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A Complete guide on Aerospace Industry Standards for PCB Manufacturing!

By | Date posted: | Last updated: April 28, 2021
aerospace-industry-standards

The aerospace industry is one of the booming industries that require reliable and durable electrical and mechanical systems. But are you aware that the Aerospace industry is also one of the highly regulated industries and every aerospace PCB need must meet high-quality and performance requirements? Every component that goes into PCB must meet certain quality and reliability standards.

When compared to the other electronics devices, the aerospace industry demands extensive durability and reliability of PCBs. And the PCBs used in aerospace systems should be stronger to withstand extreme environments like high temperatures and moisture. Both design and manufacturing of PCBs should follow certain quality mandates and these are embodied in various rules, regulations, and guidelines.

PCB manufacturing is a major component of aerospace industry standards including AS9100D for quality management systems. The aerospace industry gives significant emphasis on the PCB manufacturing process and component procurement. Right from fabrication, component procurement, assembly, testing, and specifications of your boards, the aerospace industry standards are sorted for each aspect of the PCB manufacturing process.

SAE Standards

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) sets a number of aerospace industry standards that are require to PCB manufacturing. One needs to incorporate the appropriate standards that are applicable to the development of your aerospace PCB boards.

Aerospace Industry StandardPCB Manufacturing Impact
AMS2750EComponent Procurement, Testing
AS9006AComponent Procurement, Assembly
AS9100DFabrication, Component Procurement, Assembly, Testing, Specifications
AS478NFabrication
AS5553AComponent Procurement
AS9101ESpecifications
AS9102BTesting

AMS2750E – This focuses on pyrometric requirements for devices like thermal processing equipment, thermal sensors, instruments. It also covers testing & surveying to make sure adherence to heat treatment specifications.

AS478N – About the type of markings and where to find or locate them for aerospace components

AS5553A – This rule puts forth generic requirements for every organization in the supply chain that procures and integrates components that will be used in aerospace systems.

AS9006A – Specifies software requirements and support components and devices that are part of a software system that goes into an aerospace system.

AS9100D – Specifies QMS requirements for the suppliers in the aerospace industry. This is applicable to both the in-house and outsourced manufacturing processes, management responsibilities, and focuses on customer satisfaction.

AS9101E – Provides guidelines for the auditing and reporting of QMS.

AS9102B – Provides a baseline First Article Inspection (FAI) requirement.

ISO 9100 – This is a universally recognized International Organization of Standardization (ISO) baseline for Quality Management Systems (QMS). Numerous other standards are derived from ISO 9100 and any organization can use this standard for quality management. If customer satisfaction is at the center of your agenda, then you need to focus on QMS and continual improvements.

IPC Standards

The Association Connecting Electronics Industries (ACEI) is a trade association that is aimed at standardizing the PCB assembly and production requirements. IPC is accredited by the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) and it publishes the acceptability standards in the electronics industry. Some of them are

  1. IPC-2221 – A generic standard on PCB
  2. IPC-2223 – Sectional design standard for flexible PCBs
  3. IPC-4562 – Metal foil for printed wiring applications
  4. IPC-4101 – Laminate prep materials standard
  5. IPC-4202 – Flex Base dielectrics to be used in PCBs
  6. IPC-4203 – Adhesive coated dielectric films to be used as cover sheets
  7. IPC-4204 – Flexible metal-clad dielectrics used in Fabrication
  8. IPC-A-600 – Acceptance of printed wiring boards
  9. IPC-6012 – Performance of rigid printed boards
  10. IPC-6013 – Specification for printed wiring both flex and rigid
  11. IPC-6018 – Performance specifications for high-frequency printed board
  12. IPC-3406 – For electrically conductive surface mount adhesives
  13. IPC-FA-251 – Assembly guidelines for both single and double-sided flex PCBs

Safety Standards

Safety is a must thing in aerospace PCB development. The sheer number of standards and regulations are meant to provide the safety of aeronautical vehicle development. You need to follow certain safety standards for providing acceptable safety levels to ensure the safety of the people on board.

AS9100 – PCB aerospace manufacturing must adhere to AS9100 that uses the ISO 9001 standard. AS9100 is not just a quality standard but also a safety standard for covering various aspects of the PCB manufacturing process. It adds additional requirements relating to safety and quality. Major aerospace manufacturers and suppliers across the world need to comply with AS9100.

