Eurocircuits Printed circuits blog

What keeps us busy at Eurocircuits, projects we are working at, new idea's, background information and a platform where you can participate, give your opinion and guide us to what is important for you as an electronics developer

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Posted by   Dirk stans  on 23 Jun 2015  | Posted under   eC-events Hits: 331

Project deadlines don’t take a summer break, so Eurocircuits doesn’t either; our full range of PCB manufacturing services is available throughout the year. We have no summer shutdown; we only close the plant for Christmas and New Year.

Our staff are committed to providing a continuous service with reliable deliveries all year round. And not just our production staff. Our support engineers are equally committed to sharing our knowledge of PCB fabrication with the design community. They make sure that there are engineers on hand every day to answer your chat requests.

As a board designer you need to be confident that your PCB supplier can offer fast and reliable deliveries whenever you need them. To achieve this needs experienced and specialist capacity planning. With no summer shut-down we must have spare capacity to accommodate machine downtime for planned maintenance, as well as to meet demand growth and demand spikes. We have generated this extra capacity through ongoing investments in new plant and equipment, including the Ledia V5 Direct Imaging system installed in January 2015. Capacity planning has allowed us to handle demand growth (orders up this year already 16% on the same period in 2014), and demand spikes (orders for March 2015 up 35% compared to March 2014) as well as routine maintenance, without weakening our on-time delivery rate.

And if something goes wrong? Where possible we have duplicated processes and machinery, and we have two plants in Europe geared specifically to PCB prototype production, both using the same business model we have refined over the past 15 years.

To see one of our factories in action, go to the video of the Eger, Hungary factory or in more detail How to make a PCB, also filmed in Eger. See another reason why, when you place your order, you can be confident that you will get the right board on the right day.

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Posted by   Dirk stans  on 12 Jun 2015  | Posted under   eC-events Hits: 463

De E&A beurs 2015 was een succes voor Eurocircuits.

Bijna 600 mensen hebben onze stand bezocht en hun contactgegevens nagelaten. Dat resulteerde woensdagavond weer in de eerste plaats tijdens de uitreiking van de marketing cup.

Foto – Chiel van Diest

De nieuwigheden die we tijdens de beurs presenteerden en waarover we met onze klanten in debat gingen deden het goed:

  • De resonantie van onze twee nieuwe service NAKED proto en SEMI-FLEX pool schijnt goed te zijn.

  • eC-placer als prototype gepresenteerd op de beurs wekt hoge verwachtingen. We zijn vastbesloten er mee door te gaan en producten voor uitlevering beschikbaar te hebben tegen kwartaal 4 van 2015.

 

We hebben ook deelgenomen aan het project rond de e-brace (omschrijving en info hier). Het was weer een hele toer om live op de beurs te produceren en logistiek alles voor mekaar te krijgen. Proficiat aan alle deelnemers.

Voor de techneuten willen we er nog op wijzen dat Elektor een forum is gestart omtrent de functionaliteiten van de e-brace en wat je der verder mee kan. Zij zullen dit onderwerp verder uitspinnen.

 

Verder gaven we een lezing tijdens het seminar "wat kan er virtueel in de elektronicaketen?" (programma en presentaties hier). Hoewel de opkomst van bezoekers aan het seminar eerder karig was, was de kwaliteit van de bezoekers en de reacties zeer goed. Het idee om productiespecialisten vroeg in het ontwikkeltraject te betrekken en als het kan eerst alles virtueel uit te voeren, spreekt velen aan. Het is een onderwerp waar we de komende jaren nog veel van zullen horen en waar Eurocircuits een prominente rol in speelt: "Making boards in the PCB Cloud®!" is bij ons een realiteit.

Samen met tbp hebben we het tot traditie verheven: de gezellige bar bij tbp met lekker Belgisch bier van Eurocircuits.

 

In het algemeen houden we een warm gevoel over aan de ontmoetingen met u, onze klanten.

Op naar de volgende editie in 2017.

