PCB Checker shown at Electronica November 13 till 16

PCB Checker – the next level of PCB designer support.

At Electronica 2012 Eurocircuits launch PCB Checker, the latest update to their highly praised PCB Visualizer PCB data verification software tool.PCB Checker takes PCB Visualizer’s pre-order design rule check (DRC) to the next level. It provides a graphic display of the DRC results directly on your PCB layout.

Using PCB Checker’s clear menus and displays you can immediately filter the errors and view each type, stepping through from worst first. Correct your design data to enhance the manufacturability of your PCBs and to make sure that they fit into our lowest cost pooling service. You save time, you save money, and you save a frustrating search.

PCB Checker and PCB Visualizer allow you to check your designs prior to placing your order, using automated tools otherwise only available in professional front-end engineering software. You can place your pre-checked order confident that the data-set is complete and correct to the order and that your design data matches the most cost-effective of our pooling services. – Read more on the Eurocircuits blog 

Eurocircuits at Electronica 2012 – 13-16 November Hall A5-booth 314

PCB CheckerPCB Checker shows design rule check results directly on your PCB before you order.

At Electronica 2012 Eurocircuits launch PCB Checker, the latest update to their highly praised PCB Visualizer PCB data verification software tool.

Watch the Evertiq interview on electronica with our managing director Dirk Stans

PCB Checker – the next level of PCB designer support.

PCB Checker takes PCB Visualizer’s pre-order design rule check (DRC) to the next level. It provides a graphic display of the DRC results directly on your PCB layout.

Using PCB Checker’s clear menus and displays you can immediately filter the errors and view each type, stepping through from worst first. Correct your design data to enhance the manufacturability of your PCBs and to make sure that they fit into our lowest cost pooling service. You save time, you save money, and you save a frustrating search.

PCB Checker and PCB Visualizer allow you to check your designs prior to placing your order, using automated tools otherwise only available in professional front-end engineering software. You can place your pre-checked order confident that the data-set is complete and correct to the order and that your design data matches the most cost-effective of our pooling services.

Production data.

As soon as our engineers have completed the tool data preparation (see front-end-data-preparation) they now put the finished data back into PCB Visualizer. You can see every detail of the production data as it will be used to make your PCB. If our engineers have found any issues you can see exactly what they have queried, ensuring clear and effective communication.

Try PCB Visualizer and PCB Checker here.

Eurocircuits presenteert “PCB Visualizer” als Noviteit op HET Instrument 2012

U kan nog tot donderdagmiddag, 30-08-2012, voor de PCB Visualizer van Eurocircuits stemmen!

Tijdens de week van 25-28 september is het weer zo ver en kan u ons vinden op HET Instrument 2012, in Amsterdam, Hal 1 stand B031.

Deze beurseditie hebben we besloten mee te dingen naar de nominatie: “Noviteit 2012 van de branche Industriële Electronica (IE)”. Hiervoor hebben we onze nieuwste ontwikkeling “PCB Visualizer” als noviteit ingediend.

Waarom geloven wij dat PCB Visualizer een noviteit is?
PCB Visualizer, analyseert uw PCB data en vergelijkt deze met uw order data en toont uw print online op het scherm. De analyse gebeurt met dezelfde technische software en regels die wij intern gebruiken om uw print productieklaar te maken. Zo geeft de analyse, ook al loopt deze volledig automatisch, een realistisch beeld van mogelijke onduidelijkheden met uw order. Bovendien, en dat is wellicht meteen ook de grootste troef, gebeurt dit alles nog voor u de bestelling doorstuurt. U kan dus zelf, op voorhand, mogelijke anomaliën voorkomen. Bovendien staat PCB Visualizer in uw Eurocircuits klantaccount 24/24 en 7/7 ter beschikking zodat hij voor u werkt wanneer u dat wil. PCB Visualizer is een Eurocircuits software onwikkeling die technische CAM software en onze e-business software met elkaar integreert. Wil u meer weten over PCB Visualizer, lees dan onze BLOG over PCB Visualizer of ga direct naar de stempagina op de site van Het Instrument. Daar vindt u eveneens meer info en kan u direct uw stem uitbrengen. Stemmen kan tot donderdagnamiddag. Wij rekenen op u!

Zie de Eurocircuits PCB Visualizer in actie

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Vergeet niet te registreren voor een gratis toegangsbewijs voor de beurs.

