Tuesday, March 28th

ITAR Compliance and the Manufacture of Printed Circuit Boards

ITAR Compliance and the Manufacture of Printed Circuit Boards

The U.S. Government requires all manufacturers, exporters, and brokers of defense articles, defense services or related technical data to be ITAR compliant. An increasing number of companies are requiring their supply chain to be ITAR compliant based on the use of the end product even though they may not be engaged in the “export” of the product or its technical information.

Secrets of a Fabrication Drawing

Secrets of a Fabrication Drawing

Essential to the success of any printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing project are the detailed notes included in the fabrication drawing. While the design files (typically Gerber or ODB++) contain the most basic structure and outline of the board design, it is the fabrication drawing that tells the manufacturer the specific details about a board that make it unique.

Common Problems with Gerber Files and How to Avoid Them – Part 3 of 3

Common Problems with Gerber Files and How to Avoid Them – Part 3 of 3

The PCB manufacturing process is complex. The precision of the manufactured PCBs hinges on many things, but none more important than accurate and complete manufacturing or design data, most often Gerber files. A wide variety of PCB design software applications are used to produce manufacturing data, and the complexity of each design can vary significantly.

Common Problems with Gerber Files and How to Avoid Them – Part 2 of 3

Common Problems with Gerber Files and How to Avoid Them – Part 2 of 3

The PCB manufacturing process is complex. The precision of the manufactured PCBs hinges on many things, but none more important than accurate and complete manufacturing or design data, most often Gerber files. A wide variety of PCB design software applications are used to produce manufacturing data, and the complexity of each design can vary significantly.

Common Problems with Gerber Files and How to Avoid Them – Part 1 of 3

Common Problems with Gerber Files and How to Avoid Them – Part 1 of 3

The PCB manufacturing process is complex. The precision of the manufactured PCBs hinges on many things, but none more important than accurate and complete manufacturing or design data, most often Gerber files. A wide variety of PCB design software applications are used to produce manufacturing data, and the complexity of each design can vary significantly.

An Inside Look at Manufacturing Circuit Classics PCBs

An Inside Look at Manufacturing Circuit Classics PCBs

There’s no doubt that we, at Bay Area Circuits, get to work with some very talented individuals working on some pretty incredible projects. Star Simpson is one of those individuals and Circuit Classics is one of those projects! Star is bringing to life classic circuit drawings from Forrest Mims’ “Getting Started in Electronics” and recently made the designs available via Crowd Supply.

Circuit Board Design Tips for Hard or Soft Gold

Circuit Board Design Tips for Hard or Soft Gold

Due to the specialized nature of hard gold and soft gold surface finishes, many designers never encounter the particular challenges associated with these surface finishes. As a result, the first build for a hard or soft gold PCB can often be cumbersome and even surprising.

The Rebirth of Silicon Valley Hardware Manufacturing

The Rebirth of Silicon Valley Hardware Manufacturing

Are we experiencing a rebirth of Silicon Valley hardware manufacturing? High volume manufacturing of hardware is not something commonly done in Silicon Valley, with much of that work finding its way to places around the globe. But a large amount of new product development, prototyping and low volume production seems to be firmly positioned in the Valley.

Rogers Material: Right For Your Next RF Project?

Rogers Material: Right For Your Next RF Project?

With the increase in mobile communications from cellular phones, IoT devices and more, the demand for special materials in circuit board manufacturing has increased as well. To help you understand your options, we put together a Q&A with Rogers Corporation, a leading manufacturer of engineered materials.

Don’t Be Surprised By Markings on a PCB

Don’t Be Surprised By Markings on a PCB

In the days of the old Model T Ford, you could get any color you wanted – as long as it was black.  Not that long ago it was the same way for printed circuit boards, of course, the only color available was green. Today, there are many color options for both solder mask and silkscreen.  Green, blue, red and every color combination in between. Some designers, in fact, go… Read More

V-Scoring for Printed Circuit Boards

V-Scoring for Printed Circuit Boards

Bay Area Circuits recently installed a new Accu-Score AS-100-MAX V-scoring machine in our Silicon Valley facility. This new scoring machine will not only improve the quality of the printed circuit boards scoring process, but also shortens manufacturing process time.  Both big wins for our customers.  In this post we’ll share a little more information about V-Scoring to help you understand exactly what it is and when to use it. Let’s answer these basic questions: What… Read More

