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"Outlook is Bright for US Manufacturing" PCB Mass Design Says
Mass Design Inc. Announces FabStream-for-Mass Design™
Free SoloPCB Design software integrated with Mass Design’s PCB manufacturing
Nashua, NH – April 20, 2013 – Mass Design, Inc. a manufacturer of high-reliability printed circuit boards (PCB) for critical applications, today announced the Beta Pilot launch of SoloPCB DesignTM software for Mass Design through the company’s partnership with FabStream, a new business initiative created by DownStream Technologies, LLC.
FabStream is an integrated printed circuit board (PCB) design and manufacturing solution targeted at the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) electronics market that consists of small businesses, start-ups, engineers, inventors, hobbyists, and other electronic enthusiasts. The solution consists of free SoloPCB DesignTM software customized to each of FabStream’s manufacturing partners.
With FabStream for Mass Design, customers can download the free SoloPCB Design software from Mass Design’s website (www.massdesign.com) preloaded with all of Mass Design’s manufacturing and pricing rules. The customer then creates PCB schematics and layouts. When finished, the PCB is automatically priced and ordered through an integrated e-commerce wizard. The wizard extracts all of the necessary manufacturing data into a secure and encrypted, industry standard IPC-2581 manufacturing file. The order information and manufacturing file are electronically routed to Mass Design’s inside sales department for order processing and CAM engineering. Since the service is largely Internet-based, FabStream for Mass Design can be accessed globally 24/7/365 extending Mass Design’s market potential.
With this addition, Mass Design expands its already innovative integrated manufacturing strategy by adding free PCB design tools tied into the company’s manufacturing flow. The result is complete front-to- back support including design software, design services, bare board fabrication, and PCB assembly. Mass Design’s customers can select any combination of these services.
“For our customers to be competitive in today’s economy we have to think outside the box and offer more than just traditional manufacturing services,” said Paul Boduch, VP of Operations at Mass Design. “Including FabStream as a Mass Design service was an obvious addition to align our customers engineering efforts more closely with our manufacturing flow and greatly increase their product success.”
Mass Design has created a pricing model specifically for the DIY Engineer that offers extremely low pricing for PCBs based on pre-set construction configurations. This allows the company to group similar PCB orders and manufacture at a much lower cost. The savings is then passed on to the end-user.
William Gately, Mass Design’s Director of Sales and Marketing explains, “FabStream helps us reach a market segment that is difficult to address with traditional sales and marketing channels. To support the DIY engineer we needed to keep prototype costs low but at the same time, provide expertise to users unfamiliar with PCB manufacturing. By pre-setting PCB construction configurations, such as material, copper, thickness, and finishes, the burden of understanding the nuances of PCB manufacturing have been eliminated and the manufacturability of the design is greatly improved. This reduces our tooling costs and creates savings through economies of scale that can be passed on to the customer.”
At the start of the SoloPCB layout process, users select a pre-set PCB configuration in two, four or six layer options. All of Mass Design’s manufacturing rules, materials and pricing associated with the configuration are used to drive the layout and ordering process. When more advanced PCB features are need, a “Full Feature” option is offered enabling up to 16 layer PCB designs with tighter design rules. Full feature also supports advanced design technologies such as blind and buried vias and controlled impedance. Changes introduced in the layout process can be quickly verified using an integrated Design Analyzer. The analyzer provides a quick pass/fail of changes to help keep the PCB layout in synch with Mass Design’s constraints so customers can design without compromise but still build with confidence.
Mass Design is the first of FabStream’s inaugural partners to release the service to their customer base. The companies have worked closely together over the past 12 months to define the service and customize FabStream to Mass Design’s production flow.
“We are excited that Mass Design has chosen to license FabStream as part of its integrated approach to manufacturing,” stated Rick Almeida, Founder of DownStream Technologies and Managing Director of FabStream. “They’re expertise in PCB manufacturing combined with our knowledge of PCB software development delivers the best of both worlds. FabStream for Mass Design offers the layperson an intuitive solution to a complex part of electronic product development.”
Availability and Pricing
Beginning today, FabStream for Mass Design, Inc. is now in Beta Pilot. SoloPCB Design Software for Mass Design can be downloaded at Mass Design’s corporate website: www.massdesign.com. The SoloPCB Design Software for Mass Design is free and Mass Design’s PCB pricing will apply.