Nadcap Standards

Your aerospace electronics manufacturing standards have to be rigorously tested to meet all Nadcap standards. The processes and equipment should meet Nadcap standards to improve supplier quality throughout the industry through stringent requirements. By adhering to this, you can improve standardization and reduce costs.

International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)

ITAR is a set of US government regulations for controlling the export and import of aerospace systems. ITAR has made it mandated that all the manufacturers, brokers, exporters in the supply chain make sure that the ITAR compliance aerospace PCB assembly processes, services, equipment, and any technical data must be ITAR-compliant. Any non-compliance to ITAR may put your data into unauthorized hands and used for illegitimate purposes.

FAA Certification Standards

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aircraft certification standards focus on many aspects of the mechanical, electrical, and operational requirements of the aviation industry. You can design and manufacture the tools early on to ensure your aircraft products are adhering to the reliability standards.

IPC standards should be at the forefront of your design strategy. Some of the important industry standards you need to comply with must be

  1. AS9001 quality tracking
  2. IPC class 3A for PCB design and manufacturing requirements
  3. CISPR standards specified by IEC
  4. EMC requirements specified by FCC
  5. Power requirements defined in the CBEMA curve
  6. MIL standards for PCBs in mission-critical aircrafts
  7. ISO
  8. IPC
  9. RTCA DO

These FAA standards will rigorously evaluate your PCB designs to ensure the highest performance in extreme environments.

So, if you find it difficult to keep a track of these standards, focus on finding a CM who makes these things an integral part of development from the beginning. You can build a collaborative relationship with your aerospace contract manufacturer (CM). They would make sure all your boards, components, and manufacturing processes meet and exceed the current aerospace industry standards.

Mer-Mar Electronics is one of the leading aerospace design and manufacturing companies that is specialized in building fast, precise, and high-quality aerospace PCB assembly. We are committed to accurately reflect your design specifications as well as meet the aerospace industry standards. We at Mermar Electronics, we assist our customers from initial design to mass production & delivery stage; as one of the leading Aerospace electronics manufacturing service (EMS) providers.

Top Tips for Manufacturing Printed Circuit Boards for Aerospace Electronics!

By | Date posted: | Last updated: April 12, 2021
Manufacturing Printed Circuit Boards

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return” – Leonardo Da Vinci

How true is that! Man has always been fascinated by the idea of flight and he pushed his human ingenuity to experience the magic of flying. There were some impressive and undeniably great human achievements mankind has recorded once he started to explore the frontiers of space. Right from the first Sputnik voyage mission to the recent Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover, the possibilities of the aerospace industry are limitless, and listing anything here would just be a drop in the ocean!

And these incredible space-based systems depend on electronics and PCBs whose quality should be beyond what we see quite often in commercial electronics products. Undoubtedly, one needs high-quality, reliable PCBs for aerospace applications and the security of the PCBs and components is of paramount importance. So, how can you meet this high bar set for aerospace electronics?

If you are wondering how to meet the high precision requirements, how to implement the processes to build high-quality aerospace electronics, let us reveal some secret tips that would do the purpose!

What are the Aerospace Electronics Essentials?

The aerospace electronics industry is not immune to the constant evolution of electronics systems and PCBs. Many compact-sized with high capability systems have made their way into the mainstream and putting PCB manufacturers and designers on their toes to adapt to the rapid changes. There has always been a greater emphasis on the reliability of devices.

PCB developers need systems that can successfully meet the requirements and handle the challenges of the aerospace industry. Some of the essentials are software, hardware, and services. The hardware materials should be of high-quality and be able to work relentlessly for extended time periods. You need to optimize the component selection as well to overcome any delays in cost and efforts.

The software essentials in the aerospace industry should offer seamless interoperability between the PCB components with the functioning of the mechanical, thermal, and electrical simulations. They must reduce your development time. Services essentials should have the ability to maintain high standards and build quality products for aerospace electronics.

What things does one need to consider while working on Aerospace Printed Circuit Boards?

The development of aerospace systems needs a long time and since they need to withstand and perform without glitches in outer space, extra care and attention are inevitable. Especially, the cost and effort that goes into building a mission are massive and any failure or a glitch is going to put the entire mission in jeopardy dashing the hopes of so many technicians, engineers, and other personnel involved closely with the project.

There are also man-based missions where some aerospace systems carry personnel whose safety is crucial. The environmental conditions are also different, and the equipment and its components should be tolerant to any extreme conditions. Any issues that chip in when they are millions of feet away from the air would be difficult to handle.

