New Products

NORCROSS, GAT-Tech Inc. has introduced its Quick Vac Table, a vacuum table system for quick circuit prototyping systems. The Quick Vac Table is designed to meet the demanding needs of the RF and Microwave industry, allowing users to create prototypes on more flexible materials with a greater precision.
The technology allows the quick circuit to hold material down flatter by creating an even plane of suction and eliminating the need for backing material, thus providing an even and accurate depth of cut. The Quick Vac Table also decreases setup time, thus increasing the speed to which users can test their designs.
The Quick Vac Table is designed to work with all models of quick circuit prototyping systems and is said to be simple to operate. According to the company, the likelihood of damaged traces on small and fragile prototypes is reduced.

MARLBOROUGH, MADownStream Technologies announced BluePrint for PCBs Version 1.5. This release is said to include a variety of updates and functionality enhancements including full integration to Mentor’s Boardstation and Expedition, as well as Zuken’s Visula and CADStar PCB layout tools.

“Until now, BluePrint integrated only to Cadence’s products Allegro and OrCAD plus Mentor’s PADS Layout,” said Rick Almeida, one of DownStream’s founders. “We did this to ensure the product’s stability and acceptance in the mainstream market before we committed to expanding the integration. With this new release, the product now integrates with all of the most widely used PCB layout tools on the market and allows them access to a solution that was designed specifically to address the unique issues associated with creating PCB fabrication and assembly documentation.”

BluePrint uses the available PCB design intelligence to automatically create and link unlimited PCB views and details resulting in a more detailed and accurate documentation package in a much shorter timeframe.

Version 1.5’s reported enhancements include:

- Mentor BoardStation/Expedition interface
- Zuken Visula/CADStar interface

- Improved ECO support - BluePrint now retains PCB view formatting, ref des placement, user defined process steps, user defined variants, drill chart formatting and other template table formatting upon the re-import of a CAD design file ECO.
- Auto-sequencing text box tool  - Can be used to place procedural text box nomenclature used for wire bond ordering or cut and jumper re-work instructions.
- Add a suffix to a measurement and dual dimensions - Displays a measurement suffix (mm, in, mil, etc.) as well as dual dimensions.
- Create new drill symbols - Allows users to create their own drill symbols using BluePrint’s drafting tools or by importing the new symbol(s) through DXF.
- AutoSave
- Search - Search and find any text in a document and locate any component in a document by searching by part name or reference designator.
- Drill chart automatic tolerancing and tool type definition - Define a tool type for drill charts by grouping drill attributes imported with CAD design data. Also allows the user to set up tolerances to be automatically applied to plated, non-plated holes and vias.
- Improved keyboard bindings Includes drafting and dimensioning tools.
BluePrint for PCBs Version 1.5 is available immediately. DownStream is offering 13 months of free maintenance for any purchase before December 31, 2006.

SAN JOSEDEK has released the Horizon 02i, the first of the next generation Instinctiv machines. The printer includes a position-adjustable 15-inch touchscreen LCD of the Micron range to enhance ease of use and rapid operation on the factory floor. Micron-class low friction gullwing machine covers are also now fitted as standard, allowing deployment in clean environments as well as granting easier access to the machine during product changeovers and consumable replenishment. 
The Horizon 02i is said to achieve 1.6 Cpk at ±25µm full paste on pad process capability, at12 seconds cycle time. It has a wide board size range, up to 508mm x 508mm, and is fitted with ESD safe transport rails as standard. Other standard features include DEK’s Intelligent Scalable Controller Area Network  (ISCAN) technology, which reportedly enhances diagnostics and supports predictive maintenance in conjunction with DEK’s Internet-based support services.
Options include the DEK Gold camera machine vision package, which is said to accelerate fiducial capture and 2D inspection by leveraging wider 8.5mm x 11mm field of view, faster image recognition algorithms and optimized lighting.
ROCHESTER, NYEMA Design Automation has announced the availability of products and services provided by PCNAlert for component event management, designed to allow customers to receive manufacturers’ part change notices in a timely fashion.

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MILPITAS, CALenthor Engineering has updated its Flexible Circuit Design Guide and is releasing the new version through the company Web site.

With more than 1,600 copies of the original release in circulation, Lenthor has updated the technical detail as well as adding colorful and descriptive graphics. The Flexible Circuit Design Guide (6.0) is intended for anyone who wants or needs to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the use, design and fabrication of both flexible and rigid-flexible PCBs.

DURHAM, NC - Valor Computerized Systems Ltd. introduced a new product lifecycle management toolset that supports DFM collaboration between PCB design and engineering teams across global supply chains. According to Valor the tool facilitates communications throughout the electronics design and manufacturing process, resulting in faster product innovation and design-to-manufacturing cycles.

The product release indicates that the tool provides a centralized, scalable platform with secure access to important design information and DFM issues that form part of the product development process. The complete workflow, including design changes, design reviews and final manufacturing sign-off, is intuitively managed, enabling companies to achieve the most manufacturable designs possible.

Julian Coates, executive VP corporate marketing and product development at Valor, said, "Even good accurate DFM results can get caught up in the tangled web of fragmented data and unstructured communication channels, thus hampering efficiency, accuracy and speed. Our new vShare dashboard captures all relevant DFM data in a centralized environment so that all team members can work in real-time with the same, graphically-rich data set. Communications and workflow are streamlined for speed, efficiency and accuracy."

The product uses standard internet browsers within a secure, web-based environment, that allows users to import DFM results from the DFM tools, as well as attach third-party graphical or text objects. The project leader can then filter, group and prioritize issues ready for collaboration. During this phase, members can share ideas or comment on improvements and/or corrections for each issue, or group of issues, up and down the supply chain. Reports can be generated to document critical steps, project status and details, or final approvals, and template-driven instant reports can be used to track progress. The project manager can assign projects, actions or issues to particular individuals, and monitor events until complete sign-off and approval is reached.

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