A new CAD tool imports design files and quantitatively predicts product life.

Previous approaches to reliability assurance included “gut feel,” empirical predictions such as MIL-HDBK-217 and TR-332, industry specifications, “lessons learned” programs, failure mode effects analysis, and test-in reliability schemes. While these approaches can provide some value, it is felt that the most comprehensive analysis can best be done virtually using computer modeling of the circuit board in the intended environment. Such modeling can predict the life and reveal any design weaknesses before any prototype boards are even built.

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Why DIY machines will ring up big sales for some EMS/ODMs.

Self-service intelligent kiosks have evolved over the years, gaining increased functionality, yet have their origins in traditional food and beverage vending machines. These machines were originally electromechanical in design, but now are largely electronic today, with multiple embedded modules and communications functions integrated into the design.

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Want a quick response to the PCB assembly RFQ? Submit the full package of details.

Design projects that are actually completed with time to spare are few. We do what we can, but breaking new ground invariably uncovers a few snakes in the brush, and dealing with them takes time. That means that the next step – production ramp – starts behind schedule. At that point you need to get assembly quotes back ASAP so a choice can be made and the trigger pulled to get product flowing.

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A new study of nanocoatings allows users to visualize solder paste flow under the stencil.

Do nanocoatings really extend stencil underwipe intervals? As part of a larger stencil study we were performing for SMTAI,1 we decided to include a quick test. We’d take two of our nanocoated fine grain stencils and run one print per wipe vs. 10 prints per wipe on a really complex test vehicle.

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A coordinated design methodology fine-tunes chip-to-package PCB layout and routing.

When routing a ball grid array style package on a printed circuit board, have you ever wondered what the package designers were thinking when they came up with the pattern and pin assignments? Was there any consideration at all to the impact on the PCB? In most cases the answer is yes, but there was probably little the package designer could reasonably do to mitigate connectivity issues originating from the chip-level layout.

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The biennial’s show attendance and scale remain stellar, but the attention was on the next generation of miniature packages.

At first blush, the biennial Productronica trade show in November looked eerily similar to the 2011 event. The attendance and number of exhibitors were similar in numbers to years’ past, and several exhibitors even opted for the same booth locations as in 2011.

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