There have been rapid developments even in the process of satellite and space exploration vehicles’ development and deployment. Unlike earlier, when there were only Government based missions, even the commercial enterprises are making a foray into this industry.

Tips for Manufacturing Printed Circuit Boards for Aerospace Electronics

Are you a noob in space technology or searching for ways to transition from the old school model? We’ve got everything you need under one roof. Let’s dive in!

  1. What standards and regulations are applicable to the aerospace industry?

    Aerospace systems are prone to extreme or unusual climatic conditions. They are expected to work irrespective of the environment they are in! Any anomaly or glitches would create havoc and can take down the entire project. So, there have been certain guidelines and regulations that every space-based system should comply with to work and operate seamlessly and with zero errors. The deployment time should be as per the aerospace industry to avoid any potential collision with space debris. Aerospace or Military Grade PCB Assemblies should also adhere to AS 9100 that uses ISO 9001 standard as the base and there are also a few other SAE standards covering many aspects of the manufacturing. Knowledge of these standards that are applicable to the space-based boards is important.

  2. Optimize the Components for higher durability and reliability

    Aerospace industry electronics should work with utmost precision otherwise it would have serious repercussions on the entire project. Component selection forms the foundation of any aerospace electronics product. You need to rely on high-quality components that can withstand the space environment, be available for future production as well. Make sure no counterfeit components are used in this process as this would destroy the whole project in the long run. Any delays and interruptions can be dealt with efficiently if you have made the right component selection. This would have an impact on the lifecycle as well and no substandard components find a place in the aerospace systems.

  3. Your PCB designs should have simulation capabilities

    Your design software tool capabilities play a key role in electronics manufacturing and assembly. It is even more crucial when it comes to designing aerospace electronics. The boards that are required in the space-based systems are usually complex with multiple integrations with other boards. For this, you need to have a multi-board design and the ability to simulate the board’s response to varied conditions. For instance, the one that can simulate temperature and power variations is desired. If it performs finite element analysis of the strength, then it’s highly beneficial.

  4. Additional Testing required to make your board flight-ready

    PCB assembly testing includes a series of tests like ICT testing, Flying probe testing, functional testing, and so on. But when it comes to PCBs and electronics for your aerospace systems, you need to go beyond a notch and look for additional testing if required. Your space-based testing requires specialized testing to make sure if it delivers reliable performance all the time. This is crucial since space-based systems are prone to atmospheric turbulence during the deployment phase. Therefore, you need to test all conditions to confirm the functioning of the system.

Still unsure? Do you have any further queries? Wait! We are not done yet!

Collaborate with an electronics contract manufacturer that helps you to meet your goals

It’s all about quality! Your CM should be able to meet aerospace industry requirements to achieve the desired quality standards. And it’s no easy to find one! So, focus on their portfolio to know about the quality control methods and processes at the CM. Do they have the expertise to manufacture high-quality and durable boards? Do they have experience working in the aerospace electronics industry vertical? The quality control operations of your CM are under the scrutiny of QMS. This element of choosing the right CM that can assist you in meeting the applicable industry regulations decides the entire process.

Conclusion

Aerospace Industry has been helping humans to achieve what was once unbelievable! It has been pushing its limits to new horizons providing an incredibly diverse and rewarding experience to humanity. The quality, security, and reliability of the PCBs and components are paramount for building sturdy and strong aerospace electronics. To achieve this, you need to have a qualified partner for your build. Mer-Mar Electronics has been one of the pioneers in the aerospace electronics industry. You can check out the PCB services to see if it fits your requirements.

As circuit board manufacturers in USA, We continue to innovate new ways to make PCBs more versatile, sturdy and reliable, the aerospace industry will benefit as well. We understand the custom needs of our customers and offers an exclusive service to help them with their electronics projects. Our consistent quality and quick turnaround time endear itself to our customers, who look at us as a one stop-shop for all their PCB requirements. Get in touch with us if you have any questions or requirement related to our Printed Circuit Board Assembly Service.

Top 7 Myths to avoid while selecting Electronic Contract Manufacturing Partner!

By | Date posted: | Last updated: April 2, 2021
Electronic Contract Manufacturing Partner

It goes without saying that with the right people around, you can turn even the problems into opportunities. So, it is imperative to put the best players in the wing for gaining that edge in the market and the right Electronic Contract Manufacturer (ECM) could make the difference you are expecting. Put some good amount of thought and research while picking the electronic contract partner for you. The ECM company is the key and critical decision for your product success. There are certain obvious mistakes one commits while selecting the ECM partner. Don’t just jump in right away at the first choice, focus on multiple factors and weigh each option.

