive and aerospace industries is that PCB assemblies need to fit in tight spaces, like an instrument panel or behind the instrument gauge on a dashboard.

As you can see, PCB assemblies are everywhere! Whether you are in need of a lightweight, compact, or any other prototype PCB assembly, BestProto can provide design, engineering, and assembly services for a variety of industries.

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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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PCB assembly services

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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prototype PCB assembly services

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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