Matric | Electronic Contract Manufacturing Blog

What Are RoHS 3 Substances? Ensure Your Provider is Compliant

rohs 3 substances implementation dateThere are major regulation change coming to electronics in Europe, and it’s important for everyone to take note, including U.S. manufacturers who sell to EU customers.


ICT Test Vs Flying Probe Test

Deciding on the best testing method for your printed circuit board can be a daunting task. There are plenty of factors to take into consideration, including costs, coverage, and development lead time. However, there are two popular test strategies you’ll often find yourself choosing between: ICT testing vs flying probe testing.


Electronic Component Shortages Update -- 2022 and Beyond

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COMPONENT SHORTAGE: NOVEMBER ‘22 UPDATE:

Nearly a year after our last update, we have returned to find a similar situation regarding shortages in the component market. The component shortage remains constant, and the theme has been adapting and innovating as demand remains high and the supply low for chips for consumer electronics. 

Designs for new products have been shifted as well. So much so, in fact, that engineers and support staff are encouraged to come at designs from a different angle- one that prioritizes component sourcing before problem-solving. This is the new preferred way to circumvent the ongoing supply chain issues.

Higher prices and the difficulty in finding available products both mesh to result in the shift in priority for design staff at various companies. Even more so than in years past, flexibility is encouraged and celebrated in the manufacturing industry. 

Also influencing the global chip shortage, the war in Ukraine has impeded the export of neon gas. This, in turn, puts a strain on component manufacturers. The lasers used to cut the minuscule chips require neon gas to perform the task. Back inventory at bigger companies is now a thing of the past, and supply chain shortages remain such a central concern that the turnaround experts hope to see will be mid-2023, if at all.


How SMT Production Maximizes First Run Yield

Printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing is a process that requires precision and reliability.


Nadcap vs. AS9100 Standard for Electronics: What's the Difference?

nadcap vs as9100

If there's one thing that takes center stage in the aerospace industry, it's safety. This, of course, comes hand in hand with high-quality components.


Electronics Manufacturing Services: Equipment Your Partner Should Have

Electronics Manufacturing Services: Equipment

Today a growing number of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) outsource some of their work to electronics contract manufacturers (ECMs). The ECMs are crucial partners when bringing your product to the market. However, while there are plenty of electronic manufacturing companies to choose from, not all are equal.

Selecting the ideal one can ensure a smooth manufacturing journey from design to aftermarket support. But, how will you ensure that you are partnering up with the right ECMs that you can truly put your trust in? 

We've come up with a list of equipment your partner should have, plus other factors to guide your outsourcing process.


Capabilities of an Electronic Manufacturing Services Company

Electronic Manufacturing Services Company


What Does an Electronic Manufacturing Services Company Do?

electronic manufacturing services companiesDo you work for an original equipment manufacturer or OEM? Chances are you’ve crossed paths with a project requiring an electronic manufacturing services company.


Worth It to Outsource PCB Assembly Services? Definitely

pcb assembly servicesMore manufacturers these days are realizing the benefits of using external PCB assembly services versus a DIY approach. Allowing an electronics contractor to lend its expertise has resulted in happier, more efficient OEMs.


What to Know About Electronic Cable & Harness Assembly

electronic cable and harness assembly

When it comes to making a custom electronic cable and harness assembly, the little details matter. A faulty wire or a bad connection could ruin an expensive piece of equipment and slow down manufacturing processes. 


PCB Thermal Management Tips for High-Reliability Electronics

Thermal Management for Class-3 Electronics


What is Obsolescence Management for Electronics?

obsolescence managment-1

You just installed your new PCBs in your machines and they’re working great! Dust off your hands and pat yourself on the back; the hard part’s done, right?


LED PCB Design for Safety

PCB LED Design

At this point, we’re all familiar with light-emitting diode (LED) lights. From the bright, efficient bulbs replacing the old filament lamps, to the flashy, colorful strips mounted behind TVs and monitors. 


Guide to Working With an Electronics Manufacturing Services Company

electronics manufacturing services company pcb inspection

“How will my idea go from conception to finished product at your company?” It’s a question we hear a lot, and a good one. It’s natural to want to know whom you’re dealing with and how far their capabilities extend.


7 PCB Testing Methods You Need to Know

pcb testing methodsWhen you order printed circuit boards (PCB), you know the pricey consequence of failure. The last thing you need financially is for your PCBs to suddenly drop dead -- or to have a shortened life span because of a design or QA issue.

PCB assembly testing methods are an integral part of the manufacturing process. Reputable electronics contract manufacturers (ECMs) offer a variety of PCB testing methods, but the seven main types include:

  1. In-circuit testing
  2. Flying probe testing

IPC Class Definitions for Class 1, 2, & 3 Electronics

ipc class definitions class 2 electronics tabletIn electronics manufacturing, printed circuit boards are separated into three categories: 1, 2, and 3. The categories reflect the level of quality of each circuit board type, from lowest (Class 1 standards) to highest (Class 3 standards). This classification system was developed and is monitored by IPC under the IPC-6011 standard.


IPC Standards Chart for U.S.

IPC Standards - standards image

The IPC standards chart (or tree, in some circles) provides guidelines for the production and assembly requirements of electronics manufacturing companies. Each “code” on the tree is a standard or document outlining the guidelines or requirements for building an assembly.