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Posted by   Dirk stans  on 12 Jun 2015  | Posted under   eC-events Hits: 387

Het Vermogenselektronica Event vindt plaats op dinsdag 23 juni 2015 in het "1931 Congrescentrum", in de Brabanthallen in Den Bosch, NL. Het doel van dit event is de diversiteit van toepassingen, innovaties en kennis te tonen op het vlak van Vermogenselektronica.

Het programma is samengesteld in overleg met de TU Delft en de TU Eindhoven. Zo is een kwalitatief sterk programma neergezet waarbij zowel de praktijk als de wetenschap aan bod komen.

Alle marktspelers: toepassers, ontwikkelaars, toeleveranciers en kennisinstituten komen samen tijdens het Vermogenselektronica Event 2015. Met vakgenoten kan men visies, ervaringen en kennis uitwisselen.

Het congresprogramma met 31 lezingen, de verschillende exposanten en de netwerkmogelijkheden maken dit event tot een dag waar u zeker bij moet zijn. Er zijn lezingen over componenten, ontwikkeling en test- & meetapparatuur.

Plenair zijn er twee lezingen gevolgd door 28 parallelle lezingen. In de parallelle sessies komen volgende onderwerpen aan bod:

  • Quality Monitoring
  • Conversion
  • Application
  • Power Research

Het Vermogenselektronica event 2015 biedt de bezoeker de laatste ontwikkelingen op het gebied van Vermogenselektronica en de contacten in Nederland/Benelux om kennis te vergaren en zo toepassingen te verbeteren.

Eurocircuits is er ook bij. Bestel hier je gratis toegangsbewijs.

 

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Posted by   Dirk stans  on 27 May 2015  | Posted under   PCBA test Hits: 2091
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VIRTEC S.R.L., Hurlingham – Buenos Aires, Argentina, customer of eC-test-mate

VIRTEC S.R.L., located in Hurlingham, Argentina, is a committed user of the eC-test-mate. Its CTO, Mr Juan Andres Mondolo, chose the eC-test-mate (and its accompanying software eC-my-test) to cover all testing needs within the company. Already, Virtec has realized testing solutions for two products with the eC-test-mate, and more are coming up this year.

Virtec provides products for data collection in vehicles and transport applications as well as for environmental monitoring, e.g. for agricultural purposes. With over 300,000 systems sold, Virtec offers solutions for fleet monitoring and telemetry in several South American countries. In order to withstand harsh working conditions with high reliability, the products must be robust and the electronics must fulfill high requirements regarding durability and long term functionality.

Why choose eC-test-mate?

Virtec was one of the first companies to purchase an eC-test-mate, which was introduced at the Electronica 2014 trade fair in Munich. What were the main reasons for Virtec to choose the eC-test-mate?

As Mr Mondolo puts it: "We use the eC-my-test software for the development and execution of our product testing, and we ask our contract manufacturers to implement it as well, using our test scripts. This offers the possibility of a high level of production standardization and guaranteed quality at very low costs. Also, our trust in Eurocircuits as a supplier played a significant role" Virtec is an innovative company that releases six to eight new products every year. These include completely new products as well as variations of existing solutions.

"Flexible application is therefore a key requirement for any test equipment, and with the eC-test-mate we have found just that. We only have to incorporate a standard footprint in each PCB design, assign the 21 test points and write the test commands for every test pin. That is why we use the eC-test-mate in the development, as well as in the production phase of the PCB".

Before eC-test-mate....

Mr Mondolo explains that the eC-test-mate means a breakthrough for Virtec’s test strategy:

"Using this functional automated test system enables the company to test its PCBs thoroughly and in a shorter time period than before. A complete test of one of our newest product with the eC-test-mate, including programming of the firmware, takes around six minutes and now our contractors are able to process proximally 1600 tested PCBs per month. Additionally, providing the contract manufacturer with a user friendly and ready-to-use test solution helps to ensure that every PCB is tested to our specific requirements."

