Eurocircuits releases eC-reflow-mate V4

PCB Services | eC Solutions
Eurocircuits product news – eC-reflow-mate V4 released

Eurocircuits product news – eC-reflow-mate V4 released

As you know, here at Eurocircuits we are continuously working hard to bring Services, tools and equipment to the Electronics design market to provide for the prototype and small series electronics market.

Services to offer great quality PCBs and Solder Paste Stencils.

Tools in the form of PCB Visualizer to provide automated verification, editing and quotations to allow the shortest possible concept to market solution. Equipment to empower designers to produce professional quality assemblies in Prototype and small series quantities.

With this in mind, Eurocircuits is very pleased to announce the launch of our long awaited eC-reflow-mate V4, the successor to our very popular Bench top reflow oven. We have redesigned the eC-reflow-mate and the eC-reflow-pilot software based on feedback from our customers to provide the most professional Bench-top reflow oven on the market.

You can find the eC-reflow-mate in your Off-The-Shelf section of your Eurocircuits account, just select “add to basket” and “proceed to checkout”, it is that easy.

If you have any questions about this or any other service please feel free to get in touch and we will be more than happy to help. Try out our online chat!

Blogs

Company news

Production

eC-tools

eC-equipment

  • eC-placer: fast, accurate PCB prototype assembly solution./li>

If you would like us to produce a blog or white paper on a particular aspect of PCB manufacturing technology or PCB soldering, e-mail us at euro@eurocircuits.com

Interact with us

The best way to share ideas and knowledge is face to face.

Come and meet us at

Eurocircuits meets students

EUROCIRCUITS TIPS & TRICKS – OUTLINE EDITOR




Eurocircuits Tips & Tricks – Outline editor

Often we are contacted through our online chat or e-mail saying “I have uploaded my data but PCB Visualizer is not showing my holes inside the board” or “I have a message – no outline detected“.

These are common questions occurring because PCB Visualizer cannot automatically determine these details when more than one result can be found.

Never fear, we have developed a tool specifically to help in these situations which is easy to use and very intuitive. You can find a great blog here we have created to explain the tools and how to use them, alternatively you can also click the video below to view our 3 minute video tutorial.

If you have any questions about this or any other service please feel free to get in touch and we will be more than happy to help. Try out our online chat!

Blogs

Company news

Production

eC-tools

eC-equipment

  • eC-placer: fast, accurate PCB prototype assembly solution./li>

If you would like us to produce a blog or white paper on a particular aspect of PCB manufacturing technology or PCB soldering, e-mail us at euro@eurocircuits.com

Interact with us

The best way to share ideas and knowledge is face to face.

Come and meet us at

Eurocircuits meets students

Eurocircuits presents PCB Assembly Visualizer

Your designs are electronic applications, which you would like to build. Our goal is to help you to do this, right first time.

Virtually simulating the production, allows us both to examine future results before we physically build anything thus saving time and money.

Until recently our PCB Visualizer tool allowed you to do all of this, for the bare board.

We have now taken this philosophy one production step further, and are presenting our new PCB Assembly Visualizer. Visualizing the components on the bare board allows a whole new set of Design Rule Checks and Design for Manufacturability checks.

 

The help we offer is called PCB Assembly Visualizer. It contains:

  • A database of verified components
  • A set of visual online tools:
    • BOM-editor analyses your components
    • CPL-editor places your components on the bare board

 

We have prepared a video with a demo session that will clarify all these issues for you.

 

We are convinced, that if your design is processed through our PCB Visualizer and PCB Assembly Visualizer, thus offering you a validated BOM and CPL, the access to Electronic Manufacturing Services for your prototypes and small series, will be easier.

Unnecessary overheads are avoided and machine setup times are shortened, allowing EMS companies to make money with smaller orders, which will be better affordable for designer customers.