Moving to a Wireless Industrial Control: IoT & More

industrial wireless controlMany industrial and manufacturing operations are looking closely at wireless industrial controls to see what benefits they offer. These wireless systems definitely have advantages -- enabling your systems to communicate more effectively with one another and with your team -- but they require an investment in time and capital to utilize.


How Aftermarket Electronics Remanufacturing Boosts the Energy Industry

aftermarket electronics remanufacturing - thermal plantMassive amounts of money are at play when it comes to power distribution electronics. The electronic product development life cycle frequently sparks frustration among OEMs in this industry because parts steadily wear out and require attention to keep critical infrastructure operating. 

Full-blown replacement of a product is neither cost-effective nor efficient when downtime is harmful to both OEMs and the end consumer. It's absolutely crucial that you're always thinking about the electronic component life cycle and making plans for the future


All About MSHA (Mine Safety and Health Administration) Regulations

MSHA - Mine Safety and Health Administration RegulationsJust about any piece of electronics can be dangerous when they’re manufactured poorly. But when you’re manufacturing for the mining industry, you’re in especially big trouble if your product is a liability in the field.


11 PCB Design Tips for Photovoltaic/Solar Panel Electronics

PCB Design Tips for Solar Panel Electronics Solar Panels in Field

When designing solar-powered embedded systems intended for outdoor applications, durability, performance, and energy efficiency are a perfect storm of considerations. The dream is to balance all three, but how can you make that a reality?


Mitigating Component and Electronic Obsolescence in Medical Devices

Mitigating component obsolescence

Global supply chain shortages mixed with bottlenecks in the shipping industry and labor shortages have triggered serious problems in nearly every industry. With an increase in both prices and supply shortages, electronics obsolescence is becoming an inevitability throughout many markets. 


6 Challenges in Medical Tech Manufacturing: Standards & Certs

Medical tech manufacturing 1

More opportunity, more money … and more problems.


Life Working for an Electronics Contract  Manufacturer

Electronics Contract Manufacturer join teamdynamic

It’s your first week on the job and your supervisor calls a floor meeting. A mine that contracts our services had a structural issue, but thanks to our electrical failsafe components, no lives were lost. That's how life could be if you worked in electronics manufacturing  


Flying Probe Testing 101

flying probe testPCB design is tricky. Depending on how complex your project is -- or how much is at stake if something fails -- you may need top-end testing before launching your product.


What Is Turnkey PCB Assembly?

turnkey pcb assemblyTurnkey assembly -- buzzwords or worth looking into?


Why an ISO 13485-Certified Manufacturer Is Vital for Medical Devices

iso 13485 certified manufacturer - medical tools on pink backgroundMedical device companies looking for a PCB design and assembly partner have many important factors to consider, all with the end user’s well-being at risk. Finding an experienced, ISO 13485-certified manufacturer is one of the most important.


5 Medical PCB Assembly & Design Tips

The benefits of new technologies in health care are awesome. Developers are showing off some amazing ideas for medical devices. It’s no surprise that medical electronics companies are rushing to be at the forefront of tech.


STORY OF AN AMERICAN ELECTRONICS MANUFACTURER PT. 5: THE 2010s TO NOW

(Editor’s note: This is part 5 of a five-part series on the history of Matric Group, from a $20 investment in 1971 to a $60+ million business today.)


STORY OF AN AMERICAN ELECTRONICS MANUFACTURER PT. 4: THE 2000S

From the Playstation 2 to the first-ever International Space Station crew, the beginning of the Millennium saw technological breakthroughs, rolling blackouts, and political turmoil throughout the United States and abroad. 


Medical Device Electronics Design: Preventing Component Shortages

medical device electronics design

About 20% of all medical device manufacturers struggle to manage component shortages. This can be a big problem, especially since many devices can mean the difference between life and death for an individual. 

Obsolescence: A Pain in Medical Device Product Life Cycle Management

medical device electronics life cycle

Medical device product life cycle management is a challenge at the best of times. When supply chains are disrupted (such as during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020), it becomes even harder.

These challenges are a way of life for any device that needs to go through an extensive certification process. Since medical equipment is as high-stakes as it gets, it undergoes a more extensive review than most. 

Fortunately, there are ways that you can stay ahead of the curve.


Story of an American Electronics Manufacturer Pt. 3: The 1990s

(Editor’s note: This is part 3 of a six-part series on the history of Matric Group, from a $20 investment in 1971 to a $60+ million business today.)


How to Achieve Zero Defects in Your Electronics Build: 8 Tips

how to achieve zero defects electronics buildThere are many areas in life where accepting mistakes as inevitable is a good thing -- electronics manufacturing is not one of them. The end goal should always be to complete a production run with zero defects. While it may not be possible every time, it’s certainly the mindset you want your contract manufacturer to have.

So, how can you handle business on your end to make sure no defects exist in your electronics build?


PCB Layout Design for Manufacturability: 5 Mistakes to Avoid

pcb layout design for manufacturabilityOptimizing PCB layout design for manufacturability is one of the most crucial aspects of your product’s development process. Key decisions made during the design stage often have a tremendous impact on the cost and success of your product’s manufacturing and production.


IPC Standards for PCBs: Why Sophisticated PCB’s Are IPC Compliant:

IPC standards for PCB

Whether you’re in the electronics, healthcare, or manufacturing industry, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the hodgepodge of standards regarding PCB design. And that’s why it’s crucial to choose an electronic contract manufacturer that follows the IPC standards for PCB design. 


