Flexibility

by ADL Technology

When an OEM, DOD contractor,  or consumer manufacturer introduces a new product that contains electronics, changes sometimes need to be made to either the design or the layout of the PCB.  It doesn’t matter whether the product is simple or complex, changes to the PCB’s form, fit, or function can be required because of changes in

  • product functionality requirements
  • availability of components
  • diversification for market applications
  • weight or other dimensional requirements to meet end item application
  • performance assessment after prototype evaluation

Companies like ADL who have both in-house electronic design and manufacturing capabilities make ideal partners because they are able to provide seamless assistance when design revisions are needed. At ADL we can provide you with access to our in-house experts in Design For Manufacturing (DFM) who serve as guides for any changes needed.  Our staff can advise you how to make changes such as:

  • maximize a layout to reduce schedule and production risks
  • optimize your business processes, cost, and design stability throughout the product lifecycle
  • track changes and part numbers for component end of life and availability

If changes are needed to the production of your PCB we can quickly implement them on our shop floor.

Change Effects on Production and Delivery

A word to the customer, changes after the initial layout or BOM can be disruptive to the production flow of the EMS but are necessary at times.  However, a more flexible EMS partner, such as ADL, will understand that a product schedule, particularly the critical path of the project, is essential in delivering a new product to market. A good EMS will understand and help circumvent the barriers to market entry through timely changes to their own schedules when possible. Another key element in flexibility for an EMS is that start-ups may be inaccurate when determining their sales forecast. For example, they may request a certain amount of product to be delivered to them quarterly. If initial sales projections fall behind and the consumer wants to push delivery out to later in the blanket order to protect their cash, a good EMS will have in place a way to work with you. Ask your EMS up front and keep them well informed so they can accommodate your request.  They may require an additional charge to cover expenses, not an additional convenience fee.

How important is flexibility?

To quote one of our customers, a predictive maintenance service provider in manufacturing who ADL began a relationship when they were a start up, “Time and ease of business…Your team has been proactive…we need business partners with the same desire to be one step ahead for the best customer experience.” We are now years into this relationship, which continues to grow.

Our Job as a supplier/partner is to provide our customers with not only today’s solutions but tomorrow’s as well.

Contact Us for More Information

For more information,  contact us today

We are hiring!

by ADL Technology

Working at ADL

LSI ADL Technology is a customer-centric company with a goal of exceeding customer expectations through continuous improvement. With core values of Leadership, Strength and Innovation, we look for dynamic team players who want to make a positive difference.  We offer a diverse environment with opportunities to work with an excellent team providing world class products & services.

We encourage you to join the LSI Talent Community!

A list of all positions open at all the LSI Industries facilities is available on the LSI career portal. The list below are career opportunities at ADL Technology in Columbus, OH.

  • Coating Prep. Prepare electronic assemblies before and after the coating and/or potting process
  • SB Coating Technician. Encapsulate prepared printed circuit boards and electronic assemblies using coating and potting materials.
  • Assembly. Prepare components and build upon printed circuit boards. Conduct mechanical and electrical assembly of PCB products. Assemble products until they are completed to acceptance test procedures and routing operations.
  • Solderer. Hand solder and repair printed circuit boards to meet IPC specifications and assure quality standards and meet customer demands. Assemble products until they are completed to acceptance test procedures and routing operations.
    Machine Operator. Operate and maintain surface mount and/or auto insertion machines that assemble and solder printed circuit boards.
  • Maintenance Tech. Perform highly diversified duties to install, troubleshoot, repair and maintain production and facility equipment according to safety, predictive and productive maintenance systems and processes. Perform general, routine, and emergency machine, electric, building preventative maintenance and grounds keeping.
  • Receiving Clerk. Verifies and keeps records on incoming and outgoing shipments and prepares items for shipment by performing the following duties to quality and productivity standards. Ensures finished products are packaged and stored in a safe and quality-assured manner and prepared to be shipped to meet consumer needs
  • Shipping/Packaging Clerk. Ensures finished products are packaged and stored in a safe and quality-assured manner and prepared to be shipped to meet consumer needs. Prepares items for shipment by performing the following duties to quality and productivity standards.
  • Warehouser. Manages and ensures efficiency of inventory storage and accuracy, dock management and the kitting of jobs to production.
  • Electronics Design Engineer. Develop new and improve existing products for contract manufacturing customers, support contract manufacturing efforts
  • Electronics Engineering Technician. Support electronics design, test engineering, and test department activities
  • Manufacturing Engineer.  To maintain, troubleshoot, service, and provide technical support for all PCB production equipment, to include TH Component Prep machines, lead and lead free Wave Solder machines, and Selective Solder machines.




