The Evolution of Circuit Board Manufacturing Techniques
As the technology in which circuit boards are used has evolved, so have the circuit boards themselves. We won’t age ourselves, but at Tramonto Circuits, we have seen circuit board manufacturing change in many ways since we opened up for business.
Did you know that the earliest circuit boards were made using a technique called point-to-point construction? This involved manually wiring components together on a board. Can you imagine how long that took? Likewise, it posed the risk of human error. Engineers began seeking and testing solutions that would open the doors for mass production.
This led to a production technique called wire wrap. This meant wrapping wires around posts on the circuit board and soldering them in place. This was an improvement, but this process still required too much skill and time.
Enter the 1960’s, the era of printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing. PCB manufacturing prints a circuit pattern onto a board using a photographic process, then etching away unnecessary remaining copper to leave behind the essential circuits. PCB manufacturing remains the industry standard, but this production method, of course, has also evolved since the 1960’s.
The 1980’s presented surface mount technology, which allowed components to be mounted directly onto the board’s surface, rather than being inserted into holes. This technology played a huge role in making circuits more compact and it brought the process much closer to automation.
Now, PCB manufacturing is hugely automated, but it still involves multiple stages. There is software to create the circuit design, there are special printers to print it on the board, there is a machine that applies a solder paste, and machines that place the components on the board. There are also specialized ovens to melt the solder. Technology has significantly improved the process and quality of circuit boards.
We are currently on the cusp of what could be a new era of PCB manufacturing, and that is the 3D printing era. It is still being heavily tested and explored, but it could revolutionize the process and allow for more complex designs.
When working with a partner to manufacture your circuits, you want a trusted company that knows all the ins and outs of circuit design. Contact Tramonto Circuits for true expert advice every step of the way.
How to Properly Test Functionality of Electronic Circuits
The smallest malfunction in a circuit can have significant consequences, especially when going through the manufacturing process. Testing is a huge part of what we do at Tramonto Circuits because we want our customers to safely avoid setbacks that will delay their product getting to market. Here are some of the best practices we employ when it comes to testing electronic circuits.
We always first check for any loose connections, damaged or burnt components, or signs of physical damage. All components should be in their correct locations, too, and there should be no short circuits between the tracks.
We then connect the circuit to power and switch it on, using a multimeter to measure the voltage to make sure it is operating within the expected range.
We will simulate the circuit’s operating conditions and verify that it performs as it will be intended. We take into account all factors of what this circuit’s purpose will be, including temperature and other environmental factors, timing, sensors, and more.
A circuit has to continue to function correctly over an extended period. Therefore, we’ll subject the circuit to continuous operation for several weeks to check for any failures.
Thorough electronic circuit testing can save time, money, and even lives. Work with Tramonto Circuits to make sure your next project is in good hands.
3 Common Sources of Manufacturing Delays
The year is 2023 and all we seem to continue hearing about is one supply chain crisis after another. Tramonto Circuits has been around long enough to see and adapt to other world crises. A global pandemic, of course, is one major source of manufacturing delays. However, there are themes that most frequently can be the source of delays, no matter what is going on at the current point in history. Here are those common sources of manufacturing delays to look out for.
Limitations in raw materials or components can lead to late shipments and if workers don’t have what they need, they can’t move forward and there will be a slowdown in production. This can also lead to an increase in inventory costs as finished goods cannot be shipped out until the missing items arrive.
A Request for Quote (RFQ) helps allow a supplier to maximize their sales at an appropriate price point, considering all variables. These RFQ’s can cause manufacturing delays if the process of gathering quotes from suppliers takes too long. Sometimes an RFQ process can result in selecting a supplier who cannot deliver on time, further adding to the delay.
Order acknowledgments are simply the process of confirming and verifying customer orders. If they’re not completed in a timely manner, that can cause delays on top of confusion about details and the need for clarification. Even worse, inaccurate information on the order acknowledgment can also cause production errors that then lead to rework.
The team at Tramonto Circuits has learned a lot about these common delay triggers and has mastered mitigating these risks as best as we can. We’ve prioritized quick quotes and get 24-hour quotations done 98.9% of the time. Our on-time delivery rate is 98.15% because we know to look out for these risks and do what we can to prevent them. Move your manufacturing project along at the rate you want it to by working with Tramonto Circuits today.
What Data is Required for a PCB Design Quote?
Tramonto Circuits provides 98.9% of its quotes within 24 hours. To put it simply, we’ve nailed down the quote process for PCB design pretty well over the years. Here’s what you should expect to be able to provide in order to get the most accurate quote for your PCB design project.
No matter what stage of development your project is at, one bare minimum requirement your PCB provider will need to know so that they can lay out services is a schematic. This can be a simple JPG or a full CAD schematic file. Just make sure your resolution is high enough so that the information is legible.