Is Your ECM Giving You the 5 Benefits of ISO 14001 Certification?

ISO 14001With a practically worldwide push toward environmental responsibility, more companies are choosing to -- or have no choice but to -- demonstrate that they’re reducing their environmental footprint. Many original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are starting to realize the importance of having ISO-certified electronics manufacturers in their supply chains. 


Military-Grade Electronics PCB Design Considerations

Military Grade Electronics PCB

Toughness in the military cuts across the board. It's not just the tough personnel, but also the electronics and the computers used in the field. Of course, that means that the printed circuit boards (PCB) used in the defense sector need to be tough as nails. 


What Is IECEX Certification for Equipment in Explosive Atmospheres?

IECEX Certification 1

For companies that buy and sell products for use in a potentially explosive atmosphere, a roadmap of guidelines isn’t just helpful -- it’s also a must-have.


Uses of PCB Additive Manufacturing for Prototype Lead Time + More

PCB additive manufacturing

Sometimes, even the best technology in the world isn’t the right fit for the job. Simply put, time and volume matter.


Electronics Design Guide for Autonomous Vehicle PCBs

Autonomous Vehicle PCB #1

A report in 2020 estimated that one in every 10 vehicles globally will be self-driving by 2030. Driverless cars come with several benefits, including improved business efficiencies and reduced road crashes, emissions, and congestion.


Electronics Manufacturing Plant Security Procedures Your ECM Must Use

Electronics Manufacturing Plant Security Procedures - man at computerYou probably take plenty of steps to protect intellectual property at your OEM. But what about the other guys handling your sensitive secrets?


3 Ways to Prep for Your High-Reliability Class 3 Electronics Project

high reliability class 3 electronicsYou’re an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in need of an electronics contract manufacturer (ECM) to supply circuit boards for a product you haven’t built before. One of the first questions you need to ask is: “Should the boards meet Class 2 or Class 3 electronics standards?”


Story of an American Electronics Manufacturer Pt. 2: The 1980s

As we continue the countdown to Matric's 50th anniversary, let's recap so far the 1970s and how it all started.  In part one of this series, we discussed how a shared passion for Ham Radios led two electrical engineers turned vo-tech teachers, Lee Richey and Andy Maitland, to open a new business that designed, manufactured, and repaired electronic devices. 


HDI PCBs For Medical Device Electronics Design

(Editors Note: This blog was originally published in November 2020 and was updated in August 2021 to reflect new information)

hdi pcbs for medical device electronics design


Work or Play? Working For A Electronics Contract Manufacturer

join teammatric

It’s February 2021, you and your family are sitting around the TV watching the Mars Rover craft touch down on the surface of Mars using components you helped create. That's how life could be if you worked in electronics manufacturing  


2021 Electronics Manufacturing Trade Shows You Don’t Want to Miss

electronics manufacturing trade shows 2021Even in our vastly internet-dominated world, nothing has quite replicated the impact of a face-to-face discussion with vendors and fellow engineers. Electronics manufacturing trade shows are valued for their inherent ability to establish a relationship and answer questions in ways you simply cannot achieve via email or over the phone

Electronic contract manufacturers use these shows to break ground with engineers and purchasers in a variety of fields. Matric Group will be attending several "in person" trade shows this year.  We have listed our booth numbers so be sure to stop by!

MATRIC TRADE SHOW SCHEDULE

Let’s take a look at some of the best electronics manufacturing expos out there for you to start meeting great new partners and vendors in the next year:


Story of an American Electronics Manufacturer Pt. 1: The 1970s

American electronics manufacturer: Andy and LeeThe year is 1971. Carole King's' hit single "I Feel The Earth Move" is playing through a Plymouth Volare as two electrical engineers/teachers enter a vo-tech school in Oil City, Pa.  It is there that Lee Richey and Andy Maitland will meet and form Matric Limited.

The two teachers were electrical engineers and graduates of DeVry Technical Institute but would not meet one another until their teaching stints in Oil City. 

With their classrooms side-by-side, they found they shared a passion for ham radios, and before long, they opened a small design and repair shop in Andy's mothers' basement.  


EMC Design Guide for Printed Circuit Boards

EMC Design Guide for Printed Circuit Boards

In every facet of modern life, we're surrounded by electronic devices, all of which are powered by printed circuit boards (PCBs). With so many devices constantly emitting electronic signals in close quarters, the question of electromagnetic interference becomes a crucial one. 


Electronics OEM Partnership: How Koh Young's Maximizing Matric’s Yield

Electronics OEM partnership: Koh Young Logo

What do quality, efficiency, and a high passing yield rate have in common? Meticulous inspection. 


6 Telecom PCB Design & Layout Considerations

Telecom PCB Design Layout Considerations

Telecommunications PCBs (printed circuit boards) are a different breed. As you'd expect, you’ll need to reconsider everything you thought you knew about PCB layout and design to cater to this fast-moving industry.


Best PCB Substrate Types For Your Board

PCB SUBSTRATE TYPES

Most often, the foundation, or base, of a printed circuit board (PCB) consists of a substrate and laminate. Different PCB laminate and substrate types determine how the PCB will perform. So, selecting the right types of PCB material for the intended purposes is critical to achieving the best possible:


How to Get Accurate PCB Quotes From an Electronics Contract Manufacturer

electronics contract manufacturing - quoteWhen outsourcing your printed circuit board (PCB), electronics box build, or cable assembly to an electronics contract manufacturer, you expect a fast, accurate quote up front. It’s in the best interest of both OEM and manufacturer to prioritize accuracy from the beginning.