About Mass Design
Mass Design, Inc. 72,000 square foot facility located just north of Boston’s Route 128 Technology Highway has been designing and manufacturing high-reliability printed circuit boards (PCB) that can be manufactured cost-effectively by a diverse customer base that includes Fortune 500 companies, the Department of Defense, start-ups, OEMs and contract manufacturers. The company’s integrated manufacturing approach removes communication obstacles between engineering and manufacturing to eliminate common pitfalls when introducing new products to market.
©2013 Mass Design, Inc. All rights reserved. FabStreamTM and SoloPCB DesignerTM are trademarks of DownStream Technologies, LLC and all other trademarks and registered trademarks contained within this document are the property of their respective owners.
“Outlook Bright for US Manufacturing in 2013” Mass Design Says
Though 2012 was marked with uncertainty, 2013 looks promising for US manufacturers – among them companies like Mass Design that are located in technology hubs where they draw on a highly educated workforce and serve niche customers nearby.
Mass Design (www.massdesign.com) produces high-reliability circuit boards used in military, medical, aerospace and instrumentation products as well as emerging sectors such as renewable energy.
For insight into the 2013 outlook, PCB Design 007 interviewed Bill Gately, Mass Design’s sales manager. See a reprint of his interview, An American PCB Manufacturer's Tale: http://massdesign.com/sites/default/files/article.pdf
While we expect some consumer electronics manufacturing to return to the US in 2013, for the most part, circuit boards for smart phones, computers and toasters are manufactured in Asia where plants hire thousands of workers to assemble millions of boards.
In contrast, Mass Design has fewer than 100 employees who can take a new product from design through prototype to fabrication and assembly – all under one roof. Its Nashua, New Hampshire location is a stone’s throw from Massachusetts’ Route 128 Technology Highway and Boston and Cambridge. Defense contractors and medical products manufacturers such as Raytheon, Fresenius and GE are within driving distance. Area colleges and universities deliver top engineering, manufacturing and technical talent. Likewise, the East Coast’s high-tech community promotes knowledge sharing and other intangible benefits.
Regarding past election uncertainty, Gately notes, “Since Paul Boduch and Tony Bourassa founded the company in l986, we’ve been through seven Presidential electoral cycles. We’ve heard arguments over which candidate would have been better for defense or healthcare – two technology-driven sectors in which Mass Design leads. Nonetheless, politics matter far less than how well we respond to technology, business and economic shifts in the US and worldwide.”
The emphasis on medical outcomes, cost and home monitoring offers potential with Mass Design participating in developing diagnostic and treatment equipment for Siemens, Baxter, GE, Tyco and others.
Regarding the military, Gately says, “In 2010, the US Cyber Command was created to coordinate our cyberspace resources and defend our information security environment. This emphasis on computer defense is unprecedented.”
Additionally, “Wind energy has shifted from ‘alternate’ to mainstream and we’re working on next-generation wind turbines,” says Gately. Mass Design manufactures multi-layer PCB boards large enough to handle massive amounts of current and power.
Bill Gately, Mass Design
“We also serve customers who insist on manufacturing in the US for quicker turnaround, product confidence and environmental and safety standard assurances,” says Gately adding, “More broadly, outsourcing is turning around. Apple CEO Tim Cook has announced plans to manufacture one of its Mac lines in the US during an interview with NBC’s Brian Williams.” For more details please visit: Huffington Post.
December’s Atlantic magazine echoes Gately’s optimism. In The Insourcing Boom, Charles Fishman reports that GE is adding assembly lines at its Appliance Park in Louisville, KY noting, “U.S. labor productivity has continued its long march upward [and] …. You simply can’t save much money chasing wages anymore.”
of Home Use Medical Electronics
Healthcare reform and escalating Medicare and Medicaid costs are driving innovation in home-based medical electronics according to the September issue of the printed circuit board industry publication, The PCB Magazine.
Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are at the heart of every modern electronic device, giving their manufacturers a unique ability to spot emerging trends. Home medical devices that monitor prescription medicine adherence or perform dialysis rely particularly on flexible printed circuit boards that combine both the circuit board function and wiring into a single unit that conforms to just about any shape, explains James Mahoney, applications engineer with Mass Design (www.massdesign.com). Based in Nashua, New Hampshire, Mass Design is a leader in high-reliability flexible PCBs for the medical and aerospace industry.
