Contract Electronics Manufacturing and PCB Assembly Blog

SMTA Capital Expo to Feature Essemtec Fox Pick and Place System

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Thu, Aug 17, 2017 @ 12:39 PM

Capital_Chapter_Logo.jpgThe SMTA Capital Chapter is pleased to announce that it will feature a live demo of the Essemtec Fox pick-and-place system at the upcoming expo on Thursday, August 24th.  
 
The Essemtec Fox can have up to 180 feeder lanes, needs only 1sqm of floor space and can accept PCBs of up to 406 x 305 mm. It is expandable in any direction. The Fox can drive up to 180 feeder lanes, illustrating its dedication to high-mix production. Due to its small footprint and reasonable weight, the machine is ideal for use in limited space production areas even those located on upper floors.
 
The SMTA Capital Expo and Tech Forum will be held at Johns Hopkins University / Applied Physics Lab, Kossiakoff Center, 11100 Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel, MD 20723. Registration opens at 8:00 AM and includes a complimentary lunch on the show floor.  Exhibits are open from 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM and the first technical presentation will start at 9:30 AM.
 
Capital Expo and Tech Forum
 
About Surface Mount Technology Association (SMTA) The SMTA membership is an international network of professionals who build skills, share practical experience and develop solutions in electronic assembly technologies, including microsystems, emerging technologies, and related business operations. For more information or to join, please visit www.smta.org.
 
About Zentech: Zentech Manufacturing, Inc. is a privately held, engineering-driven contract manufacturer specializing in the design and manufacture of highly-complex electronic and RF circuit cards and assemblies. The company is headquartered in its purpose-built facility located in Baltimore, MD and maintains several 
key certifications, including ISO 9001:2008, ITAR (US State Dept.), AS9100 (aerospace), and ISO 13485 (medical). In addition, Zentech is a certified IPC Trusted Source supplier for Class 3 mission-critical electronics, and the company is IPC J-STD-001 Space Addendum QML certified.
 
 
Zentech Baltimore Video Tour

Shannan O’Shaughnessy of GVD Corporation to Present at SMTA Capital Chapter's Expo and Tech Forum

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Tue, Aug 15, 2017 @ 12:30 PM

Capital_Chapter_Logo.jpgThe SMTA Capital Chapter is pleased to announce that Shannan O’Shaughnessy of GVD Corporation, will present “Reliability without Hermeticity: Commercial Vapor Deposited Coatings for High-Frequency RF Micro-Electronics” at the upcoming Capital Expo and Tech Forum at Johns Hopkins University / Applied Physics Lab, Kossiakoff Center, on Thursday, August 24th.  
 
Radio frequency (RF) micro-electronics are used everywhere in today’s technology, from the internet of things to military radar systems. It is challenging for these advanced RF systems to meet size, weight, power and cost requirements set by consumer market or defense agency demand, what the military calls “SWaP-C”, due to the need for packaging of the RF components and integrated circuits (ICs) in to ensure long term reliability. Reliability concerns traditionally necessitate the environmental protection of these high-frequency RF devices at either the component or the assembly level by hermetically sealing the device in a bulky, heavy expensive metal enclosure to prevent degradation caused by hazards in device operating environments. Industry standard conformal coatings are unusable due to the significant signal degradation which occurs if applied directly over an RF circuit. There is a critical need for a coating alternative to which is compatible with high-frequency RF devices to provide a lower weight and lower volume environmental protection scheme with high reliability and negligible performance impact for RF devices. This approach would allow RF device integration on size, weight, and cost effective PCBs and eliminate the hermetically packaged chip-and-wire assemblies currently in use. To address this need, GVD Corporation has developed a high reliability environmental coating, Exilis, for RF electronics devices that can be applied to both the bare device and completed assemblies. 
 
The SMTA Capital Expo and Tech Forum will be held at Johns Hopkins University / Applied Physics Lab, Kossiakoff Center, 11100 Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel, MD 20723. Registration opens at 8:00 AM and includes a complimentary lunch on the show floor.  Exhibits are open from 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM and the first technical presentation will start at 9:30 AM.
 
Capital Expo and Tech Forum
 
About Surface Mount Technology Association (SMTA) The SMTA membership is an international network of professionals who build skills, share practical experience and develop solutions in electronic assembly technologies, including microsystems, emerging technologies, and related business operations. For more information or to join, please visit www.smta.org.
 