American Electronics Manufacturers Are Eyeing EU Chemical Regulations

American Electronics Manufacturers and the European Union

With the European Union (EU) working toward new strategies to cut down on hazardous chemicals within the electronics manufacturing industry, the rest of the world is looking on and taking note. 


Glossary: Terms Your Electronics Contract Manufacturer May Use

glossary of terms electronics contract manufacturerWhen talking with salespeople, design engineers, and other contacts within an electronic contract manufacturer, you may hear a lot of terms thrown about. Many of them -- often turned into acronyms are said with the assumption that you know what they mean.

For engineers and especially purchasers, this can be a pain -- especially if you’re trying to read design recommendations, testing results, or that quote you requested.


What Is the ISO 14001 Standard for Electronics Manufacturing?

What Is ISO 14001 Standard Electronics ManufacturingIf you’re looking for an electronics contract manufacturer, what are the most important factors you consider? Is it the price or quality of the product? Maybe it’s Nadcap or AS9100 compliance


How to Tell Tombstone Defects in PCBs ‘Rest in Peace’

tombstone defects in PCBs

Working with small circuit board areas can increase the risk of various PCB defects, tombstoning in particular. 


INFOGRAPHIC: Conformal Coatings vs. Potting/Encapsulation

conformal coating vs potting

The electronics sector is one of the most dynamic industries, with virtually unlimited applications. This is why its growth is expected to remain steady in the coming years. 


All You Need to Know About Rigid-Flex PCB Design Guidelines

rigid flex pcb design guidelines

Rigid-flex PCBs (printed circuit boards) combine the best traits of both rigid PCBs and flexible PCBs, making it easier for manufacturers to install PCBs in small spaces. The added flexibility enables manufacturers to maneuver boards precisely and with ease during installation.


Common Causes of PCB Failure

pcb failurePrinted circuit boards, or PCBs, are essentially the lifeblood of the devices we use every day. Cellphones, TVs, cars, street lights and so many other devices rely on PCBs, which is why it can be extremely disruptive when one fails.


Getting a PCB Quote Comparison? Ask These ?s First

PCB quote comparison

As an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), your success greatly depends on your products' functionality and durability. In this regard, the printed circuit boards (PCBs) you use are arguably the most important aspect. Serving as the heart of electronic components, PCBs have a wide range of applications, such as connecting various components via a series of related circuits.


Creating Custom Printed Circuit Boards: Is Your Volume Worth It?

Custom Designed Printed Circuit Board - Circuit Board
So, you’ve made the choice to design a custom PCB for your design. Instead of buying off the shelf electronics.. but what’s next? 


Common PCB Defects: What Causes a Circuit Board to Burn?

common pcb defects what causes a circuit board to burn

While there are many common printed circuit board defects, one of the most notorious is burnt components. It's also, unfortunately, one of the most damaging defects, as it can be difficult to repair and challenging to diagnose where the issue stemmed from. 


PCB Assembly Services: Through-Hole Vs. Surface Mount

pcb assembly services 2

As electronics have become increasingly embedded in our day-to-day, the manufacturing process for printed circuit boards (PCBs) has adapted. Electronics have become smaller and smaller, and the PCBs that go in those products have had to shrink to keep up. The demand for tiny PCBs has led to a drastic increase in the use of surface mount technology (SMT) -- which has taken over the traditional through-hole manufacturing process that dominated electronics into the 1980s.


What Are MIL-STD Electronics?

what are mil-std electronics

When outsourcing electronics manufacturing, there’s more to consider than just price.  Often, the best electronic contract manufacturers (ECMs) are the ones that have the necessary industry-specific certifications. 


Lead vs. Lead-Free Solder in PCB Manufacturing

lead vs lead free solder

OEM circuit board applications cover a wide range of consumer and commercial products, from automobiles to microwaves to IoT devices that automate the functioning of smart facilities. 


What to Do About PCB Failure

pcb failure

When printed circuit boards fail, you can face costly and potentially disastrous consequences. So how do you pick up the pieces afterward?

Understanding the common causes of PCB failure and the tools available to prevent future failures can minimize the stress and cost of dealing with dead PCBs. 


What Nadcap Accreditation Means for Electronic Contract Manufacturing

nadcap accreditation ofr electronics contract manufacturers

When searching for a reliable electronics contract manufacturing (ECM), one of the first questions you’ll probably ask is, “What certifications do they have?”

While many ECMs are RoHS, MSHA, or IPC 6011 compliant, not all have Nadcap accreditation. 


Aerospace Electronics PCB Assembly & Design Guide

Aerospace Electronics PCB Assembly & Design GuideYou’ve heard about the many great feats and discoveries in the aerospace industry. You’ve also heard about the tragedies that have happened when a design has gone wrong.


How Much Does a PCB Prototype Cost?

pcb prototype cost

Prototyping isn’t reserved for high-tech vehicles or revolutionary consumer gadgets. It’s also a great practice for manufacturing printed circuit boards. 


Types of Conformal Coating for PCB Protection

types of conformal coatingWith the rise of IoT and technology in general, electronics are featured in myriad environments. This means that sensitive electronic connections are potentially exposed to hazards like extreme temperatures, moisture, and dust that can harm components and disrupt the integrity of the assembly itself.


