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Epec's Blog | Electronics Manufacturing Solutions


What is Heat Shrink Tubing and How is it Used?

Written by Epec Engineered Technologies
Posted on November 15, 2018 at 9:33 AM

Heat shrink tubing, also known as heat shrink, is a shrinkable tube that shrinks radially when exposed to heat. Produced using a two-step process, heat shrink is available in a wide range of materials to suit almost any application. Heat shrink tubing has many useful applications, including to provide electrical insulation to wires, connections, joints, terminals, and splices, as well as bundling loose items such as wires and as a protective covering.

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Printed Circuit Board Solderability Issues

Written by Chris Perry
Posted on August 14, 2018 at 10:29 AM

Solving solderability issues for printed circuit boards (PCBs) can be a real hassle. Nothing is more frustrating than having lined up all your materials for an assembly, only to start running the package through reflow and discover that the solder paste is wetting poorly to the pads. Immediately, the profile is checked to confirm proper parameters.

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Why Is A Supplier Quality Manual Still Needed?

Written by Chris Perry
Posted on June 26, 2018 at 9:02 AM

With the introduction of ISO 9001:2015, which specifies requirements for quality management systems, the statement “quality management system documentation shall include a quality manual” no longer need apply. Many celebrated this as a reprieve from previously having to fully document their quality management system. However, eliminating the supplier quality manual altogether could be a dangerous takeaway on the new standard’s intention.

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5 Whys Root Cause Analysis Starts with a Problem Statement

Written by Marc Leclair
Posted on April 24, 2018 at 9:22 AM

Root cause analysis is a technique performed to identify the underlying reasons why a particular problem is occurring. At Epec, we do a lot of problem solving. As manufacturers, we strive to discover better, more efficient ways to delight our customers. Whether we are working on an 8D CAPA or running an A3 Project, we are often working to determine the foundational cause of issues as the means to solving the problem.

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What Should You Know About Vendor Outsourcing?

Written by Kendall Paradise
Posted on April 17, 2018 at 9:45 AM

As the benefits and capabilities of vendor outsourcing continue to grow, it becomes more important to know what to look for before committing to outsourcing. Developing a sound evaluation approach while knowing what questions to ask of potential suppliers helps maximize efficiency, saving time and money down the road.

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Benefits to Utilizing an Inventory Management System

Written by Kendall Paradise
Posted on March 22, 2018 at 10:00 AM

With the uncertainty the global economy has brought over the last decade, it has been challenging for many companies to balance the fine line of just-in-time (JIT) inventory management, being line down, and being over budget on inventory numbers. We live in a world where next day delivery of virtually anything has become a guarantee, or at least an expectation.

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Urban Legends of PCB Processes: ENIG Black Pad

Written by Chris Perry
Posted on January 19, 2018 at 2:37 PM

I can remember the first ‘incident’ of black pad, years ago, when Epec started to use the electroless nickel immersion gold (ENIG) process. We didn’t notice the issue at the time, as it is not evident on the bare board, but received the complaint from assembly as it was later identified on completed assemblies.

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Understanding An IPC 4101 Slash Sheet

Written by Chris Perry
Posted on January 31, 2017 at 11:53 AM

IPC 4101 (Specification for Base Materials for Rigid and Multi-Layer Printed Circuit Boards) was released for publication in December, 1997. It was released as the replacement standard for MIL-S-13949. However, it contained a majority of the exact wording from the military standard. It maintained the “slash sheet” format appendix to the standard that specifies the resin and fiber system of different PCB laminates, along with testing parameters and properties. Initially there were 41 slash sheets, but as the industry opens up to “Lead Free” and “Green” processes, the slash sheets have increased to 66, the current revision.

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Understanding Bow and Twist of Printed Circuit Boards

Written by Chris Perry
Posted on December 15, 2016 at 10:20 AM

Bow and twist of printed circuit boards (PCB) routinely rank among the highest levels of falsely identified non-conformance because it is perhaps the least understood. Envisioning a perfectly flat rigid circuit board as the standard is a fallacy believed by many incoming inspectors. Understanding the reasons and causes for PCB bow and twist can help resolve the issue at the board design stage.

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Managing Quality with Asian PCB Manufacturers

Written by Chris Perry
Posted on January 28, 2016 at 1:30 PM

There was a time when “Made in China” was synonymous with cheaper, poor quality products. "Buyer beware" was the common theme associated with outsourcing to any Asian PCB manufacturers. So how did Epec approach this challenge and succeed? It was by managing quality through intense auditing, training, and qualification. Epec understood at a very early stage that first-class quality products from Asian manufacturers would require consistent presence, training, and auditing.

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