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Epec's Blog | Electronics Manufacturing Solutions


Common PCB Quality Issues and What to Inspect For

Written by Angie Brown
Posted on June 14, 2021 at 10:10 AM

As our world continues to evolve to an online buying market for everything for our homes, schools, and offices, you may have noticed in some cases, the quality is not exactly what you thought you saw and bought online. We have all had that men’s XL shirt we bought for dad’s birthday arrive only to fit our 7-10-year-old, or the gift for Christmas arriving in January. Is it cost vs. quality, convenience vs. going out shopping, or is it the ongoing COVID-19 situation?

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Why DOT/UN 38.3 is Required for Lithium Batteries

Written by Anton Beck
Posted on June 8, 2021 at 9:33 AM

Applications with high-power needs and complex systems may use lithium batteries to operate. Lithium batteries can pack a high-energy density into smaller pack sizes, making them lightweight and small enough to be used in common everyday products such as cell phones, laptops, tablets, and hoverboards. However, the battery's chemistry can create safety hazards when not being constantly monitored.

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Circuit Board Material Tolerances that Affect Manufacturing

Written by Angie Brown
Posted on June 2, 2021 at 9:57 AM

Within the first few pages of IPC standard for printed circuit boards, there is a reference table 1-2 that is called “Default Requirements.” When reading the standard looking for some guidance, one may question “default” as part of a requirement. Often, when we receive circuit board production files there is not enough information from a manufacturing standpoint but certainly enough to quote.

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Best Mechanisms to Control Flexible Heater Temperatures

Written by Chris Perry
Posted on May 27, 2021 at 10:11 AM

Flexible heaters made from silicon and polyimide materials are designed to provide heating features to a wide range of applications. Their flexibility allows the heaters to wrap around odd-shaped surfaces when used inside or outside products. The flexibility of the heater is to provide enough heat for the intended application at the specific area without interfering with its functions.

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PCB Design & Layout: Checklist of What You Need Before You Start - Q&A

Written by Epec Engineered Technologies
Posted on May 25, 2021 at 8:49 AM

At the conclusion of our webinar, PCB Design & Layout - Checklist of What You Need Before You Start, we had several questions submitted to our presenter, Angie Brown, PCB Product Manager at Epec. We have compiled these questions into a readable format on our blog.

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Understanding How Solder and Coatings Impact PCB Shelf Life

Written by Sherry Clowers
Posted on May 18, 2021 at 10:13 AM

Printed circuit boards (PCBs) may go through extreme wear-and-tear based on environmental factors. They may be placed in applications where there will be fluctuating temperatures, extreme heat, extreme cold, high humidity, salt water, and excessive moisture.

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Flexible PCB Line and Space Limitations to Be Aware Of

Written by Paul Tome
Posted on May 12, 2021 at 9:30 AM

In some areas of a flexible circuit board design, the trace widths and spacings, trace to pad spacings, and via pad sizes are the same as used in rigid circuit boards but will differ in other areas. This is due to the flexible nature of the polyimide materials used, the type of material used to encapsulate the external layers, and the unique plating process used for most flex circuit designs.

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Circuit Board Solder Mask - What to Use and What Not to Use

Written by Angie Brown
Posted on May 4, 2021 at 10:12 AM

Remembering back to grammar school and the standard 8-box of Crayola crayons and when they expanded to 16 or 32 colors, never mind 64. If you managed to get this box with the sharpener, you had it made. I love color; the more the better.

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Defining a STEP Model and Its Importance

Written by Michael Concepcion
Posted on April 28, 2021 at 9:00 AM

You may have encountered the acronym STP or STEP while learning about or working on projects that involve computer-aided design. But what exactly is it? A STEP file is a 3D-model file formatted in STEP, which stands for Standard for the Exchange of Product Data. STEP files are used to store 3D-image data in an ASCII format, following the standards defined in ISO 10303-21, introduced by the ISO committee in 1994. This specification created a file structure which could be recognized by multiple modeling programs, thus enhancing the ability for design data to be exchanged.

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IPC Class III vs. MIL Spec for Printed Circuit Boards

Written by Jeff Forbus
Posted on April 20, 2021 at 9:40 AM

When manufacturing printed circuit boards (PCBs), the boards will be classified into specific groups based on the level of quality. Any circuit board developed for IPC Class III has met the strictest requirements levels based on tight minimum tolerances and very high precision standards for mission-critical PCBs that can be used in industries such as aerospace, military, and medical applications. Reaching these specific standards ensures that the PCB will endure a long lifecycle, can withstand up to harsh environments, and will perform at an exceptional level without failure.

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