PCB Assembly: A Brief Introduction to Surface Mount Technology

When talking about PCB assembly, the term surface mount technology or SMT will eventually be mentioned. This term refers to soldering (mounting) SMDs or surface mount devices on a printed circuit boards surface.

This process is much more complex than the traditional through-hole. This is also a fairly new technology for assembling circuit boards. The finished PCBs offer better electrical conductivity and are more reliable.

How is SMT carried out?

Solder paste is applied instead of the traditional solder bar or wire used in through-hole assembly. In traditional plated through hole technology, the leads of the circuit components are threaded through a hole on the board surface. The leads are then soldered on the underside of the board. In SMT, there are no leads pulled through holes. Most often, this process of PCB assembly is carried out by machines designed to attach and secure components in place. In some instances, components can be mounted by hand, too.

Manufacturing units that utilize SMT include clean room and ESD-safe. Clean room environment helps in preventing any damage to sensitive components such as semiconductors. One source of damage is static electricity.

Why SMT?

This new technology is rapidly gaining preference in the word of electronics. Most of the steps are carried by special machines but yields a lot of benefits in terms of manufacturing and design.

In terms of design, SMT allows for more savings in weight. Smaller amounts of solder are used. Components are flushed closer to the board, removing excess lengths and leads. There is reduced mass from the components used, which improves resistance to vibrations, reduces electrical noise and improves shock resistance. Also, the circuits can be manufactured in a more compact manner.

In terms of manufacturing, PCB assembly through SMT can reduce the cost of production. There is an overall reduction in the cost of the boards and materials handling. The entire manufacturing process is also more controlled, producing more uniform and reliable products.

Surface Mount Device (SMD)

pcbnetAs has been previously mentioned, SMT mounts SMDs on the surface of printed circuit boards. SMD or surface mount device is an electrical component similar to popular circuit board components (e.g., resistors, diodes, capacitors, etc.) but without the leads. SMDs have tiny metallic legs that are very close to the body of the components. The metallic legs are attached or soldered onto the PCB surface, on the copper traces, through the use of solder paste. This material is a ball of gel or flux material and inside it is a small amount of solder.

As with PCB components, SMDs are classified as passive and active, depending on their function during the operation. The following are some of the most commonly used SMD components for PCB assembly:

Passive

• Surface mount resistor networks

• Tubular passive components for SMT

• Ceramic capacitors for SMT

• Surface mount discrete resistors

• Surface mount tantalum capacitors

Active

• SOT or small outline transistors

• LCCC or leadless ceramic chip carriers

• SOJ or small outline J packages

• PLCC or plastic leaded chip carriers

• BGA or ball grid array

• SOIC and SOP or small outline integrated circuit

• QFP, SQFP or fine pitch SMD packages

SMT Equipment

Equipment used for MST is very different from plated through-hole technology. There are so many, depending on the end use of the PCB assembly. The most commonly used ones include the following:

SMT Solder Past Screen Printer – This screens the solder paste applied on the surface of the board. This makes sure that the solder paste is applied only on designated areas where SMDs are later attached and eventually soldered.

SMT Pick-and-Place machine – This machine is programmed to pick SMDs from reels and place them in the proper places on the board.

SMT Reflow Soldering – This is where reflow soldering happens, where the solder paste is melted.

SMT Baking Oven or Curing Oven – This machine is responsible for curing the adhesives on the board and baking the solder paste.

Curated Content and Original SEO Post

Content curation is the way of gathering, discovering, and sharing content on a specific subject. It has become a staple for a successful online presence. It involves collecting content from a number of sources and presenting them in an orderly fashion. Combined with an original SEO post, it can do just as well in the rankings with as with content that is wholly original.

nyseoexplode.comThere is a whole lot of information spread across the internet, and to have success in content curation, it is important to gather and display only the best and relevant content. Site masters have started to use curated content to drive search engine optimization. A site that links to different content on a specific topic has increased exposure when that topic is searched by users. Search engines are leaning towards rewarding sites with frequently updated curated content by indexing them more often. This can be done by having links to those contents in an original SEO post.

When content is taken from well-respected sites and those sites are cited, they will take notice of this and can potentially give back by linking to the site and sharing its contents through their blogs or social media profiles. This would mean increased links from others who heard about the curated content on the site through the original content creator. Site owners may also choose to personally contact the creators to thank them and inform them on how they are making use of their content. This is a good way to build relationships and encourage links to the site.