Bill of Materials (BOM)
BOMs most frequently come in Excel spreadsheets but other files are acceptable. This should list each component that will be used in the assembly. Even better if you can include the manufacturer, part number, and quantities. Missing details may lead us to ask for more specific information because these details will affect the amount of surface area required and layer count.
A basic dimensional view that shows the X-Y dimensions of the PCB will help your provider understand how the available PCB surface area will be organized. The more dimensions you can provide, the better, but for the most part, a basic model showing the locations of components will go a long way. These drawings are often called “key placement” documents, too.
Tramonto Circuits has a handy file upload on its quote submission form to allow users to provide this information to help guide us to an accurate quote for you. Submit yours today and get your quote within 24 hours.
3 Tips for Working Through Supply Chain Issues While Manufacturing
Manufacturers of all types have experienced quite their share of supply chain hiccups in recent years. At Tramonto Circuits, we’ve gone through many years of experience working around all kinds of disruptions in the world and managed to maintain top-notch delivery rates and quality for our customers. Here are our suggestions for how you can best navigate through supply chain disruptions during your manufacturing process.
Tip #1: Find a trusted partner with great delivery rates
The times sure have changed and this time in the history of supply chain issues is not the same as others. However, a company with a track record of experience working through shortages is going to be your best bet. When seeking a trusted manufacturing partner, ask what their on-time delivery rate is. Tramonto Circuits has a 98.15% on-time delivery rate, even through the delays of today.
Tip #2: Use predictive analytics where possible
Do you know yet exactly how supply chain levels may affect your project’s timeline? Predictive analytics can give you insights into buyer patterns in relation to all kinds of disruptions so you know how supply levels can affect your retail sales. Tramonto Circuits helps its partners know what they can expect along their manufacturing journey based on many years of experience.
Tip #3: Always start with a DFM analysis
Get your circuit files and anything else reviewed by an expert so that you know in advance what standards need to be met. This analysis will set your expectations for how your manufacturing process should go in light of current events and supply chain delays. Tramonto Circuits offers this guidance to circuit designers for free.
Contact Tramonto Circuits today to get your circuit manufacturing project moving forward in the best way it can.
How to Truly Ensure High-Quality Electronic Assembly
One of the biggest challenges manufacturers face when they partner with teams to bring a product to conception is quality assurance. When a design engineer sends something off for assembly, they need to be able to rest assured that what they receive in return is going to reflect the quality they had envisioned.
Choosing the right manufacturing partner is the first step in ensuring that your product will be both the utmost in quality and compliance. Tramonto Circuits has a few ways of making sure of that, all the while consistently achieving a 99.83% quality ratio. Here are some:
Routine electronic assembly quality assurance techniques
Work with a partner who truly has a routine for this and has done it many times. We consistently conduct component testing and regular data backups and evaluate new production methods to ensure accurate products are produced with minimal waste. This also provides you with more cost-effective solutions.
Low defect rate
Look for a low defect rate with your manufacturing partner. Efficiency, timely manufacturing, and avoiding waste are all extremely important, but only if they are simultaneously producing low defect rates.
Attention to every detail
An engineer will almost always want their PCB to be ready for immediate use upon delivery. His or her manufacturing partner ensures this with a team of certified engineers and expert production staff that provides efficient electronic component builds. Tramonto Circuits has this reliable team to provide precision quality assurance at both the board and system levels.
Contact Tramonto Circuits today to get your quality product to completion with peace of mind.
Why Implementing an ISO 9001 Quality Management System is Essential for Business Success
If you’re not familiar with ISO 9001, it’s an international quality management standard that helps businesses ensure that their products and services meet the needs of their customers. In other words, it’s a way of making sure that your company is run in a more efficient way. Here’s why becoming ISO 9001 certified is so important.
All About Continuous Improvement
One of the big advantages of ISO 9001 is that it’s based on the idea of continual improvement. That means that once you attain your quality objectives, you don’t just sit back and relax. Instead, you continue to strive for even better results. As a result, certified organizations are better able to meet customer requirements and deliver high-quality products and services. This leads to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty.
In today’s competitive marketplace, customers often seek out organizations that are ISO 9001 certified when looking for goods and services. By becoming certified, you can enhance your marketability and competitiveness, giving you a leg up on the competition.
How ISO 9001 Is Implemented
One of the great things about ISO 9001 is that it can be used by any type of organization, no matter what size or in what industry. That’s because the standard is flexible and doesn’t specify targets for quality or customer needs. Instead, it’s up to each individual organization to set its own objectives and improve its processes accordingly.
The Benefits of Certification
Once you’ve achieved certification, you’ll be able to show your customers that you’re committed to providing them with high-quality products and services. This can give you a competitive advantage and help you attract new business. Additionally, certification can help improve morale among your employees by showing them that their work is important and valued.
