PCB Assembly: A PCB Designer’s Guide on Choosing the Right EMS Partner

Creating a reliable design for a printed circuit board is actually just the first step. The next thing that PCB designers would have to do is to look for a reliable EMS provider with whom they can partner with for the actual pcb assembly process. EMS stands for Electronics Manufacturing Service. The EMS provider is responsible for overseeing the technical aspects of the PCB production process.

PCB designers need to make sure that they select a trustworthy EMSprovider because making the wrong choice could have a lot of negative repercussions. One of the biggest consequences of choosing the wrong EMS provider is losing the customer’s trust. This is especially true in cases the EMS provider gave the PCB designer a fully-functional PCB for testing and inspection.
Once the designer is satisfied that the tested PCB meets all of the design specifications, he would send it back to the EMS provider for mass pcb assembly. This is often the part where the ‘magic’ happens: an EMS provider could mass-produce low-quality PCBs that do not meet any of the original specifications. Unreliable EMS providers do this with the goal of making tons of money out of the fraudulent transaction. Once the defective PCBs are forwarded to the client, the PCB designer would hold sole responsibility for it.

Going out of business or losing one’s job and credibility is something that no self-respecting PCB designer would want. This validates the importance of choosing the right EMS provider who would handle the pcb assembly with the utmost from start to finish. PCB designers can take note of the following tips for choosing a good EMS provider:

•Make sure that the prospective EMS provider has all the right tools. This would effectively ensure that the PCB production process flows smoothly. Not only that, it also means that the EMS would be able to start production of the PCBs on time. This also means that they would also be able to finish the PCBs on time.

•Verify whether the EMS has proper communication channels in place. Your responsibility as a designer does not stop once the design has been forwarded to the EMS provider. Likewise, the EMS provider cannot just take sole responsibility for the project as soon as he receives the design. There should be open and honest communication between both parties. This way, they can easily talk about any possible complications that could arise and properly formulate plans to avoid any delays in the pcb assembly. There are also a few cases wherein PCB designers require their EMS partners to send them copies of the technical specifications for each component that the EMS would be using on the PCB.

PCBPCB designers also have to decide whether they want to partner up with an EMS provider who specializes in reduced production costs or one who could promise high-quality products regardless of the cost. Most EMS providers that work on low-cost products also work well with high-volume orders. However, the tools of their trade are often only equipped for making standard PCBs that already have pre-existing designs. These providers are great for PCB designers who are creating new and better versions of pre-existing electronic devices. These devices include smartphones, tablets, personal computers, and so on.

On the other hand, the EMS provider that focuses on quality over quantity often has pcb assembly tools that provide no room for errors. This is because the end-products are often used on medical equipment wherein any error could have irreversible consequences or even death. Some examples are pacemakers, heart monitors, and so on. In this case, the EMS is often referred to as a partner instead of just a provider. This is because he would often have to work closely with the designer in order to eliminate all aspects of the design that could eventually lead to a factory defect on the PCB.

Rubber Wristbands: What Makes Them Great Watch Straps?

Watches and rubber wristbands have been around for years. They are very common too. While there are many who are fond of leather or metal types of straps, rubber straps are very popular among teens, kids, especially sporty people.

Rubber-WristbandsRubber straps on watches have been around longer than the wristbands used today as bracelets. They were first used as straps for dive watches and were called tropic straps during the 1960s. These are very brittle and stiff. However, it was more practical to choose rubber wristbands for straps. They were cheap and easy to find compared to leather. They were also easy to replace.

Rubber straps are also very comfortable to wear. They are also resistant to water and sweat which made them a popular choice for sports watches. Today, rubber watch straps are ideal for all types of watches. Those made of high quality plastic are even more expensive.

Rubber Wristbands for Watches

Rubber became popular watch straps during the 1980s. These were mounted on rubber straps and were tacky. Today, different brands of watches manufactured their products with rubber strappings. These come in different types and for different purposes: from sports watches to dress watches. While there are many colorful rubber straps available, black is still the most popular.

Rubber straps are now trendier and brighter. They are more popular among kids and teens especially among ladies.

Rubber Materials Used in Straps

Like how most rubber wristbands use different types of rubber, rubber watch straps came available in silicone.

Rubber tends to stick to the skin. With this slight inconvenience, manufacturers used different types of rubber. Natural rubber is still used. However it is harder to customize it. Other than silicone, another type of rubber strap is polymers. To understand the materials used in rubber watch straps, here’s a brief explanation about them.

  • Rubber is a yellowish, elastic material from a milky sap or from tropical plant latex. The most common source of rubber is the rubber tree. These are vulcanized, pigmented, and modified into rubber products. Examples of these are elastic bands, belts, tires, and containers. The rubber used for rubber watch straps are caoutchouc, an Indian rubber.
  • Silicone is a rubber-like material containing silicon, carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. It is heated and vulcanized to make it rubber like in form. Manufacturers work on its shape and treat it to prolong it with a post-cure.
  • PVC is a thermostatic polymer. It consists of vinyl and is the third most widely produced type of plastic.
  • Polyurethane is a polymer with organic units joined together by urethane. These are formed through step growth polymerization. In this process, a monomer that contains isocyanate reacts with another monomer with hydroxyl. These should be in a presence of a catalyst.

Using Rubber Watch Straps

Using rubber straps brings both an advantage and disadvantage to its users.

First, rubber-watch straps are suitable for water activities since these repel water. Second, it is also perfect for places with hot and humid climate. Third, rubber is also durable and will not stain. It is also long lasting especially with the materials used today and when properly maintained. However, compared to leather or nylon straps, rubber watch straps are not breathable.

Watch straps continue to be the cheapest yet most indispensable part of the watch. Without it, your watch is rendered useless since you can’t wear it. If you want your rubber straps to last longer, make sure to clean them and rinse them with water. Dry it with soft cloth afterwards.

Rubber wristbands are not limited to bracelets. Today, with the technology used in manufacturing, these wristbands have been used more often as watch straps.