While an HIV vaccination or being able to forestall dementia, would have a huge cost impact, healthcare policymakers and the electronics industry are looking to keep people out of hospitals and long-term care facilities with medical monitoring and treatment at home.
In an interview with PCB Magazine, Mahoney observes, "Medical devices for home use are crammed with communication electronics, LEDs and video cameras – packing a lot of capability into a small space. They have to be tough, easy-to-use and virtually drop-proof as well as compact and attractively designed."
In addition to flexible circuit boards making these devices possible, researchers are looking into stretchable circuitry that can make prosthetic devices more lifelike. Says Mahoney, "True stretchability is still in its infancy. Stretching a circuit board, like an elastic band, changes the characteristics of the electrical vias by making them thinner and longer. We've turned to mechanical means to add stretchability more simply. Imagine a hairpin or spring, with the ends being pulled apart. It's a mechanical approach to stretchability without actually stretching the material."
Cost is a factor too. Mahoney points out, "The manufacturing cost has to be weighed in several ways with reliability being the byword. Consider downtime. In a hospital, where there may be multiple devices performing the same function, downtime is not as critical as when home health equipment fails in the middle of the night,"
The article titled, National Healthcare Policy Drives Flex Innovation to Meet Demand for Home Medical Electronics can be found in the September issue of PCB Magazine at: www.pcb007.
In the article, Mahoney offers six predictions for home healthcare electronics that will improve patient care and foster growth in electronics industry.
1. Printed circuit boards will have recessed components to squeeze more capability into thinner devices and to facilitate heat dissipation.
2. Faster circuits will emerge – especially for healthcare devices relying on radio frequency (RF), blue tooth and Wi-Fi to communicate between patient and caregiver.
3. Stretchable electronics will come into greater play with wearable circuitry –including prosthetic devices where the circuitry forms a subcutaneous layer around an extremity, perhaps adding sensitivity to the fingertips of a prosthetic hand.
4. There will be a far more systemic approach to prescription medicine adherence –electronically linking the hospital, doctor, nurse, pharmacy and caregivers to the patient.
5. Home medical devices will be incorporated into smartphones that can take your pulse, read glucose levels and measure activity. This will increase sales among an older population, as it may be cheaper to equip patients with smartphones loaded with medical applications than specialized devices manufactured in lower volume.
6. Expect reverse technology transfer. Mass Design manufactures PCBs for home healthcare devices that help to make their professional counterparts less costly and more universally available. This improves healthcare delivery and lowers cost for everyone. MD
David R. Farmer has recently joined Mass Design Incorporated as a Sales and New Business Development Representative. He will focus on this U.S. printed circuit board manufacturer’s medical, defense and aerospace markets.
Announcing the appointment, William Gately, Sales Manager, (http://www.massdesign.com) said, “David is a customer-focused professional with a service-first philosophy. He has joined our team to capitalize on the demand we see for highly sophisticated rigid, flex and rigid/flex circuit boards and will be a valuable asset to our customers.”
High Res Image at: http://bit.ly/DavidFarmerMassDesign
Farmer comes to Mass Design with nearly a decade of PCB customer-relations experience as an account executive with Dynamic Details, Inc. (DDI) in Milpitas, California and as a PCB manufacturers’ representative with Elec & Eltek, Inc.
While with DDI, Farmer provided customers with engineering and manufacturing services ranging from design through PCB board fabrication and assembly as well as sheet metal fabrication, back plane assembly and system integration. As a manufacturer’s representative with Elec & Eltek, Inc., he sourced products globally and built ongoing relationships with NASA, 3Com Corporation, Hughes Network Systems, llc and other technology innovators.
His expertise spans high-reliability flex and rigid/flex PCBs used in computer, RF, military, aerospace medical, auto and industrial products. “As a U.S. manufacturer, Mass Design occupies an important niche in industries where no acceptable failure rate exists. David will play an important role in furthering our position as the trusted leader in these industries,” noted Tony Bourassa, president.
Farmer, a native New Englander, grew up in Lynnfield, Massachusetts, earned a bachelor’s degree at Salem State College and now lives in nearby Haverhill, Mass.
Contact at: 603-886-6460 Extension 214, or at (c) 603-459-9286, email: email@example.com.