Our aim is not to manage all components but to do so for the current components. Our Indian team of engineers started to build the database, currently based on BOM-lists that our beta-test customers are uploading. Each time a new part is selected, from a supplier databases that we can access, the part description and footprint are verified and added to our database. We are not looking for all possible parts, as we do not want to build a historic database of components, but a database of components that are currently being used by our customers. The number of orders, passing daily through our systems, guarantees that our database will have the potential to grow rapidly.

Until now our customers are used to only supply us the bare board data. We invite all to participate in our beta process and to upload the BOM and CPL files together with the bare board data. This option will be available until we have reached our daily capacity for BOM processing. Participating in this beta phase will assure that your BOM and CPL specifics will be covered by our system, once we deploy it and that your components are verified and are in our database. Our engineers will analyse your BOM list and add all missing parts and footprints to our database. After analyses, the PCB Assembly Visualizer will be available in your online customer account, in the running orders section. You can then view your PCB including components and all DRC results.

 

Your PCBA prototypes and small series, right first time, is our goal!

Eurocircuits launches SMS messaging for time critical orders !

Eurocircuits launches SMS messaging for time critical orders

Whenever you are in need of a very fast turn around time for your PCB order or when you have a critical delivery to be made and you want full instant control of the production flow of your board, you can initiate SMS-massaging for your order.

By just inputting your mobile phone number in the order input menu, you trigger the SMS-messaging service. On any of these steps in the flow you will receive an SMS calling for action on our website, or just notifying you of the next step in the flow: pre-production approval, exception, order confirmation, shipped, payment required.

With SMS-messaging, you will not miss out on any important occurrence.

Technical blogs

Production:

eC-tools:

eC-equipment:

EAGLE:

If you would like us to produce a blog or white paper on a particular aspect of PCB manufacturing technology, PCB soldering or EAGLE CAD, email us at euro@eurocircuits.com

Interact with us

The best way to share ideas and knowledge is face to face.

Come and meet us at:

  • Electronics Design Show 2016:
    Ricoh Arena, Phoenix Way, Coventry CV6 6GE, UK.
    You can find us at stand L46 from October 19th-20th, 2016. Free tickets can be obtained here.
  • MATELEC 2016:
    IFEMA – Feria de Madrid, Av. Partenón, 5, 28042 Madrid, Madrid, Spain.
    You can find us at stand 4D24 from October 25th-28th, 2016.
    Free tickets van be obtained here. Use CODE “MA160000203XE” to complete the registration for your free ticket.
  • D&E event 2016:
    Congrescentrum 1931, Brabanthallen, Oude Engelenseweg 1, Den Bosch, The Netherlands, 2nd of November 2016.
    Free Tickets can be obtained here.
  • Electronica 2016:
    Neue Messe Munich, Hall A5, booth 502 from 8-11 November 2016.
    We are proud that we can offer all of our Eurocircuits contacts a voucher for day ticket.

Your unique code is:

You can activate this code and obtain your free ticket as explained in this video:

Eurocircuits meets students:

Pooling Conditions No Longer Met!

In principle any PCB order can be pooled with other orders. Basically there is only one condition that needs to be met: We have enough similar orders to join together into one larger production order. However, it does not simply end there for us, we also need to ensure that the technology of the orders is compatible and their ordered quantities match.

For many years now our calculator has dealt with the technological aspects of order pooling. Our PCB Configurator will flag up any restriction with the technology requested by the customer which is making pooling unpractical. If a board cannot be pooled, the cost of board production increases significantly because it has to be manufactured separately on its own production panel.

We have now equipped our PCB Configurator with a comparable logic for order size mismatches. The larger the order, the less practical the order pooling will be. Based on the size of your PCB/customer panel we calculate how many production panels will be needed to produce the order. If for our STANDARD pool service, the number of production panels needed to make the order will be larger than 25, then order pooling is no longer viable. In that case we calculate the order as non-pooling. The PCB/customer panel size will influence the production panel efficiency factor which will be the major cost driver for the board price.