About Zentech: Zentech Manufacturing, Inc. is a privately held, engineering-driven contract manufacturer specializing in the design and manufacture of highly-complex electronic and RF circuit cards and assemblies. The company is headquartered in its purpose-built facility located in Baltimore, MD and maintains several 
key certifications, including ISO 9001:2008, ITAR (US State Dept.), AS9100 (aerospace), and ISO 13485 (medical). In addition, Zentech is a certified IPC Trusted Source supplier for Class 3 mission-critical electronics, and the company is IPC J-STD-001 Space Addendum QML certified.
 
 
Zentech Baltimore Video Tour

Summit Interconnect Chooses atg A7a for High-speed Electrical Test and Automation

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Wed, Aug 09, 2017 @ 10:00 AM

atgA7a.jpg

Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are the platform for all surface mount technology processes and electronics manufacturing. Ensuring that all bare printed circuit boards have been tested by the PCB manufacturer is critically important and ensures their electrical integrity prior to the assembly of components.

Summit Interconnect has installed an atg A7a, an eight-head, double-sided, high-speed auto-load/unload system that provides true “lights-out” operation, at its Orange, California facility.

"The atg A7a will be our highest-speed tester yet, and with the auto-load/unload feature, it will significantly improve productivity on large jobs," said Summit Orange VP and General Manager Jack Evans.

The atg A7a auto-load/unload testers utilize eight flying probe test heads, multiple optical recognition systems, and a wide variety of advanced, high-speed electrical test measurement techniques to electrically test all types of PCBs for continuity and isolation. Board sizes of 24” x 21" or larger with small pad/fine-pitch technology can be tested quickly and easily. Special options, such as, 4-wire Kelvin tests, hi-pot test, latent defect test, and others can be provided.

Zentech Baltimore Video Tour

About Zentech: Zentech Manufacturing, Inc. is a privately held, engineering-driven contract manufacturer specializing in the design and manufacture of highly-complex electronic and RF circuit cards and assemblies. The company is headquartered in its purpose-built facility located in Baltimore, MD and maintains several 
key certifications, including ISO 9001:2008, ITAR (US State Dept.), AS9100 (aerospace), and ISO 13485 (medical). In addition, Zentech is a certified IPC Trusted Source supplier for Class 3 mission-critical electronics, and the company is IPC J-STD-001 Space Addendum QML certified.
 

Q3 2017 Market Conditions Report for the Electronics Industry

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Mon, Aug 07, 2017 @ 01:30 PM

Future Electronics recently released the Q3 2017 Market Conditions Report for the electronics industry.

DSC03170.jpgZentech works closely with Future Electronics and our customers to identify and prepare in advance for potential lead times issues. As economic activity continues to expand across all markets, it is important for OEM’s to review their upcoming requirements and forecasts carefully. There is nothing worse than working hard to land business and then learn that component lead times are going to prevent you from making committed deliveries to your customers. Contact your Zentech sales team member to discuss today. We can perform a lead time analysis for your program and best position you for success in the future in the wake of lead times creeping out, in some cases dramatically, for many component types.

Click the button below to read the report.Q3 2017 Market Conditions Report 

Q4 Market Conditions

About Zentech: Zentech Manufacturing, Inc. is a privately held, engineering-driven contract manufacturer specializing in the design and manufacture of highly-complex electronic and RF circuit cards and assemblies. The company is headquartered in its purpose-built facility located in Baltimore, MD and maintains several key certifications, including ISO 9001:2008, ITAR (US State Dept.), AS9100 (aerospace), and ISO 13485 (medical). In addition, Zentech is a certified IPC Trusted Source supplier for Class 3 mission-critical electronics, and the company is IPC J-STD-001 Space Addendum QML certified.

Zentech Baltimore Video Tour

Zentech Fredericksburg Video Tour

Gerry Partida of Summit Interconnect to Present at SMTA Capital Chapter’s Expo and Tech Forum

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Fri, Aug 04, 2017 @ 01:00 PM

Capital_Chapter_Logo.jpgThe SMTA Capital Chapter is pleased to announce that Gerry Partida of Summit Interconnect, will present “Density, Advanced Materials and Cost Drivers Associated with Advanced Circuit Design, Fabrication and Assembly” at the upcoming Capital Expo and Tech Forum at Johns Hopkins University / Applied Physics Lab, Kossiakoff Center, on Thursday, August 24th

Printed circuit boards are the platform for all surface mount technology processes and electronics manufacturing. There have been tremendous advancements in high speed and microwave materials, via structures and processing techniques. The material constructions and attributes provide unique opportunities for designers and unique challenges for bare printed circuit board fabricators. Mr. Partida will explore the various material options and their trade-offs, provide insight into the manufacture of multiple lamination cycle requirements, review stack-up and routing considerations, managing registration requirements, micro drilling and copper wrap plating processes. This will be an invaluable session to understand materials considerations, cost trade-offs and leading-edge processing technologies for the design, manufacture and assembly of high-technology printed circuit boards.

