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Altium 365 Getting Started User Guide - Available Now
Hi Everyone, A month ago, I announced the release of the Altium Designer Getting Started User Guide. This week we are following up with the release of another helpful guide: Altium 365 Getting Started User Guide. The Altium 365 cloud platform offers the most connected experience for PCB design and realization with direct access from Altium Designer or any web browser. All active subscribers can access Altium 365 to unlock powerful functionality
Breaking Out of the Office with Altium 365
A few years ago, I was working as a PCB design engineer for a company in the stunning Italian countryside, designing power inverters for water pumps. The work was as intricate as it was commensurately fulfilling, with every board presenting an extremely sharp dI/dt and stringent EMC and reliability requirements. Driving to work each day, with the hills slowly emerging from behind the freeway to reveal the tiny dot that was our factory, was scenic
Learn to Manage Your BOM Inventory for Smooth Production Runs
I’ve recently gotten into fermenting kombucha (which, I am well aware, is about the most hipster thing I could have said), and I ordered a handful of different-sized mason jars online in order to store it. Mason jars are reliable as ever but with the increasing popularity of home-fermenting and brewing, they’re one part of an industry trying to optimize how we store. During my ordering process alone, I had twelve tabs open of marginally different
Sync Your Electronics Inventory Management System With the Cloud
Do you use internal databases and tracking tools for electronics inventory management? Sync your inventory management system with the cloud.
Huge Vu-meter with RGB LEDs Project
A laboratory journal to guide you through the steps to develop a successful product that value-conscious customers are sure to love.
Altium DbLibs and Electronic Components in the Cloud with Altium Designer 20.1
Industry expert Davide Bortolami discusses what DbLibs are, how they work, what they can help you achieve, and how to integrate them with Altium 365. Spoiler alert: it’s disgustingly easy.
Tarun Amla on the Role of ITEQ, a Large Laminate Manufacturing Company in the PCB Industry
We spoke with the Executive VP and CTO of ITEQ; about ITEQ’s targeted market sectors, product developer mistakes, and the impact of COVID-19 on the laminate industry.
IPC CEO John Mitchell on the Impact of COVID-19 on the Electronics Supply Chain
The SARS-CoV-2 crisis has had an unprecedented impact on the electronics industry. Here, Dr. Mitchell discusses the IPC’s role in mitigating those industry-wide effects.
Rigid-Flex PCBs in IoT Devices: ECAD and MCAD Collaboration
At a recent PCB manufacturer’s trade show, multiple fabricators informed me they are seeing many more requests for flex and rigid-flex PCBs recently, particularly for smart wearables and small embedded/IoT products. The advantages of flex and rigid-flex PCBs include more efficient use of space in an enclosure, and the ability to adapt to foldable devices. Whether you need a static or dynamic flex/rigid-flex PCB, you’ll need to verify a number of
Problems in Multiboard BOM Generation? Unified Design Tools Can Help
Dealing with a multiboard BOM can feel like shuffling stacks of paper... Your next multiboard system is likely complicated enough. You’ve got to worry about multiple layouts, multiple schematics, signal integrity within and between boards, mechanical form and function, and EMI/EMC. With all these design aspects to worry about, documenting every aspect of your board can be a time suck. With so many new products being built from multiboard systems
SAP and mSAP in Flexible Circuit Fabrication
Question: What is SAP and mSAP? This is an excellent question. These acronyms are getting a lot of attention lately and are relatively new acronyms for the PCB industry, which ironically is infamous for using them. SAP and mSAP are not new terms to the electronics industry, they are common processes in IC substrate fabrication, but these are processes that are emerging technology in the PCB fabrication segment. After saying this is new technology
Elmatica: Advancing the Vision of a Fully-Digital Supply Chain
Recently, while at IPC APEX in San Diego, I had the privilege to meet and interview Elmatica CEO, DidrikBech. Each year at the conference I volunteer as a guest editor for Real Time with IPC which always affords me a wonderful opportunity to meet interesting industry leaders such as Bech. As a follow-up, I asked to interview Bech again for the OnTrack audience so you could also learn about this fascinating Norwegian-based PCB broker. Elmatica has
Comparing Electronic Prices with Supply Chain Visibility
Thankfully, I’m no longer a broke college student that has ramen every other day for dinner. But the spending and budgeting habits I developed during that period of my life have stuck with me and served me well into adulthood. I’m not eating ramen anymore, but I still keep an eye on my monthly budget. If you’re considering which components to include in your next PCB and are trying to formulate a production budget, you’ll need access to supply
How Integrated Libraries Help You Manage Your PCB Supply Chain
If only sourcing PCB components worked like e-commerce. Recommendation engines are great in that they can help you decide what to buy when your preferred item is not available. Most PCB design packages don’t have this type of functionality, which would save a massive amount of time when planning a manufacturing run. Whether you’re sourcing electronic components or some other parts for your next product, you’ll need access to updates supply chain
Browsing Electronic Component Distributor Inventory with Integrated Libraries
Even though I make a lot of lists just to keep track of all the different activities going on with my business, it gets tiring. When I need to buy office supplies, it helps to have all my options in one place so that I can figure out where I need to go to buy everything. Thankfully, when you’re sourcing for your PCB, there are solutions that show you all your distributor options. Browsing through distributor websites to source components for your
Differences Between Hardware Design for Hobbyists and Commercial Applications
Even though I’ve been a Taekwondo practitioner for 20 years, I still get slightly nervous each time I step into a competition ring. No matter how many practice rounds I’ve sparred, the actual fight is an adrenaline-filled experience that cannot be replicated elsewhere. Imagine two people stepping into a ring and each stepper immediately trying to ascertain where the other’s weaknesses are. Similar to me when I’m prototyping a new board! The same
Get into the Zone of PCB Parts Information from Your BOM Application
“Picture if you will,” “Imagine a world where,” and “Submitted for your approval” are all quotes from Rod Serling, the creator of shows like “The Night Gallery” and, of course, “The Twilight Zone”. Maybe it’s because these phrases were popularized by those shows, but I often find myself using them, especially when it comes to designing printed circuit boards. Imagine a world where you could actually work with your component data in a separate