Site owners should include links to where they got their curated content. It is important to link to well-respected sites and not those that are untrustworthy or are part of spam networks. Search engines can take notice of this and the site may lose credibility in their eyes. Also, it is good to remember not to over-link; even if the sites are trustworthy ones. Search engines like to see that a site is offering a wide-range of content through a different number of links and not just from one site repeatedly.

Some site owners tend to ‘link hoard’ and will ‘nofollow’ links to the original content creator’s site. This means that even though the original content creator will benefit from traffic referral from the post with the curated content, the benefits of PageRank will not be passed on to them. This is unethical and frowned upon and can tarnish the relationships with other content creators. Also, search engines can catch sight of this ‘link hoarding’ and will penalize the site for doing so.

Having an original SEO post all over a site is a great thing, but not all site masters have the luxury of always coming up with fresh, new content every now and then. Content curation helps by allowing them to find valuable and related content on the web. It allows site owners to have a consistent stream of content on their site without having to always think of something original on their own. This is helpful for those who do not have the time or resources to consistently create original content.

Curated content not only adds value to the site, but also increase the chances of getting ranked for certain keywords. The more curated content there is, the more likely that the site will appear in the search results. If done correctly, content curation can not only give quality content to the audience, but also increase organic search rankings. When giving links to curated content in an original SEO post, it is vital to credit the source so as to build a good relationship with them.

Where to Buy Discount Golf Clubs Online

Golf is a sport that requires several pieces of usually high priced equipment to play. This fact could discourage some people who are merely intrigued by the sport in making their first investment to buy golf clubs. In other words, some new players prefer not to spend a fortune on these pieces of equipment if they are merely starting. Popular golf shops may only have the most up-to-date golf equipment and thus may only have the more pricey golf clubs from the more expensive brands available. It is best for beginners to look for discount golf clubs which are definitely more available in online shops. The starting golf enthusiast will surely find what he is looking for when he takes the time to check out these online discount stores.

Discount Golf ClubsA new golfer who intends to shop for golf clubs for less will find a list to start with in this article. It is still recommended, however, to make sure that the golf club purchase is not done based on price alone. There are other factors to consider. Know the specifications of the golf clubs that you are looking for and then see if they are available in best discount golf clubs online stores:

1. Golf discount.com has been serving golfers since 1977 and they have been one of the first sites to sell golf clubs on discount to online shoppers. Due to the fact they have been online for quite some time, they have a proven track record in online selling and thus have become very trusted seller. Also, they supply customers with the most popular brands in the golf industry. Furthermore, they are an authorized internet retailer of equipment from most, if not all the high-end brands in golf such as: Callaway, Taylor Made, Titleist, and Cleveland. Also, they sell everything from golf clubs, apparel, to whatever it is a golfer needs. In addition to this, they make sure to not bog customers down with high shipping costs like their other counterparts.

2. Similarly, golf warehouse.com also sells a wide variety of discount golf clubs from name-brand manufacturers. However they also go a step further by selling a variety of gadgets that can be used on the golf course such as GPS watches and units from Garmin. The online retailer claims to be the one-stop shop for anything a golfer needs, especially affordably priced golf clubs.

3. One of the more popular sites for discount golf clubs is www.rockbottomgolf.com. Similarly to the online retailers mentioned previously, this online store sells the equipment from the top brands in golf. Also similarly, they also sell a wide variety of different items for use on and off the golf course such as bags, shoes, apparel, and electronics. Perhaps one stand out feature of this retailer is the fact that they have a section in their website specifically dedicated to left-handed golfers. Furthermore, they not only have a very wide array of choices for golf clubs for less, but also a wide variety of promos for its online shoppers which feature huge savings on golf equipment, gift cards, and free shipping.

4. The last online retailer in this article is Golfmonster.com. They have been an online golf discount store since 1999. Again similarly, they offer products from the name-brand manufacturers of the sport of golf. As such they do offer a very wide variety of golf clubs for less. Also golfmonster.com not only sells miscellaneous, golf-related equipment but also various items such as instructional DVDs, and even travels bags.