The SMTA Capital Expo and Tech Forum will be held at Johns Hopkins University / Applied Physics Lab, Kossiakoff Center, 11100 Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel, MD 20723. Registration opens at 8:00 AM and includes a complimentary lunch on the show floor.  Exhibits are open from 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM and the first technical presentation will start at 9:30 AM.

Capital Expo and Tech Forum

About Surface Mount Technology Association (SMTA)
The SMTA membership is an international network of professionals who build skills, share practical experience and develop solutions in electronic assembly technologies, including microsystems, emerging technologies, and related business operations. For more information or to join, please visit www.smta.org.

About Zentech: Zentech Manufacturing, Inc. is a privately held, engineering-driven contract manufacturer specializing in the design and manufacture of highly-complex electronic and RF circuit cards and assemblies. The company is headquartered in its purpose-built facility located in Baltimore, MD and maintains several key certifications, including ISO 9001:2008, ITAR (US State Dept.), AS9100 (aerospace), and ISO 13485 (medical). In addition, Zentech is a certified IPC Trusted Source supplier for Class 3 mission-critical electronics, and the company is IPC J-STD-001 Space Addendum QML certified.

 

Phil Zarrow to Present at SMTA Capital Chapter’s Expo and Tech Forum

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Thu, Aug 03, 2017 @ 01:00 PM

Capital_Chapter_Logo.jpgThe SMTA Capital Chapter is pleased to announce that Phil Zarrow of ITM Consulting, will present “The ‘Deadly Sins’ of SMT Assembly” at the upcoming Capital Expo and Tech Forum at Johns Hopkins University / Applied Physics Lab, Kossiakoff Center, on Thursday, August 24th.  
 
Everyone has heard of the “7 Deadly Sins” that will, supposedly, lead one to Hell. There are also the “Deadly Sins” of SMT - there are more than just 7 – and they can make your assembly process a “hell on earth”.
 
During the course of ITM’s assembly process audits and troubleshooting work, we tend to see trends in the types of errors and problems. In other words, a lot of people are making the same mistakes. The resulting process problems wreak havoc with an impact on assembly yields ranging from 5 to 20%. In addition to this direct cost, there is also additional financial impact with regard to time spent reworking and repairing, the on corrective action by QC, Engineering and Management, and, of course, “do-over”.
 
This presentation identifies the “deadly sins” of SMT assembly, both for Pb-free and “leaded” processes. Besides the symptoms and consequences of each type of error, root-cause, rectification and prevention techniques will be presented. Best Practices will be discussed for each of the key process steps. The workshop will, thus, provide the participant with an understanding of how to identify and correct the most common SMT assembly problems. It will include identification of vendor and source problems including components and materials as well as design related problems.
 
The SMTA Capital Expo and Tech Forum will be held at Johns Hopkins University / Applied Physics Lab, Kossiakoff Center, 11100 Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel, MD 20723. Registration opens at 8:00 AM and includes a complimentary lunch on the show floor.  Exhibits are open from 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM and the first technical presentation will start at 9:30 AM.

Capital Expo and Tech Forum

About Surface Mount Technology Association (SMTA)
The SMTA membership is an international network of professionals who build skills, share practical experience and develop solutions in electronic assembly technologies, including microsystems, emerging technologies, and related business operations. For more information or to join, please visit www.smta.org.

About Zentech: Zentech Manufacturing, Inc. is a privately held, engineering-driven contract manufacturer specializing in the design and manufacture of highly-complex electronic and RF circuit cards and assemblies. The company is headquartered in its purpose-built facility located in Baltimore, MD and maintains several key certifications, including ISO 9001:2008, ITAR (US State Dept.), AS9100 (aerospace), and ISO 13485 (medical). In addition, Zentech is a certified IPC Trusted Source supplier for Class 3 mission-critical electronics, and the company is IPC J-STD-001 Space Addendum QML certified.

 

Zentech Exhibiting at the SMTA Capital Expo and Tech Forum

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Fri, Jul 28, 2017 @ 01:13 PM

As an exhibitor at the upcoming SMTA Capital Expo and Tech Forum, Zentech Manufacturing is pleased to invite all electronics industry professionals to attend this free technical presentation and networking event on Thursday, August 24 from 9-3 at the Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, MD. 

Featured technical presentations include: 

Electronics industry experts will also be present with innovative product information and demonstrations, including the Essemtec Fox - Compact Automatic Pick and Place System.

This year’s event is certain to be a success with the vendor floor completely sold out in advance!