Mass Design is widely recognized for its ability to manufacture fewer than a half-dozen to over 2,500 printed circuit boards that meet extreme high reliability standards. The company’s certifications include: ISO9001: 2008 Certified, ISO13485 (medical): 2003 Certified, UL796. Registered and ITAR DDTC Certified. ITAR (military) compliant, IPC – 6012 and 6013, Class2/3.
Much of Mass Design’s reputation for quality and reliability stems from having every function housed under-one-roof in Nashua, New Hampshire where all departments can communicate in-person during every step of the design, prototype and manufacturing process.
Mass Design offers full-service design-and-build solutions in rigid, rigid/flex, flex-to-install, dynamic flex and other circuit board solutions, as well as design assistance, NPI quick-turn prototyping transferable into production, value-added assembly and final testing of all circuits and assemblies.
Among its customers are original equipment manufacturers including Draper Labs, Beaver Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, Palomar Medical Technologies, Siemens, Nova Biomedical, GE Healthcare, Baxter and Tyco.
Mass Design's Bill Gately commented recently on bringing manufacturing back to the US – his observations on this timely subject.
Bill Gately's position as sales manager of Mass Design, Inc. in Nashua, New Hampshire - one of the leading US makers of printed circuit boards - gives him a unique perspective from which to comment on the future of the PCB industry in North America - particularly in the low-volume, high-reliability sector of the industry.
Gately works with a diverse customer base made up of R&D, startup and Fortune 500 Companies producing military, medical, aerospace and industrial products, as well as PCB contract manufacturers. He has increased sales at Mass Design by attracting and retaining customers who see working with a US-based company as a big benefit - especially when it comes to orders that are as few as 5-25 boards or as many 2,500 boards.
Q: We hear about outsourcing all the time. You're an American manufacturer with partners in Asia. What's the future of the Made in the USA label when it comes to PCBs?
Gately: I'm optimistic. Coming out of the worse part of the recession, we saw a big recovery in 2010 sales for US companies. According to IPC, rigid board sales were up 18 percent and flex boards showed an increase of 16 percent that year. Compared to 2010, the increase in PCB sales has not been as dramatic. Sales for 2011 are up about 4 percent for all electronic products including PCBs, however the economy is growing at 2.5 percent. I see PCB sales outstripping general economic growth as a very positive sign.
Year-to-year and month-to-month statistics only tell part of the story though. Long-term, the potential for growth in our industry is as immense as it is incomprehensible. Take a single simple item - hotel room keys. Keys have universally been replaced by card readers, all of which require electronic circuitry. That's just one small commonplace product.
The American auto industry is coming back too. Compare your five-year-old car to the 2012 models that routinely have rear video cameras, electronic braking systems, electronic tire pressure monitoring gauges and, of course, built in GPS, satellite radio and Blue Tooth - with many new features mandated by law.
Likewise, capital investment in US infrastructure isn't all about bulldozers and concrete. It's about improved signaling, automated toll collection, video surveillance, and improved fuel efficiency for locomotives - again increasing demand for printed circuit boards.
Q: Industry-wide that's terrific. But with the bulk of PCB boards outsourced to Asia, what's left for US and Canadian manufacturers?
Gately: There isn't much future on the mass-produced, consumer-products side of the equation - toasters, video games and cell phones. That business has gone offshore and margins are too slim for North American companies to compete.
Where there once were about 4,000 PCB manufacturers in North America now there are only about 200 with a smaller number of PCB manufacturers doing really well.
The success stories though are the US companies that have developed a hybrid-manufacturing strategy by offering complete capability in the US combined with the skill needed to negotiate with and manage reliable manufacturing partners overseas - particularly China and Taiwan.
US manufacturers outperform an Asian manufacturing rep with a phone and desk, because they offer complete preproduction capability in the States and can quickly turn around prototypes. It's something customers see as a huge benefit even if their manufacturing is eventually outsourced.
Mass Design's Integrated Manufacturing Faclity in Nashua, NH
Q: No matter what, aren't US production costs going to be higher?
Gately: I was just getting to that. For small quantities, in our high-reliability niche, the marginal savings from manufacturing in a foreign
country are outweighed by quicker turnaround times and convenience. Just as important, we are always investing in new technology to increase quality and automation as well as decrease delivery times - our new Schmoll Drilling Machine, for example, serves as both a drilling machine and router. It enables us to fabricate boards with 6 mil. holes, meet much tighter tolerances with both rigid and flex PCBs and do it faster.