REACH vs. RoHS Compliance for Electronics Manufacturing

REACH vs ROHS

Confused about REACH vs. RoHS compliance? You’re not alone. These two sets of electronics manufacturing guidelines were born from the European Union’s concern for human health and the environment.


Outsourcing Electronics Manufacturing: Onshore or Offshore?

outsourcing electronics manufacturing

It’s time for your organization to begin production of a new electronic device. For one reason or another, you’re in no position to take care of the work in-house. This means that you need to find a good partner to outsource the effort.


What Is the Cost of a Flying Probe Test?

flyingprobetest

For many companies, the focus on printed circuit board (PCB) production is on-time-delivery and quality. However, just as important to a product’s success and longevity is PCB testing. 

The two most acknowledged forms of effective testing are in-circuit testing (ICT) and flying probe testing. Both are effective at finding lapses in production quality, but the flying probe test is proving to be an especially cost-effective method to improve board standards.


INFOGRAPHIC: Cable Jacket Material Comparison

cable jacket material

Cable jackets serve as the first line of defense for wires and cables – which makes choosing the right jacketing material essential. So, you might be asking, what’s the best material for cable jackets?


Electronics Aftermarket Services: The A to Z Guide

electronics aftermarket services

You buy your electronic components, your machines are up and running, customers are happy, your workers are happy -- everything is good. Invoice paid, accounts receivable piling up. Paradise. 


7 Types of PCB Soldering Defects to Watch Out For

7 types of soldering defects

Let’s face it, soldering is difficult. It takes years of training to get good at the right kinds of solders, and even machines don’t always get it 100% right. It’s inevitable that you’ll run into PCB soldering defects at one point or another. 


‘Intrinsically Safe’ Design Guidelines for Electrical Devices

intrinsically safe design guidelines

When turned on, electrical equipment generates sparks. Some equipment generates heat that can lead to ignition, while electric arcing occurs between gaps in electrodes. 

The Cost of PCB Repair Services Vs. E-Wasting Your Budget

pcb repair services vs e waste

Plastic waste may snag all of the headlines, but it's not the only type of waste overwhelming landfills and contaminating soil and water.


RoHS-Compliant Countries That Aren’t Actually RoHS-Compliant

rohs compliant countries

It seems simple enough. If you’re a manufacturer who uses electronic components to build your products for American or international markets, you need RoHS 3 compliance. The U.S., China, and other countries have established electronics manufacturing standards on dangerous materials, closely styled after the EU’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances


RoHS 2 Compliance & Directives Checklist

rohs 2 compliance standardsIn 2006, the European Union rolled out a directive restricting the use of certain hazardous chemicals. This directive, Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS), would have a far-reaching impact on the electronics industry. Its restrictions on using lead would send manufacturers scrambling to revise their practices or adopt entirely new ones. Thanks to a follow-up directive in 2011, manufacturers now hustle to meet RoHS 2 compliance.

Yes, it’s not a punitive law full of fines and penalties. But if you’re a U.S. company, noncompliance is basically an impassable barrier to entry to the EU trade market. So if you want to do business abroad, don’t mess around -- comply.


What Does the IPC 6011 Standard Mean to PCB Manufacturing?

ipc 6011 pcb manufacturing

In the strict world of printed circuit board (PCB) fabrication and manufacturing, one key factor in the OEM’s success is paying close attention to industry standards. The guiding light for PCB manufacturing is IPC 6011. 


PCB Engineering Services: 4 Qualities to Look For

pcb engineering services

When you’re looking for a PCB engineering services provider, there are, of course, multiple things to consider. “Will they be able to meet my specific needs?” is likely your first and foremost concern. 


What Are PCB Functional Testing Services?

pcb functional testing servicesElectronics manufacture and testing are like squabbling siblings. PCB testing is a necessary expense that, when done correctly, prevents much larger and more embarrassing damage control when your product goes to market.


5 Electronic Enclosure Design Guidelines

ELECTRONIC ENCLOSURE DESIGN GUIDELINESElectronic devices are the sum of their parts, including the box in which you house them. 


Coronavirus & How Electronic Medical Device Manufacturers Can Cope

ELECTRONIC MEDICAL DEVICE MANUFACTURERSAs you know painfully well, the coronavirus is causing growing demand for medical ventilators and other "life-sustaining" devices. As hospital visits begin to surge, the medical device supply chain is being stretched thin.


Rigid PCB Vs. Flexible PCB Design

rigid vs flexible pcb design

The products that your organization is preparing to develop call for printed circuit boards (PCBs) -- simple enough, right? Not exactly. Components and boards come in many shapes, sizes, and materials.


What Does PCB In-Circuit Testing Cost?

pcb in-circuit testing

Tests for printed circuit boards (PCBs) come in many varieties based on cost, breadth, time, and other factors. There are many ways to test your PCB, but in-circuit testing, known as ICT, is the most advanced and accurate method. 


PCB Assembly Cost Breakdown

PCB_assembly_cost_breakdown

PCB (printed circuit board) costs are a concern for any electronics designers or manufacturers -- both the materials that go into PCBs and the expertise required to make them safe and reliable.


7 Benefits of Advanced Electronics Remanufacturing for Transportation

Advanced Electronics Remanufacturing for TransportationThere’s no perfect playbook to establishing and maintaining major transportation projects like subways, bus systems, and other transit developments.


Guide to a Faster Engineering Change Order Procedure in Electronics

engineering change order procedureChange management is usually a requirement in the electronics industry. This specifically relates to changes needed after the initial design of your project. In the electronics industry, an engineering change order (ECO) is the most common example of change management.