The list above shows the six of the widest known online golfing stores where one can find many golf clubs at lower prices. In addition to this, there is also a wide variety of other peripherals such as shoes, clothing, bags, and other golf necessities. These websites should be very useful for beginning golfers and as such will be very helpful in assisting them in finding affordable, yet high-quality discount golf clubs and equipment for their first crucial moments on the course.

The Origin of Challenge Coins

Challenge coins or military coins present an important insignia to people working in the military. These medallions are used by various organizations and units to represent a stigma or identity. Challenge coins carry the emblem of an organization and they also connote ranks or recognition given by a unit commander to the members. They are usually custom coins which come in different designs and sizes. Like the usual coins, military coins have two faces and they can be customized in different shapes. But unlike the typical coins, they don’t equate to a currency or an amount.

There are several versions of the origin of challenge coins. Some people believe these medallions date back to the First World War while others think they made their first appearance in the Second World War. Here’s a short rundown of the different histories of the challenge coins.

World War I

military coinsThe most popular story of the challenge coin goes back during the First World War. The newly assembled flying squadrons were filled with American military volunteers to join the war. Some of the participants came from renowned colleges such as Yale and Harvard, and they quit school to serve their country. One privileged officer ordered medallions in solid bronze and gave them to the members of his unit. A certain pilot from that squadron put the medallion in a small purse that he always carried around his neck. As they went on to battle, the squadron was shot down in Germany and the pilot was captured. The German patrol took all of the pilot’s credentials, leaving him without any valid proof of identification. The only thing that was left to the pilot was the leather pouch that held the medallion.

The German patrol took him to a French town where he planned his escape. He wore simple, civilian attire and successfully eluded the soldiers. He reached the French borderline and was eventually caught when the French taught he was a rebel spy. The pilot was sentenced for execution. In an attempt to prove his identity, the pilot flashed the medallion to his executors. One soldier identified the insignia which made French soldiers delay his execution. After confirming his identity, the pilot was sent back to his unit.

That’s how the tradition of medallions among members of a military unit started. All members of a unit were handed out medallions or military coins which they needed to have at all times.

The soldiers started playing games involving the medallions. One soldier would challenge another soldier to show his medallion. If the challenged soldier failed to show the challenger his medallion, then he was required to buy the challenger a drink. And same goes for the challenger. If a challenged soldier or the members of a unit could show him their medallions, he was entitled to buy them drinks of their choice. This tradition went on for many years among members of the military.

World War II

Another story about the challenge coins occurred during World War II. It was believed that medallions were used as “Bona Fides” to confirm a person’s identity during meetings and assemblies. The Office of Strategic Service used medallions to identify bona fide members of a unit from potential spy who want to infiltrate the assembly. They would ask members of the meeting the details of the medallions including the shape and the date on the coin.

Today, the use of military coins is common in almost every unit of service as well as non-military organizations. These challenge coins are now considered merits given to members to recognize morale and ranks. There are also some people who collect challenge coins just for the fun of it. Whether it’s an antique or a newly customized one, military coin definitely holds an important meaning to its bearer.

Reasons behind the Popularity of Custom Lanyards

One of the most familiar items that we see being worn by people these days are custom lanyards. Students, employees, participants of organized events, and many other types of people find these items worth wearing. It seems that the presence of lanyards has been threatening the existence of ID clips for quite some time already. One out of three people will always pick lanyards over traditional ID clips according to the results of a marketing survey held just recently.

Yes, these items could be customized according to the purpose of the user. Of course, custom lanyards have been seen as valuable in many industries too these days. Now, what really makes these items so popular nowadays? Consider, looking through the following reasons:

• Lanyards are convenient to use:

Of course, this is if it will be compared to an ordinary ID clips. ID clips made of metal could rust and result in stains to clothes. Those that are made from plastic material could easily get worn out due to constant or frequent use. Custom made lanyards will never present these problems. Recent designs of lanyards made these items more lightweight and durable. These could fit into belt bags during outdoor activities and never weigh down an individual.

• Lanyards could be easily customized:

The availability of materials and makers of custom lanyards make customization easier. If one will browse online for these items, diverse designs, colors, and modifications can be seen. Synthetic nylon and polyester could be ordered online and DYI kits make things go the way of those who want to own custom made lanyards.

