Blog | Manufacturing Solutions


Understanding An IPC 4101 Slash Sheet

Written by Chris Perry - Printed Circuit Board Supply Chain Manager
Posted on January 31, 2017 at 11:53 AM

IPC 4101 (Specification for Base Materials for Rigid and Multi-Layer Printed Circuit Boards) was released for publication in December, 1997. It was released as the replacement standard for MIL-S-13949. However, it contained a majority of the exact wording from the military standard. It maintained the “slash sheet” format appendix to the standard that specifies the resin and fiber system of different PCB laminates, along with testing parameters and properties. Initially there were 41 slash sheets, but as the industry opens up to “Lead Free” and “Green” processes, the slash sheets have increased to 66, the current revision.

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Understanding Bow and Twist of Printed Circuit Boards

Written by Chris Perry - Printed Circuit Board Supply Chain Manager
Posted on December 15, 2016 at 10:20 AM

Bow and twist of printed circuit boards (PCB) tends to be the highest amount of falsely identified non conformances and the least understood. Perfectly flat rigid circuit boards as a norm, is a misconception held by many incoming inspectors. Understanding the reasons and causes for bow and twist can help resolve the issue at the board design stage.

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Managing Quality with Asian PCB Manufacturers

Written by Chris Perry - Printed Circuit Board Supply Chain Manager
Posted on January 28, 2016 at 1:30 PM

There was a time when “made in China” was synonymous with “cheap, poor, quality products”. Buyer beware was a common theme with outsourcing to Asian PCB manufacturers. So how did Epec approach this challenge and succeed? It was by managing quality through intense auditing, training, and qualification. Epec understood at a very early stage that first class quality product from Asian manufacturers would require constant presence, on-going training, and persistent auditing.

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PCB Cleanliness Attention to Details

Written by Chris Perry - Printed Circuit Board Supply Chain Manager
Posted on October 13, 2015 at 3:13 PM

Cleanliness of bare circuit boards increases in importance with advances in PCB technology that continue to decrease conductor spacing. Inorganic contamination within printed circuit board fabrication can lead to electrochemical migration. Electrochemical migration is the dissolution and movement of metal ions in presence of electric potential, which results in the growth of dendritic structures between anode and cathode. These dendritic growths, which were minimal over periods of time, were not a concern of "yesterdays" bare boards.

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Manufacturing Skill Development at Epec Never Stops

Written by Marc Leclair - Vice President of Operations
Posted on August 28, 2015 at 3:18 PM

At Epec, we take workforce training very seriously. We readily invest in workforce education because it is a time-tested, proven path to increased productivity and customer satisfaction. In our experience, the educated worker is not only productive, they are adaptable problem solvers focused on satisfying our customers' most demanding needs.

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Matte vs Gloss Solder Mask in Circuit Board Design

Written by Chris Perry - Printed Circuit Board Supply Chain Manager
Posted on March 27, 2015 at 9:47 AM

When designing a circuit board one factor that must be considered is the solder mask and whether to go with matte finish mask or gloss finish mask. Usually, most designers don't specify which option and end up leaving the option to the PCB fabricator. This will likely lead to a gloss finishes which is more popular of the two.

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User Interface Functional Test Schemes

Written by Epec Engineered Technologies
Posted on February 13, 2015 at 11:17 AM

This blog post addresses custom user interface functional test schemes that are completed prior to shipment. Generally, the first user interface assemblies shipment are for First Article acceptance testing where customers fully examine the first units for mechanical and electrical compliance to all engineering drawing and specifications.

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V-Scoring of Printed Circuit Boards in Arrays

Written by Chris Perry - Printed Circuit Board Supply Chain Manager
Posted on January 14, 2015 at 3:17 PM

When designing PCB's in a multi-up array, most designers choose v-score as the singulation method over traditional rout and breakaway tabs. The benefits gained range from effortless removal of parts from panel form, to realized cost savings with better utilization of panel area. When designing a circuit boards in array with v-score, there are two areas of concern - the angle of the cut, and the depth of the cut.

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The Use of Strain Relief with Rigid-Flex Printed Circuit Boards

Written by Chris Perry - Printed Circuit Board Supply Chain Manager
Posted on November 12, 2014 at 10:13 AM

With rigid-flex printed circuit boards (PCB's), the transition from the rigid material to flex material (Transition Zone) can exhibit visual imperfections that, although acceptable, could affect the final part. These imperfections can consist of adhesive squeeze-out, protruding dielectric materials, crazing, or haloing. With the protruding dielectric materials (resin), the particles can have sharp glass-like qualities.

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What Is The Reason For Circuit Board Blow Holes?

Written by Chris Perry - Printed Circuit Board Supply Chain Manager
Posted on July 3, 2014 at 2:19 PM

When a blow holes occur during the assembly process, as a result of the PCB card, the issue tends to be entrapped moisture or air. With moisture, any non-plated and non-masked areas on a bare circuit board, that expose internal laminate, can be suspect to absorbing moisture, both during board fabrication, and during improper storage. Examples of highly suspect areas are non-plated drilled holes and routed features.

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