The Gerber Format; an Interview with Ucamco

The Gerber Format; an Interview with Ucamco

For engineers new to PCB design, the term ‘Gerber files’ will quickly become a part of their everyday vernacular. And as such, it’s a topic we’ve covered frequently and will cover again today by going straight to the source via interviews with our friends from Ucamco, the Belgium-based company who owns and maintains the Gerber standard. But before we get to that let’s start with a quick introduction. Containing data… Read More

Printed Circuit Board Laminate Material Trends

Printed Circuit Board Laminate Material Trends

Recently, we at Bay Area Circuits, have seen an increase in demand for Ventec’s laminate materials in part because of the proliferation of LED lighting and IoT (Internet of Things) products which often have greater than normal requirements for thermal management. In this special guest post from Ventec USA President, Jack Pattie, Jack shares his views on the latest laminate trends in the US: As always at Ventec, we are working hard… Read More

Technical Tip for a Successfully Manufactured PCB – The Netlist

Technical Tip for a Successfully Manufactured PCB – The Netlist

Designing a printed circuit board poses many challenges. It can be exhilarating to complete a design and send it off to manufacturing but later deflating to receive boards and identify a failure that could have been prevented. Was a mistake made in the design or did the manufacturer make an error? Providing the manufacturer with a ‘netlist’ in addition to your design files and fabrication notes is one way to… Read More

Manufacturing Day Celebrates & Inspires Modern Manufacturing

Manufacturing Day Celebrates & Inspires Modern Manufacturing

In a post last year, we discussed the trend of reshoring (or onshoring) the manufacturing of Printed Circuit Boards. Organizations like the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) are supporting reshoring efforts and track key statistics related to trends in manufacturing. Looking at the facts related to manufacturing jobs in California, it’s easy to question whether progress is being made. But we believe the outlook for California manufacturing and specifically Silicon… Read More

Cross Section Analysis: Inside a PCB

Cross Section Analysis: Inside a PCB

How can the internal quality of a printed circuit board be inspected and verified using cross section analysis? Recently we published an article that talked about IPC Inspection guidelines that provides an overview of the standards used in the inspection process of printed circuits boards. One of the many inspection processes that measure the quality of the circuit board is called a Cross Section Analysis or Micro-section. To complete the analysis… Read More

Introduction to IPC Inspection Guidelines

Introduction to IPC Inspection Guidelines

Acceptable Quality Level Before discussing IPC Inspection Guidelines, it’s important to understand the meaning of the term Acceptable Quality Level (AQL), also referred to as Acceptance Quality Limit. It is an inspection standard that prescribes the range of the number of defective components that is considered acceptable when random sampling those components during an inspection. The Acceptance Quality Level determines the maximum number of defective units, beyond which a batch is… Read More

Surface Finish Characteristics & Applications for Printed Circuit Boards

Surface Finish Characteristics & Applications for Printed Circuit Boards

The PCB Surface Finish you select may be the most important material decision you make for your electronic assembly. The Surface Finish you select will influence the cost, manufacturability, quality, and reliability of the final product. Just a few years ago, nearly three fourths of all the electronics were produced with SnPb or Hot Air Solder Level (HASL) as the finish. Today, other surface finishes have emerged, including: ENIG, ENEPIG,… Read More

Functional 3D Inkjet Printing of Solder Mask

Functional 3D Inkjet Printing of Solder Mask

The traditional solder mask process is in danger.  Digital inkjet processing has reached the point where it has become a viable option in the PCB manufacturing industry. Equipment for such an application has been around for a number of years with emphasis placed on printing legend or nomenclature on panels. However, the application of solder mask with the same type of equipment has shown real promise recently. New equipment such… Read More

An Overview of LPI Soldermask and the PCB Manufacturing Process

An Overview of LPI Soldermask and the PCB Manufacturing Process

For many years the only color you would see on a printed circuit board was green.  Maybe a military influence?  Today the color of the printed circuit board is only a small part of the consideration for the circuits design. Liquid PhotoImagible soldermask, commonly called LPI or LPISM is a two component liquid ink that is mixed just prior to application to preserve its shelf life and is a relatively… Read More