For longer runs, we've had times when a delivery from Asia is delayed. We'll turn around the same product in-house in the USA and ship it within 24 to 48 hours to meet a customer's deadline. We've also had times when 3,000 boards are due to come in from Asia in a month or so and we'll produce 500 right away in Nashua so the customer can start production right away.
That's the kind of assurance and comfort level the successful US manufacturers are offering. It's a customer-focused way of thinking and it pays off.
Q: What about ITAR compliant manufacturing that has to take place in the US? Do cutbacks in defense spending worry you?
Gately: No. Just look at how electronics are replacing active-duty people and military infrastructure. Compare the manpower cost of maintaining a fighter squadron in a warzone or on an aircraft carrier to drones that are piloted from the US. Less manpower simply means more technology.
The same goes for missiles, satellite tracking, weapons controllers and command-and-control systems - it's all low-to-medium volume, high-reliability work and the five-year outlook is bright.
Q: ITAR keeps that work in the US. Can't high-reliability be outsourced when it comes to avionics and medical applications?
Gately: Medical devices are produced in small to medium volumes with solid markups. It's an industry where manufacturers want their boards released to them monthly or quarterly so overseas transit times and costs become a factor. These manufacturers won't chance a production delay by going overseas.
Medical devices present a big growth area for the PCB industry in the US. Physicians are using more handheld diagnostic tools and hospitals are sending patients home earlier with electronic monitoring equipment. For some patients, dialysis can now be performed at home. We are also seeing potential as the age-at-home population increases and relies on electronic pill monitoring and other systems. All of which means smaller, lighter, more rugged and foolproof equipment.
It's good news for our industry, especially in flex where you have to cram a lot more capability into smaller spaces and the equipment has to be drop proof. We saw 18% growth in flex sales at Mass Design last year and I'm sure we're not alone.
Q: Any other indicators?
Gately: Sure. Boeing's new 787 is being produced in the US and the volumes, in terms of avionic equipment, are so low and the reliability requirements so high that it just doesn't make sense to export that kind of work.
Going green is also becoming an incentive. We're hearing from customers who feel more comfortable buying in North America, because of our high wastewater treatment and worker safety standards - something they can't count on overseas.
Q: Is there anything else a US manufacturer can do to keep an edge?
Gately: Customers want to keep as much labor out of their shops as they possibly can. Value-added products and fulfillment, such as offering box-builds to streamline the costumer's operation is a winner. For example, one of our customers does box-builds for a producer of hand-held electronic trouble-shooting devices for auto service centers and ships about 50 boxes per day.
Q: Is there a four-minute mile barrier to thin and number of layers in a board?
Gately: Smart phones have led the way to thinner boards and increasing the number of layers. Copper is ¼ ounce with thicknesses from 5 mil to 3 mil. Standard part placement is 0201. And innerlayer leaves are thinner as well.
Standards on the consumer side are simply driving expectations in the high-reliability market.
Q: You seem optimistic. In a nutshell, who will be the US PCB success stories in five years?
PCB Industry Veteran Steven St. Pierre
is Mass Design's New Quality Control Manager
Steven St. Pierre has recently joined Mass Design Incorporated as Quality Control Manager where he oversees all product and process quality standards as well as administering the company's International Standards Organization (ISO) program. This includes administering the ISO audits necessary to maintain Mass Design's certification in medical, aerospace, defense and other industrial sectors.
Announcing the appointment, Tony Bourassa, president of Mass Design, said, "Steve has a pivotal position at Mass Design where we take pride in the fact that all our product releases to shipping are signed off by our quality control department rather than manufacturing department. This, along with the in-process systems Steve manages, offers assurance to our customers who count on us for high-reliability printed circuit boards."
Mass Design is widely recognized for its ability to manufacture fewer than a half-dozen to over 2,500 printed circuit boards that meet extreme high reliability standards. The company's certifications include: ISO9001: 2008 Certified, ISO13485 (medical): 2003 Certified, UL796 Registered and ITAR DDTC Certified. ITAR (military) compliant, IPC - 6012 and 6013, Class2/3.
"As a US manufacturer we occupy an important niche in industries where there is no acceptable failure rate." Steve said, "Much of our reputation for quality and reliability stems from having every function housed together in Nashua, New Hampshire. Everyone can easily communicate between departments during every step of the design, prototype and manufacturing process. We resolve problems before they occur."
