As you may have seen in my TS-7970 Home Security Systems video on YouTube, I took a TS-7970 quad core single board computer and built it into my very own home security system using the open source software Zoneminder. This product works very well for the two camera system that I have hooked up. In case you didn’t get a chance to see the video, I wanted a security system that was cost effective and still worked well with the capability to expand if I so desired. I was referred to Zoneminder by a good friend and coworker of mine. Since I work at Technologic Systems I thought it would be cool to be able to use one of our boards to build up this camera system. After getting approval to use one of our boards my journey began on making my very own security system a reality.
When washing electronic boards, a common concern among technicians is the purity of their water. Rightfully so because technicians don’t want filthy trace deposits left under and around sensitive components. Some might ask, “If water is bad for electronics, why wash them in the first place?” Washing boards is a common process in the electronics industry because when a board is manufactured or reworked, there is a substance called flux that needs to be removed or it will cause corrosion and longevity issues. Water is a readily available and an effective solution for removing flux. However, technicians need to choose the water carefully.
There are several different levels of water purity. Starting with the least pure option, typical tap water can be used for washing boards. The next quality improvement is using carbon filtered water which marginally helps with the contaminants in the tap water. A quality level above that is Deionized water (DI water) which is commonly used in the board washing process at high quality electronics facilities. Using DI water for the board washing process is optimal due to the absence of contaminants in the water. Because DI water is the purest form of water, electronics manufacturers focused on quality use this as a standard for board washing.
In every business, no matter how large or small, you work with others. Going to work means daily interaction with your fellow co-workers and workplace. Many people spend more time with their co-workers and workplace than they do their actual personal lives. So what keeps these employees happy and motivated? Company culture. It is a combined atmosphere that each workplace must consider, embrace, and nurture. It’s not just the people you work with or your everyday tasks. It’s a combination of absolutely everything you come in contact with, from the parking lot to the desk or chair you are at, or even the truck you drive (if it’s a company provided vehicle). Every one of these aspects is what makes up company culture.
Quality conscience project managers and engineers understand that when looking for a solutions provider, quality certifications are vitally important. Top of mind certifications, like ISO-9001, ensure reliable manufacturing, processing, and testing of end products before they’re packaged up and shipped out the door. In the embedded systems and electronics world, there is another quality certification called IPC-A-610 which is an international source for end product acceptance criteria for high reliability electronic components. This certification allows quality conscience decision makers to rest easy with their choice of embedded systems supplier knowing that all IPC-A-610 certified technicians and production employees are trained not only to spot and correct any physical defects, but also how to handle the end product to maximize life and dependability in the field.
IPC-A-610 holds manufacturing technicians to a higher standard for testing and inspection. These trained Certified IPC Specialists (CIS) possess the knowledge to identify defects which could cause latent or immediate malfunction. Examples of such defects include:
- A missed cold solder joint (pictured) could cause a latent power failure in the field due to the solder bond cracking.
- Cracked components, which pass initial inspection, break under the forces experienced in the shipping and receiving process.
- Loose solder balls that when dislodged, can cause a short between traces on the PCB board and result in damaging sensitive components and board failure.
All CIS are trained to carefully detect all of these issues, among others, to ensure the embedded system performs reliably in the field. On top of spotting and correcting any physical defects, they are also trained to be careful when handling the boards to maximize the life of the board in the field. This is important, since a small percentage of a boards life is diminished every time a soldering iron or non-ESD protected person touches it. CIS understand that even oils and salts from their fingers can contaminate the board, causing latent issues.
There are three classification standards for the accept/reject criteria defined by IPC: Class 1 being general electronic products where the only requirement is to function, Class 2 being dedicated service electronic products where continued performance and extended life is required as well as uninterrupted service is not critical but desired, and Class 3 being high performance/harsh environment electronic products where continued high performance or performance-on-demand is critical to the working end product and must not fail, such as a life support machine at a hospital. All CIS are trained for all three of these classifications for the utmost quality assurance.
Highly reliable embedded system deployments start with choosing a partner who not only carries certifications for manufacturing, process, and designing through ISO-9001, but also employs highly trained, IPC-A-610 certified technicians and production personnel to ensure proper handling and repair throughout the entire process.
Here at Technologic Systems, we pride ourselves in our product quality, ensuring our customers get the highest quality end product. Our entire production team is not only IPC-A-610 certified, they are passionate about quality, keeping up to speed on new quality standards to ensure top level performance and life out of our products. We take extensive care in making sure that the product is carefully handled and meets the highest acceptance criteria so that our customers will be getting what they deserve.
“IPC training has given me greater knowledge and understanding of what can cause a latent problem on boards in the near or distant future. Before going to training I would say that you could consider me to be meticulous with the quality of the product I am working with. But I didn’t realize that even something as small as the oils on my hands can cause latent problems for the board. I also learned that there is a long-term cost to making repairs so that on components with metalization loss it’s actually better not to repair it if the loss is still within the acceptable range.” — Camron Vogelzang, Repair Technician