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Blog | Manufacturing Solutions

Al Wright - PCB Field Applications Engineer

Al Wright - PCB Field Applications Engineer
Al has been in the industry for over 35 years and has been with Epec for more than15 years. As field application engineer, he handles 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 is essential to Epec’s engineering department and provides valuable insight when working with customers. Previous 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 brings impressive expertise to Epec and has worked with over 50,000 different PCB designs from his start in 1981 to the present day. He works with Epec’s team to get all designs right ahead of time so that products will be correct the first time.

Recent Posts


Metal Core PCB vs Standard Circuit Boards

Written by Al Wright - PCB Field Applications Engineer
Posted on May 22, 2018 at 8:55 AM

Over the past several years LED based products have become increasingly popular, and as a result, so too have metal core printed circuit boards. The automobile and lighting sectors have both embraced the technology, as have consumers, given an LED based light can be about 5x cheaper to run than a comparable incandescent unit. Even compact fluorescents have slightly higher operating costs and they cannot compete with the smallest LEDs when it comes to efficient use of space.

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Improving the Accuracy of Your PCB Quote

Written by Al Wright - PCB Field Applications Engineer
Posted on May 16, 2018 at 12:05 PM

Printed circuit board (PCB) fabricators receive dozens of requests for quotations (RFQs) every day. While many requests have moved to more convenient online quoting formats such as our in-house application InstantPCBQuote, many customers still send requests the old way via either files or alternate forms of describing their manufacturing requirements.

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How To Select PCB Core Materials

Written by Al Wright - PCB Field Applications Engineer
Posted on May 10, 2018 at 10:18 AM

Selecting PCB core thickness becomes a problem when a printed circuit board (PCB) fabricator receives a request for quotation of a multilayer design and the material requirements are stated either incompletely or not at all. This sometimes occurs because the combination of PCB core materials used is not critical to performance; if the overall thickness requirement is met, the end user may not care about the thickness or type of each layer.

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PCB Laminate Material FAQs

Written by Al Wright - PCB Field Applications Engineer
Posted on May 3, 2018 at 11:34 AM

All customers have questions when it comes to PCB laminate materials, so we took some of the most common questions and put together a helpful FAQ to bring you answers and solutions faster.

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Manufacturing Issues with RF Circuit Boards

Written by Al Wright - PCB Field Applications Engineer
Posted on January 5, 2018 at 2:02 PM

If you’re a designer of RF or microwave printed circuit boards you’ve probably already selected a laminate material that is appropriate to your project, having based your choice primarily on the electrical requirements of the RF circuit, such as signal speed, loss rate etc. Be careful however not to overlook the fact that the specialty materials used in such designs also possess unusual mechanical characteristics; processing is different from that of normal FR4 boards.

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Outline of Circuit Board Blind Vias Process Costs

Written by Al Wright - PCB Field Applications Engineer
Posted on October 5, 2017 at 11:37 AM

Miniaturization in electronics drives the need for both component and printed circuit board designers to work within ever-shrinking footprints in order to remain competitive. The signal routing requirements for many ball grid array (BGA) components are such that through hole via drilling is becoming less and less practical. This makes it necessary in many instances to use blind vias to form interconnections between layer pairs.

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PCB Design Considerations for Tight Spacing

Written by Al Wright - PCB Field Applications Engineer
Posted on September 14, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Printed circuit boards (PCBs) continue to shrink. As each generation of miniaturized components comes along, board designers find themselves able to work within ever-smaller PCB footprint sizes. While this is great news for consumers (compare the size of a 1994 portable phone to one of today’s models) it presents difficulties for fabricators.

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Best Practices for PCB Layout Manufacturing

Written by Al Wright - PCB Field Applications Engineer
Posted on August 10, 2017 at 2:12 PM

Printed circuit boards (PCBs) have become smaller with increased density and complexity, which forces PCB designers and manufacturers to develop new layout strategies aimed at making full use of all available surface area.

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Creating Standard PCB Fabrication Notes

Written by Al Wright - PCB Field Applications Engineer
Posted on February 15, 2017 at 10:34 AM

When placing an order or requesting a quotation for printed circuit boards(PCB), it is extremely important to clearly state all of your requirements as completely as possible.

While this may seem obvious, it is surprisingly common for PCB fabricators to submit a pricing estimate to the customer based on information supplied within the request for quotation, only to receive additional information after pricing and delivery have already been agreed upon and a purchase order issued. If the new information affects the price and/or lead time, the fabricator must notify the customer of the changes in terms.

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PCB Design For Manufacturability Analysis: Beyond DRC

Written by Al Wright - PCB Field Applications Engineer
Posted on May 4, 2016 at 2:46 PM

Your PCB design for manufacturing is critical to the success of your final application. Design features which make your board difficult to build add cost to your product, either by slowing down the production process, or by increasing the scrap rate.

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