More than just a vendor, a partner as well!

by ADL Technology
View your EMS as a partner!

Viewing the electronic manufacturing services you work with as a your consultant and partner, not just another vendor.

To those in need of a great EMS provider, an EMS should not be thought of as a vendor. Instead, try viewing them as your consultant and partner.

The gray area in your business relationship with an EMS can and should become very, very thin.  Customers should allow the curtains to be drawn and allow the EMS provider to have first-hand knowledge of your needs, so they bring their knowledge and skills to the table. They should be anxious to do it since it will allow the process to be more effective and efficient! If you are working with an EMS provider that doesn’t seem excited about having a close working relationship with you, you are with the wrong company.

Start with Communication

One of the keys to any successful partnership is communication.  Make sure everyone is in the loop! When you have a product team meeting, is there any rationale to leave out any team member? Even if they are not in the critical chain for the discussion for that particular meeting, having situational awareness of the project and each team member’s responsibility and progress is invaluable. Don’t exclude your EMS provider from that information. The EMS provider wants to know what your concerns will be so they can contribute to the overall planning. Remember, you hired them or are hiring them because of their expertise in the EMS industry.

Developing Your Partnership Together with Communication

One of our customers, a producer of antimicrobial lighting who we have been with from the infancy of their product line stated, “I always appreciate it when Dave’s team makes comments on how to improve or what aspects of a PCB design effect the ability to produce it efficiently.” Ask your EMS what their commitment is and will be to the team. Ask simple, broad questions such as:

  • Will they attend a weekly or bi-weekly meeting?
  • How do you think you might help us in this project?

Remember, I am in sales, and I want to obtain and keep customers by making sure they are satisfied with our work. Ask me this question and I will be excited to answer it because you are giving me a chance to be a partner and excel instead of just providing parts.

To read about how we partner with clients visit our case studies page

Getting On Board with Product Evolution

by ADL Technology

Many products have become “smart.” A great example is vacuum cleaners, they have sensors that tell you when a canister needs to be emptied or automatically adjust to the floor surface. Fully autmoated systems will actually learn the layout of your space so they can clean up virtually automatically.

Even the simplest of tools we use today are increasingly complex.  Consumer, industrial, medical, transportation, and military tools are becoming smarter and more easily managed, even from a distance.  For example, we expect:

  • our vacuum cleaners to learn our house’s layout, our fridges to tell us when we need milk, or the lights to come on automatically when it is dark.
  • shop floor manufacturing devices to alert when tasks are done, when they need maintenance, and how many pieces have been completed.
  • Medical devices to send patient data to remote providers, facility doors to open with a wave of the hand, and medical carts track medications and supplies that have been dispensed.

All of these applications are the results of taking basic tools and adding functionality and these product enhancements require printed circuit boards assemblies aka PCBAs.  PCBA’s serve as the products brain; connecting the electronic components in these devices such as sensors, cable assemblies, and software so they can store and transmit data.  Whether the data provided is a convenience or mission critical data it is truly amazing how many items contain Printed Circuit Boards and how much we have come to rely on such tools at home and at work.

ADL’s surface mount machine allows ADL to optimize the process to build multiple printed circuit board assemblies at a time.

The ubiquity of smart devices comes at a cost.  Just like any other industry, there is a tremendous range in quality of the printed circuit boards and components in the products around us. One of the choices manufacturers’ make is the level of quality needed for any given device.

At ADL the boards we create go into products used in anything from healthcare to industrial tools.  That is why our boards go through both visual, automated and functional quality checks throughout production.  We also provide design support from prototyping through production to ensure that the boards meet your specifications and product requirements.

For more information,  contact us today for a  Quote for your next project.

