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Information on Start-Up Developing Tech to combat COVID-19

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have temporarily closed, with many others working at minimum capacity. While certain businesses are stuck in a situation where nothing can be done, that should not discourage business development technology to combat COVID-19. Right now is a great opportunity to begin developing tech to combat COVID-19 with your business, primarily because of the abundance of government funding. Developing tech to combat COVID-19 can appear costly, requiring far too many resources that many small businesses can’t handle. This is not an issue, however, for any business getting COVID-19 funding.

Check the Relevant Programs

The first thing you should do is look into what kind of COVID-19 funding program you are eligible for. Recently, the European Commission has put out a call to all small businesses involved with technology to apply for the available funding. As the focus is currently on COVID-19, there will always be an opportunity for businesses to get the money needed to contribute to the cause. Based on the urgency of the pandemic, these programs have been created to make sure you can start your development as quickly as possible and with the best equipment and technology available.

Additionally, some of these programs may have a deadline. So, make sure you apply for all available and relevant COVID-19 funding; this will ensure that all resources are being put to best use, and the battle against the pandemic can end as quickly as possible.

Do Not Be Deterred by a Potential Recession

Given the current economic climate, many businesses may be resistant to attempt anything risky. Small businesses, in particular, are in a fragile state, and they may fear future repercussions if they start developing this kind of technology. The key in this situation is making sure your business focuses on where the funding is. By starting to develop technology to battle COVID-19, you will be helping yourself in the case of a recession. While things are difficult for certain businesses right now, any business that received COVID-19 funding will have the absolute best available resources. This funding is there to ensure that no company developing tech combating the pandemic will have to settle for anything less than the best technology and manufacturing equipment.

Rather than staying idle, your business will be in a better position to withstand any recession if you are active with the COVID-19 funding. Additionally, this funding will lead to many different innovations, putting businesses in a position that would otherwise be impossible. Economic decline is eliminating countless business opportunities across the globe. Right now, however, COVID-19 funding is an opportunity to not only help combat the pandemic but also to keep your business functioning and to explore new opportunities.

Unique Funding Opportunity

COVID-19 funding presents a one-of-a-kind opportunity for any business. Businesses are under unprecedented circumstances, and different organizations are exploring technologies and opportunities that others would not have considered. With many things changing at a rapid pace, it may be difficult for any business to see COVID-19 funding as an opportunity with potential. That being said, it’s riskier to sit idle. By keeping your business active in developing technology to fight the pandemic, you will be receiving funding that would otherwise be impossible to get while having the chance to be a part of innovative technologies.

Additionally, this is a unique opportunity where the funding for your business and the technology you are developing is directly helping a truly unprecedented world crisis. Perhaps most importantly, this funding will put your business in a position to develop technologies that will be helping the world for generations.

Start Your Tech Development Today

Right now, COVID-19 funding is available to make sure you have top-of-the-line equipment and technology necessary to help fight the pandemic. By looking into what your business can handle, you can identify how it can become a part of the solution. Once you determine what kind of development you can help in, the COVID-19 funding will make sure you get the exact equipment needed to get started as quickly as possible.

In order to make sure all resources are being optimized, you must understand what manufacturing needs there will be for your business to begin the tech development. Call Circuits Central at 888-821-7746 and make sure you waste no time in starting your tech development. You can also reach us here for any additional information.

What to look for in an electronic manufacturing services partner

When it comes to electronic manufacturing services, OEMs will need to consider many things before they decide which electronic manufacturing services company to partner with. There are a lot of choices offered, whether you want to replace the company that you are currently working with or partner with a second company for support.

Here, our focus will be on what you should look for when looking for electronic manufacturing services in Toronto.

Fit Matters Most

The first thing you need to realize before deciding on which EMS to go with is that every EMS is unique. You will need to perform some due diligence work to find an EMS that speaks directly to the needs of your enterprise.

Assess the size of the EMS in relation to your company, as well as the complexity of the items they fabricate. You should also analyze the conventional volumes that they construct and go over their previous accounts to see if they are performing well enough to meet your high expectations.

Who visits who?

Here, we’re referring to the age-old chicken and egg dilemma, whereby you need to decide if you want to go to their HQ to visit them or if you would prefer to have a representative from the EMS come to your office and have a chat.

More often than not, the best option is to handpick a few prospective partners and then visit each of their offices to get a better feel for their business and how they operate. By physically seeing each prospective supplier’s facility, you’ll be able to assess their operations firsthand.

Then, go with your gut, as it will often guide you towards the right choice, helping more than justify your initial time investment in surveilling each EMS operation in person.

Always Trust Your Instincts

As soon as you enter the vicinity of the EMS, you should look for red flags. For instance, you look for weeds in the car park. No — we’re serious. Perhaps we should explain why weeds in a car park are relevant.

In reality, if a company does not tend the upkeep of their building and its surroundings, then it’s a telltale sign they don’t really care about how the public perceives their work. In other words, attention to detail is everything in business, especially when it comes to manufacturing electronics and ECBs. Given the fact that you’ll be heavily dependent on your EMS to tackle any hassle and cost issues on your behalf, take note of how they handle the little things in their facility.

The Who, What, and How Trifecta

Once you have set foot into the venue, you should bring out your who, what, how playbook. You will first need to assess who is working at the EMS by establishing who your daily contact will be. As well, who’s in charge of daily engineering and production.

You will also need to determine who is in charge of the supply chain. You will need to have a candid and open conversation will all relevant personnel to better gauge their level of competence, expertise, and dedication to the project at hand.