Steve, who holds an AS degree in Computer Systems from Daniel Webster College, began his career in the PCB industry in 1978. Prior to joining Mass Design, he was with Setra Sensing Solutions, Boxborough, Massachusetts, a designer and manufacturer of sophisticated monitoring and measuring equipment used in medical, environmental, energy and meteorologicalapplications. His earlier positions include quality control and ISO management representative positions with Sanmina Corp. in Nashua, New Hampshire and other PCB manufacturers.
The International Standards Organization (ISO) is the world's largest developer and publisher of international standards for manufacturers across nearly every industrial sector. Representatives are based in 162 countries while a Central Secretariat, based in Geneva, Switzerland, coordinates the ISO system.
Mass Design offers full-service design-and-build solutions in rigid, flex-to-install, dynamic flex and other circuit board solutions. Mass Design offers design assistance, NPI quick-turn, prototyping transferable into production, value-added assembly and final testing of all circuits and assemblies. Among its customers are original equipment manufacturers including Draper Labs, Beaver Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, Palomar Medical Technologies, Siemens, Nova Biomedical, GE Healthcare, Baxter and Tyco.
PCB Leader Mass Design Awarded Medical Device Manufacturing
Certification ISO 13485:2003
NASHUA, N.H., July 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Mass Design Incorporated has been awarded ISO 13485:2003 certification by the International Standards Organization (ISO), enhancing this printed circuit board manufacturer's competitive position as a supplier to medical device manufacturers worldwide.
ISO 13485:2003 is an internationally recognized accreditation that establishes protocols to assure the safety, quality and performance of medical devices – including components such as the PCBs that are at the heart of devices ranging from pacemakers to MRI machines.
"Gaining this latest ISO Certification is an affirmation of the quality we have been delivering to the medical device industry for over a decade," said Paul Boduch, vice president and cofounder of the company. Since its founding 25 years ago, Mass Design (http://www.massdesign.com) has built its reputation for high-reliability circuit boards among customers that include Siemens, Nova Biomedical, GE Healthcare, Baxter and Tyco.
ISO 13485:2003 specifies a quality management system and record-keeping standards needed to meet customer and regulatory requirements applicable to the manufacture medical devices and components. The recent certification is in addition to the quality processes and standards Mass Design adopted under the broader and more widely recognized ISO 9001:2008 manufacturing standard.
"Our people are to be commended for developing the internal audit system, spot check mechanisms, and communication protocols needed to meet ISO 13485 standards. The new medical certification adds value to our printed circuit board products and the Mass Design brand and serves to increase customer confidence globally," added Boduch.
In addition to ISO 13485, Mass Design is further establishing its position in the medical manufacturing sector with the addition of new technology and sophisticated equipment. For example, the company just added a Schmoll Drilling Machine and an additional MyData Machine to its 75,000 engineering and production facility just north of Boston.
Moreover, Mass Design has been leading the way with flexible circuit board technology that allows medical device manufacturers to cram more functionality into smaller spaces while enhancing reliability. Flexible circuit boards integrate circuitry and wiring into a single unit that can conform to just about any shape. For example, Mass Design produces flexible circuit boards for prosthetic limb manufacturers.
"ISO 13485 will play a key role in our sales growth, which increased 18% this year in the medical electronics sector – diagnostic and monitoring equipment, surgical tools and both implantable and non-implantable medical devices," said Bill Gately, Mass Design's sales manager.
Mass Design fabricates printed circuit boards (PCBs) for original equipment manufacturers as well as manufacturing fully assembled printed circuit boards with all components installed.
The International Standards Organization (ISO) is the world's largest developer and publisher of international standards for manufacturers across nearly every industrial sector. Representatives are based in 162 countries while a Central Secretariat, based in Geneva, Switzerland, coordinates the ISO system.
from Bürkle North America Alliance Partner
Garden Grove, CA, June 7, 2011 -- Bürkle North America’s FabFour Group, today announced that Mass Design Inc. of Nashua, New Hampshire has placed an order for an advanced high-speed drilling system from Schmoll Maschinen to fabricate increasingly intricate and miniaturized printed circuit boards (PCBs). Schmoll Maschinen is headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany. The Schmoll machine is scheduled for installation in June 2011.