What Is REACH Compliance? | Electronics Manufacturing Standards

what is reach compliance - pcb inspection lineUnderstanding your marketing is key to a successful product run. That applies not only to your customers, but their home country as well.


What Does an Advanced Electronics Remanufacturing Company Do?

“If it’s broke, don’t fix it” will never fly for public transportation, mining equipment, or many other high-impact electronics projects. An electronics OEM is expected to keep things running by replacing or fixing components or entire products -- whether it’s affordable to do so or not.


What Is SMT Assembly?

what is smt assembly - placing componentsAs today’s electronics designs become smaller and more complex, more engineers are relying on surface mount technology. After the 1980s, this technology became the preferred PCB assembly technology in electronics manufacturing and hasn’t let up since.


Matric’s Variable Frequency Drive Repair Services Energize LNG Exports

Variable Frequency Drive Repair Services

A tanker departed from Freeport LNG in September 2019 with the first export cargo produced at the Houston facility. The late-afternoon moment in which it left shore strengthened the United States’ position as a major global supplier of the super-chilled fuel known as liquid nitrogen gas (LNG).


What Is AS9100 Certification for Electronics Manufacturing?

as9100 certification for aerospace manufacturing - satellite night skyWhen an OEM is sourcing out work -- let alone aerospace electronics manufacturing -- it’s likely to come across companies that boast about all sorts of certifications and capabilities.


4 Times When a Quick-Turn PCB Board House Isn't Enough

Quick-Turn PCB Board House - assembly lineThere’s a certain need for speed in manufacturing circuit boards -- the electronics industry demands it, and your end users demand it. But how quick is too quick?


4 PCB Prototyping Service Options

PCB Prototyping ServiceAs electronics OEM engineers well know, the printed circuit board (PCB) is crucial to the proper operation of just about every electronics product manufactured today. And complex electronics products for important jobs like mining, medical devices, and aerospace must be 100% failsafe.


Do Your ECM's Obsolescence Management Procedures Look Like This?

obsolescence management proceduresModern electronics are evolving so rapidly that new becomes old in just a few years -- or less, if you’re an iPhone superfan. In fact, the average life of a new integrated circuit is less than 2 years.


6 Ways to Identify & Avoid Counterfeit Electronic Components

One of the biggest concerns of electronic manufacturing is the reliability of the components being used. Counterfeit electronic components have long been a thorn in the side of manufacturers, and the counterfeit industry continues to thrive by adapting new methods to mask part authenticity.

7 No-Brainer Reasons to Prototype Your PCB Assembly

prototype pcb assembly lightbulb drawing

Prototyping is just as important to the electronics manufacturing process as designing, engineering, and testing. Ignore it at your own risk.


China Tariffs: How Will They Affect Electronics Manufacturers?

china tariffs on electronics

NOTE: This article was updated on September 16, 2019 to reflect recent information regarding tariffs.

Two days after Independence Day 2018, President Donald Trump’s aggressive new tariffs went into effect, imposing an extra 25% tax on imported Chinese goods. This affected over $50 billion worth of “industrially significant technologies” used by U.S. electronics manufacturers and their buyers. 


PCB Design Guide for Reverse Polarity Protection

reverse polarity protectionWhen user safety depends on equipment functioning reliably -- as is the case with many medical devices and handheld mining equipment, for example -- electronic components must be trustworthy.


How to Prep for Success With PCB Box Build Assembly Services

Electromechanical PCB box build assembly services are one of the most important offerings of electronics contract manufacturers. In addition to the manufacturing and population of PCBs (printed circuit boards), this full turnkey production is a simple, all-in-one approach to addressing your manufacturing needs. This includes wire harnesses, metal fabrication, and sub-level assemblies.


All About PCB Contamination Testing

pcb contamination testing corroded boardPCB contamination testing is not for every project, but it’s a lifesaver for some.


Does Your Assembly Need a PCB Microsection Analysis?

pcb microsection analysisThere is no shortage of reasons to test a PCB assembly, and there is no shortage of ways to do it. Out of the many functional tests available, PCB microsection analysis has a pretty specific purpose.


Deadline Day: The RoHS 3 Directive Is Here

rohs 3 directive dateFor those in the electronics manufacturing supply chain, RoHS compliance is a big deal. Hopefully you’ve treated it as such well in advance of the July 22, 2019, RoHS 3 deadline.


What Is a PCB Solderability Test?

pcb solderability testSolder is what makes the electrical connections work on your printed circuit board (PCB). Solderability, then, measures how well metal is wetted by molten solder to secure those connections. It’s one of the most essential PCB testing methods.


What Is Intrinsically Safe Equipment?

intrinsically safe equipment

In the constantly evolving world of technology, safety remains a top concern among engineers during development. Whether it’s a sensor in your car, your son’s handheld video game, or a surgically implanted medical device in your elderly neighbor, we need assurance that our products are intrinsically safe (IS) during use.


8 Steps to Electronic Product Design With Surface Mount Technology

electronic product design surface mount technologyIf you’re considering switching an existing electronic product design from through-hole technology to surface mount technology (SMT), you’ll want to do your homework first.


How’s the Electronic Component Shortage Looking in 2019 so Far?

electronic component shortage 1Two things are fairly certain about the current electronic component shortage: It’ll end, and it’ll someday return.