Dat kan u hier meteen doen. Op deze manier steunt u ons ook voor de ranking in de marketing cup! Dank bij voorbaat.

Gadget. Terwijl u registreert kan u zich eveneens aanmelden voor het Gadget 2012, de “compass clock“. De compass clock,is ontworpen door YMIF engineering en de printen komen van Eurocircuits. Zeker doen!

Meer over hoe te registreren en over het aanmelden voor het gadget, vindt u in onze BLOG over HET Instrument 2012.

Verder willen wij u nog attent maken op het beursseminarie: “Design Automation & Embedded Systems” dat plaats vindt vrijdagochtend 28 september, zaal G104. Eurocircuits zal er een presentatie geven over “Eurocircuits goes visual” waar PCB Visualizer een wezenlijk deel van uitmaakt.

Wij kijken er naar uit u in Amsterdam te ontmoeten en hopen dat u voor ons STEMT en via ons REGISTREERT.

Met vriendelijke groeten,

Eurocircuits NV

 

Eurocircuits – Webinar following the D&E event in Holland.

What do PCB fabricators do with your data before they make your PCBs?

This year”s D&E event in Holland was followed by a webinar. For Eurocircuits this was the first webinar in our history. It took place on 20 June launched from the premises of XWebinar in Holland.

We announced the webinar to our customer base with the working title, “Front-end data preparation“. This raised a lot interest among our customers and around 140 were online when we started at 11H00. An hour and 20 minutes later over 120 were still with us. We would like to thank all those who took part.

The content of our webinar, “What do PCB fabricators do with your data before they make your PCBs”, can now be found online as a white paper.

The white paper covers all aspects of the presentation we made during the webinar. It has the added advantage that it contains links to the in-depth information on the web site for all the technical issues discussed. This means that it reads more smoothly than the presentation itself. However, if you wish to review the recording, you can do so here…


Since it was our first webinar, we were glad to learn from the valuable feedback we received. Our conclusions so far:

  • The webinar communication technique certainly fits for us and is highly appreciated by our customers
  • We need to improve drastically on the tools used to run the webinar to deliver a better experience
  • We should in future reduce the number of topics so that we can cover them more in-depth
  • We should repeat the same webinar several times on different dates so more people can join
  • We need to think about offering these webinars in more languages
  • You like our investment in visualization techniques
  • There can never be enough technical information available on the website
  • You like the BLOG that we have started this year bringing as much of our knowledge to you as possible
  • We should tell you more often what we do and what technical information is available

As we covered too many topics, not so many focused technical questions came out of the chat we were running. The conclusion here also is that we should continue to publish in-depth technical articles on our web site.

We have learned that visualization and modern communication tools in all their aspects are the right way forward for us. We are planning to go further on that journey and to take you with us should you choose to come.

Any comment is welcome below or at euro@eurocircuits.com

14th Annual D&E Event – Evoluon Eindhoven, The Netherlands – May 24, 2012

This year’s free Design Automation & Embedded Systems Event had a record number of exhibitors though the number of visitors overall was down on previous years. However the Eurocircuits stand was busy throughout the day as we gave our customers their first view of our new visualizer software tool and demonstrated our bench-top reflow soldering equipment, eC-stencil-mate and eC-reflow-mate.

This year’s theme was product development. The event focused on new hardware, software and testing technologies which can ensure a smoother and faster development process.

Visitors had a choice of 17 technical presentations given by the exhibitors who also provided a mini exhibition displaying their latest products and services aimed at embedded systems developers.

The event has its own permanent website at http://de.fhi.nl/event/programma. Log in to find all the exhibitors‘ technical presentations.

The website is mostly in Dutch but some presentations, like ours, are in English. Our presentation details the visual feedback which we provide on your PCB design from data entry to finished board.

Following this event Eurocircuits organized a webinar on 20 June 2012 at 11h00 CET. The webinar is posted online for those who missed the live session. The webinar answers the question “what do board fabricators do with your data before they make your PCBs?” As well as answering this question, it provides tips on designing for improved manufacturability and on clear data presentation.

D&E event 2012 – 24th of May – Evoluon – NL

Eurocircuits has been an active participant and supporter of the D&E event organized by the FHI since 2003.

