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Pick, Place, Podcast

Author: CircuitHub and Worthington

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The Pick, Place, Podcast is a show where we talk about electronics manufacturing and everything related to getting a circuit board into the world. Join hosts Chris Denney from Worthington and Melissa Hough from CircuitHub as they discuss the pcb assembly process, design tips that will make your manufacturer love you, and talk to industry guests.
59 Episodes
We're very excited to have Mike Konrad, founder of Aqueous Technologies as well as host of his own podcast, Reliability Matters, back on the show.We first had Mike on the show to discuss the history of board cleaning, the electronics the industry's transition to primarily using no-clean flux, and why more and more companies are reintroducing board cleaning back into their assembly process. Mike recently reached out to us and offered to talk about the 2018 changes to the IPC cleanliness standards and why adoption of the new standard has been slow at best due to the lack of understanding of the standard's details. We of course jumped at the opportunity... We hope you enjoy this episode that is most definitely more entertaining than watching grass grow. Listen to Chris on the Being and Engineer podcast 
This week we are joined by Valentina Ratner and Kyle Dumont, co-founders of Valentina and Kyle met while doing an MBA program at Harvard and realized they both shared a common frustration - the lack of asynchronous design review tools available for electrical engineers despite such tools being readily available for other engineering fields like mechanical and software.  Thus they joined forces to create AllSpice.AllSpice is a git platform for hardware engineers that helps them to accelerate their time to market by enabling modern revision control and collaboration for native electronic designs.We had a great time having them on the show to learn more about AllSpice as well as Valentina's hatred of sharp-edged rectanglesShow links:AllSpice website: allspice.ioThe Git for Hardware Guide: / Demo:
CircuitHub CAM engineer, Dave Wilcox is back on the show to teach us more about the PCB fabrication process. In our last episode with Dave, we went into the fine details of drilling a PCB. Today we move on to the next step Outer Layer Imaging. 
We apologize for our extended break! Chris has been hard at work from morning til late at night every day setting up Worthington's two new Fuji pick and place machines. Now that some of the dust has settled we hope to get back on a more regular recording schedule. We've had several requests from our listeners to have an episode on on impedance control, which is unfortunately a topic Chris and Melissa have little expertise on. Fortunately we were able to connect with Ryan Miller from NCAB group who specializes in the subject and kindly agreed to come on the show to give  us a lesson on what impedance control is, in what situations is it necessary, and more. 
In episode 19, we focused on the different types of depanelization methods that can be used during assembly. In this episode, we take a deeper dive into panelization, how we decide what panelization methods and sizes to use, and how this informs depanelization. 
In this episode, which might just be our nerdiest one yet, we are joined by Sam Feller, aka The Awkward Engineer.  First and foremost he would like everyone to know that he is the awkward one, the engineering is top notch.Sam is a long time Worthington/CircuitHub customer, product manager at Tulip, former engineer at Amazon, and founder of the Awkward Engineer where he works on quirky hardware project and now does consulting! It was a pleasure to have Sam on the show. Some of the topics we touch on include: Why having common stock parts set up on reels is not actually the simplest idea to execute.Interesting sourcing stories.Soldering techniques for building prototypesThe importance of having structured processes in place for your hardware of software development team .Sam's vickrey auction for his Voltmeter ClocksIf you want to get in touch with Sam you can email him at
We're back! In this episode we talk about what we were busy doing on our "break", the different types and formats that solder comes in, and some unfortunate consequences that sometimes occur while eating chips. 
Last week Chris was a guest on the Coriolis Effect, a podcast hosted by Bil Herd and Ben Jordan. Since we are still on hiatus (and because the episode was so great) we decided to repost the conversation. Don't worry, we expect to be back next episode with some new, fun and content and plenty of pet peeves! 
Sometimes things are difficult to build....enter the help of custom tooling! In this episode, we highlight some of the applications for which we might order custom tooling, how they can help us assemble boards more efficiently and accurately, and some things you might want to do if you'd like to avoid custom tooling becoming necesesary.Show Links:Stentech products
Intrusive soldering, also known as pin-in-paste,  is a method that uses solder paste to solder the thru-hole leads instead of hand soldering, wave soldering, or selective soldering. If designed properly, it's a great way to save time and money during pcb assembly. In this episode, we discuss how intrusive soldering is done,  challenges associated with this process, and design recommendations. Episode links:Wurth USB-C GuideOur favorite USB-C port
Flux is friend. Not foe.To create a solder joint, you have a lot working against you. Boards, parts, the’s all very cold compared to the melting point of solder. Those are easily overcome with a good heat source in the way of a soldering iron, wave solder, or selective solder. However, none of this will do you a lick of good without flux because metal oxide is the biggest challenge you have to combat.In this episode, we go over flux's role in fighting the oxide layer that forms during PCB assembly, the basic chemistry of flux, what cold solder joints are, and more. 
