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Epec's Blog | Electronics Manufacturing Solutions


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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PCB Laminate Material FAQs

Written by Al Wright
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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How Added Electronics Improve Your Cable Assembly Design

Written by Epec Engineered Technologies
Posted on April 9, 2018 at 12:42 PM

As custom manufactured cable assemblies have grown in complexity, it has become far more common to see various electronics integrated directly into the finished design. The inclusion of electronics into a cable assembly design can consist of adding a switch, PCB, LED, or a multitude of other components. Once added, these components offer a much higher level of sophistication to the cable assembly while allowing the included electronics the ability to withstand a much more rugged working environment.

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Flex PCB Stackup Documentation

Written by Paul Tome
Posted on April 3, 2018 at 11:57 AM

The flex PCB stackup documentation is an important component of the data set of a flexible printed circuit board design. It consists of a description of a flex or rigid-flex circuit board that defines in detail the specific material requirements and construction of the design.

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Flex PCB EMI Shielding Methods and Materials

Written by Paul Tome
Posted on March 26, 2018 at 3:26 PM

Many electronics assemblies that utilize flexible printed circuit boards are sensitive to either absorbing or emitting electromagnetic interference (EMI). If EMI is left uncontrolled it can negatively impact the performance of the design and in extreme cases completely prevent it from functioning.

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Combining PCB Surface Finishes on External PCB Layers

Written by Jim Marsh
Posted on February 26, 2018 at 11:05 AM

The reason printed circuit boards (PCBs) require a surface finish rather than being left as simply bare copper is because while copper is an excellent conductor, leaving it exposed will cause it to oxidize and deteriorate over time. The increased exposure will cause the PCB to fail much sooner than expected.

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Cable Assembly Design For Shielding From EMI and RFI

Written by Epec Engineered Technologies
Posted on February 19, 2018 at 1:00 PM

EMI (electromagnetic interference) and RFI (radio-frequency interference) are disturbances generated by external sources that impact a cable assembly by degrading the assembly's performance or completely preventing it from functioning. These disturbances can cause problems ranging from an increase in error rates of the signal being transmitted through the assembly to total loss of any electronically readable signal.

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