Much attention has been given to 3D printing in recent years as the technology has allowed users to manufacture a wide variety of items – from common mechanical parts to more outrageous projects like Vincent van Gogh’s ear.
While 3D printing was ground-breaking, there is another form of technology revolutionizing the world of rapid prototyping. Known as subtractive manufacturing, this technology is now accessible to companies that previously relied on external services. When coupled with in-house methods for electronics, subtractive manufacturing can drastically reduce design and test cycles.
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Like many aspects of the electronics industry, the printed circuit board manufacturing process is hyper-competitive. Clients demand the highest quality products, done quickly, and at the absolute minimum price. This incentivizes some manufacturers to cut corners to reduce their costs and remain competitive. However, this is the wrong approach and will only serve to alienate customers and hurt the business in the long run. Rather, manufacturers can realize better results by improving every step in their manufacturing process to be more streamlined and efficient. By using better tools, products, and saving costs whenever possible, PCB manufacturers can provide their clients with quality products for less. Here are a few ways to begin this process.
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How will the heat generated by a laser beam affect my board and components during depaneling? Will it melt edge components into an ugly heap? Or demolish thin flex materials into an unrecognizable blob? We get these worst case scenario questions all the time from PCB designers and manufacturers who have relied on mechanical routers, manual cutters, and other traditional depaneling machines throughout their careers. So it is no wonder that there’s an ongoing concern about a laser’s heat affective zone (HAZ), and the thermal effect on edge components in particular.