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Epec's Blog | Electronics Manufacturing Solutions

Al Wright

Al Wright
~ In Memoriam ~ Al was in the industry for more than 35 years, and 18 of those years were at Epec up until he passed away in December 2019. As field application engineer, he handled a wide range of responsibilities, including reviewing PCB designs for manufacturability during the quoting and design stage, interacting with off-site manufacturing facilities to solve technical issues during production, and programming CNC machines for in-house projects, reworks, and modifications. Al’s technical expertise was essential to Epec’s engineering department and provided valuable insight when working with customers. Prior to working at Epec, Al spent 20 years with CPC Incorporated, a medium-sized PCB manufacturer, learning hands-on about PCB processing before moving into front end engineering. Al brought a wealth of impressive expertise to Epec and worked with more than 50,000 different PCB designs from his start in 1981 through 2019. He worked with Epec’s team to get all designs right ahead of time so that products were correct the first time. Most recently, Al was instrumental in helping Epec establish its heavy/extreme copper PCB business along with being the company’s resident PCB expert. In 2020, the Richard “Al” Wright Memorial Scholarship was established. The money will be awarded annually to two local high school STEM students.

Recent Posts


Adding a Standard Stack-up to Your PCB Documentation

Written by Al Wright
Posted on July 9, 2020 at 9:32 AM

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.

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Advanced and Non-Standard PCB Manufacturing Capabilities

Written by Al Wright
Posted on January 16, 2020 at 9:12 AM

There was a time when the PCB manufacturing industry included a fair number of bucket shops, so called because much of their processing was done in small portable tubs filled with etchants, solvents, and other mysterious solutions. They cranked out very basic, low-cost, low-complexity PCBs, using equipment and methods that were questionable at best. Their business and environmental practices were often similarly questionable.

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DFM For Your Quick-Turn PCB Order

Written by Al Wright
Posted on July 31, 2019 at 9:12 AM

Design for Manufacturing (DFM) is critical to the success of your PCB order. Features that make your circuit board difficult to build add cost to your product and can increase the scrap rate. If you have designed a PCB that is more complex than usual, it is useful to submit files to your fabricator for review before placing your order so you will have some time to address any issues that might delay production.

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Match Your High-Tech PCB Design To Your Suppliers Capabilities: Q&A

Written by Al Wright
Posted on July 30, 2019 at 2:04 PM

At the conclusion of our recent webinar – Match Your High-Tech PCB Design To Your Supplies Capabilities – we had a number of questions for our presenter, PCB Field Applications Engineer Al Wright. We decided to compile these into a readable format on our blog.

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A PCB Trick for Vias and Impedance Traces

Written by Al Wright
Posted on July 11, 2019 at 10:51 AM

Ordinarily you may not want your PCB (printed circuit board) manufacturer to adjust your data files, but there are occasions when that may be the easiest way to achieve a particular result. For instance, you may need to have some, but not all, vias of a particular size plugged so that the assembly solder will not wick through to the other side of the board. Or perhaps a few trace pairs need to run at a specified impedance, while the impedance for all the other traces of the same width is non-critical.

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Balancing Layers in Your PCB Layout

Written by Al Wright
Posted on July 2, 2019 at 9:22 AM

The design of a multi-layer PCB (printed circuit boards) can be very complicated. The fact that a design even needs to use more than two layers implies that the required number of circuits will not fit onto just a top and a bottom surface. Even in cases where the circuitry does fit onto two external layers with no problem, the PCB designer may decide to add power and ground planes internally in order to correct a performance shortcoming.

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How to Specify Your PCB Controlled Impedance Requirements

Written by Al Wright
Posted on June 26, 2019 at 11:14 AM

Owing to the prevalence of complex processors, USB devices, and antennas printed directly onto the board surface, more and more PCB designs now require impedance control and testing than ever before. In response to the increased demand, circuit board manufacturers have invested in sophisticated modeling software and testing units, so they are equipped to meet the requirements.

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Printed Circuit Board Design Trends

Written by Al Wright
Posted on June 13, 2019 at 12:26 PM

Printed circuit boards (PCBs) have become an integral part of everyday modern life, both at work and at home. PCBs were at one time found primarily where you would have expected them to reside inside computers, calculators, televisions, and other such obviously electronic devices, but now they present nearly everywhere.

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PCB Layout Quote: A Guide to Required Items

Written by Al Wright
Posted on June 4, 2019 at 9:24 AM

It is sometimes necessary to have some, or all, of your PCB layout projects done by an outside source. If you’ve never done a layout before, or if you don’t have the tools or experience to take on more complex projects, it is often better to have a professional complete the work.

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What is a PCB Netlist and Why do You Need It?

Written by Al Wright
Posted on January 16, 2019 at 8:40 AM

Nobody wants to experience the feeling of populating your new printed circuit board (PCB) design and finding out that it is not electrically functional. Most often, the lack of functionality is attributable to a specific production problem or a combination of several different problems. Sometimes, however, the problem is that the Gerber files exported from your PCB CAD program contained an error that went unnoticed because there was no way to verify that the files matched your design intent. You can avoid a good deal of trouble by supplying an IPC-356 format netlist file with your fabrication data package.

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