Electronica 2014 (11 – 14 November in Munich) was for Eurocircuits the busiest ever. Our booth team was kept busy from beginning to end presenting our newest products and services to existing customers and more than 700 new prospects.
Interest was high in two new products launched at the show, and we received our first orders on the booth:
- eC-pre-heater for faster and more reliable hand-soldering and de-soldering.
- eC-test-mate – our award-winning fixtureless test system for populated PCBs.
Both have been developed in response to our prototype PCB customers looking for high reliability test and assembly solutions at prices suitable for small batch operation.
The eC-pre-heater has been developed to make manual soldering and de-soldering faster and more reliable by reducing heating times and the risk of thermal stress. This makes it particularly effective when soldering critical components or PCB layouts with a high heat-absorbency.
The eC-pre-heater gives you complete control over the pre-heating process.
- Load the PCB onto the machine and set your preferred height above the heaters or work on the glass
- Attach the external sensors to measure the actual temperature on the board, top and bottom, for maximum control of the process.
- Choose which sensor shall drive the controller
- Decide whether you want to use the front or both heaters
- Set the temperature that best suits this board or these components using the simple key-pad.
- When the display shows that the board has reached your chosen temperature, start soldering or de-soldering.
The low profile, ergonomic design and insulated casing make the eC-pre-heater comfortable, convenient and safe to use.
The eC-pre-heater is developed and produced by Eurocircuits and is now available for ordering.
See our eC-pre-heater in action here.
The eC-test-mate provides a cost-effective test solution for prototype and small-batch populated PCBs without losing the time and money needed to prepare test-fixtures. For many projects the cost/time needed for test-fixtures is prohibitive, making full programmed functional testing impossible. With eC-test-mate test or no test is no longer a question.
eC-test-mate comprises a docking station and 3 ergonomic test-heads. Each test-head has 21 test-pins and integrated hardware for a specific range of tests: test-head T1 for general applications; T2 to test communication interfaces and T3 to provide additional measurement functions as needed. Combined they offer comprehensive functional testing for small-batch assembled PCBs.
eC-test-mate is straightforward to use.
- Incorporate the test-head footprints into your design. If space is tight, the test-head-footprints can be placed on a snap-off coupon.
- Write your test program using eC-my-test software. Clear commands and structured menus make programming and debugging simple.
- Plug the test head into your PCB and run the test.
To help you to start testing even faster, we also offer an optional Starter Kit which consists of a populated demo PCB and the corresponding test-scripts.
For full information, manuals and footprint data for EAGLE and Altium CAD systems, click here.
Watch the eC-test-mate movie here.
We marked Electronica 2014 with extensions to our PCB pooling services. Many visitors new to our services also responded enthusiastically to the range of tools available on the website to validate their data-set and tailor it for their current order.
The extended services and new tools are all part of our ongoing strategy to offer electronics designers a single convenient location for all tools and services they need to bring their products to market on time and on budget.
- Smart menus – PCB Configurator. Visitors appreciated the data validation (Design for Manufacturability) tools build into our Cost Calculator menus, and the ability to run Design Rule Checks on the Gerber data and to view any potential manufacturing issues on screen thus avoiding any delays to delivery. A typical data validation scenario which rang bells with several of the designers was designing a board with 0.150 mm technology and then calling for 70 micron copper to handle heavy current. To ensure good etching and a reliable end-product 70 micron foil requires a minimum track/gap of 0.200/0.250 mm. Using the data validation in the Cost Calculator the designer can check this out early in the design cycle, minimizing the risk of a design re-spin. See our blog Optimum PCB Design Flow.
- Marking Editor. Designers welcomed the opportunity to place order numbers, logos, QR codes and other batch information exactly where they wanted them on their PCB.
- PCB PIXture. This new software package allows the designer to print a graphic image on his PCB as a black/white or gold image defined by the soldermask. There was considerable interest in this product at the show as designers felt that there is a strong trend to make visible more of the electronics in new products. PCB PIXture gives them the opportunity to make their designs stand out from the competition and to generate powerful messages to their customers.
- Panel Editor. In other cases designers needed to create special delivery panels to suit their PCB assemblers, whether in-house or sub-contractors. The Panel Editor allows them to do this online without the losing the time needed to make drawings.
Responding to the requests of our customers we have added new options to our pooling services. These include:
- 4-layer FR4 with 1mm thickness a standard option in STANDARD pool
- Blue and White solder mask are standard pooling options in STANDARD and BINDI pool
- eC-stencil now also in 100µm thickness
- BINDI pool: maximum order size now increased to 50 m2 for 2L boards and 25 sq. m2 for 4L.
- Mask PIXture available in BINDI pool
MOVIE: Electronica 2014 – an impression
This film gives a 1″30″ impression of the buzz at Electronica this year. We hope to see you there again in 2016, from 8 to 11 November.