2012 will be no exception; we will be there. We will give a presentation “Visual feedback on your PCB design from data entry to finished PCB”. The presentation will take place at 11H15 on Thursday 24 May. You can find an overview of the complete presentation program here.

Registering for the event is free and can be done here.

Following the D&E event, Eurocircuits will give a webinar on PCB data preparation, what happens to your data when it arrives at Eurocircuits. We will take you step by step through our internal data preparation flow. The webinar will focus on the influence of design on the quality and manufacturability of the PCB. It will include tips on how you can design for a more robust and lower cost finished PCB.

This webinar will take place on 20 June at 11H00. Subscribe through this link.

We would like to welcome you on 24 May in the Evoluon and on 20 June from behind your PC.

See you there.

The Eurocircuits team

Eyes on the future, feet on the ground – Technology seminar by ACB

On April 25, ACB organized their technology seminar….Eyes on the future, feet on the ground…

ACB, known in Europe as leading manufacturer of High Technology & Quick Turnaround Printed Circuit Boards, organized its first technology seminar.

The brand new CEO, Gilles Rigon, opened he seminar with explaining all about the ACB philosophy. “S” for simple and easy solutions where possible, “S” for souple and flexible processes and “S” for Solid and reliable processes and how they balance their “eyes on the future” with their “feet on the ground” approach. In fact, the importance of this balance would return in many lectures coming.


Arnaud Grivon, PCB/PCBA Technology expert from Thales showed us the possibilities and limits from stacked filled microvias and how design has a major impact on their reliability. This technology is required to make routing possible for fine pitch BGA or array components (pitch < 0.5 mm) using microvia-in-pad and filled stacked vias. The Cu filling is not only creating a smooth surface for assembly but can increase the reliability of the microvia too, as long as it is properly filled. Tests have proven that the aspect ratio is max 0.8. This means that microvias can only be filled completely in a thin insulation-layer. This sounds logic but this technology is highly sensitive and requires strict process control.

This brings us to the following presentation. Wim Perdu, CTO at ACB, spoke about the sense and nonsense of IPC requirements in design, process and inspection. For high density boards and fine pitch design, the feasibility of some requirements in IPC class 3 or class 3A is doubtful and not always relevant for better or more reliable quality, and the cost related with the required inspections is hallucinatory. He expressed what many of us think but don’t dare to say because we don’t want to awake sleeping dogs. Instead of attacking IPC standards, we try to set up workable methods to control our processes. We set up mechanisms to avoid failures instead of detecting them in a final product. And, indeed it is more important to know the capabilities of your supplier then to “overspecify” the products, since many aspects are hardly possible to inspect in a finished product and like Wim said: The reality is simple: if it is offered for free, it is not done.

The next presentation came from Jan Vanfleteren who is developing for IMEC- UGent/CMST flexible and stretchable circuits. There is an increasing demand for portable, wearable and implantable electronics and sensor systems. To achieve the needs for comfort, place and weight saving CMST developed a technology to integrate flexible ultra thin chip packages in stretchable circuits which are completely embedded in order to make them washable and implantable. This technology tries to make use of the existing standard PCB processes and uses temporary layers for support during processing. These support layers are removed later on and the result is complete embedding in elastic materials. Although this is an example of the “eyes on the future” aspect, we saw more than 1 realization of stretchable, dynamically deformable or integration in textile. The challenge now is to have these products developed and produced on an industrial scale.

Back to the essence now: Wim Huwel, NPI Engineer at ACB, convinced the attendees about the importance of the DFM (design for manufacturing). It implies an early cooperation between designer and PCB manufacturer. It combines tools and techniques to achieve better quality in a shorter development time and a more mature product at a lower cost. Early involvement makes it possible to guide designers to use the correct industrial design rules and chose the best material for their application. It also avoids creating the need of extra ordinary process capabilities. Use the design rules and keep it as simple as possible. He showed us many examples of how almost impossible build-ups were altered to the ACB “standard constructions”
= > For this reason, we, at Eurocircuits send out all these (sometimes annoying) remarks and exceptions. We share the same opinion: use the design guide lines, check the classification table and keep it simple!