Capital Expo and Tech Forum

 

Zentech-gray.pngAbout Zentech: Zentech Manufacturing, Inc. is a privately held, engineering-driven contract manufacturer specializing in the design and manufacture of highly-complex electronic and RF circuit cards and assemblies. The company is headquartered in its purpose-built facility located in Baltimore, MD and maintains several key certifications, including ISO 9001:2008, ITAR (US State Dept.), AS9100 (aerospace), and ISO 13485 (medical). In addition, Zentech is a certified IPC Trusted Source supplier for Class 3 mission-critical electronics, and the company is IPC J-STD-001 Space Addendum QML certified.

John Vaughan of Zentech Provides Defense Budget Analysis

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Thu, Jul 27, 2017 @ 12:39 PM

The PCB's Magazine's July issue features an article by Zentech's VP of Sales and Marketing, John Vaughan with Brian Friel of Nation Analytics. The present and future challenges of mil/aero electronics are covered from A to Zentech. Read article below or view PDF here.

JV4.pngBrian Friel.jpgDefense Budget Analysis: Patience is a Virtue

Patience may be the most necessary watchword for proponents of significant growth in the budget for the U.S. military. The historic increases in defense spending promised by President Trump on the campaign trail won’t come immediately, but it is likely that Congress will find ways to provide solid increases to the Pentagon’s budget, particularly in 2019 and beyond.

Whenever I want to dig deep into the complexities of the Defense budget, my first call is always to Brian Friel of Nation Analytics. Prior to launching Nation Analytics, Brian was a senior contract analyst at Bloomberg Government, where he spearheaded IDIQ research and created the BGOV200 annual ranking of federal contractors. Brian lives and breathes defense budget analysis and is an invaluable resource. As reflected in the following summary, Brian and I had the opportunity to get together recently and discuss the Defense budget status and the related funding mechanisms at length.

dollar bill tank.jpgThe administration has proposed a 7% year-over-year increase to the topline defense budget—that includes base, overseas contingency operations (OCO) and supplemental funding— for fiscal 2018, for a total of $639.1 billion. That falls far short of many defense hawks’ views of needed increases, but it nonetheless represents a turnaround from the tight budgets that Congress has enacted for Defense since 2013.

Tight spending caps under the 2011 Budget Control Act have governed defense spending since 2013, when sequestration allowed for only $577.6 billion in topline budget authority for the Pentagon. That total was a dramatic drop from the prior five years. From 2008 to 2012, the Defense budget averaged $671.1 billion and never dropped below $645 billion.

The austere budget for 2013 has carried on since, reaching its low in fiscal 2015 at $560.4 billion. The topline has crawled back up by a bit over 3% per year, to $590.4 billion in enacted budget authority for fiscal 2017.

us defense budget.jpgSenate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., has argued for a $700 billion defense budget for fiscal 2018, or about $60 billion more than President Trump’s request. That kind of truly dramatic, immediate increase in defense spending is unlikely given the political, budgetary and legal realities governing the appropriations process.

The base spending caps created by the 2011 Budget Control Act will continue through 2021 unless Congress acts to end or ease them. Budget hawks are unlikely to allow a complete end to the caps. Congress has eased the caps three times, appeasing budget hawks by cutting spending elsewhere in the vast federal budget to make way for defense increases.

Congress has also gotten around the defense cap by adding funds to the Pentagon’s budget by using supplemental OCO funding.

OCO funding is money set aside in the federal budget for emergency expenses connected to overseas operations such as: crisis response, infrastructure and coalition support for operations in Iraq/Afghanistan, humanitarian assistance in the Middle East and North Africa, and embassy security, among other needs abroad.

A mix of supplemental and OCO funding increases and modest increases to the base spending caps are the most likely way that Congress will make good on President Trump’s campaign promise. Growth at the rate proposed in the fiscal 2018 budget through 2021 would lead to spending at about the $780 billion level that year that Senator McCain is seeking, just at a slower immediate rate of growth.

It’s important to remember that the Trump administration has been in office for less than six months. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has initiated a review called the National Defense Strategy, a new strategic planning process that replaces the traditional Quadrennial Defense Review. Mattis and his team must work through that review before proposing any major new initiatives or programs.

The 2018 budget directs the largest funding increase to operations and maintenance accounts to shore up the readiness of the force as the National Defense Strategy looks at how best to make investments in procurement accounts starting in 2019.

With ongoing terrorism threats, coupled with rising threats from Russia and China, both on traditional military fronts as well as new cybersecurity and space fronts, the external justification for defense spending increases is clear. Through the National Defense Strategy, the Pentagon will describe the internal justifications for specific investments in new weapons and existing platforms. The political and budgetary realities facing Congress will temper the growth aspirations of defense hawks, but industry should be prepared to ramp up activity on behalf of the Defense Department now that the era of tough austerity is turning the corner.