In case PCB configurator finds a non-pooling condition, it will flag it up under remarks explaining the reason for it and will highlight coins next to the order details that are the cause of this condition. At the same time under remarks we specify the “production panel efficiency” as a %. This makes it possible to adapt the size of your PCB/customer panel to a more efficient size driving the “production panel efficiency” up and thus the price per piece down or specially for small orders to increase the quantity to better fill the production panel at the same total order price.

Two examples will explain better what is involved.

Non-poolable technological option and production panel fill
A 4-layer board, 65x55mm in reverse build making it non-pooling and this as a 2 piece’ prototype order.

Non-pooling means we have to make one production panel for this order and cannot fill the empty space with other orders. The production panel efficiency is 4%.

More boards will fit on the panel. You may increase the number of boards thus increasing the production panel efficiency. Increasing the quantity to 40 will upgrade the production panel efficiency to 81% and will hardly move the total price.

Non-poolable quantity and inefficient customer panel

A double sided board 65x55mm in customer panel in BINDI pool +/- 1.600 pieces needed.

Using a more or less square customer panel of 4×4 has a production panel efficiency factor of 59% and will result into a price per piece of 16.23€/16 = 1.014€.

Simply changing the customer panel to 5×3 will solve all remarks and results into a price per piece of 10.64€/15 = 0.709€ or 30% less by simply permitting us to utilise the production panel space more efficiently.

These two examples explain two classic cases of optimizing non-poolable orders by either filling the one production panel in case of a small prototype order or optimizing the production panel efficiency by opting for the ideal customer panel size. In both cases we have a WIN-WIN situation between our customers and Eurocircuits by keeping the non-usable area to a minimum. Our PCB Configurator helps you doing that.

More background info:

Non-poolable quantities counted in more than “X” production panels per service are:

  • STANDARD pool – 25 production panels
  • BINDI pool – 25 production panels
  • IMS pool – 25 production panels
  • RF pool – 10 production panels
  • SEMI-FLEX pool – 5 production panels
  • NAKED proto – 5 production panels


Production panel size are:

  • 0L, 1L, 2Layer – net area of 581mm x 428mm
  • Multi layers
    • net area of 501mm x 431mm (except RF pool)
    • net area of 501mm x 356mm for RF pool

IMPORTANT REMARK

All size and production panel efficiency calculations in PCB Configurator are made using the rectangular contour of the PCB/customer panel.

For all complex shapes or very complex panelisations, we advise our customers to make use of the “Launch Inquiry” option in the service selection page.

Order pooling is Eurocircuits’ mission.

If you want to know all about order pooling and its history, then read our BLOG: “The history of order pooling”.

USB – programmer and debug adapter


One problem designers have always faced is the ability to program various microcontrollers especially when each runs and requires different software and interfaces to program them, meaning that you need to have various adaptors and software knowledge for each of them …..

Until now, a programming adapter was just an interface between the microcontroller and the matching flash- or debug software. The USBprog already contains these softwares which can be accessed via a network and a web service using a browser. A first time user will gain easy access to program or debug the microcontroller using any operating system and any computing device.

Buy it from the Eurocircuits online shop.

The USBprog 5.0 OpenOCD is a programming- and debug adapter that can be managed from a Windows, Mac or Linux PC without the need to install additional software. In the simplest case you can operate it via a web browser. If the programmer should be triggered by a batch- or make file, there is a simple command tool available.

 

-ARM JTAG / SWD debugger and programmer
-AVR ISP programmer for flashing standard processors
-Level converter (Adjustable 1.8V, 3.3V and 5.0V)
-Browser interface for easy operation
-Manual for integration into the Atmel AVR Studio 6
-Web service interface for a command line tool
-Connection Via USB network interface (RNDIS)
-Firmware archive to import a software easy in to production repeatedly

The USBprog 5.0 combines many programmers in a single device. Operated via a browser, there is no need for configuring the device. The USBprog 5.0 works with Windows 7 and 8, MacOS and Linux.