 

 

 

 

 

Standardization

As a result of this standardization of our testing process, it now becomes interesting to be able to store the test results. With eC-test-mate it is possible to store the results in a dedicated database via TCP connection. It also allows the programming of an ST microcontroller as part of the test process.

Virtec mainly uses the following eC-test-mate functions: Analog and digital in- and outputs, power supplies, UART, RS-485 and CAN. These functions are all included in either test head 1 or test head 2.

 

 

 

 

 

More possibilities in a very short learning period

According to Mr Mondolo, it took him only a few hours of ‘getting to know the program’ and working through a complete test development to master eC-my-test, and to be able to execute the first tests. The process was significantly easier than developing tests using standard programming languages such as C, C++ and Visual Basic.

"Overall the step from simple (manual) testing over connections and optical inspection to the implementation of the eC-test-mate was quite easy, and as we move forward we continue to see more advantages in working with the eC-test-mate system. We don’t need separate test fixtures or custom made beds of nails for our products, and we don’t have to purchase test software from yet another supplier. With one investment we now completely control the test development and test execution of all of our products and can therefore offer highly reliable and cost-effective solutions to our customers."

 

Virtec SRL, www.virtec.com.ar

Eurocircuits NV, www.eurocircuits.com/test

TEST-OK BV, www.test-ok.nl

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Posted by   Luc Smets  on 19 May 2015  | Posted under   eC-projects Hits: 785

WORLD PREMIERE LAUNCHED IN BELGIUM:
SMART LETTERBOX THAT ENABLES HOME PACKAGE DELIVERIES WHEN YOU ARE OUT

Concerns about delivery and complex returns from home are key reasons for consumers to avoid online purchases. Now, parcelhome.com has developed an all-new way for Belgian parcel delivery services to solve both problems at once. With its smart letterbox, this start-up has developed a package delivery system at home that both couriers and consumers can open using a smartphone app.

Carriers DHL Parcel, GLS and DPD see an opportunity to improve their service to consumers. Both carriers and consumers lose when no one is home to receive a package. At present, 15% of packages cannot be delivered on the first attempt, and in some residential areas up to 50% of deliveries fail. This trial in the Mechelen area is the first project in which multiple carriers cooperate to improve home delivery rates. The smartbox is the result of 18 months of research and development and has is covered by multiple patents.

 

Luc van Bosstraeten, parcelhome.com’s GM for Benelux explains. “It is as simple to use as your letterbox, but it contains breakthrough technology. You can use the system to allow package carriers and even local shops – like your baker – to deliver their products at home. The only thing the baker needs is the Parcelhome app. The system is totally secure and works with dynamic codes comparable to the codes used in online banking. The built-in scale issues a receipt, and the system can receive multiple packages from different carriers. As soon as a package is placed in the ParcelHome unit, the addressee is notified.”

This means that customers know exactly when a package has arrived or been picked up and what each carrier has done. Thanks to the scale, it is easy to send and return packages and there is no need to go to the post office. The ParcelHome unit calculates the delivery fee and franks the package, a carrier then comes and picks it up.

The ParcelHome unit is large enough for 95% of packages. At the moment the trial is limited to the homes of 100 online shoppers in the Mechelen area who will be testing the units from May until July. 
“It is high time for something like this,” says trial participant Gilles Van der Planken from Duffel. “My wife and I both work away from home. We order items online several times a month, from coffee capsules to nose spray to children’s toys. Having to drive somewhere to pick up a parcel is annoying. I hope that from now on ‘home delivery’ will mean that items are actually delivered to our home.”
It is not surprising that parcelhome.com kicks off in Belgium, because e-commerce has huge momentum in the country, and according to research by management consultancy AT Kearny Belgium is among the top ten growth markets. A number Belgian companies have contributed to the development of the smartbox including Quad Industries, Eurocircuits and Clear Channel Belgium. Eurocircuits also takes part in the trial.

But what really makes this project unique is the fact that several different carriers are co-operating for greater customer satisfaction. They clearly see that parcelhome.com is key to the future of e-commerce.

picture-1, picture-2, picture-3 Photo credit: parcelhome.com