There are many myths and misconceptions associated with the selection of an electronic contract manufacturer. Let’s see a few of them here.

Myth #1 – ECMs will do all the heavy lifting for you

Perhaps this is the biggest myth! Many companies are of the opinion that once they hire and outsource their work to the electronic contract manufacturer, they would do all the heavy lifting for them on their behalf. They immediately get into this forgetful attitude after communicating what they want and wait for the ECM to finish the job. But remember, for this to happen, it is imperative for you to ensure seamless and effective communication with them to make sure you both are on the same page. Be mindful that ECM is challenging and not as easy as it seems. To drive home the best results, you need a strategic outsourcing plan in place and align your operations with that respective electronic contract manufacturing company. So go for an ECM that can understand the process, provides you better margins, facilitates lower time-to-market, and builds a cordial relationship with you.

Myth #2 – The larger the electronic contract manufacturing company, the better are the products

Another misplaced notion with the ECM is that size matters! The bigger is always the best and the larger the company is, the better its products are. This is a common myth that bigger companies deliver high-quality products at lower costs. But pricing is not based on the contract manufacturing company. Your own specific products and work involved will determine the price rather than the company size. So don’t believe the theories and get into the thought process that bigger companies usually provide better manufacturing processes. You will be the driver of your own price and quality as it is entirely dependent on your product. You can enjoy that success by choosing an ECM partner that is sized for your project and goals.

Myth #3 -The lower the cost, the better it is

Just like the previous one, this is another myth that many companies prefer the electronic contract manufacturers that offer the lowest cost. Just like how bigger need not be better, the same way, don’t fall for these economical options. There is no guarantee that they would translate into higher margins. Your initial savings on the electronic contract manufacturing costs may end up costing you a lot in the long run. There could be some compromises in quality, time, craftsmanship, etc. So, saving here upfront may end up costing you more than what you’ve saved. There are a number of factors that influence your margins and hence you need to take a more holistic view of the products and the supply chains while selecting an electronic contract manufacturing company. Focus on the bigger picture, assess everything before jumping onto the best option.

Myth #4 – Need for lowest time-to-market

Well, understandably, time is a critical factor and anyone wants to go for an ECM that provides the lowest time to market. There is nothing wrong if you expect faster turnaround times. Time-to-market definitely determines your business margins. But quick delivery doesn’t always ensure high-quality components and profits for you. In many cases, it’s in fact a red flag as in a hurry to market and ship the products, these companies do not prioritize the quality controls. So don’t let the time-to-market factor overshadow other aspects. Focus on taking a more balanced approach while evaluating the ECM options.

Myth #5 – Global Footprint is alluring

It’s another misconception that ECMs with a vast network around the globe make a better choice for your products. At the outset, this may seem to make a lot of sense as you would get global exposure and can gain access to a global network of resources that can improve the quality of products. As you dig deeper, you may find it has no such advantage as perceived. Many electronic contract manufacturing companies have collaborations with multiple suppliers and distributors but we would recommend you to work with a single company. The one that has enough capabilities and capacity for handling your projects instead of leveraging the multiple options that are located in multiple locations. Go for a small company placed in a single location that has the specialization in what you are looking for.

Myth #6 – No Conflict of Interest

Suppose the electronic contract manufacturing you chose is working closely with your competitor, do you drop the idea of working with it? Do you see that as a red flag? We understand that it’s off-putting but it’s not bad after all. You need to understand that your intellectual property and data are safe in any way and the ECM honor your concerns. They also follow different processes for different products and clients. So, don’t lose the opportunities while looking for differentiation and unique factors.

Myth #7 – Technical Competency and Capability matters the most

We always gravitate toward those electronic contract manufacturers who display excellent technical competence. We look for their deep knowledge in electronic manufacturing. This is tempting but never give too much weight to the technical know-how. Focus on fostering a meaningful relationship and in building an overall strategy. Also, don’t get carried away by the electronic contract manufacturer’s presentation pitch. Do your homework, understand the manufacturing process, their client relationships before signing a contract.