To start: plugin the device, setup a network connection and connect via browser http://10.0.0.1 Programming and debugging has never been so easy.

Further information you will find here: Embedded Projects Website

The difference between Production and Prototype quality and how to bridge the gap?


Historically electronic designs have a clear evolution. A design is made and created on breadboard to check functionality and then a board layout is created and put to production.

We have obviously made light year leaps since those days of single and 2 layer boards and now 4 and 6 layer boards are the norm with greater and greater density and smaller and smaller components being used to constantly stay competitive in this micro world.

Once the design is proven and goes to mass production then hundreds of thousands of these circuits can be produced at high speed and precise accuracy, which is perfect.

But… when you want to prove your concept and design before mass production, what then? This first stage of designing and manufacturing these concept prototypes, who will build your boards? Most production companies cannot offer cost effective solutions for producing 1 -10 prototypes. The work alone to break down and setup for a quantity of 1 or 1000 is the same and very labour intensive.

The solution is to build up your prototype in-house, in your lab where build up is cost effective and timely and if design changes should be required, they can be made “on the fly”.

This seems logical, but we still have the problem of the size of the components and the density of the board layout being prohibitive for manual assembly. In the past, accurate and controlled equipment has been reserved for EMS/OEM companies with expensive solder paste printers, costly paste stencils, automatic Pick and Place machines, chip shooters, reflow ovens, etc…

So how do you manufacture your prototypes without the space or budget for this large production equipment and the skills to setup all these different machines? This is where a huge gap appears keeping the designer in the dark ages limiting construction to the basic tools like a soldering iron, magnifying glass and tweezers.

But there is hope for these engineering superheroes! Eurocircuits noticed that nobody considered the difficulties faced by engineers and specifically designed and developed equipment to allow prototype designers manufacture to high end specification of accuracy and quality of production equipment.

Desktop solder paste printer (eC-stencil-mate) offering a small machine footprint, a high accuracy and a simple set-up – no more need for expensive paste stencils:

Manual pick and place machine (eC-placer) providing high accuracy placement of small SMD and fine pitch components – no more eye strain, employing camera assisted placement.

Benchtop reflow oven (eC-reflow-mate) with precise temperature profile control and surface temperature monitoring – ensuring that components are no longer destroyed with thermal shock.

So to conclude, there is equipment available for engineers so even prototypes can look and perform like a professional production board.

eC-test-mateeC-reflow-mate V4 3 is a handheld test system for functional testing of assembled PCBs without the need for complex tooling. Simply integrate eC-test-mate footprints into your PCB-layout, write your test programs, place the eC-test-mate test head(s) on your board and run the tests. No connectors, no test jigs, just easy footprints. eC-test-mate is a cost-effective solution for testing small series of assembled PCBs.

How can Eurocircuits offer a competitive prototype service?

The European engineers are a very inventive and enterprising group, this has led to a huge industry of innovation and prototypes.

Manufacturing of these prototypes for customers can be costly and labour intensive and quoting is inhibitive because of the setup and material costs. Setup of a production line for 1 board or 10,000 boards costs the same, so where can cost saving be made without compromising on quality?

PCB’s

Your PCB supplier offers a great deal on large batch quantities of boards, this is because it is easy then to dilute the tooling charges across 1,000’s of PCBs but cannot offer a good price for a small quantity because the tooling charges are a constant.

The answer is order pooling, sharing the cost of tooling with multiple customers where 1 board costs significantly less than just the tooling charges from a conventional PCB fabricator. Eurocircuits have created a system where we process over 400 orders per day, so sharing the production panel space is never a problem.