In making the announcement, Dave Howard, Vice President and Business Unit Manager for Bürkle North America (www.burkleusa.com) said, “The model MX-1 DH CCD is a single-station drilling and routing system equipped with high-speed linear motors in the X, Y and Z axis. In addition, this particular unit is configured with dual heads; one used for drilling and one for routing as well as a CCD camera for both surface and inner-layer registration work.” Burkle is a leading supplier of technology, equipment and manufacturing solutions to the PCB industry in North America.
Noted Bill Gately, Sales Manager at Mass Design (www.massdesign.com), “The addition of a Schmoll drilling and router system is significant when it comes to delivering PCBs that are increasingly complex and miniaturized for our medical technology, defense, aerospace and other customers who require high-reliability rigid, flex and rigid-flex PCBs.”
Neil Chulada, Operations Manager added, “During the past two years Mass Design has been investing heavily in advanced manufacturing technology and machinery. With a tool like the Schmoll MX-1, we can improve both speed and accuracy and, as a result, become even more competitive in the market sector we serve.”
The company offers design through prototype, testing, fabrication and assembly at its 75,000 square-foot technology and manufacturing center just north of Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Mass Design customers include Siemens, GE Healthcare, Nova Biomedical, Baxter, Fresenius, Tyco, Boeing, Raytheon and Bose.
Schmoll, located near Frankfurt, Germany is part of Bürkle’s FabFour Machinery Alliance consisting of Bürkle Lamination and Coating Systems, Bacher Registration and Exposure Systems and LHMT Scoring and Beveling equipment.
NASHUA, N.H., Sept. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- James M. Mahoney has recently joined Mass Design Incorporated as application engineer with the company's Flex and Rigid/Flex Printed Circuit Board (PCB) design and manufacturing operation.
Mahoney joins Mass Design from Quick Turn Flex Circuits LLC, a full-service contract manufacturer he founded in 2003 in Franklin. He was previously with Amphenol Corporation's Advanced Circuit Technology, Inc., a manufacturer of flex circuits and value-added solutions for the electronics industry based in Nashua. Earlier, Mahoney was Manager of Teledyne Electronics' Rigid-Flex Circuit Quick-Turn Business Unit in Hudson.
Announcing the appointment, Tony Bourassa, Mass Design president (http://www.massdesign.com) said, "Our flex and rigid flex business has grown substantially during the past two years. With Jim's 20-plus years of engineering and
entrepreneurial experience we will strengthen our position in this sector of the PCB industry. Jim will take us to a new level of value-added service with his substantial knowledge of design for manufacturing, engineering and process developments."
Working aerospace, medical and military sectors, Mahoney has been an innovator in the development and manufacture of flex circuits. His expertise
includes design support for manufacturability to include advising on material selection, PCB board stack-up, electrical parameters and flexibility requirements such as flex-to install, dynamic flex and cost-effective solutions.
Flex circuits conform to just about any shape and eliminate wiring and solder joints that are bulky and can fail from shock and vibration. Flex circuits also streamline inventory.
Mass Design offers full-service design-and-build solutions. Mahoney noted, "Customers include Draper Labs, Beaver Aerospace, Lockheed Martin and Palomar Medical Technologies to name a few."
"Since January 2011 flexible circuit orders have been up sharply in every category – aerospace, defense, energy, general industrial and, especially, in the medical electronics sector," said Mahoney. "Hand-held instruments used by doctors and other healthcare professionals are becoming more widespread while the devices grow smaller and more sophisticated. Patients are also being sent home with medical monitoring equipment that has to be portable, sturdy and easy to use – all of which benefits from the miniaturization, reliability and durability of flexible circuitry."
"At the prototype level, it takes a lot of communication to get a printed circuit board up and running. Our ability to get everyone talking to each other - from engineering and design through testing - enables us to solve the problems before going into production."
Tony Bourassa and Paul Boduch cofounders of Mass Design
When Tony Bourassa and Paul Boduch founded Mass Design 25 years ago, they combined their expertise. Tony brought his knowledge of PCB design, Paul brought his knowledge of PCB fabrication processes. The two partners quickly found their niche - offering customers a rare blend of services: design, fabrication and assembly - all done in a single, 75,000 square-foot technology center in Nashua, New Hampshire, just north of Boston.
