Front panels, bezels, and other types of human to machine interface equipment use several circuit technologies to operate. These circuit types usually involve some form of printed or etched traces using conductive materials like copper and conductive ink. These custom layouts are routed across insulating sheets and films, eventually becoming circuit boards and flex circuits. Dome switches, LEDs, and touchscreens can be added to these everyday circuit boards, bringing them to life as a high-technology HMI solution.
When you are designing a printed circuit board (PCB), your customer or boss does not typically hand you a blank check. You may occasionally be fortunate enough to have a customer with deep pockets, but most products are very cost-sensitive, and your board design will need to come in at or below budget. This post will go over some of the things you can do to achieve a cost-effective design. Its focus will be limited to a handful of higher-end design options.
Traditionally, quick-turn printed circuit boards have been used for PCB prototyping and low-volume production in the electronics industry. Many companies have developed very low-cost, low-option Internet programs to get customers low technology printed circuit boards very inexpensively. However, in today’s evolving electronics industry, quick-turn printed circuit boards are now part of every stage of the product development lifecycle, from initial concept development to full working prototypes to getting the production product to market faster than any of their competitors.
As somebody whose job it is to analyze several multilayer PCB designs per week, I find it surprising whenever I receive a data package that does not include a defined lamination stack-up. The way that the layers are constructed can affect the PCBs performance, so these packages feel like they are missing a potentially important piece of information.
The development of a battery pack relies on a full understanding of the components that are necessary to supply the right amount of power on demand and at a safe rate, providing adequate recharge times, and providing optimal shelf storage. This step requires fully outlining and providing details regarding the application and power needs of the product.
Having been involved in the printed circuit board (PCB) world for nearly four decades, I continue to see the same drawing mistakes. When declaring PCB tolerances in any given design, the PCB designer must take into consideration the manufacturing of the board itself. In this blog post, we will review some of the issues we commonly see in PCB designs that are not allowing the proper tolerances for the routing, drilling, and plating processes.
At the conclusion of our webinar, Do You Really Need Lithium or Will Nickel Metal Hydride Suffice, we had several questions submitted to our presenter, Randy Ibrahim, Battery Development Consultant at Epec. We have compiled these questions into a readable format on our blog.
Occasionally, customers have to change battery suppliers. There are many different reasons for these changes. It could involve the battery supplier going out of business, the customer may find a supplier that can offer similar batteries at lower prices and faster time-to-market deadlines, the quality of the battery could be lacking, or there is a disruption to the supply chain for the supplier that the customer must make a temporary switch to an optional manufacturer to complete project deadlines.
Higher current carrying flex circuit designs create challenges that need to be addressed early in the design process to ensure both a manufacturable design and that it will reliably meet the bend requirements. These items range from material types/availability, bend capability/flexibility, impact on standard signal lines, and part cost.
Creating an application or product requires designs, drawings, and recommendations regarding the function of the application, materials to use, and the dimensions. In addition, a manufacturer also must consider how to power it. Many applications require a portable battery source that can be recharged numerous times and stored safely without future damage.