Geert Willems, driving force behind the EDM-projects, at his turn continued with an exposé about via reliability. Too difficult to follow for most of us but he showed the need of physical models to understand the parameters that influence the reliability of vias such as via diameter, PCB thickness, the CTEz of the material and the Cu deposit with their degree of importance. He announced that all conclusions will be included in the new DfM Guideline coming soon.
=> As EDM-partner of the early hour Eurocircuits sat down with Geert on this subject some years ago. Based upon his reliability model, we defined the basic material parameters for the base material used in our pooling services. This lead to a better quality of lead free boards and zero material defects during the last 3 years.

Wim Christiaens, NPI Engineer at ACB, returned to the subject of stacked and filled micro-vias and the importance of well filling. He guided us through the challenges of the projects they set up to achieve this properly filled micro-via. He used different BGA configurations to explain the use and the importance of the µBGA design rule table and the relation with the PCB class. If you ever have the need for this technology, you should consider his involvement at an early stage. His explanation of this rather difficult subject was very clear!

The row of presentations was closed with a lecture from Johan De Baets, from IMEC-CMST about Embedded components in printed circuit boards. Traditional printed circuit boards have components on top and/or bottom. Embedded technology started around 1990 with printed resistors and capacitors to arrive at the current stage where silicon and chip become embedded in the PCB. During the last 15 years several methods were developed to embed active components too. Johan introduced the HERMES project: High density integration by Embedded chips for Reduced size and Electronic Systems. To be able to combine and optimize all the available existing technology from design, PCB, PBA and silicon dies many industrial players are working together in this project. It requires a complete new business model to make this project possible.

The event was held in the Verbeke foundations residence and proved to be a perfect location for contemporary art and technology crossover.

National Electronics Week a success

National Electronics Week 2012 took place at the NEC in Birmingham on 18 – 19 April. OK, it’s not really a week, but the organisers took over the name five or six years ago from a show almost lost in the mists of time.

Demand for prototype and small batch PCBs is strong. A lot of people came onto the stand asking specifically how we could offer them a better prototype and small batch service. We explained our pooling services and demonstrated how to get prices off the website. The response to the website and to the prices was very positive and we received our first order from a new customer two days after the end of the show.

We met a number of customers as well, always a pleasure. Several had come specially to see the beta version of the new PCB Visualizer software which had its first public viewing at the show. The new software will allow you to see your board layers as soon as the job is uploaded, so that you can check right away that everything looks OK. PCB Visualizer will be rolled out over the next few weeks and more functionality will be added during the rest of the year to make handling data issues clearer and quicker.

On a lighter note our stand was a few metres from the “Bobs Box AKA the Cyclone Game Cube” as-seen-on-TV challenge. Competitors stand in a transparent box and try to catch as many red balls as they can out of a shower of balls of many colours being blasted up from the floor. Google it for YouTube videos. This proved a big crowd-puller, especially when one or two short-skirted stand hostesses were trying. No pictures of them, I’m afraid, but you can see Uwe Doerr in action.

eC-workshop report – reflow soldering SMD PCB prototypes- Belgium 22-03-2012

Overview of our first seminar 22-03-2012 and dates for future seminars.

We started with a warm welcome and the registration of our participants accompanied by a cup of coffee. 19 out of 20 preregistered participants found their way to ARCOSS for our first seminar on reflow soldering of SMD PCB prototypes.

Dirk Stans spoke a word of welcome and gave an overview of the planning for the day. Dirk continued with the Eurocircuits history for the last 20 years followed by a brief overview of Eurocircuits services.

The introduction of the eC-prototype-equipment was the next item on the agenda. Here Dirk explained why Eurocircuits have entered into this venture and explained the two machines eC-stencil-mate and eC-reflow-mate and their specification in detail. Special focus was laid on the difference between reflow chamber soldering and its solder curves and reflow soldering in a throughput oven.


 

 

Next Ben Verwaest, MD of ARCOSS, explained the process of reflow soldering with all its phases in great detail, accompanying his exposé with many practical tips and do”s and don”ts.

Ben also explained the correct use of the screen printing process and the materials and consumables to be used. This led into an explantion of the specially developed eC-kits of consumables and tools for every function in the process: eC-stencil-mate-kit, eC-reflow-mate-kit, eC-equipment-starter-kit and the eC-ESD-kit.

Lunch time. The company ARCOSS pleased the group with a nice sandwich lunch. As the weather Gods were favoring us with some nice sunny skies, we could enjoy it all outside on the terrace.