Recently, Tramonto Circuits received our ISO 9001 certification. Tramonto Circuits is a leader in electronic components manufacturing. Our capabilities are flexible circuits, printed circuit boards (PCBs), flexible heaters and other custom-design components products for almost any circuit board needs. We are a company that understands the importance of personal touch. Unlike other printed circuit board manufacturers, you will not be speaking to a sales representative when reaching out; instead, you will speak with engineers who talk with you directly about your specific needs and solutions.
From the very beginning, we discuss your needs, develop a solution, create a process, and keep you informed every step of the way. There’s never a surprise and with our 99.4% on-time success rate and a 99.8% quality ratio, you know from the beginning that you are working with the best. To us, being ISO 9001 means one thing; that you, our client, are our number one priority. Reach out today to see the Tramonto Circuits difference and how we can help shape more of your business.
Four Circuit Board Specifications to Consider
When it comes down to the specifics of designing your circuits, there are certain things to consider. Make sure your design partner knows the answer to your questions before getting too far in on your flexible circuit or printed circuit board design project. Think ahead about the following details to ensure you’re set up for success with your manufacturing partner.
Minimum trace width
Your manufacturing partner should know what the flexible circuit minimum trace width is in order to make your design. The flexible circuit minimum trace width is 4-5”. Tramonto Circuits can get down to 3” for traditional circuit boards.
Maximum layer count for your circuits
Ask your circuit design partner what they are comfortable with as far as layer count for your specific circuit. At Tramonto Circuits, we are comfortable in the six-layer range for flexible circuits and we have built up to ten layers. For circuit boards, we can go all the way up to 20 layers.
Limitations and/or possibilities
A common question we encounter is whether our client can attach components or heat-sinks to flexible circuits. Tramonto Circuits’ answer is yes, we do this every single day because flexible circuits are so widely used that making this possible was a must.
How much current do you need?
A flexible circuit can actually carry about as much current as a printed circuit board can carry. Ask your circuit design partner how many milliamps the design will hold.
Contact Tramonto Circuits today to help you find the answers to these questions for your circuit design.
What Makes Working with Tramonto Circuits Different
When choosing your circuit board manufacturing partner, you have a lot of options to choose from. So, how do you choose the right partner? What we can share is how we at Tramonto Circuits work with our customers and what makes us different from other circuit board experts.
Prioritizing what matters
The biggest issues design engineers face tend to be surrounding quality and late deliveries. We know that delivery delays and quality issues cause major issues that affect more than just your plans. Tramonto Circuits was started in 2008 to combat these problems and still does today.
Keeping up with the times
Tramonto Circuits started as just a flexible circuit company only. But, client demands led to the expansion of providing circuit boards and other circuit types, as well as assembly specifications as they evolved. Now, we can provide the design, assembly, and testing of multiple types of circuits.
The evidence is clear
Both our on-time delivery rate and our overall quality ratio are over 99% each and every year. There are not many companies out there that release this data but we very closely track it each year to make sure we reach this and communicate it to our customers. You can be sure that working with Tramonto Circuits will bring you both quality and on-time delivery.
Our process is easy
After sending in your purchase order, we begin creating the assembly instructions, go through the design for manufacturing process, and communicate with the customer what their expectations can be for delivery. After the assembly process, the product goes through inspection and then we ship it, on time every time. Our customers know what to expect for their project when they begin working with Tramonto Circuits.
You want to find a circuit board manufacturer that has experience in your industry. Tramonto Circuits has worked with a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, medical, automotive, consumer, telecommunications, and industrial. The only industries we do not deal with are military and DOD.
Contact Tramonto Circuits today to start working with a reliable partner on your circuit manufacturing project.
Everything you Need to Know about a DFM Analysis
The DFM analysis is an essential part of your manufacturing journey. Performing one early on in the process will ensure you hit less bumps along the road and avoid major roadblocks. Here’s what you need to know when preparing for a DFM analysis.
Yes, you do need a DFM analysis
Skipping this part of the manufacturing process could end up with costly mistakes and huge delays in getting your product to market. If you are designing a circuit board and need it fabricated, you need a DFM analysis. Designers with years of experience still don’t always know exactly what is needed for a specific process in fabrication.
What happens during a DFM analysis
Engineers will go over your design to make sure it meets all IPC standards and all manufacturing standards. The intention is to provide a robust, consistent circuit that can be duplicated with a high level of trust.
The earlier your manufacturing partners can identify issues, the better the results will be for everyone all around. The DFM analysis is where this will happen and you can receive suggestions for changes that can significantly speed up the timing of your project.
How to find the right partner for your DFM analysis
Find a manufacturing partner who specializes in the market which you are developing. They will have the right expertise and can guide you in the best way. Tramonto Circuits specializes in flexible circuits and printed circuit boards. Contact us today to schedule your DFM analysis.
Learn more in our video: