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Pick, Place, Podcast

Technology Podcasts

The Pick, Place, Podcast is a show where we talk about electronics manufacturing and everything related to getting a circuit board into the world. Join hosts Chris Denney from Worthington and Melissa Hough from CircuitHub as they discuss the pcb assembly process, design tips that will make your manufacturer love you, and talk to industry guests.

The Pick, Place, Podcast is a show where we talk about electronics manufacturing and everything related to getting a circuit board into the world. Join hosts Chris Denney from Worthington and Melissa Hough from CircuitHub as they discuss the pcb assembly process, design tips that will make your manufacturer love you, and talk to industry guests.


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The Pick, Place, Podcast is a show where we talk about electronics manufacturing and everything related to getting a circuit board into the world. Join hosts Chris Denney from Worthington and Melissa Hough from CircuitHub as they discuss the pcb assembly process, design tips that will make your manufacturer love you, and talk to industry guests.




Custom tooling to the rescue

Sometimes things are difficult to build....enter the help of custom tooling! In this episode, we highlight some of the applications for which we might order custom tooling, how they can help us assemble boards more efficiently and accurately, and some things you might want to do if you'd like to avoid custom tooling becoming necesesary. Show Links: Stentech products


Benefits of intrusive soldering

Intrusive soldering, also known as pin-in-paste, is a method that uses solder paste to solder the thru-hole leads instead of hand soldering, wave soldering, or selective soldering. If designed properly, it's a great way to save time and money during pcb assembly. In this episode, we discuss how intrusive soldering is done, challenges associated with this process, and design recommendations. Episode links: Wurth USB-C Guide Our favorite USB-C port


The role of flux in PCB assembly

Flux is friend. Not foe. To create a solder joint, you have a lot working against you. Boards, parts, the air...it’s all very cold compared to the melting point of solder. Those are easily overcome with a good heat source in the way of a soldering iron, wave solder, or selective solder. However, none of this will do you a lick of good without flux because metal oxide is the biggest challenge you have to combat. In this episode, we go over flux's role in fighting the oxide layer that forms...


Debugging PCB Assemblies

It's a fact of life that defects and failed boards will sometimes occur, which is why it's so important to have a debugging procedure prepared to help your CM know how to move forward. In this episode, we talk about best practices on how to work with your CM when these problems arise.


Advanced Drilling w/ CAM Engineer, Dave Wilcox

We've finally managed to convince CircuitHub CAM Engineer, Dave Wilcox, to come back on the show to continue our series about the intricacies of PCB fabrication. If you're just tuning in, we recommend you listen to our episodes about Inner Layer Production and PCB Drilling Basics before this one. In this episode, we cover some of the finer details of PCB drilling including what the drilling setup physically looks like and tips you can implement to save your PCB fab time. We also learn that...


How to Manage Moisture Sensitive Devices

Similar to our discussion on ESD a few episodes back, moisture is also a "silent killer" for many electronic components. In this episode, we talk about what kind of damage moisture can cause in components, what precautions we take in the factory when working with moisture-sensitive devices, the different levels of moisture sensitivity, and measures you should take at home to protect your MSDs. Chris also has an excellent pet peeve related to public bathroom doors. Show links: Complimentary...


How IPC helps the global manufacturing ecosystem build electronics better w/ Teresa Rowe and Patrick Crawford

IPC is a global trade organization whose goal is to help OEMs, EMS, PCB manufacturers, and suppliers build electronics better. They provide numerous standards covering the electronics manufacturing supply chain as well as engineering education and training. We're very grateful to have IPC employees Teresa Rowe, Sr. Director, Assembly & Standards Technology and Patrick Crawford, Manager of Design Standards and Related Industry Programs join us in this episode. We discuss how the standards...


Building a product at a big organization vs a startup w/ Barnacle Systems CTO, Darren Beckwith

In today's episode, we are joined by Darren Beckwith, CTO of Barnacle Systems. Barnacle Systems is a startup based in Victoria, Canada which provides security and monitoring products for boats and yachts. We chat with Darren about his many years working at Carmanah Technologies where he worked as a firmware engineer along with a larger engineering team and some of the struggles he encountered after transitioning to a much small startup. Show Links: SNL: NPR's Delicious Dish


How to Protect PCBs from ESD Damage

ESD (Electro Static Discharge) is an invisible, silent killer for PCBs. Protecting your boards from ESD damage while they're in the factory and being shipped to you is something we take very seriously. In today's episode we talk about what ESD is,how it damages your boards, and measures that should be taken to prevent this damage from occurring including what you can do at home. Episode Links: ESD Association ESD Overview The dangers of ESD What is a Faraday cage? Anti-static vs static...


How to Send Consigned Material to Your CM

Consigned material is material purchased and sent to the CM by you, the customer. From your CMs point of view, managing consigned material can sometimes be tricky, especially if the material does not arrive how they were expecting it to. Here are our recommendations on how you can send your consigned material that will make the process go as smoothly as possible. http://docs.circuithub.com/en/articles/62935-how-do-i-consign-parts-to-the-factory


How to develop a PCBA functional test system w/ FixturFab

In this episode, we are joined by Duncan Lowder and Joe Selvik, co-founders of FixturFab, to learn about how to develop a PCBA functional test system. FixturFab is a software design platform that uses generative Computer-Aided Design (CAD) technologies to automate the design process of PCBA Functional Test Fixtures. They can assist with Mechanical Fixture, the Test Instrumentation, and Test Software for both small prototype runs and mass production. Show links: FixturFab Blog Flying...


Alternative Component Mounting

In today's episode, Chris teaches us about different categories of components that don't use a traditional surface mount or through-hole mounting methods. Think epoxy mounting, press-fit, mechanical assembly, swaging hardware, snap sockets, dome switches, hot bar soldering wires and cables, adhesive tape, and RTV. Exciting news, Chris is a guest host on Hackaday Chat! Join him on Wednesday, February 9, 2022, 12:00 pm PST (3 PM eastern):...


How to keep morale high in a high-stress manufacturing environment

We talk a lot about equipment and techniques used to assembly PCBs, but wanted to dedicate an episode to focus on the people who are actually getting the work done. In this episode, we talk to Worthington employee, David Mulherin, about how to keep work output high in a high-stress manufacturing environment while also making sure factory workers feel like they are valued.


How Chinese New Year Impacts Manufacturing

Chinese New Year (aka Lunar New Year or Spring Festival) is a welcome and well-deserved break for Chinese workers. However, it is also a notoriously stressful time for the global manufacturing industry. In today's episode, we give you a manufacturer's perspective of why it is usually such a disruptive period. Links: Some fun (non-manufacturing related) facts about Chinese New Year Information on 2022 Chinese New Year closures China post-Lunar New Year job exodus


Showstoppers that delay PCB assembly w/ Production Manager, Rob OConnell

We love it when PCB orders run through the assembly line smooth as butter. Inevitably, however, sometimes things do get delayed. On today's episode, we sat down with CircuitHub Production Manager, Rob OConnell, on the biggest showstoppers that cause orders to run late and some things customers can do to prevent this from happening. Chris' KiCon 2019 Talk - Your Manufacturer is Stupid The Perfect 0402 Footprint


When to request first articles

First articles, also known as batch run or first-run amongst other terms, is when a customer requests the first several finished PCBAs from a production run be delivered for inspection before the entire quantity is built. In this episode we go over when it's appropriate to request first articles (and when it's not), the difference between first articles and prototypes, examples of how using first articles has benefitted our customers. Chris also introduces us to his fascinating new theory...


Evaluating Pick and Place Machine Suppliers

Worthington is in the process of upgrading its pick and place machinery. In order to do that requires a long process of evaluating potential new suppliers. Chris walks us through what that journey is like, why a contract manufacturer may need to upgrade its equipment, his recent in-person visit to one of the suppliers they've narrowed down to, and more!


What are fiducials and why you should use them

This episode is dedicated to fiducials which, for those who are unfamiliar with the term, are the small copper dots you may have seen on your bare PCB. We get into the details of what they are, where and why are they are used, and how you can use them in your design. https://www.worthingtonassembly.com/blog/2014/12/29/what-are-fiducials-and-why-are-they-useful If you are already using fiducials in your designs tweet us a photo or screenshot of them with the hashtag #fiducialsFTW :)


Get to know Melissa and Chris

To celebrate reaching 10,000 downloads of the podcast, Chris and Melissa mix things up and interview each other so that you can get to know your hosts better! We talk about what we were doing before joining CircuitHub and Worthington, our journeys towards getting there, imposter syndrome, our love affair with Grape Nuts, and more!


An EDA Tool Walks Into a CM w/ Fusion 360 Electronics Product Manager, Ben Jordan

We're very excited to be joined on this episode by Ben Jordan. Ben, who was previously at Altium for many years, now works at Autodesk as a Senior Product Manager for the Fusion 360 Electronics product. We chat about: Why we call them DuPont headersMachine pin headers are awesomeThe Coriolis EffectBil Herdhttps://www.packworld.com/issues/sustainability/article/21136720/nespresso-coffee-capsule-made-from-80-recycled-content