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Epec's Blog | Electronics Manufacturing Solutions


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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Differential Paired Cables And When To Use Them

Written by Steven J Goodman
Posted on January 10, 2019 at 2:28 PM

In the world of electronics, oftentimes how a signal is being transmitted from a sender to a receiver is just as important as what is being transmitted in the first place. Certain applications call for incredibly high levels of reliability and resistance to outside electrical interference, so more "traditional" or "common" cables just won't do.

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PCB Array Cost Saving Suggestions

Written by Angie Brown
Posted on November 6, 2018 at 12:10 PM

As costs of materials, freight, and labor rise it has become imperative to seek out alternative ways to save costs in the manufacturing process. With traditional means of saving no longer as viable, we now must be more creative and specific when we’re asked, “what can I do to lower the cost of my printed circuit board (PCB)?”

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Common PCB Scoring Guidelines to Follow

Written by Angie Brown
Posted on October 2, 2018 at 10:00 AM

The process of v-scoring has been used for many years in the production of printed circuit boards (PCBs). As PCB production technology rapidly advances, it is important to understand the most current PCB scoring guidelines to follow and how they may have changed from what you previously used. 

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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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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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Metal Core PCB vs Standard Circuit Boards

Written by Al Wright
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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How To Select PCB Core Materials

Written by Al Wright
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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