After lunch, it was Uwe”s turn. Uwe Dörr, our application specialist for the eC-equipment and project manager for the development of the eC-equipment, demonstrated the screen printing with the eC-stencil-mate.

Ben then showed the quality of the printing under a microscope and proved that he still possesses a pair of skilled hands by mounting the components with tweezers.

Some customers participated in the population of boards as we made more than one. After that only the reflow soldering with the eC-reflow-mate remained to achieve a finished assembled prototype board. This went smoothly convincing all of the soldering qualities of the eC-reflow-mate.

All materials used during the workshop are available from Eurocircuits :

Spare parts and starter kits

eC-solder paste (140 gr)

– eC-stencil wipes and eC-wipes

 

 

The next part was dedicated to the practical skills of the ARCOSS team.

Hand soldering of a fine pitch PQFP-208 pins gull wing component made quite an impression on the participants. The ease with which Ben Verwaest soldered this component to the board with a mini wave soldertip left an impression and convinced people this was not rocket science but something of which one should learn the practical tricks and then start doing it. In the second part, the BGA soldering of individual components, ARCOSS application engineer Sven played the main role. Sven used the PACE solder and rework BGA/QFN station to perform the job.

 

All was inspected with the companies X-ray machine, which by itself made a good demonstration of what is possible with that technique. All together it proved to be a useful day which brought us many positive and useful feedbacks.

This positive feeling and the fact that we already had more candidates for attending the seminar than we had available places led us to decide to repeat this seminar another 3 times. The dates we planned for this are the 15th, 22nd and 23rd of May. Registering for any of these days can be done using the registration link below which will open a registration page and form. Please fill in your details and the day of your choice. Please use the form to register as it will help to smooth the process and keep an overview of who registered when. The places for each day are limited to 20 and are assigned on a first come first served basis. The limit of 20 participants is of a practical nature and helps us to keep the quality of interaction with the audience high.

Update 10/05/2012 : There are no places available anymore for the seminars on May 15, 22 and 23. We will keep you informed about future seminars we organise

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More PCB added value on Stand 131 at National Electronics Week 2012 18 – 19 April, NEC Hall 2, Birmingham

PCB Visualizer will preview at the show

  • PCB Visualizer is Eurocircuits” latest added-value PCB service. Upload your data for an order or just a quotation. In seconds the new software will display every layer of your PCB just as it will be produced.
  • Instantly check each layer to make sure that it is what you need. Check that all the data is present and that the stack-up is correct. No need for a Gerber viewer. PCB Visualizer confirms your CAD output in realistic colours with full pan and zoom functionality.
  • Of course, our engineers check your board data 100% before we put an order into production or give you a confirmed quote. But if a quick glance shows you something that needs changing, you can correct it and upload new data and minimise lost time.
  • The first version of PCB Visualizer will be live online shortly. There will be new functionality added over the next few months to make buying boards from Eurocircuits even easier and even faster..

What else is new for 2012.

  • Faster PCB pricing and ordering for the first-time user. Get immediate prices online for all our pooling services without registering as a user – and store your prices in a basket for later ordering. Or order at once – your order goes straight into production with no administration delay.
  • New Design For Manufacturability (DFM) tool. An even copper density ensures optimum plating quality.Our new plating simulation tool can help you to achieve this. Use our “Place Inquiry” option and our engineers will produce a full manufacturability report on your board including a copper density visualisation map. DFM analysis can cut board costs up to 20%.
  • New technical support resources. The “PCB Design Guidelines” document is downloaded more than 30,000 times a year. Now we have added moretechnical papers as well as technical blogs and videos to help you design more robust and lower cost PCBs.
  • New bench-top reflow soldering equipment. We will show the latest models of our eC-stencil-mate solder-paste printer and eC-reflow-mate reflow oven, upgraded after feedback from more than 200 users in first 9 months of sales.

What’s old on the stand?

  • Always a warm welcome from our PCB and reflow-soldering experts ready to show you all the new features and answer your questions.
  • Our well-established order pooling services keep your costs down without compromising quality or delivery. We offer the widest range of pooling options including aluminium-backed and fine-line PCBs.

See us on Stand 131 at National Electronics Week, Hall 2, NEC, Birmingham 18 – 19 April 2012.

Can”t make the show? Visit our homepage to check out the new features or contact Patrick Martin on 07834 281514 or atpatrick.martin@eurocircuits.com.