Monthly Archives: August 2015

What You Need to Know about PCB Fabrication

Printed circuit board or PCB is a board that contains layers of pads and lines that electrically connect points together. The main function of a PCB is to allow power to be routed between physical devices. The metal that allows electrical connections between the PCB surface and the components is solder. In terms of composition, a PCB has different, alternating layers that have different materials. Using heat and adhesive, they are all laminated together. In simple terms, think of it as lasagna or layer cake. There are several important processes involved in manufacturing PCBs. One of the most important processes is PCB fabrication.

In order to truly understand PCB fabrication, one has to go through the entire PCB manufacturing process.  This starts with the PCB design. There is no standard printed circuit board. Each board possesses a unique design and function for a particular product. The board must be designed in order to perform a specific function for the space allotted. This is called PCB fabrication drawing. The fabrication drawing has to show the dimensions of the board and the tool hole. Aside from that, it also has to show a graphic representation for each hole on the board. This drawing is very important because it will be used by the board manufacturer in addition to the data files to test and check if the PCB is made according to specifications during the post-processing phase.

There is software available that’s used to layout the design or circuit pattern. The design and location of the holes for component leads will be laid out on the board, and the spaces are very small, around 0.04 inches or smaller. The information will be translated into instructions for a controlled drilling machine or a solder machine. When the circuit pattern is laid out, a negative image is printed out on a clear plastic sheet. Copper is the material that is used in the printed circuits. They are usually plated or etched on the surface of the substrate.  The printed circuit pattern is created using either the additive or subtractive method. In the additive method, copper is plated into the surface of the substrate in the specific pattern, while the rest of the surface remains un-plated. In the subtractive process on the other hand, the whole surface of the substrate is plated, then the areas that are not part of the pattern are etched away.

PCBThe substrate is usually made from woven glass fiber impregnated with epoxy resin. To prevent oxidation, the copper circuits are coated with a layer of tin and lead. They are then plated with tin-lead, then nickel and finally, gold, because it is an excellent conductor of electricity. The tin-lead coating is then fused. The panels are sealed using epoxy. This is done to protect the circuits from being damaged while the different components are being attached. The panels are then cut into boards.  The components are mounted either by manual soldering or using surface mount technology.

During the PCB fabrication process, a strict quality control process is done. The process includes both electrical and visual inspection. This is made in order to detect flaws, usually by human error or generated by machines. Human error could be the application of excess solder paste or heating the solder quickly. Machine error could be components that are misplaced on the board or shifted before soldering. Testing completed boards is also part of the process. This is done to ensure that their output is within the desired limits and that they are performing well. Finished boards also go through environmental tests under extreme impact, heat and humidity. Some manufacturers even go the extra mile and monitor the output by investigating the detected failures. These tests ensure that the PCB fabrication process adhere to strict quality standards.

Author Bio:
High quality PCB fabrication and assembly. We ship PCB Prototypes the Same Day! INSTANT on-line quote and ordering. From prototype to production of single, double, and multilayer PC Boards.

Chat Guidelines to Ensure Success

As live chat for business continues to gain momentum and becomes a popular mode of providing customer service, it is important to see to it that certain guidelines are in place to ensure that customers are receiving utmost service and satisfaction.

chatChat is favored mostly for the convenience that it brings to its customers and the savings that it brings to the business owners. It is convenient because customers can get the help that they need at the tip of their fingertips. No need to run and get the phone or wait for the automated system to stop before they can talk to someone. They can also do other things at home while waiting for a response.

Cost-efficient because there is less average interaction costs compared to phone interaction. It also allows live chat agents to handle multiple customers at the same time. This means short or no queue at all. More customers are served, more chances of closing sales!  New customers who are simply looking will also have their queries answered right away. This helps hasten the decision making process.

Customer service is the heart of any business that is still thriving nowadays. Deals and freebies come and go and customers may even forget that; but they will always remember if they’ve been treated poorly by a customer service representative. They will also remember and will make sure to spread the word if they’ve been treated with proper care and given rightful importance.

Live chat agents become direct representatives of the company or business that they work for. Customers won’t know who owns their cable company. All they will remember is that person they talked to on the phone or in chat. For them, that agent is the face of that company. Whatever he says or does is a reflection of how the company treats its customers.

When considering live chat for business, it is important to set out guidelines that will ensure check and balance of the business as a whole. One has to make sure that live chat agents are treating the customers right. Customers should get excellent service at all times. Their satisfaction should be the priority at all times, in any customer interaction.

However, it is also equally important that business rules are also enforced. These rules were created to protect the company, its people and customers.  Below are basic guidelines that can be utilized to ensure that chat agents are providing excellent customer service while following business rules:

1.Resolution

  • Did the agent use all tools available at his disposal to provide the most appropriate resolution to the customer?
  • Did the agent give a long-term resolution?
  • Did the agent process all transactions accurately?
  • Did the agent manage the customer’s expectations by educating him of all that he needs to know (fees, charges, and penalties) about a certain product or service that he is buying or taking advantage of?
  • Are all issues resolved or will the customer have to go through the hassle of contacting customer service again for the same issue in the future?

2.Communication

  • Was the agent able to communicate effectively to the customer?
  • Were the thoughts conveyed cohesive and logical and did not confuse the customer?
  • Did the agent show professionalism by maintaining proper sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, capitalization and spacing?
  • Did the agent maintain professionalism by avoiding slang and other unprofessional language like profanity?

3.Connection

  • Did the agent show that he cares and is willing and ready to help the customer?
  • Was the agent paying attention to the customer by responding appropriately to his statements?
  • Was empathy provided when needed?
  • Was the agent efficient in giving resolution, not making the customer wait unnecessarily?
  • Was the agent conversational, avoids too much scripting?
  • Was there personal touch on the conversation?
  • Was rapport established when necessary?

The chat service will only be effective if the live chat agents behind it are caring, capable and efficient. It starts from the hiring process and is sustained and developed through time, at work, by guidelines that evaluate one’s strengths and areas of opportunities, allowing room for improvement and eventually, achieving excellence.