Next, comes the “what”, which entails the actual equipment and systems that the employees will be using. Here, you will need to thoroughly go over the currency and capabilities of, say, the pick and place apparatuses that are surface mounted.

You will also need to evaluate test and inspection equipment, and test the IT systems to gauge their functionality. Ensure that the systems that will be monitoring and tracking all elements of your components as they are moved through the enterprise are fully operational.

Finally, comes the “how”, which involves the procedures and processes that connect all of the elements together. You will need to determine if everything is controlled and organized to your exact specifications. The quality accreditations of your EMP may help you in your decision-making process, but they are not the only factor.

For instance, you will need to determine if their quality accreditations are actually being implemented as promised, and will also need to ascertain if they are providing better services. Every EMS worth their weight in gold will measure their On Time In Full (OTIF) performance, and the ones that don’t should be avoided at all costs.

The Cost Analysis

Last but not least is a matter of cost. It will likely be difficult to get any substantial cost information during your initial visit. However, during subsequent visits to the facility, you should work with your EMS partner to put together a quote for your business.

In order to truly determine the cost to you, it’s best to push further past mere quotes or invoices. Instead, you should opt for an EMS that goes above and beyond the call of duty and not only meets expectations but exceeds them.

The company that you go with should be very well organized, focused and should prioritize the needs of its clients above the bottom line. This will likely result in substantial expenditures being taken out of your company’s supply chain, and fewer resources required to monitor and manage them. What’s more, you will also avoid many pitfalls down the line, such as line-stops and other related issues.

If you would like to learn more about choosing the right electronic manufacturing services provider, call Circuits Central at 416-285-5550 or contact us here.

Risks involved in soldering

When it comes to BGA soldering, there are many risks that soldering neophytes need to be aware of. Soldering is a valuable must-have skill as far as electronic component engineering and manufacturing are concerned.

Some people make the mistake of doing a quick Google search on the topic and find articles that claim that soldering is an easy skill that amateurs can quickly pick up.

In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. The repair and soldering of electronic components should be left to the experts. This is because most electronic components and printed circuit boards have many expensive parts and can also be very delicate.

Given the precarious nature of these components, it is best to leave the work to professionals who have years of training and experience in BGA soldering. However, some people decide to take matters into their own hands using web tutorials, so here are some risks that you should be aware of if you decide to solder yourself:

Soldering Burns

The first risk that you need to consider before you even think of BGA soldering is the risk of burns. Soldering irons get hot as you work with them, with temperatures that can exceed 700 degrees Fahrenheit in some cases.

If you were to mishandle them, you might incur severe burns or skin charring. You could accidentally spill some of the hot solders onto yourself, resulting in significant pain.

You may also damage personal assets if you are not careful, causing irreversible damage or damage that may cost hundreds of dollars to repair. The iron will also need to be set down properly, or else you could start a fire.

Yet another risk is the risk of blindness, as the solder may splatter if you’re not careful. You must always wear sturdy and reliable eye protection before you begin working with a soldering iron.

Solder Fumes

When it comes to solder, you have a few options at your disposal. For example, you can select a lead-free or a leaded version. It should be noted that leaded solder boasts superior workability and strength properties, although it is also notorious for its high toxicity levels. Some countries have banned the use of leaded solder outright, so the lead-free version may be your only option depending on where you live.

Even though lead-free solder is less toxic than its lead-based counterpart, it still poses several risks. For instance, it can produce very harmful fumes that can cause serious health problems that require hospitalization if you accidentally inhale them. The fumes may also irritate your eyes and obscure your vision if you do not wear adequate eye protection.

If you do decide to do some soldering yourself, you’ll need to prepare beforehand by ensuring that the area is properly ventilated. There should always be a gap of eight to ten inches between your project and your face as you work in order to reduce the risk of eye injuries and fume inhalation.

Improper Soldering Technique

Many experts agree that people who solder will need to practice their craft for quite some time before they truly get the hang of it, and growing pains come for most people before they get a real “feel” for it. Be prepared to practice and experience some frustration, especially during the initial stages.

Improper technique is also something that can cause problems for people who have limited experience with soldering. For instance, you may inadvertently form a “solder bridge” if you use too much solder, accidentally affixing 2 adjacent joints in the process.

Conversely, a lack of solder may yield a very feeble electrical continuity from the component to the circuit board. Or, you may fabricate a subpar connection by pulling the iron away in a hasty fashion, which may lead to a ruined joint.

It’s important to know when to apply the solder to the tip of the iron, and how much to apply. Failing to do so may lead to a subpar connection or solder balling. The boards will also need to be kept impeccably clean at all times, in order to reduce the risk of a mediocre connection. The heat levels will also need to be kept at optimal levels while working.

We suggest using a wet cloth to keep the tip of your soldering iron clean. Try and refrain from making it too moist, as doing so may reduce the temperature of the iron temporarily.

Lack of Knowledge

Being unfamiliar with printed circuit board components and repair work can cause headaches down the road, as you may inadvertently damage something while you’re working. For example, you should be well aware that soldering will lead to glue weakening issues within the boards, as the temperatures needed to solder are extremely high.

If your hands are unsteady while you are soldering, then the boards will likely separate and lift. Fortunately, the glue will return to its intended strength levels when the components are cooled. However, you still need to be very knowledgeable about how different temperature levels will affect the board’s components.

If you would like to learn more about the risks involved in soldering, call Circuits Central at 416-285-5550 or contact us here.


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