 

Conformal Coatings Basics

by ADL Technology

Conformal coatings are a protective coating that covers the components of a Printed Circuit Board (PCB), or PCB Assembly (PCBA).   While it is simple to say that you want to protect a board, here are some of the key engineering considerations for conformal coatings

  1. Environmental Requirements: moisture, heat, abrasion, mold, mechanical stress
  2. Chemical corrosion protection
  3. Electrical properties, such as dielectric constant, insulation resistance, dissipation factor, and dielectric breakdown voltage
  4. Outgassing Level requirements
  5. Moisture absorption or vapor transmission requirements

Engineering requirements will usually indicate the coating type because different coating types have specific properties.  The primary types of coating types, properties and benefits are listed below:

Coating Type Properties and Benefits
Parylene Water resistant, thermal endurance, chemically inert, bio-compatible, low outgassing, dry lubricity, adhesion to other coatings
Acrylic Ease of rework, simple to dry, good moisture resistance, high fluorescence, and viscosity easy to adjust
Silicone wide range of temperature stability, flexibility, high dielectric strength, good moisture resistance, low surface energy after wetting
Polyurethane Good dielectric and moisture properties, solvent, and abrasion resistant, less reversion potential
Epoxy Water/humidity resistant, generally not permeable, high level of abrasion and chemical resistant.

ADL has selective conformal coating machines as one of their process options.

Applying Conformal Coatings

Coatings can be applied manually or automatically using a robotic assembly.  The choice of application method will depend on the viscosity of the material, number of units to be protected, and available equipment.  At ADL we offer both manual and automatic conformal coating application.

  1. Manual or automatic. The PCB or PCBA is dipped into the desired coating. While this is effective for larger production runs, maintaining consistency is more problematic, especially in terms of coating thickness, material slump, and purity.
  2. Manual only. production staff paint the coating on with a brush. Excellent for small runs or prototypes, this method is not suited for larger production runs.
  3. Manual or automatic. Overspray requires production staff to mask components that should not be coated.
  4. Needle.  Manual or automatic, this method uses a needle to dispense beads of coating material as needed. Masking is not needed and it tends to be precise and inexpensive.

Curing Methods

Since coatings are in a liquid form when applied, curing the coating properly is vital.   There are 4 ways to cure the conformal coatings added to PCBs:

  • Moisture. Boards are exposed to an controlled humidity level environment for a specific amount of time.
  • Heat curing. Uses convection and/or UV curing depending on the chemistry of the coating material.
  • UV cure. Coated boards are cured by exposing them to short periods of UV light. While this eliminates the need for ovens, the rapid change in temperature can cause components to break off.
  • Reactive/Solvent Curing. Conformal coating elements cure by chemical means, either due to an additive as the coating is applied or mixed.

ADL’s manufacturing facilities offers all four types of curing but we mostly use moisture and reactive curing.

Curing Considerations

Manual application of conformal coating

Making sure that your projects PCB’s are properly protected is a vital part of making sure your final product reflects the standards you company is known for. As you consider your next PCB project, do you want assistance answering the following coating questions?

  • What are environmental conditions does the board need to be protected against? Moisture? Chemicals? Erosion?
  • What temperature range will the electrical device function in?
  • Are there any specific physical, electrical, and chemical requirements for the coating material?
  • Are there any electrical, chemical, and mechanical compatibility considerations with the parts and substances to be coated
  • Is reworking or fixing the part once the coating is applied a consideration
  • Is the price of the coating or its application method a consideration?
  • Is the curing type or speed a consideration?

Come talk with us about your next PCB Project at D2P Indianapolis, Booth 311

by ADL Technology

Come meet and speak with us in Indianopolis! Exhibit Hall B, Booth 311

Come see us, in person, next week! ADL Technology will be at the 2021 D2P Show on November 3rd and 4th.  This show will be at the Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis, IN.

Your PCB and PCB Assembly Specialist

ADL Technology specializes in the design and fabrication of PCB Assemblies. We handle both surface mount and through-hole assembly. Talk to us about what services you need in whatever product develop stage you are in:

  • specification support
  • schematic development
  • PCB layout, prototyping
  • firmware and testing
  • production builds

In addition to boards, we also handle systems integrations/Box Builds and wire harnesses.   No matter what we build for you, it will be rigorously inspected with visual inspections, automated optical inspection, and functional testing.  We build PCBs for various markets including industrial, medical, energy and others.

This a great chance for you to meet ADL’s Rick Drogowski (Director, Sales and Marketing) and Nick Klein (Design Engineering Manager) and talk about your next project.  Drop by the booth to discuss your specifications and see some samples of ADL Technology’s work.  You can also hear about one of our latest projects, partnering with Venti- Now, a non for profit making ventilators for under developed nations to support COVID relief.

Bring your products, ideas, and challenges.  We would be delighted to speak with you about your manufacturing and design requirements. We want to be your partner, not just another contractor.

Learn More and Contact Us Today

Standards and Memberships (sidebar)

  • ISO 9001:2015
  • IPC 7711/7721
  • UL 508A
  • IPC-A-610
  • IPC/WHMA-A-620
  • IPC Member since 2002

Arrange for a meeting with ADL Today!

