productware's fifth technology day

Internet of Things, cost aspects in PCB technologies and IPC guidelines in focus

productware staged its fifth technology day on 12 October 2016. High-profile guest speakers such as Steffen Braun, Regional Application Manager and Harald Reichert, Field Application Engineer, both from EBV Elektronik, Stefan Keller, Head of Product Management, Würth Elektronik, and Dr.-Ing. Thomas Ahrens, Managing Partner of Trainalytics, gave lectures on the Internet of Things, on the latest PCB technologies – above all from the cost perspective and also on which IPC guidelines and standardisation systems there are. What is more, productware provided information on the expansion of its service offering with pure flying probe tests, the advanced repair options thanks to a professional rework system and the investment in a selective soldering machine for automating the hand soldering section.

"With over 40 participants, our expectations were exceeded and a new participant record achieved", says a delighted Herbert Schmid, Managing Director of productware. "With interesting lectures on current topics, a company tour and the opportunity for networking, the technology day offered the participants a varied programme. The Hesse evening on the eve of the event in particular provided an opportunity for an informal exchange of experiences in the quaint atmosphere of a typically Hessian cider pub."

Cutting-edge topics

This year's technology day was introduced by Steffen Braun and Harald Reichert with the topic "IoT for a smarter world". Steffen Braun highlighted the trends in the field of "Wireless Connectivity", while Harald Reichert reported on cloud connectivity and provided an overview on embedded platforms.

In his lecture, "Current PCB technologies – above all from the cost perspective", Stefan Keller described the state of the art, how the various price differences in PCBs come about and what developers should already be looking out for in the design phase in order to design PCBs as inexpensively as possible.

Matthias Hunkel, Operations Manager and Authorised Signatory of productware, used the technology day to provide information on the company's latest developments. These include the expansion of the service offering with flying probe tests and advanced repair options thanks to a professional rework system. This system allows components to be automatically unsoldered, repositioned and resoldered. The rework system cuts repair and throughput times and, thanks to its closed loop concept, ensures a reliable repair process. Pure repair services are also possible. By investing in a selective soldering machine, productware is laying the foundations for automating the hand soldering section. The soldering machine not only offers greater scope for PCB design, but also enhances the product quality through mechanically produced solder connections.

In the last lecture of the day "Who is afraid of IPC standards? – Introduction to key points in electronics development and production", Dr.-Ing. Thomas Ahrens presented IPC guidelines and standardisation systems. He pointed out that the IPC guidelines are applied nationally and internationally and accepted as a recognised standard worldwide. Dr.-Ing. Ahrens explained that standards are important and useful, e.g. when it comes to establishing a joint understanding of complex issues, or agreeing requirements on products in a clear and comprehensible manner. It is important to acquire an overview in order to apply the guidelines effectively. One example of IPC guidelines is the IPC-A-610. It contains extensive graphical material, texts, tables, etc. for defining the acceptance criteria of electronic components (populated and soldered assemblies). This document has now become an indispensable tool in the daily work of countless users worldwide.

Positive feedback from participants and speakers

Armin Muth, Head of Production and SCM, Precitec Optronik GmbH, draws a positive conclusion: "This extremely well organised event reflects productware's professional and structured approach. The company is open to new concepts and provides customers and suppliers alike with exemplary support – a fact also reflected in the wide-ranging subjects covered in the highly interesting and well presented lectures. The icing on the cake was the Hesse evening in a relaxed and informal atmosphere. I am already looking forward to the 6th technology day at productware in Dietzenbach."

"For me, productware's customer event is an ideal form of customer service with courage and confidence. Customers took advantage of this opportunity to express their expectations. What I particularly liked about the event was how openly and fairly everyone communicated. With this "ear to ground", I was for example able to ask: Should we impart knowledge for self-help, or should we provide selective advice where expert knowledge is required? The customer event was a great opportunity to show where and how know-how on the development, production and testing of PCBs and assemblies is disseminated so that everyone can find the support they need for their projects", sums up Dr.-Ing. Thomas Ahrens, Managing Partner of Trainalytics.

"The participants particularly appreciated the relaxed atmosphere during the technology day. They were able to discuss matters at length and exchange experiences with industry colleagues and lecturers. The general feedback and positive response to our fifth technology day confirm our commitment to continuing this information offering", sums up Marco Balling, Managing Director of productware. "We are looking forward to the next productware technology day."

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