Matric Blog

  • Matric Group Honored With Governor’s Safety Award
    by Tyler Vasbinder on November 5, 2018 at 5:04 pm

    A dedicated safety program has netted the contract manufacturer its second state-recognized safety award in four years. […]

  • Common Causes of PCB Failure
    by Tyler Vasbinder on October 25, 2018 at 6:40 pm

    Printed 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. […]

  • Is China Spy Chip a Supply Chain Snag for OEM Electronics Companies?
    by Matric on October 17, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    On 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. […]

  • How to Get Accurate Quotes From an Electronics Contract Manufacturer
    by Tyler Vasbinder on October 15, 2018 at 6:46 pm

    When sourcing your PCB assembly needs to an electronics contract manufacturer, you expect a fast and accurate quote to begin the process. It’s in the best interest of both the OEM and the manufacturer to prioritize accuracy from the beginning. […]

  • Matric Wins Governor’s Award for Safety Excellence -- Again!
    by Tyler Vasbinder on October 12, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    Matric 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?
    by Tyler Vasbinder on October 8, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    Ball grid arrays are a form of high-density, low-cost packaging in the PCB industry. […]

  • Can US Electronics Contract Manufacturers Handle the China Tariffs?
    by Matric on October 2, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    It’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. […]

  • Vital Elements of a Box Build Assembly
    by Tyler Vasbinder on September 18, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    Electromechanical box build assembly is a key service offered by electronics contract manufacturers. In addition to the manufacture and population of PCBs, this full turnkey production offers a simple, all-in-one approach to your manufacturing needs. This includes wire harnesses, metal fabrication, and sub-level assemblies. […]

  • Are Carbon Nanomaterials the Solution to Conflict Minerals?
    by Tyler Vasbinder on September 11, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    Conflict 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. […]

  • Easy as 123: The Differences in Class 1, Class 2 & Class 3 Electronics
    by Tyler Vasbinder on August 28, 2018 at 9:14 pm

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

  • ISO 13485 Certification: Everything You Need to Know
    by Tyler Vasbinder on August 13, 2018 at 4:22 pm

    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. […]

  • IPC Standards Chart for U.S.
    by Matric on August 9, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    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. […]

  • Who's to Blame for the Electronic Components Supply Shortage?
    by Tyler Vasbinder on August 6, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    Dating back to 2017, the electronic components supply shortage has become an increasingly challenging issue for companies that rely on the industry. A surge in use of components combined with a shortage of parts has snowballed into what’s become a highly constrained market. […]

  • RoHS 2 Compliance & Directives Checklist
    by Matric on August 3, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    In 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. […]

  • ICT Testing Vs Flying Probe Testing
    by Matric on August 1, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    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. […]

  • Your Guide to a Quicker Electronics Engineering Change Notice Process
    by Tyler Vasbinder on July 24, 2018 at 9:28 pm

    Change 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 notice (ECN) is the most common example of change management. […]

  • Beware These 6 Printed Circuit Board Layout Pitfalls
    by Matric on July 18, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    Printed 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
    by Tyler Vasbinder on July 16, 2018 at 9:07 pm

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  • PCB Layout Design for Manufacturability: 5 Mistakes to Avoid
    by Matric on July 13, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    Optimizing 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. […]

  • Your ECM Should Be Using a Third-Party Electronic Component Database
    by Tyler Vasbinder on July 11, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    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. […]

  • China Tariffs: How Will They Affect Your Electronics Manufacturers?
    by Tyler Vasbinder on July 9, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    Two days after Independence Day, President Donald Trump’s aggressive new tariffs went into effect, imposing an extra 25% tax on imported Chinese goods. This will affect over $50 billion worth of “industrially significant technologies,” and could have a significant impact on U.S. electronics manufacturers -- and those who buy from them. […]

  • Why Electronic Component Lead Times Are Rising -- & 3 Ways to Prepare
    by Matric on June 26, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    If 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
    by Rick Turner on June 25, 2018 at 9:20 pm

    (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.) […]

  • Electronics Manufacturing Trade Shows You Don’t Want to Miss
    by Matric on June 22, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    Even 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. Let’s take a look at some of the best trade shows out there for you to take advantage of and start meeting great new partners and vendors today. […]

  • How Burn-In Testing Can Save You A Lot of Money – And Trouble
    by Matric on June 20, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    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
    by Matric on June 18, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    Perhaps without realizing it, you use embedded systems and IoT every single day of your life. “I use what?” you might’ve just asked. […]

  • Worth It to Outsource PCB Assembly Services? Definitely
    by Matric on June 8, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    More 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. […]

  • 6 Ways to Detect & Avoid Counterfeit Electronic Components
    by Matric on May 31, 2018 at 9:20 pm

    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. Counterfeits are usually produced in one of two ways: […]

  • Basics of Obsolescence Management for Electronics
    by Matric on May 29, 2018 at 7:08 pm

    The 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
    by Matric on May 23, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    Losing 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? […]

  • The Ultimate Guide to Combating Electronic Component Shortages
    by Matric on May 10, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    The booming electronics market is obviously great news for all those involved in the industry, but some drawbacks are beginning to take shape in the form of electronic component shortages worldwide. […]

  • Your Go-To Guide to Reducing PCB Assembly Cost
    by Matric on May 7, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    As 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
    by Matric on May 4, 2018 at 8:51 pm

    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. […]

  • What Does an Electronic Manufacturing Services Company Do?
    by Matric on May 3, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    Do you work for an original equipment manufacturer, or OEM? Chance are you’ve crossed paths with a project requiring electronic manufacturing services -- and needed outside help, ASAP. […]

  • Buyer’s Guide to PCB Layout Design
    by Matric on April 18, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    There 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. […]

  • Which Electronics Need To Be Intrinsically Safe?
    by Tyler Vasbinder on April 6, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    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 during use. […]