What is ITAR Compliance? Electronics Manufacturing Security Standards

itar compliance electronics manufacturing security standardsInternational Traffic and Arms Regulation (ITAR) came about in 1976 because of a need to control the export of military equipment and related sensitive information. Today, government enforcement of these regulations is far stricter than the Cold War days.


How Regulations Impact Your Electronics Manufacturing Supply Chain

electronics manufacturing supply chainThe electronics manufacturing supply chain ranks #1 as a source of risk to many OEMs. These snags include environmental and other international regulations, which at times may seem as tangled as the wires behind your desktop.


Specs for Class 2 Electronic Product Design

electronic product design-1When introducing a new electronic product design, many OEMs don’t fully understand the differences between IPC classifications -- or understand them at all.


RS485 Vs. RS232: What's the Difference?

RS485 vs. RS232Among the serial data interfaces -- SPI, Flex I2C, and many more -- available for electronic equipment, two stand out for their longevity. In spite of the dozens of new kids on the block, RS232 and RS485 remain popular.


Tariffs on Electronics From China: Another Delay

tariffs on electronics from chinaIf there's anything certain in the U.S.-China tariffs staredown, it's uncertainty.


Outsourcing a Box Build Assembly? Here's How to ID a Great Partner

box build assemblyBox build assembly. Systems integration. Top level assembly.


MEMS Design Guide for PCB Electromechanical Assemblies

Microelectromechanical systems, or MEMS, are the microscopic building blocks of current electronics. Look no further than the smartphone in your pocket -- these tiny devices make up many of the sensors in our phones that collect data like motion and image stabilization.

These little pieces have opened up a world of possibilities for companies looking to innovate with their products and craft revolutionary new ones Here’s a quick-and-dirty MEMS design guide to help your PCB design for electromechanical assemblies compete with the best.


Get a Quicker Quote for PCB Prototype Sourcing in 5 Shortcuts

pcb sourcing prototypeIn an ideal world, getting a quote for prototype production from your electronics contract manufacturer (ECM) would go smoothly and quickly. But the reality of prototype quoting is much less streamlined than either original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) or ECMs would like.


Guide to Making an Electronics Box Build Assembly

electronics box build assemblyIf you’ve put in the hard work of designing an electronic product, chances are you have high expectations for its success with your target market. But before you can get anything into the hands of customers, you need to have it in a project box that protects your carefully designed product and makes it truly useful and accessible.


ICT Testing: Cost, Advantages, & Drawbacks

ict testingYour great, new electronics product is almost ready to go. All you need is ICT testing (in-circuit testing) -- or perhaps another method of testing.


Should You Dual Source Your Electronics Manufacturing?

electronics manufacturing Supply Chain Management

The decision to single or dual source from electronics manufacturing services partners plays a heavy hand in determining the infrastructure of your supply chain. Each option has its advantages and potential hazards, and each OEM needs to determine the best fit based on its own size, order volumes, demand, etc.


PCB Documentation to Give Your Contract Manufacturer Up Front

 pcb documentation

The decision on which electronics manufacturing supplier to choose can be a difficult one. The outcome of the quoting process often decides who will build your assemblies. That’s why inaccurate quotes are a back-breaker for both OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and ECMs (electronics contract manufacturers).

For example, let’s say you received a quote from a supplier that was higher than your desired threshold. Other than that, this OEM checks all the boxes of an ideal supplier. However, you simply cannot accept a quote in that range. Little did you know; the quote was inaccurate, and the price was more in line with your targeted range.

Sure, this could be the fault of the ECM’s quoting process, and that would be on them. But if the OEM did not provide all the necessary printed circuit board (PCB) documentation up front, a missing file could have the same effect.


Class 3 Electronics PCB Manufacturers: Zero Room for Error

class 3 electronics pcb manufacturersIf you needed a pacemaker to keep your heart beating as it should, would you settle for the level of electronics quality you’d find in a cheap toy for toddlers? That’s the essential difference between IPC Class 1 assembly requirements and Class 3 electronics requirements.


How Component Inventory Management Makes an OEM’s Life Easier

Maintaining an accurate inventory can result in an elevated manufacturing process, increasing efficiency in production, ensuring on-time delivery, and allowing for timely action in the event of bottlenecks.


6 Questions to Ask Your EMS Supplier

ems supplierChoosing the right electronic manufacturing services (EMS) supplier can play a big part in the success of your company. Pick the right partner and you can rely support that helps you achieve optimal results from your new product introduction. Pick the wrong EMS supplier and you are in for:


Matric Group Honored With Governor’s Safety Award

governor's safety awardA dedicated safety program has netted the contract manufacturer its second state-recognized safety award in four years.


Is China Spy Chip a Supply Chain Snag for OEM Electronics Companies?

china spy chip oem electronics companiesOn Oct. 4, a story by Bloomberg that detailed allegations of China’s military infiltration into servers used by about 30 U.S. companies and top government agencies sent shockwaves across the tech industry. According to Bloomberg, Chinese spies sneaked tiny microchips capable of editing code from a remote location into motherboards of servers made by the world’s leading server maker – Super Micro Computer, commonly referred to as Supermicro.


Matric Wins Governor’s Award for Safety Excellence -- Again!

governor's award for safety excellenceMatric Limited’s successful safety program has once again been honored with the Governor’s Award for Safety Excellence.


What Is a Ball Grid Array for PCB Packaging?

ball grid array in PCBBall grid arrays are a form of high-density, low-cost packaging in the PCB industry.