    What day works best with your schedule?

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    Working with Venti-Now to Support Low-cost, Portable Ventilator Development

    by ADL Technology

    ADL has partnered with Venti-Now’s to advise on the design and procurement of the electronic components and build the first 50 units on a very aggressive timeline

    Due to rising concern in early 2020 that hospitals would be overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients requiring ventilators, a Cincinnati-based non-profit called Venti-Now was formed to explore the possibility of developing a low-cost, portable ventilator.  This Class II medical device would need to control

    • tidal volume
    • inspiration time
    • I/E ratio
    • breaths per minute

    all extremely important elements for treating COVID-19 patients.  With the overwhelming need for ventilators around the world, this simple system could fill a niche for underdeveloped countries that may lack access to sufficient equipment.

    Venti-Now was founded by a retired P&G engineer who quickly gathered a team consisting of medical, engineering, scientific and manufacturing professionals.  The effort was funded and supported by UC Health, UC Engineering, P&G, and YourEncore.  Within months, the FDA granted an Emergency Use Authorization for the rapidly developed design, and units were placed in locales such as Uganda and Tanzania.  Due to its ease of use and robust design, the Venti-Now ventilator fills a critical healthcare need for underdeveloped nations at a fraction of the cost of ventilators in more developed countries.

    ADL Technology, a contract manufacturer of printed circuit board assemblies, has had the privilege of being counted as one of Venti-Now’s partners by advising on the design and procurement of the electronic components and building the first 50 units to meet a very aggressive timeline.  As Venti-Now moves to the next development stage, ADL continues to work side-by-side with them  to

    • validate design improvements
    • expand the feature set
    • improve manufacturability
    • expedite additional prototypes and production builds

    We look forward to continuing to be part of the long-term support strategy. At this stage of the product development cycle, Venti-Now, a 501(c)(3) organization, is seeking partnerships to further commercialize the device and make it more readily available.  ADL is grateful to be a part of this effort to take this product to the next level and continue to save lives across the globe.

    9 Tips for Effective PCB Assembly Testing

    by ADL Technology

    Testing your printed circuit board assembly is a balancing act.  You want to maximize the coverage of the test without making it cost prohibitive and bogging down the production process.  Having a good understanding of your PCB assembly and common failure modes is key to developing a test that is both thorough and cost-effective.  At ADL, we are constantly working with our customers to develop and improve their test requirements.

    Here are 9 tips that we’ve learned over the years:

    1. Don’t rely solely on a visual inspection.  Even if your PCB assembly is simple, it can have problems that are invisible to the eye.  And if you have to return a failed unit to the manufacturer for repair, they have no way of troubleshooting it.
    2. A simple power-up test is a vast improvement over visual inspection.  It can help to ensure proper operation of all voltage rails, detect power-to-ground shorts, and identify polarized components that are incorrectly oriented.
    3. Design your board for ease of testing whenever possible.
      • Add test points to as many nets as possible.
      • Include a serial port for interacting with the PCBA and providing diagnostic data.
      • Provide ready access to all nets, pins and headers that are needed as part of the test.
    4. Provide your manufacturer with a “golden board” that can be used to validate the test procedure and test fixture.  A golden board is a perfectly functioning PCB assembly used as the gold standard for testing and production.
    5. Provide documentation that is as detailed as it needs to be – but no more so.  Underspecifying can lead to incorrect assumptions being made by technicians; over specifying can lengthen test time unnecessarily.
    6. As you learn more about failure modes of your product, update your test procedure accordingly.  Your contract manufacturer should be willing to work with you to change their test in order to help you weed out any recurring failures that are making it through to your shelves.
    7. It’s worth investing in your test fixture.
      • A custom test PC board or assembly can be designed and built for very low cost.
      • Consider an intermediate board for a connector that will be mated many times over its life.  When the connector starts to wear down, throw away the intermediate board and replace it with a new one rather than halting production while reworking the fixture.
      • Purchase the programmer recommended by the chip manufacturer for production applications rather than the lower-cost “lite” or “dev board” version that will wear out quickly.
    8. Consider incorporating LabVIEW or Python into your test procedure.  These tools are great for testing assemblies that are highly complex, for test procedures that are lengthy or easily automated, or for implementing record collection to ensure product traceability.  LabVIEW is also a very good way to translate a difficult-to-check reading into an easy pass/fail.  (Would you rather use a multimeter to verify a thousand times that 17 different test points are all between 3.768V and 3.876V, or look at a screen that tells you with a PASS or a FAIL?)
    9. Work with your manufacturer to optimize your test procedure.  They should be happy to provide feedback to you on where they commonly see failures, what steps slow them down, and how the overall efficiency and efficacy of the test can be improved.  Ultimately, this collaborative dialogue can be used to improve your design.

