Features Articles

Nick KoopCan via-in-pad be used on a flex or rigid-flex circuit with SMT parts?

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The tariff situation has given rise to questionable add-on costs.

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Mike BuetowThe headlines of late have been filled with reports on the pending US ban on domestic companies from conducting business with Huawei.

In submitting the order, President Trump cited cyber-warfare, espionage and threats to US national security as rationale for the ban.

Less noted: the impact on bare board suppliers from China. After all, the executive order “prohibits transactions that involve information and communications technology or services designed, developed, manufactured, or supplied, by persons owned by, controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction or direction of a foreign adversary” as determined by the Commerce Secretary.

So, while Huawei is a $100 billion company, larger than IBM, Sony, Hitachi, Panasonic and all but a few other tech firms, the declaration could have tentacles that reach far beyond the Chinese OEM. Even if all the defense industry primes, for instance, buy all their boards onshore (doubtful), many others do not, including the financial markets and key industries such as nuclear, power, and so on.

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Bob WillisA lack of compression can be seen nondestructively.

This month we look at crimp connections.

FIGURES 1 and 2 show examples of simple compression connections. Figure 1 shows an excessive length of stripped wire within the crimp termination and a total lack of any compression, which should be easy to see on the wire bundle from the point of entry to the point of compression. Figure 2 lacks compression of the connector, and the stripped wire is barely within the barrel of the connector.



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Tom RovtarIs there a single approach to harmonizing MES and traceability procedures?

The electronics manufacturing services industry is a form of controlled chaos. Each factory supports multiple customers in multiple industries with a variety of regulatory, industry-specific and company-specific data collection requirements. Demand among programs also varies. Some programs may be high volume and very predictable, while others have varying demand or high product mix. Not surprisingly, most EMS companies address these challenges with a combination of third-party and internally developed systems that automate data collection and analysis. This effort to address a wide range of evolving customer requirements can drive system redundancies over time, however, particularly when an EMS company has multiple facilities.

From a Lean perspective, a streamlined approach with standardized equipment and processes both inter- and intra-facility is desirable because standardization minimizes the non-value-added work driven by variation and can increase available capacity in automated processes. The challenge when standardizing internally developed software among multiple EMS facilities is that often the needs of a particular group of customers influence internally developed system design at each facility. Consequently, focus on system standardization among facilities often requires focus on process standardization as well.

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A few well-placed cues make “true” design-for-test.

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