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PCB Manufacturing and Compliance News

PCB Manufacturing

The PCBs are in full production, and our partners at Sencore in South Dakota made a video to show you how it is done.  As a design engineer I’m always fascinated to see how the manufacturing engineers do their magic.  I hope you enjoy it as well:

This is actually the first time we’ve shipped a board with thru-hole resistors on it.  They are the very first type of component you ever touch when learning on a breadboard, but somehow two decades combined experience of designing PCBs and we hadn’t used one.  This is how they automatically bend and cut the leads:

 

Compliance Update

As we’ve previously announced, we completed and passed all of the compliance tests a few weeks back. Since then we have been pushing the associated paperwork through the various agencies.  We are explicitly seeking approval for the USA, Canada, and the European Union.

In the United States the FCC requires us to file our test results with them and get approval before shipping.  Industry Canada (IC) has similar requirements.  I’m happy to announce that we’ve officially received our clearance from these two organizations!

The European Regulations work a bit differently.  CE marking puts the burden of proof on us, the manufacturer, rather than the centralized regulatory body.  This makes several of the bureaucratic steps easier for the EU, and the equivalent of the clearances we received from the FCC and IC are essentially automatic for the EU.  The flip side is that the relevant EU safety standards for multimeters are stricter than in the US from an engineering point of view.

6 Responses to “PCB Manufacturing and Compliance News”

  1. Seth September 29, 2014 at 7:48 am #

    Thanks for the cool video! Excited to play with my Mooshimeter :)

  2. Beat September 29, 2014 at 5:22 pm #

    Thanks for the update and great tour-of-manufacturing video! Looks like there are a LOT of boards being manufactured! One thing that surprised me a bit is that the testing and final functional QC seems not to be done in the factory itself. That delays substancially any go-no-go feedback to the production chain and makes you (and us) bear a substancial time and cost risk in case of error. Is there an automated testing green/red at the end or should that be engineered ?

    In all cases, looking forward to my Mooshimeter too, but more importantly to have supported your great and open idea!

    Btw, is it already open-source, or are you considering open-sourcing its firmware and mobile apps ?

    • Eric September 30, 2014 at 9:52 am #

      Thanks for the input!
      We do the final check ourselves, but it is by no means the only check – There are many quality control checks that happen during the manufacturing process. I’m comfortable with the current test suite arrangement, but it is always open for optimization as the process evolves. We felt it was important that we personally checked every unit in the first batch.

      The API is open, but the firmware and hardware is closed.

      • Hans October 1, 2014 at 7:40 am #

        I also miss a part of the QC in the video.
        + He shows the paste control check (I guess its 3D and not 2D?)
        + what we didnt see on the video, but what I assume is in place is an automatic optical inspection after SMT (AOI) and a manual visual inspection after trough hole (VI). since that is the minimum.

        – what I did see on the video though, is missing ESD control (normally everybody on the production floor has to wear white ESD safe clothes and a bracelet).
        This is since they handle boards with ESD sensitive devices (the microcontroller for example even if it has ESD protection built in)
        It is possible that ESD damage wont be detected for months/years since it can damage internal connections but not break them completely.

        – What I also didn’t see is some automatic/manual functional test rig.
        You don’t want to test them all one by one, way to much work.
        If you want some tips: mail me, I worked as Test developer in an industrial PCB and cabinet manufacturer.

  3. John October 2, 2014 at 3:37 pm #

    When can we expect delivery of our meters???

    • James October 7, 2014 at 8:38 pm #

      We’re still pushing for the second half of October. More updates coming soon.

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