    At ADL, we perform a full functional test of every PCB assembly that we build, and we work with our customers to develop test procedures that are thorough and efficient.  If you’re looking for a contract manufacturer who will partner with you to ensure your PCB assembly is built correctly, on time, and cost-effectively, contact us today!

    Dealing with Manufacturing Hurdles

    by ADL Technology

    With the impact of the pandemic across the globe, consumers and manufacturers are both feeling the pinch of the decreasing availability of products and services.  For example, I wanted to upgrade a bicycle sprocket set on my road bike and I received an estimate of approximately 500 days!   In the world of Electronic Manufacturing Services, the pinch is just as real.  These hurdles can affect lead times and the pricing of electronic components in nearly unfathomable ways.

    • Lead times have seen increases of sometimes 4 and 5 times from what they were, if you can even find the electronic component you are looking for.
    • The law of supply and demand has seen increases in component prices of 500% and more!

    At ADL Technology, one of our solutions is to let our our customers know of possible component shortfalls.  This is more than just good business, it indicative of how we view our work as a partnership. We take the time to:

    • review a customers’ Bill of Materials to identify components that are potentially at risk
    • make our customers aware of any potential issues

    This project-specific component research allows our customers to review their sales forecast and manufacturing requirements.  The company can then determine if an early buy of the assembly or at-risk component should be considered.  This can save time, money and frustration for components with long lead times or anticipated shortages.  While some EMS providers or brokers have gobbled up parts, there is an argument both financial and ethical for doing this selectively.  For the purpose of this article, we as electronic manufacturers have a great opportunity to be the “partner” we truly want to be through with research and strategic planning  for specific projects. By taking a little extra time on the customer’s behalf and thinking as we should as if were on the staff of the company, we can smooth out the sales cycle.  Considering things from our partner/clients perspective makes for happier customers and less hair pulling moments for our production managers!

    There are still hurdles to cross, but ingenuity, hard/smart work, and the will to “return to normal” will result in back to normal behaviors.

    Let’s continue to do our part and see success for all.

     

    Bird’s-eye View of Our Columbus, Ohio Manufacturing Facility

    by ADL Technology

    Enjoy a bird’s-eye view of our Columbus, Ohio manufacturing facility! ADL Technology specializes in designing and building printed circuit board assemblies. If you’re looking to reshore your PCB assembly work, contact us today!

    Why Reshoring Better Supports Your Supply Chain

    Manufacturing companies are facing significant problems due to supply chain disruptions.  While off-shoring components for a final product may have seemed like good business a few years ago, the environment has changed. Many companies are reviewing TCO (total cost of ownership) and the relevant calculations in light of the current business/manufacturing environment.

    Calculating TCO

    TCO should include more than wages and raw materials.   For accuracy, these calculations must include information about:

    • Operations Costs; e.g. delivery lead time, delivery costs, level/quality of customer support, quality/warranty of component, ability to change a component based on evolving product requirements
    • Risk mitigation: intellectual property control, regulatory compliance, tariffs, current labor costs overseas, lost orders due to delays

    Additional Advantages of Working with ADL Technology

    In addition to attaching real data to the elements above, working with ADL  should provide you with opportunities to

    • have better control over your inventory levels
    • take advantage of NET payments vs pay upon shipment
    • take advantage of tax initiatives

    ADL Technology’s OHIO facility manufacturers the following electronic components:

    • PC Boards and Assemblies
    • Box Builds and Control Panels
    • Cable and Wire Harness Assemblies

    ADL fills in the gaps in capability for our customers from concept to delivery. We provide collaborative feedback on engineering design and prototypes. Unlike an offshore company, you will work directly with our production team to reduce cost and improve throughput for your product.  Whether it is a prototype or ready for manufacturing, we work with you to provide feedback to make sure the product meets your specifications.

    We provide manufacturing quotes and design proposals at no cost allowing your to leverage our large-company capabilities while still enjoying our small-company feel.
    Unlike offshore options your never have to worry about IP, your design source files belong to you, even if we create them as part of an engineering design project.

    Contact Us Today