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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
We talk a lot about equipment and techniques used to assembly PCBs, but wanted to dedicate an episode to focus on the people who are actually getting the work done.  In this episode, we talk to Worthington employee, David Mulherin, about how to keep work output high in a high-stress manufacturing environment while also making sure factory workers feel like they are valued.
Chinese New Year (aka Lunar New Year or Spring Festival) is a welcome and well-deserved break for Chinese workers. However, it is also a notoriously stressful time for the global manufacturing industry. In today's episode, we give you a manufacturer's perspective of why it is usually such a disruptive period. Links:Some fun (non-manufacturing related) facts about Chinese New YearInformation on 2022 Chinese New Year closures China post-Lunar New Year job exodus
We love it when PCB orders run through the assembly line smooth as butter. Inevitably, however, sometimes things do get delayed. On today's episode, we sat down with CircuitHub Production Manager, Rob OConnell, on the biggest showstoppers that cause orders to run late and some things customers can do to prevent this from happening. Chris' KiCon 2019 Talk - Your Manufacturer is Stupid The Perfect 0402 Footprint
First articles, also known as batch run or first-run amongst other terms, is when a customer requests the first several finished PCBAs from a production run be delivered for inspection before the entire quantity is built. In this episode we go over when it's appropriate to request first articles (and when it's not), the difference between first articles and prototypes, examples of how using first articles has benefitted our customers. Chris also introduces us to his fascinating new theory regarding the pen industry. How to request first articles from CircuitHub
Worthington is in the process of upgrading its pick and place machinery. In order to do that requires a long process of evaluating potential new suppliers. Chris walks us through what that journey is like, why a contract manufacturer may need to upgrade its equipment, his recent in-person visit to one of the suppliers they've narrowed down to, and more! 
This episode is dedicated to fiducials which, for those who are unfamiliar with the term, are the small copper dots you may have seen on your bare PCB. We get into the details of what they are, where and why are they are used, and how you can use them in your design. you are already using fiducials in your designs tweet us a photo or screenshot of them with the hashtag #fiducialsFTW :) 
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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