Dr. Achim Krüger delivered SAP’s EAM thought leadership and vision for the future across the spectrum of hot topics. From the improvements in asset availability and maintenance operations made possible through the Internet of Things (IoT), Predictive Maintenance and Analytics, to Asset Master Data and its integral role in lowering asset-related risks and improving safety while driving the right maintenance strategies, to the paradigm of managing cost, risk and performance in an integrated manner brought to the fore through ISO 55001; he presented a comprehensive picture of how SAP’s EAM portfolio will support your journey.

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Internet of Things PCB considerations for Startups

Given that IoT products are so latest, you would assume that getting an IoT printed circuit board (PCB) project off the ground starts by reinventing the wheel and suffering from a substantial amount of technical headache. This is a misconception.

Nevertheless it doesn’t indicate that IoT startups have a evident path to fame. Facing them is a considerable number of design and manufacturing things to consider which are distinctive to these small products. These concerns have to be thought of for the fresh new IoT device to achieve success.

On the plus side, it’s very important for IoT startups to learn that the basic foundation for a successful cool product does exist. What this means is experience and knowhow regarding the design, fabrication and assembly of such complex products are accessible. Additionally, the best advice is for prudent IoT product business people and innovators to heed the recommendation that veteran electronics manufacturing services or EMS vendors offer. These firms as well as their engineering team members already have conducted this work with revolutionary IoT businesses in Silicon Valley entering the early stages of this emerging market.

The PCB of an IoT product is a unique beast than the traditional one, which is notably larger and flat. IoT units, on the flip side, comprise generally of either rigid-flex or flex circuit assemblies, which come with their own sets of design layout, fabrication and assembly concerns and intricacies.

PCB PWB Design Layout Fab Assembly


A foremost factor is to seek out experienced designers who have achieved many rigid-flex PCB designs. PCB space for an IoT product is scarce. So you need the designer to have direct layout practical knowledge to successfully design significant parts on that little area.

As well, virtually all IoT units aren’t fixed; they bear appreciable movement and turning. Right here, the experienced designer plays a vital role in determining bend ratios and lifecycle iterations as a vital part of a design. Other significant design layout concerns comprise of signal trace thickness, number of rigid and flex circuit layers, copper weight and stiffener placement. Stiffeners are employed on flex circuits to make sure that parts placed on the flex circuit stay closely in position to stay away from movement.

An alternative focus is through-hole element placement in rigid-flex circuits. Why is that crucial? Lots of IoT units are based on surface mount device(SMD) placement. Nevertheless , there may be through-hole parts, which are typically put on either the rigid section or the flex portion of the board. Through-hole parts are normally utilized to connect input/output or I/O signals to the outside world. Like that, those signals can be displayed utilizing an LCD or LED monitor. Through-hole element placement is an essential factor in an IoT product given that when utilized on the flex part of the board, suitable stiffeners should be designed and used for effective assembly.

Finally in the layout category, the high temperature which parts deliver should be thought about. IoT units are ever more complex with rigid-flex and flex circuits featuring up to 12 to 14 layers. A few units are digital. Nevertheless , progressively analog units are being exercised in IoT units. Analog circuitry causes far more heat than digital ones. That means heat expansion and contraction rate has to be evaluated. In tech lingo, it is termed as the Coefficient of Thermal Expansion or CTE and the appropriate management of it.

PCB PWB Design Layout Fab Assembly


Deciding on the best fabricator is essential and is linked to the EMS partner you’ve chosen. The fabricator you’d like should have IoT PCB fabrication practical experience. Among significant concerns here are ensuring durable adhesions in between layers on both rigid and flex circuit sides, knowing all the vital calculations and having a robust knowledge of when current moves from the rigid side to the flex side.

Such fabricators should also possess an in-depth comprehension of very little parts for instance 0201 as well as 00105 device packages, package-on-package, and the utilization of fine-pitch ball-grid array or BGA packaged devices.

They additionally should have experience with designing boards with pretty tight tolerances in terms of footprint for those types of BGA devices, in terms of up-to-date capabilities like laser direct imaging for putting the solder mask on the board. They must have laser drills for via drilling with sizes of 5 mils or under simply because these IoT devices could be so compact that a common drill size of 5 to 8 mils perhaps may not be adequate. They could require to go to a 3 mil, which indicates that you will need to have an innovative laser drilling capability in house.

In the event you are placing via-in-pad, it’s a fantastic way to take advantage of the small space which is available on the rigid-flex board, but it creates trouble for assembly. If vias are not totally planar or flat in shape, it becomes difficult all through the assembly of those tiny BGA packaged devices. The reason being that non-planar surfaces could put in danger the integrity of solder joints.

At times via in pads leave bumps in cases where they’re not scoured thoroughly after putting the vias and gold finish on the top. In the event that there are bumps, then the solder joints in the assembly for those tiny BGA balls in those IoT devices might not be a perfect joint. It may create occasional connections, which might be a greater issue to cope with and work on. It all boils down to which EMS partner you are using because they’re the ones who will decide on the fabrication house to make a successful IoT product for you.

PCB PWB Design Layout Fab Assembly

PCB Assembly

It’s critical to look at experienced EMS companies that have productively assembled IoT and wearable PCBs since they have specialized tooling and fixtures already obtainable, which are important for assembly to make certain that components are placed properly, precisely and the printing is carried out appropriately.

Printing may be a problem for IoT units. If it’s a rigid-flex board, then there is a difference between thicknesses of the rigid and flex circuit portions, which means a special fixture is needed to retain the complete rigid-flex board planar or thoroughly flat to enable effective printing to become achieved.

Startups ought to be all set to choose the appropriate manufacturing partners and EMS firms. In this manner they can be certain they’ve sufficient experience ahead of time to get the multitude of design, fabrication and assembly details effectively performed because they are crucial to a prosperous and timely IoT product roll-out.

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