• Lanyards offer space for advertising or marketing:

The plain spaces on the surface of lanyards today could be used for the imprinting of business, company, or brand logos. Of course, it also means that those who want to do more about expressing their creativity can get what they want. Many business entities use lanyards today as their promotional items. Of course, this is a wise business move as people will tend to use these items instead of just keeping it. As long as there are individuals who will wear these company or brand lanyards, the advertising or marketing process is rolling.

• Lanyards are becoming popular as gift items:

Ordering custom lanyards online is easy nowadays. As stated above, so much can be done when it comes to design and modifications. A custom made item is much appreciated by kids and teens. The concept of “couple lanyards” during Valentine’s Day is quite catching up nowadays too. There are companies who also use rare custom made lanyards as one of their incentives for highly performing employees. Of course, the inexpensive tag price of customizing such items is also one of the main reasons why people see it as a good gift item today.

• Lanyard types offer flexibility of use:

These include polyester, nylon, dye sublimated, tubular, blank, and woven lanyards that are currently available. Yes, each of these types offer unique compatibility to purposes users might have. As an example, the tubular type of lanyard is the best one for those who are planning to use it as an advertising or promotional item. It is the least expensive among the ones mentioned above. It could also be mass produced much faster and is compatible with sublimation and hot stamping processes.

• Lanyard uses are being innovated:

Due to the fact that a lot of modifications can be incorporated into custom lanyards, ways of using it are obviously increasing too. Some people use it as a part of their wardrobe today. There are also many individuals who are using these items as holders of their gadget pouches. There is no doubt that as long as the users are being creative, more ways of using lanyards could be innovated.

Successful Talent Management

Talent management is the process of planning, hiring, training, evaluating, and retaining the talented employees to be an integral part of the organization. With the talent scarcity and rarity, this process can be both difficult and complex. It is basically, as they say, choosing the best person for the job. There may be job specifics and particular functions, but this aspect of human resource management should also encompass the attitude of the employee toward the workplace, and how easily he can adjust to the business goals and objectives of the company.

talent managementThis is one of the major functions of the human resources arm of an organization. This department aims to acquire the people with the best talents that may be useful to the improvement of the organization. More than the recruitment and acquiring process, this HR function should also cover how to retain and develop these employees inside the company. High performing employees, including the leaders and executives, are essentially the most important part of an organization because they are like the drivers that steers the wheel of the company. Filtering who comes and goes inside the company is undoubtedly an essential part in the company’s growth and development.

To acquire high levels of success, the management process should be aligned with the corporate strategy of the business. Leadership criteria should also be consistently incorporated into the talent management activities in order to hone the staff members holistically. The important part of the process is identifying the core competencies required by the corporate strategy. These competencies may include work experience, education, analytical capabilities, among others. The more specific a competency is, the better. Staff members can be prematurely filtered out using these competencies which actually saves training cost. Identified competencies is also a tool in the development process for continuing growth. Furthermore, the recruitment process can be improves by using job specific roles and functions that can be the basis for hiring the employee.

The expertise of managing talents covers how to handle competitors in the field. Human resources personnel should be prepared to compete in the global scale and know when to enter into new opportunities. The mind set in talent management should be how to make the staff members excel and, consequently, be retained for long term needs. Identifying the essential skills is a crucial part of the process. These skills should also make up the development plan of the employees. Key development areas should be identified and focused on. These areas are mostly the required skills aligned with the company, and focusing on them may entail reduced cost for training the employees.

The HR personnel should be well acquainted with the corporate strategy and overall business needs. Aligning the process with these needs constitute a successful program. As mentioned, it is important to note the specifics of the job functions to minimize cost, and aligning with the corporate can reduce the focus of training management. This goal alignment tool is a powerful tool to clarify job roles, and consequently to be a basis in their evaluation. Identify the company’s most important goals and focus the employees’ efforts towards that field. This not only develops the employee, but also more effectively absorbs him into the company. With the identification of the job roles, the responsibilities can be defined as well. These work responsibilities can be the core around which the talent management process revolves. With this, the execution of the strategies can be faster with little waste of time and effort for both the company and employees. Goal alignment also strengthens leadership and promotes company flexibility among the employees.

Author Bio:

Talentkeepers.com has been the leader in employee retention solutions for well over a decade. Our solutions twice have won HR Executive Magazine's Top Product of the Year Award.