Stencils

Stencils are a large and unavoidable cost for manufacturing PCB’s, this is because stencils for large industrial stencil printers are licenced to manufacture and the size is a constant to fit the machine frames, with a typical cost of €200 to €300, again this makes Prototypes impractical, but again the solution is a system whereby the stencil is based on the size of the individual board and not a fixed constant. Eurocircuits have developed a registration system – eC-registration – for perfect board and stencil alignment and utilise the same principles of Pooling to offer stencil from as little as €35.

Board and stencil registration

How to setup these stencils to the PCB is now a matter of minutes without any expertise needed, the answer is to use the eC-registration together with the Eurocircuits desktop stencil printer (eC-stencil-mate) offering small machine footprint, high accuracy and simple set-up – no more expensive paste stencils.

Note

Read our BLOG on inhouse PCB assembly

IMS pool PCB forms the basis of the “vlak” ambient light.

During the Dutch Design Week 2015, Gregor van Egdom launched his Vlak 1 desk light. The “vlak” ambient light consists of a single IMS board (Insulated Metal Substrate) produced using Eurocircuits’ IMS pool service. On the foot of the light for aesthetic reasons some components are kept visible. Using the PCB as an integral part of the product structure, allows the lamp to be 1.6mm thin and avoids any visible wires.

Turning the power knob transforms the emitted light from cozy warm to day-light bright. LEDs with different colours define this wide colour palet thus using modern technology to simulate the natural light of the old-fashioned light bulb.

Vlak 1 is a European product manufactured in Europe. Development, prototyping and testing was done in Holland and the prime component, the IMS PCB is produced in Eurocircuits factory in Hungary. All at the Dutch Design Week pre-ordered products were assembled and packed in Europe.

Vlak 1 can be ordered via its website.

A few days back, Elektor wrote a nice review on IMS pool which forms a perfect addiction to the subject here.

For any interest in the Eurocircuits IMS pool service, click here.

Eurocircuits Technical Update: eC-equipment deal – eC-Xmas tree

The Eurocircuits team wish you a merry Christmas with good health and every success in 2016.

eC-equipment new products winter discount deal

Order an eC-placer or
eC-test-mate
either combined in a single order with each other or with an eC-stencil-mate, an
eC-reflow-mate, an
eC-preheater or an eC-fume-extractor
, and we will give a 10% discount on these and any other “Off the shelf” items that are checked out at the same time (as one order). Place your order online and the total price on a qualifying order will automatically reflect the discount.

To get the winter discount you must place your order by 31 January 2016.

eC-equipment new products discount deal

We have added new functionality to the
PCB-Solver Outline Editor
tool launched in November. The same powerful editing tools are now available for internal milling. So if the data for internal slots and cut-outs is incorrect or incomplete, you can now correct it on-screen without delaying your delivery. To mark the new functionality, we have renamed the tool the Outline/Milling Editor.

Christmas closure dates

Our office, factories and logistics will close on 23 December 2015 and re-open on 4 January 2016.

These dates are already included in our price calculator menus.

eC-Xmas tree for 2015 uses 20 RGB LEDs

There is still time to order this year’s Eurocircuits eC-X-mas tree.

Create your own exclusive Christmas experience using the 20 RGB LEDs of the Eurocircuits eC-Xmas-tree and your imagination.

  • Assemble the tree – no soldering needed.
  • Download free animations from the Eurocircuits website, or create your own online using the simple animations editor.
  • Publish your best animations and invite family and friends to view and like them. We will show the animations that receive the most likes on our website for others to download onto their own eC-Xmas-trees and spread your Christmas cheer far and wide.

eC-Xmas-tree can be ordered from the Off the Shelf eC-spare-parts menu.

See the 2015 eC-Xmas-tree in action with assembly and programming guides here.

Technical blogs

Some recent highlights:

If you would like us to produce a blog or white paper on a particular aspect of PCB manufacturing technology, PCB soldering or EAGLE CAD, email us at euro@eurocircuits.com.

Meet us

The best way to share ideas and knowledge is face to face. Come and meet us at: