Michael Allen
Latest Posts
3 Ways to Get More Value from Box Build Services
Michael Allen  
5/2/2019   (1) comment
When sourcing box build services, evaluate your suppliers' assembly tools and methods .
A PCB Supplier's Inspection Protocol Does More Than Minimize Escapes
Michael Allen  
6/20/2018   Post a comment
Suppliers using simple pass/fail inspection on your circuit board assemblies are missing an opportunity for data-driven problem solving and process improvement.
No Lie: Electronic Design Products Take Months
Michael Allen  
11/16/2017   Post a comment
Lead time for outsourced design services can be 18 to 20 weeks. Here’s why, and how you can tell whether that is realistic and achievable.
What Else Can a PCB Contract Manufacturer Do for You?
Michael Allen  
7/10/2017   (2) comments
Contract manufacturers who offer services ancillary to printed circuit board assembly can reduce your cost and lead times.
Protecting PCBs: Costs & Benefits of Conformal Coating, Encapsulation, RTV & Overmolding
Michael Allen  
3/29/2017   Post a comment
What to look for in a contract manufacturer’s capabilities for conformal coating, encapsulation, RTV and overmolding for PCB protection. 
Sourcing Electrical & Mechanical Design Services: Coordination Has Benefits
Michael Allen  
12/13/2016   Post a comment
Why you should look for a supplier with both electrical and mechanical design skills when sourcing PCB design services.
Who owns the design?
Michael Allen  
7/22/2016   Post a comment
When outsourcing electronic design services, understand who will own any intellectual property before you begin.
Dry Heat Proves Hazardous to PCB Assembly
Michael Allen  
4/6/2016   (2) comments
As your boards use smaller and smaller SMT components, it may be time to audit your contract manufacturer’s humidity control systems.
Separating PCB Assemblies Without (Much) Stress
Michael Allen  
10/22/2015   (1) comment
How your manufacturer depanels your PCBs affects reliability. New laser cutting techniques eliminate stress — and can also help make your products smaller.
Flux Residue & Reliability of Conformal-Coated Boards
Michael Allen  
9/22/2015   Post a comment
A controlled process for board washing helps ensure long-term reliability of conformal-coated PCB assemblies
The Nuts & Bolts of Burn-In & Reliability of PCB Assemblies
Michael Allen  
7/1/2015   Post a comment
Burning in electronic products reduces failure rates in the field, stabilizes some components, and validates new product designs.
PCB Buyers: You Don’t Have to Put Up with Little Plastic Bags
Michael Allen  
3/23/2015   (3) comments
Buying PCB assemblies in custom-formed ESD trays protects your boards, reduces waste, and saves you time and money.
Why Through-Hole PCB Manufacturing Isn’t Dead Yet
Michael Allen  
2/16/2015   Post a comment
Even the most modern board may need through-hole components. Not all contract manufacturers give them the attention they need.
How SMT Component Packages Affect Manufacturing
Michael Allen  
12/9/2014   (5) comments
Reels, mini-reels, cut tape, trays, tubes, bulk… Here's how your choice of SMT component package impacts manufacturing.
Engineers Do Not Care
Michael Allen  
11/13/2014   (23) comments
When designers don't know or care about manufacturing, they build in costs that buyers can't take out. This can be changed.
The Secret to Buying Electronics Design Services
Michael Allen  
9/22/2014   (6) comments
Using a contract manufacturer's in-house design team, rather than a standalone design firm, can improve both design and manufacturing.
What Buyers Must Know About PCB Surface Finishes
Michael Allen  
7/21/2014   (4) comments
Buyers should consider the impact of board finish selection on PCB assembly yields, labor costs, and quality, not just BOM cost.
Beyond Smocks & Straps: Auditing ESD Protection
Michael Allen  
4/23/2014   (7) comments
When you outsource PCB assembly, here’s what you need to ask your EMS partners about ESD protection for your boards during production.
EMS Partners Use Thermal Profiles to Improve Quality, Costs
Michael Allen  
2/11/2014   (17) comments
By adapting the solder process to each unique board design, rather than using a handful of "one-size-fits-most" thermal profiles, EMS partners can deliver higher yields and lower costs to OEM buyers.
Moisture-Sensitive Components Need Sensible Handling
Michael Allen  
11/25/2013   (6) comments
Moisture-sensitive components complicate manufacturing. Here's what you and your manufacturing partners need to do about it.
Check Your Passives First
Michael Allen  
8/12/2013   (18) comments
Mislabeled passive components are surprisingly common. Avoid field failures by catching them before they're placed on your printed circuit boards.
Contract Manufacturers Can Do More With AOI
Michael Allen  
5/15/2013   (3) comments
Businesses can realize quality gains and cost savings with better use of automated optical inspection. Here’s how one company found success.
6 Criteria for Choosing an EMS Provider, Part 2
Michael Allen  
2/12/2013   (2) comments
In the second of two parts, Michael Allen looks at the importance of an EMS provider's technology and design capabilities, and its culture.
6 Criteria for Choosing an EMS Provider, Part 1
Michael Allen  
2/7/2013   (4) comments
Here are some critical criteria to consider when selecting a contract manufacturer and some pitfalls to avoid.
Conformal PCB Coating: The Process Matters
Michael Allen  
11/20/2012   (9) comments
Programmable robotic PCB coating systems eliminate the problems manufacturers face with manual coating.
Selecting Contract Manufacturers 101
Michael Allen  
9/19/2012   (8) comments
One of the critical factors for OEMs in picking a contract manufacturer is the ability to handle the smallest surface mount parts.

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EBN Dialogue / LIVE CHAT
EBN Dialogue enables you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Open to the entire EBN community of electronics supply chain experts, these conversations see ideas shared, comments made, and questions asked and answered in real time. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats. Stay tuned and join in!
Archived Dialogues
Live Chat 01/15: CPOs Re-Shape Their Business Roles
Increasingly chief procurement officers (CPOs) are re-shaping their organizational role to focus on creating results far beyond cost controls. A new IBM survey explores how.
Live Chat 11/12: Examining the Cyberthreat to Supply Chains
The number of cyberattacks is on the rise and hackers are targeting the supply chain. Drew Smith, founder and CEO of InfoArmor, will be on hand to discuss the reality of today's threat landscape and what to do about it.