Tony was recently interviewed at the IPC APEX EXPO by Joe Fjelsten. To see a video of Tony's insights into the PCB industry and Mass Design's future please visit:
Real Time Interview with Mass Design Founder Tony Bourassa
"We are really connected - from the engineer through all levels of design, fabrication and assembly under one roof in Nashua, New Hampshire. We have the ability to design and build as few as five or 25 boards and as many as 2,500 or more."
"We try to stay on the technological edge in both fabrication and assembly. We're fabricating boards with 3-mil line width and up to 24 layers. When it comes to assembly, we're employing Mydata machines with full vision and we're able to place micro BGAs (ball grid arrays) and 0201 components"
"We've been manufacturing flexible circuit boards for the military and civilian industries and medical product companies like Siemens, Nova Biomedical, GE Healthcare, Baxter, Tyco and others for over a decade. Flex is a big part of where our industry is going and we're keeping our eye on the future."
Mass Design Adds Mirtec MV-3L Automatic Optical Inspection System
Nashua, NH: Mass Design, a leading integrated manufacturer, announces the addition of the Mirtec MV-3L Automatic Optical Inspection system to their integrated manufacturing production line. The MV-3L Series represents the leading edge in Optical Inspection Systems and is designed to automatically inspect for manufacturing defects in both pre and post reflow stages utilizing a two megapixel color camera and 5 direction inspection from top down and 4 additional side angles. The system provides superior fault coverage for both SMT and through hole assemblies and will detect defects such as component presence/absence, polarity, misalignment, insufficient solder, excessive solder, solder bridging, bent leads, lifted leads, solder balls etc. Utilizing SPC software functionality, the MV-3L promotes continuous process improvement by allowing Mass Design's process engineers to track and eliminate defects on inspected assemblies while in process. Paul Boduch, Vice President of Mass Design, stated: "The addition of the MV-3L AOI System gives us true multi axis inspection capability in real time. This allows us to provide our customers with fault-free assemblies and 100% manufacturing yield in the quickest possible time frame, and further strengthens our position as the leading provider of One-Stop Integrated Manufacturing"
Mass Design Announces High Frequency/High Speed Material Processing
Nashua, NH: Mass Design, a leading PCB provider and integrated manufacturer, has announced the addition of process enhancements and manufacturing optimizations to facilitate the manufacture and assembly of high frequency PCB materials such as Rogers Corp 3000/6000 Series based ceramic filled PTFE and 4000 Series hydrocarbon ceramic products, and similar materials from Taconic and Arlon These high performance PCB materials provide optimal performance in high frequency/high signal integrity applications such as precision instrumentation, telecommunications, and wireless devices, and as such, require a higher level of manufacturing precision and process engineering experience above that of conventional laminate and substrate materials to assure consistent quality and final yield. Mass Design's experienced process engineers can assist customers in achieving their specific performance criteria with these high performance materials and enable them to optimize their final products without expensive redesigns. The combined strengths of their design experience and multi-material process capabilities sets Mass Design apart from the competition.
Mass Design Achieves DDTC Registration / ITAR Compliance
Mass Design, a leading integrated manufacturer, has met the application, review, and registration requirements of the US Dept. of State's Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) which regulates compliance to ITAR Part 122 and governs participation by companies in the manufacture or services related to United States Defense applications. Paul Boduch, Vice President of Mass Design, explains the significance of this registration: "By obtaining this key certification, Mass Design can now provide both commercial and defense related customers with fully ITAR-compliant integrated manufacturing services that are all located under one roof at our full service facility in Nashua, NH. This assures our customers requiring ITAR of timely and cost-effective product manufacturing that is fully monitored and compliant at all levels."
Lead Free Horizontal HAL Proccess Capability
Mass Design announces the addition of the Lead Free Horizontal Hot Air Leveling (LFH HAL) to its offerings of RoHS compliant lead free surface finishes. With this upgrade, the company joins a small but select group of manufactures with the ability to offer a low cost environmentally friendly, and highly reliable finish alternative to conventional and more costly immersion gold techniques. Mass Designs Horizontal HAL finish is compatible with all other solder types, lead free and leaded alike, and ensures solderability at the bare board stage. This translates to higher yields at assembly by creating a fast wetting joint that is free of contaminants such as silver or gold and offers extended shelf life. Horizontal HAL has long been proven to have superior performance over conventional vertical HAL processes. In addition, the reduced solder dwell times associated with the Horizontal HAL process produces less thermal shock compared to vertical process.