Matric Blog

  • Who's to Blame for the Electronic Components Supply Shortage?
    by Tyler Vasbinder on April 22, 2019 at 9:35 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. […]

  • What is ITAR Compliance? Electronics Manufacturing Security Standards
    by Matric on April 18, 2019 at 5:39 pm

    International 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
    by Matric on April 15, 2019 at 9:06 pm

    The 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. […]

  • PCB Assembly Services: Through-Hole Vs. Surface Mount
    by Matric on April 5, 2019 at 2:06 pm

    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. […]

  • Specs for Class 2 Electronic Product Design
    by Matric on March 27, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    When 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?
    by Matric on March 20, 2019 at 8:22 pm

    Among 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. […]

  • Why an ISO 13485 Certified Manufacturer Is Vital for Medical Devices
    by Matric on March 18, 2019 at 9:28 pm

    Medical 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. […]

  • Tariffs on Electronics From China: Another Delay
    by Matric on February 27, 2019 at 7:21 pm

    If there's anything certain in the U.S.-China tariffs staredown, it's uncertainty. […]

  • Moving to a Wireless Industrial Control: IoT & More
    by Matric on February 27, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    Many 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. […]

  • Best Types of PCB Material for Your Board
    by Matric on February 25, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    Most often, the foundation, or base, of a printed circuit board (PCB) consists of a substrate and laminate. Different substrate and laminate materials 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: […]

  • What Are RoHS 3 Substances & What's The Implementation Date?
    by Matric on February 18, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    There 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. […]

  • Capabilities of a Flying Probe Test
    by Tyler Vasbinder on February 15, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    PCB 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. […]

  • Outsourcing a Box Build Assembly? Here's How to ID a Great Partner
    by Matric on February 7, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    Box build assembly. Systems integration. Top level assembly. […]

  • MEMS Design Guide for PCB Electromechanical Assemblies
    by Tyler Vasbinder on February 4, 2019 at 2:39 pm

    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
    by Matric on January 31, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    In 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
    by Matric on January 31, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    If 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
    by Matric on January 28, 2019 at 4:25 pm

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

  • Types of Conformal Coating for PCB Protection
    by Tyler Vasbinder on January 24, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    With 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. […]

  • How to Achieve Zero Defects in Your Electronics Build: 8 Tips
    by Matric on January 15, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    There 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? […]

  • Should You Dual Source Your Electronics Manufacturing?
    by Tyler Vasbinder on January 7, 2019 at 4:46 pm

    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
    by Tyler Vasbinder on December 27, 2018 at 10:11 pm

      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
    by Matric on December 11, 2018 at 9:22 pm

    If 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 betweenIPC Class 1 assembly requirements and Class 3 electronics requirements. […]

  • How Component Inventory Management Makes an OEM’s Life Easier
    by Tyler Vasbinder on November 28, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    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. […]

  • Glossary: Terms Your Electronics Contract Manufacturer May Use
    by Matric on November 26, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    When 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. […]

  • 6 Questions to Ask Your EMS Supplier
    by Matric on November 20, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    Choosing 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
    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. […]

  • 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

    […]

  • 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. […]