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Epec's Blog | Electronics Manufacturing Solutions


Flexible Circuit Board Material Selection

Written by Paul Tome
Posted on April 15, 2019 at 9:54 AM

Selecting the optimum flex circuit board material is a key element to the success of a flexible circuit design. A wide variety of materials and configurations are available to address the needs of today’s design applications.

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Root Cause Analysis Through the Five Why Method - Part 1

Written by Marc Leclair
Posted on April 10, 2019 at 10:42 AM

In my last blog post, Five Why Root Cause Analysis Starts with a Good Problem Statement, I recommended that problem-solving teams develop well-crafted problem statements. This blog post will discuss the best practices for the five why method of root cause analysis.

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Design Comparison: Flex Circuit with Stiffeners vs. Rigid-Flex PCB

Written by Paul Tome
Posted on April 2, 2019 at 10:49 AM

When developing a flex PCB based design, one of the most common early decisions is whether a flex circuit with stiffener(s) will meet the design requirements or if a rigid-flex construction is necessary or more effective. While there is some overlap between the two methodologies, there are significant capability, performance, and cost differences that require review to ensure a successful design.

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Integrating Flex with Rigid PCB to Improve Design

Written by Paul Tome
Posted on March 27, 2019 at 9:49 AM

The integration of a flex circuit(s) with rigid PCBs into a rigid-flex configuration can solve many of today’s design challenges. The combination of the mechanical capabilities of flex circuits with the functionality of rigid PCBs is a solution that provides many benefits, including improved reliability, tighter packaging capabilities, high speed signal performance, reduced assembly costs, and opportunities for further overall design packaging reductions.

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Understanding the Actuation Force of Your Keypad

Written by Steven J Goodman
Posted on March 19, 2019 at 12:03 PM

Keypads that utilize dome switches, silicone elastomer keys, or tactile switches rely on actuation force as a critical feature to define how much load is required to close the normally open switch. In this context, force is a vector acting normal to the keypad surface and is usually defined in grams (g) or pound force (lbf).

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How to Specify Stiffener Requirements in Flex PCB Design Drawings

Written by Paul Tome
Posted on March 14, 2019 at 1:39 PM

Stiffeners are a key design element in most flex designs and have a significant impact on both the performance and reliability of the finished flex circuits. As a result, stiffeners need to be fully and accurately defined in the data set. Not doing so may result in a finished part that does not meet your requirements.

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Differences of Via in Pad Technology in Flex Circuits vs Rigid PCBs

Written by Paul Tome
Posted on March 5, 2019 at 10:52 AM

Many of today’s rigid-flex circuit designs utilize the same high-density components found in rigid PCB designs. This requires the use of blind and or buried vias to allow the signal lines to be routed out from within the high-density components or the high-density areas of the design. The most common component that we see driving this today is the 0.4mm pitch BGA package.

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Overview of the Shielded Cable Process

Written by Steven J Goodman
Posted on February 25, 2019 at 8:14 AM

We're all aware of the far-ranging uses and necessity for cables within electronics. With their widespread use and cables' inherent sensitivity to electromagnetic energy, the shielding methodology of a cable can be even more important than the conductor and jacket specifications.

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Defining Standard Wire Jacket Colors in Cables

Written by Steven J Goodman
Posted on February 20, 2019 at 10:31 AM

While it's true that The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has long issued a series of recommended standards for electrical and electronics design, those standards do not actually specify wiring color purposes in the way that a lot of people think they do. This is surprising given that those standards do contain extensive discussion on wiring and power cables.

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The Many Variations and Uses of Keypads

Written by Steven J Goodman
Posted on February 13, 2019 at 1:20 PM

If you were to ask 5 separate people to explain the definition of keypad, likely you would receive 5 completely different answers that all center around the same basic concept. According to Wikipedia a keypad is a set of buttons arranged in a block or "pad" which bear digits, symbols or alphabetical letters (source https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keypad). While this definition is correct, when communicating to a potential user interface supplier the term keypad requires further elaboration.

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