It's a fact of life that defects and failed boards will sometimes occur, which is why it's so important to have a debugging procedure prepared to help your CM know how to move forward.  In this episode, we talk about best practices on how to work with your CM when these problems arise.  
We've finally managed to convince CircuitHub CAM Engineer, Dave Wilcox, to come back on the show to continue our series about the intricacies of PCB fabrication.  If you're just tuning in, we recommend you listen to our episodes about Inner Layer Production and PCB Drilling Basics before this one. In this episode, we cover some of the finer details of PCB drilling including what the drilling setup physically looks like and tips you can implement to save your PCB fab time.  We also learn that Melissa really needs to work on her email management setup. 
Similar to our discussion on ESD a few episodes back, moisture is also a "silent killer" for many electronic components. In this episode, we talk about what kind of damage moisture can cause in components, what precautions we take in the factory when working with moisture-sensitive devices, the different levels of moisture sensitivity, and measures you should take at home to protect your MSDs. Chris also has an excellent pet peeve related to public bathroom doors. Show links:Complimentary digital download of the ANSI-S20.20-2014 spec A Minute with MirandaIPC Handling Moisture-Sensitive DevicesNon-reversible humidity indicator cardsIPC/JEDEC J-STD-020E PreviewIPC/JEDEC J-STD-033D PreviewUline heat sealerMoisture barrier bag selection chart Silica gel packs on Amazon
IPC is a global trade organization whose goal is to help OEMs, EMS, PCB manufacturers, and suppliers build electronics better. They provide numerous standards covering the electronics manufacturing supply chain as well as engineering education and training.  We're very grateful to have IPC employees Teresa Rowe, Sr. Director, Assembly & Standards Technology and Patrick Crawford,  Manager of Design Standards and Related Industry Programs join us in this episode. We discuss how the standards created by IPC provide value,  the process that goes into creating and updating different standards, how members can take advantage of IPC's extensive offerings, and more. This episode also features our best pet peeve yet! If you'd like to submit a comment on one of the standards feel free to email For interest in the PCB design competition email * Edit: At  1:06 Patrick wanted to note that he was referring to perpendicular routing, not parallel. 
In today's episode, we are joined by Darren Beckwith, CTO of Barnacle Systems.  Barnacle Systems is a startup based in Victoria, Canada which provides security and monitoring products for boats and yachts. We chat with Darren about his many years working at Carmanah Technologies where he worked as a firmware engineer along with a larger engineering team and some of the struggles he encountered after transitioning to a much small startup. Show Links:SNL: NPR's Delicious Dish
ESD (Electro Static Discharge) is an invisible, silent killer for PCBs. Protecting your boards from ESD damage while they're in the factory and being shipped to you is something we take very seriously.  In today's episode we talk about what ESD is,how it damages your boards, and measures that should be taken to prevent this damage from occurring including what you can do at home.   Episode Links:ESD AssociationESD OverviewThe dangers of ESDWhat is a Faraday cage? Anti-static vs static shielding bagsUline Anti-static bagsVisual of microcircuit ESD damage The wormESD table matMat grounder Wrist strap groundersHeel strap groundersSmocksESD continuous monitorAffordable ESD mat kitESD gas station fire
Consigned material is material purchased and sent to the CM by you, the customer.  From your CMs point of view, managing consigned material can sometimes be tricky, especially if the material does not arrive how they were expecting it to. Here are our recommendations on how you can send your consigned material that will make the process go as smoothly as possible.
In this episode, we are joined by Duncan Lowder and Joe Selvik, co-founders of  FixturFab, to learn about how to develop a PCBA functional test system. FixturFab is a software design platform that uses generative Computer-Aided Design (CAD) technologies to automate the design process of PCBA Functional Test Fixtures.  They can assist with Mechanical Fixture, the Test Instrumentation, and Test Software for both small prototype runs and mass production. Show links:FixturFab BlogFlying Probe TestersIn-Circuit TesterWire Bonding MachineIngun Test Fixture
In today's episode, Chris teaches us about different categories of components that don't use a traditional surface mount or through-hole mounting methods. Think epoxy mounting, press-fit, mechanical assembly, swaging hardware, snap sockets, dome switches, hot bar soldering wires and cables, adhesive tape, and RTV. Exciting news, Chris is a guest host on Hackaday Chat! Join him on Wednesday, February 9, 2022, 12:00 pm PST (3 PM eastern): links:Epoxy capacitor mounting explainedTE whitepaper discussing the details of press-fit partsPress-fit design and assembly considerationsHow to determine a torque specificationSnap socket exampleDome switch exampleHot bar soldering machine3M VHB TapeMG Chemicals RTV
Comments (1)

Gamer of Persia

My final project is about AOI. I have learned a lot after listening this episode. Thank you

Jan 25th
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