In a nutshell…

We do understand selecting an electronic contract manufacturer is a weighty decision but you better bust all the myths, misconceptions, and misplaced notions while selecting one. Mer-Mar Electronics is a great place to start with. We keep our focus on your production goals. We do adhere to all the quality control standards and be your one point of contact for your project right from inception to completion. We have the experience, expertise, and skills to launch your ideas into a successful project build.

As a leading electronic contract manufacturer in USA, Mer-Mar Electronics provide one stop solution for electronic contract manufacturing services such as PCB fabrication, PCB assembly, turnkey, build-box, quick turn prototyping, high mix low volume and high-volume assemblies, PCB manufacturing solution, PCB testing and other services.

Get in touch with us to know more about electronics manufacturing service!

How to Repair Your Medical Printed Circuit Boards without schematic diagram?

By | Date posted: | Last updated: April 15, 2021
Medical Printed Circuit Boards

Rapid developments have been happening in the Science and Technology field and many advanced pieces of equipment have seen the light of the day especially in the health and medical sector. There has been a constant surge in the evolution of advanced and sophisticated medical equipment and devices. The endless opportunities in medical equipment have increased the functions, introduced a degree of automation, and constant improvements have been happening. The electronic schema is often intricate and complex.

Medical devices need a high degree of precision and even a small anomaly can break down the device that can have life-threatening consequences. So you need to do constant monitoring and also repair them for keeping the functionality intact. If you are relying on imported medical equipment, quite often you won’t be having medical electronic circuit board schematic drawings with you. Without schematic diagrams, one finds it difficult to troubleshoot the controller card. You need to go for reverse engineering if you have to find out a few details about it.

In fact, one of the traditional things in the process of medical equipment PCB maintenance is repairing PCB without schematic design. But as mentioned, it is often difficult to inspect and troubleshoot electronic instruments without the printed circuit board schematic diagrams. If you send it to the PCB contract manufacturer, they would replace the entire circuit board.

To start with the troubleshooting process, you can look into the peripheral failure points. You can notice the failure phenomena carefully for finding an effective solution for the repair process.

First of all, monitor the PCBs using microscopy and check if there are any break-offs on your medical printed circuit board. Suppose you’ve found any break-offs, look if they can be found on the resistors, transistors, electros, diodes, and triodes. Also, see if the PCB was restored and repaired earlier. If it was, then what are the components that were touched earlier? Was there any misconduct like false soldering, cold soldering, or reverse insertion?

Once you confirm that there were no such instances earlier, then you need to go for a multi-meter for testing the resistance value in the ground and in the power supply. Ideally, it should be around 70 or 80 ohms and above. But if it’s too small, you should know that some of the components could have been broken down. Find out what those breakdown components are. For this, you can look at the temperatures of each of the components. The ones with extremely high temperatures are the usual suspects.

Once you do the preliminary inquiry, let us look into how you can repair your medical PCB in the absence of schematic designs. Focus on 4 essentials for the rehabilitation of the medical electronic equipment.

  1. Monitor – The first thing you can start with is to see if your medical equipment’s motherboard that needs to be repaired has any visual damage. Can you spot anything from the appearance? Is the environment and maintenance of the medical equipment clean and neat? Are there any visual anomalies?
  2. Smell – Odor is another thing you can rely on to find out if there are any issues. For instance, if there is any burning that’s happening, you can sense it through odor and find the area where it is happening.
  3. Question – You can ask the service operator about the device, its life, and the threats that result in the operator’s failure. By asking the questions, you can find out if there are any errors in the operations.
  4. Check whether the adjustable knobs on the instrument panel are in the right position and normal.
  5. Also, check the power supply insurance, power terminal board, stabilized power supply, external connection host cables, and other plugs. See if everything is in its normal place, correct and intact.

If there are any differences or disturbances in the above, the entire instrument would be a failure. Remember without schematic designs, even a veteran engineer finds it hard to fix the issues in the printed circuit board.

Conclusion

There is a bundle of things you need to perform for repairing your medical PCBs that do not have the schematic designs. Most important is the experience. Some have mastered the ability to repair the medical PCBs by putting in the requisite efforts and time for exploring the Medical electronics repairs be it simple or complex ones.

As Leading PCB manufacturing company in California Mermar Electronics offer full range of PCB assembly and manufacturing service of all sizes with high-quality PCB prototype to production. We are capable to assemble everything from Head to Toe Medical diagnosis and Treatment devices, Healthcare monitoring devices, Advanced therapeutic treatment devices and other critical medical electronics. We understand the critical nature of medical industry and provide the end to end solution to the clients from the medical industry.

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