Process Engineering for Advanced Assembly with Chao Vang and Sebastian Weber

Judy Warner
|  Created: June 18, 2019  |  Updated: February 5, 2021

Today we have a treat for you; we’re going to talk to two bright, young leaders at Advanced Assembly, Chao Vang, who’s the Engineering Manager there, and also Sebastian Weber who’s their Process Engineer. Both have come up through Advanced Assembly, learned in the trenches and they’re going to share great tips with you on how to make sure that your assembly is done right the first time and this will save you a lot of headaches.

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Show Highlights:

  • Chao’s degree and background are in Computer Engineering and Electronics Technology. She started off at Advanced Assembly ten years ago as the Coding Engineer; did sales for two years, and has been in her current role for two years now.
  • Sebastian has a degree and background in Electronics Engineering and quick-turn assembly. He started as a Receiving & Shipping Supervisor and due to his technical knowledge, gradually got into more technical positions and eventually Process Engineer which he’s been doing for three-and-a-half years.
  • Located in Aurora, Colorado, Advanced Assembly is the original quick-turn PCB assembly service shop; the pioneer in these services 15 years ago. Built from the ground up, they are specifically geared towards prototypes and small quantity quick-turns.
  • Over the years they’ve assembled over 40 000 unique designs. With a staff complement of 105, their focus is that they are real people, with real experiences ensuring their customers get exactly what and when they need it.
  • What happens after you receive the data package and files? Critical files required for DFA (design for assembly) check are: BOM, XYRS (pick and place files), and all the layers of Gerbers which must include copper, paste and silkscreen. For customers who don’t have all the files, we can create them.
  • Most jobs (in fact, 95%, go on hold initially due to missing files.
  • What is the first step for process engineering? Review files for special assembly notes, identify designs that aren’t necessarily the best for manufacturing and communicate on issues long before the actual build.
  • What issues most routinely come up on the process engineering side? Via in pad especially on BGAs, glass top micro-BGAs, overage on very small parts.
  • Common issues in front-end engineering: in the BOM, parts called out are not the same as in the description, for example, capacitors and resistors as well as polarity issues.
  • How many parts on an average board? Between 250 to 500 - the DFA check takes almost two hours depending on complexity and some jobs have thousands of parts.
  • What can your customers do to speed things up? Talk to the assembly house and ask what they need. A schematic and list of special requirements can help tremendously.
  • Tips from engineering: Keep suggestions and feedback from the assembly house and do these implementations upon the next revision to avoid rework and related costs.
  • How would customer’s implementing your suggestions impact you as an assembler? Mostly shorten lead time by preventing jobs from going on hold.  
  • Better planning means better results - partner up with your assembler and save money.
  • All front-end engineering is done before a purchase order is even produced, meaning, the customer doesn’t pay for the DFA check.
  • Parts sourced during the quoting phase through proprietary software and Octopart® shortens the sourcing time from an hour, to an average of 5 to 7 minutes!
  • It’s been confirmed that Advanced Assembly will be at AltiumLive, October 9 - 11, 2019

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About Author

About Author

Judy Warner has held a unique variety of roles in the electronics industry for over 25 years. She has a background in PCB Manufacturing, RF and Microwave PCBs and Contract Manufacturing, focusing on Mil/Aero applications. 

She has also been a writer, blogger, and journalist for several industry publications such as Microwave Journal, PCB007 Magazine, PCB Design007, PCD&F, and IEEE Microwave Magazine, and an active board member for PCEA (Printed Circuit Engineering Association). In 2017, Warner joined Altium as the Director of Community Engagement. In addition to hosting the OnTrack Podcast and creating the OnTrack Newsletter, she launched Altium's annual user conference, AltiumLive. Warner's passion is to provide resources, support, and advocate for PCB Design Engineers worldwide.

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