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Epec's Blog | Electronics Manufacturing Solutions


Printed Circuit Board Solderability Issues

Written by Chris Perry
Posted on August 14, 2018 at 10:29 AM

Solving solderability issues for printed circuit boards (PCBs) can be a real hassle. Nothing is more frustrating than having lined up all your materials for an assembly, only to start running the package through reflow and discover that the solder paste is wetting poorly to the pads. Immediately, the profile is checked to confirm proper parameters.

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How-to Guide For Capacitive Touch Switches [Video]

Written by Steven J Goodman
Posted on August 10, 2018 at 11:10 AM

In this blog post you can view two videos that go into detail about the functionality of the human-machine interface (HMI) product sample and an overview of how capacitive touch membrane switches work. The transcription of both videos is also provided below. Take note that the transcriptions have been edited for better readability.

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What are Non-Conformances and How do PCB Manufacturers Fix Them?

Written by Chris Perry
Posted on August 3, 2018 at 12:37 PM

For customers and suppliers along the PCB manufacturing process, non-conformances will, unfortunately, happen from time to time. A non-conformance consists of receiving an order for printed circuit boards that do not meet your specifications or industry (IPC) standards. While dealing with these issues is obviously essential, the solution is sometimes not obvious and can put on-time delivery to your customer at risk. It is imperative that your circuit board supplier can deliver conforming product as soon as possible, which means having the procedures to get there.

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How the United States - China Trade Tariffs Impact the PCB Industry

Written by Ed McMahon
Posted on July 25, 2018 at 9:36 AM

Tariffs and trade with China has been a hot topic in the news recently. The tariffs impacting the steel and automobile industries have been widely covered but there are many additional industries that could potentially feel the effects of these tariffs, including our own.

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Capacitive Touch HMI Overlay and Materials

Written by Steven J Goodman
Posted on July 17, 2018 at 6:00 AM

As capacitive touch human machine interface (HMI) assemblies become more popular, both designers and users are becoming more familiar with the technology as it replaces traditional mechanical HMI products. These capacitive touch HMIs can be used in extreme environments, with users wearing gloves, and can operate reliably for years.

Just as a mechanical HMI (membrane switches, tactile switches, etc.) relies on the overlay material properties to determine system function, capacitive touch HMIs rely on the overlay material properties to drive capacitive touch sensitivity and overall system performance.

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Firmware Development Basics For SMART HMIs

Written by Steven J Goodman
Posted on July 9, 2018 at 1:36 PM

When our customers are in the preliminary stages of launching a new SMART HMI project, they typically reach out seeking advice on the best way to start. With what can amount to a near infinite number of HMI design options and system feature combinations, brainstorming an embedded firmware project can quickly become overwhelming. Where does one begin? How does the firmware work? What level of detail is required now?

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How IoT in Manufacturing Improves Customer and User Efficiency

Written by Ed McMahon
Posted on July 3, 2018 at 11:03 AM

“The power of the Internet of Things comes from the ability to collect a lot of data and convert that into useful information.” -Bertil Thorvaldson, ABB Robotics

While that is a very simple concept to understand, manufacturing Internet of Things (IoT) technology into most products can be a significant investment of time and money for companies. As a designer and manufacturer of medical, commercial, industrial, and military products, we are working with many customers on implementing IoT into their products to improve the customer experience and provide an additional revenue stream.

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Why Is A Supplier Quality Manual Still Needed?

Written by Chris Perry
Posted on June 26, 2018 at 9:02 AM

With the introduction of ISO 9001:2015, which specifies requirements for quality management systems, the statement “quality management system documentation shall include a quality manual” no longer need apply. Many celebrated this as a reprieve from previously having to fully document their quality management system. However, eliminating the supplier quality manual altogether could be a dangerous takeaway on the new standard’s intention.

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How To Design PCBs - Engineering Advice on Details

Written by Jim Marsh
Posted on June 19, 2018 at 2:04 PM

In front-end engineering, we must gather as much manufacturing information as possible from the printed circuit board data we receive. This includes customer service notes, customer emails, and the general spec, if available. Usually there is enough information to release a printed circuit board (PCB) package to manufacturing. However, I have found many gray areas that haunt our engineering department.

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PCB Vias - Everything You Need To Know

Written by Al Wright
Posted on June 11, 2018 at 10:00 AM

As today’s printed circuit boards (PCBs) become smaller, they use fewer and fewer through hole components. It is increasingly difficult to justify allocating precious space for relatively large plated through component holes and their accompanying lands. Instead, it is necessary to use surface mounted components wherever possible. As surface mount technology becomes increasingly prevalent, the majority of the plated through holes on most modern PCB designs end up being vias.

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