Given the lack of new programs—and despite the slower-than-hoped-for near term budget increases—there are substantial business opportunities for the military primes (and the sub-tiers such as printed circuit board fabricators and electronics contract manufacturers that support them) for upsides. The 2018 plusup in the military budget will allow the services to shore up existing systems and foreign military sales (FMS) will continue to be robust.

Missile programs are a particular beneficiary. Modifications to missile systems will total $898 million in fiscal 2018, $267 million more than proposed last year and more than double the $418 million allocated for missile system modifications in fiscal 2016.

Summarizing, it’s time to patiently stay the course and let the budget processes unfold. Given all the actors on the world stage, it appears highly doubtful peace will be breaking out any time soon. Defense will soon be calling on industry to support our warfighters at accelerated levels and we need to be prepared to do our part in support of the many potential missions that are unfolding.  

About Zentech: Zentech Manufacturing, Inc. is a privately held, engineering-driven contract manufacturer specializing in the design and manufacture of highly-complex electronic and RF circuit cards and assemblies. The company is headquartered in its purpose-built facility located in Baltimore, MD and maintains several key certifications, including ISO 9001:2008, ITAR (US State Dept.), AS9100 (aerospace), and ISO 13485 (medical). In addition, Zentech is a certified IPC Trusted Source supplier for Class 3 mission-critical electronics, and the company is IPC J-STD-001 Space Addendum QML certified.

Zentech Baltimore Video Tour

 

Zentech Introduces Overmolded Cable Assemblies

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Wed, Jul 19, 2017 @ 10:00 AM

Zentech is pleased to announce that it has added overmolded cable assembly manufacturing to its robust resume of capabilities. Overmolded cable assemblies will be manufactured at the Zentech – Fredericksburg location.

Leveraging over thirty-five years of success in support of the U.S. Navy, military primes and the commercial sector, the Zentech - Fredericksburg operation has a long legacy of supporting complex semi-rigid RF cable assemblies, point-to-point wiring and wire harness requirements.

Zentech – Fredericksburg is certified to IPC-A- 610 Class 3 as a QML mission critical trusted source, and is both IPC-WHMA-620 and J-STD 001 QML. In response to our customer’s demands, we are pleased to announce the addition of a 
YUH DAK YH-55 vertical injection mold system to accomplish the over-molding process.

  • Overmolded cable assemblies are ideal for harsh environments because of their impermeable properties.
  • They are equipped to withstand shock, vibration, and continual flexing without the risk of compromise to the termination point.

In further support of this initiative, Zentech-Fredericksburg has also added additional milling capabilities to manufacture the mold cavities in-house.

Design support is available from our talented engineering team.

Do you have an application that requires high reliability and functionality in a harsh environment? We understand harsh environment applications and create products manufactured for high reliability and performance. Contact us today to find out how we can help you achieve success!

Zentech Baltimore Video Tour 

Zentech Fredericksburg Video Tour

Zentech's Engineering Design Services Saves Time and Resources

Posted by Stephanie Weaver on Thu, Jul 06, 2017 @ 02:00 PM

Zentech Engineering Services offers a core competency in Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Design and Mechanical Design, providing engineering solutions throughout the mil/aero, defense, telecom, medical, industrial and instrumentation industries.

The electronic design & mechanical engineering industry is a constant tide of project ebb & flows. In times of peak demand, it is common for a company to become overloaded and either source an in-house contractor or service bureau. Valuable time is spent interviewing contractors through contract agencies, and often you never seem to get the same person twice, and project management holds you to aggressive schedules based on your previous performance. You know… the project that you worked all that overtime on just to meet the schedule and now the bar is set to meet that same schedule on the next project! Zentech can help you get through those peaks without the unknowns associated with contractors and some service bureaus. 

Think of Zentech as an extension of your current workforce that can be called upon as needed, without the daunting task of getting requisitions approved for temporary software licensing, hardware, I/T support & facility space!   

EXPERIENCED DESIGN ENGINEERING, NOW INCLUDING: cadence allegro.png

  • OrCAD
  • Autocad
  • PADS
  • Altium
  • Cadence Allegro
  • Mentor Expedition
  • Pro Engineer
  • Solid Works
  • Rhinoceros
  • 3D SCan
  • Thermal Analysis
  • DfX Capabilities

Contact Zentech today to see how one of our experienced Design Engineers can assist you with your project needs.

Zentech Baltimore Video Tour