Can US Electronics Contract Manufacturers Handle the China Tariffs?

china tariffs us electronics contract manufacturersIt’s too early to tell with certainty how U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods implemented in 2018 will truly affect U.S. electronics contract manufacturers. The signals from major players like Cisco Systems, Apple, and IBM so far are not happy ones.


Are Carbon Nanomaterials the Solution to Conflict Minerals?

carbon nanomaterials conflict minerals 2Conflict minerals are both a vital component (no pun intended) of the electronics industry and at the same time one of its biggest headaches. Since 2010, U.S.-based electronics companies have been required to determine whether certain components in their products came from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, one of the world’s largest sources of conflict minerals.


ISO 13485 Certification: Everything You Need to Know

ISO 13485 certification

Electronic contract manufacturers (ECMs) regularly tout the certifications they possess -- just take a look at their websites. Hey, even we do it. And it’s for good reason: Certifications communicate what your company is capable of to potential customers. It also communicates trustworthiness and dependability. If you’re a medical company seeking electronics manufacturing, the ISO 13485 certification is the most important one to you.


Beware These 6 Printed Circuit Board Layout Pitfalls

printed circuit board layout solderingPrinted circuit boards are vital components of many modern-day electrical gadgets. Printed circuit board layout is made up of numerous layers of copper traces and circuits that help make connections between various parts, as well as plastic and other types of materials that are used to cover and shield the connections from the surroundings.

How you design and manufacture printed circuit boards (PCBs) largely determines how well these boards will work in the final product. Unfortunately, layout is becoming increasingly difficult and complicated, as new board circuit designs are being shrunk to fit in electrical devices that become becoming smaller and smaller each year.


Simplify Your First Article Inspection for Electronics in 6 Steps

first article inspection electronics


Your ECM Should Be Using a Third-Party Electronic Component Database

electronic component database

Perhaps the most groan-inducing aspect of electronics manufacturing is component sourcing. Limited availability, dubious component quality, and conflict mineral laws are common causes of you and your manufacturer’s headaches when it comes to sourcing parts.

Fortunately, programs exist that reduce the hassle of this experience, in turn lowering risk in your supply chain. The program of choice at Matric Group is SiliconExpert, and in this article I’ll tell you why your ECM (electronics contract manufacturer) should be using this program -- and how it makes an OEM’s life easier.


Why Electronic Component Lead Times Are Rising -- & 3 Ways to Prepare

electronic component lead timesIf your manufacturing projects involve electronics, you’re likely facing the challenge of extended electronic component lead times. Certain parts that used to take 12 weeks to come in are now taking upward of 30 weeks. Some parts even take a full year to arrive.

It’s nice news for distributors, who can take advantage of this “shortage” and charge higher prices, but it’s not a good deal for OEMs -- especially considering the importance of fast time to market in today’s need-it-now world.

Here’s a closer look at why there’s a shortage of certain components today and what your company can do about it:


EMS Company Embarks on a New, Exciting Chapter

EMS company(The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development's PA Proud blog recently spoke with Matric Group President and CEO Rick Turner to learn how our growing, innovative EMS company utilized the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority [PIDA] program to invest in its future with upgraded machinery and job training. PIDA provides low-interest loans and lines of credit to businesses that commit to creating and retaining full-time jobs, and for the development of industrial parks and multi-tenant facilities.)


How Burn-In Testing Can Save You A Lot of Money – And Trouble

Testing and inspection are vital parts of electronics contract manufacturing, for obvious reasons. Before that shipment of PCBs arrives on your doorstep, you want to be sure you’re getting what you paid for -- a properly assembled, fully functional circuit board. One of the most important tests your manufacturer can put your boards through to make sure that happens is called burn-in testing, and it could save you a lot of time, money, and trouble.


Embedded Systems & IOT in Electronics Manufacturing – An Explainer

embedded systems iotPerhaps without realizing it, you use embedded systems and IoT every single day of your life.

“I use what?” you might’ve just asked.


Basics of Obsolescence Management for Electronics

obsolescence management basics-1The most painful part of developing with electronics is knowing your success is fleeting. Eventually, all parts must die, or at least fade away into irrelevance. But there’s something you can do about it. Obsolescence management can guide you through this difficult process.


What OEMs Can Do About Obsolete Electronic Parts

obsolete electronic partsLosing a key component at the wrong time can be downright terrifying to OEM teams trying to get a product out. So what can an OEM do about obsolete electronic parts?


Your Go-To Guide to Reducing PCB Assembly Cost

how to reduce pcb assembly costAs with most things you can purchase, there’s a strenuous relationship between cost and quality when it comes to PCB assemblies. However, there is a happy medium to be found between the two, and these tips can help reduce PCB assembly cost without sacrificing quality.


Auto Inspection Makes Your Electronic Contract Manufacturer Productive

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Without a doubt, the development of enhanced inspection equipment has been critical to the PCB assembly industry. The speed and precision of Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) and Automated X-Ray Inspection (AXI) techniques have allowed PCB manufacturers to keep in demand with the increasing complexity of today’s electronics.


Buyer’s Guide to PCB Layout Design

pcb layout designThere comes a day in nearly every engineer’s and buyer’s lives when they need a printed circuit board (PCB) for their company’s next electronic product. Whether you have a working knowledge of PCB layout design or are a newbie, it helps to grasp the start-to-finish journey a design makes.


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