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Putting the brakes on Excel: Why the electronics manufacturing industry must embrace BOM management tools

June 7, 2013 12:34 pm | by Amanda Martin, Silicon Expert Technologies, www.siliconexpert.com | Comments

The electronics manufacturing industry has often relied on spreadsheet programs such as Microsoft Excel for the creation and management of its Bills of Materials (BOMs). But the always-fluid, always-changing landscape of the industry has given rise to a new method for managing bills of materials—the BOM management tool.

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Control techniques affect motor selection in positioning applications

June 7, 2013 12:06 pm | by Chuck Lewin, Performance Motion Devices | Comments

Machine designers work hard to stay up to date on the latest electronic and software techniques that squeeze out the maximum possible performance from a given mechanical system. But the electronics are only as good as the motor that they are driving. This article will look at the issues concerning the selection of the right type of motor in positioning control applications.

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Energy, cost-efficiency biggest concerns for LEDs, sensors

June 7, 2013 10:53 am | by Editors | Comments

LEDs are a hot topic in the world of electronic components. Ardent supporters claim LEDs are the future while other designers cite cost and environmental impact as negatives. We turned to our readers for the inside scoop on LEDs and the industry. When asked about the biggest trend impacting specifications for lighting components, readers were torn....

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The era of the Smart BOM

June 5, 2013 1:38 pm | by John Hoeschele, Marketing Communications Manager, Anaren, Inc., www.anaren.com | Anaren Microwave Inc | Comments

In the mid- to late-decades of the 20th century, the job description of the average, workaday electrical engineer included what might be termed “basic bill of materials” management – BOM 1.0, if you will. Essentially, BOM 1.0  involved weeks if not months of specifying, sourcing, and documenting component and materials choices....

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Resolve signal integrity issues in cloud computing platforms

May 29, 2013 4:10 pm | by Bill Weir, Pericom, www.pericom.com | Comments

While the cloud promises to reduce enterprise network infrastructure and operating costs, the remote execution of applications makes factors such as latency, performance, and reliability critical considerations in the design and deployment of cloud computing platforms. A key factor determining server performance, cloud or not, is maintaining a bit error rate (BER) on the order of 1.E-12 for the overall system.

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Challenges facing widespread implementation of multi-touch technology

May 29, 2013 10:21 am | by Ian Crosby, Zytronic, www.zytronic.co.uk | Comments

Touchscreen-based interactivity has rapidly progressed from being a desired feature to an almost mandatory requirement for displays utilized in all manner of equipment. Vending machines, home appliances, vehicle control consoles, and industrial instruments increasingly feature a touchscreen.

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The low-down on solid-state lighting

May 29, 2013 8:59 am | by Editors | Digi-Key | Comments

Solid-state lighting is continuing its solid growth across a range of industries and applications. ECN recently spoke to Robbie Paul, Lighting Sales Director at Digikey to discuss the solid state lighting market and the latest LED trends. The number of players in the LED market has grown so much over the years it has become crowded and very competitive.

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State of the display market

May 28, 2013 4:04 pm | by Editors | Comments

We rely heavily on display technologies to interface with our appliances, personal communications devices, our cars, and industrial equipment. We’re also demanding more from displays such as smaller size, higher resolution, interactivity, and even the ability to bend.

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Companies can’t help the government help itself to your private electronic communications – for now

May 28, 2013 2:08 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Comments

If nothing else, those television commercials for Microsoft’s privacy campaign really make me stand back and wonder. Usually I ask myself why the company suddenly embraces user privacy. Do they really think that Bing is going to make a measureable dent in Google’s search dominance, or do they have some kind internal or external data that suggests Americans are at least little concerned about online privacy?

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What steps are necessary to keep counterfeit components out of the supply chain?

May 21, 2013 3:36 pm | Comments

What steps are necessary to keep counterfeit components out of the supply chain? Are more industry standards needed? Stop having unrealistic pricing expectations. Understand and qualify quality vendors of all kinds. Allocations and obsolescence are part of our industry....

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Opening the door to smart battery design

May 21, 2013 12:02 pm | by Robert Rozario, Application Engineering Manager, Infineon Technologies | Comments

The worldwide transition to ever smarter mobile devices, including phones or connected tablets, has obliterated the line that once existed between phones and computing devices. Today’s multitasking devices enable work, finance, entertainment and social interaction on the go like never before.

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Evolution of light sensor integration

May 21, 2013 10:59 am | by Darrell Benke, Sr. Marketing Manager, Opto Sensors and Lighting, ams AG | Comments

Light sensing technology, in the form of photodiodes and phototransistors, was invented around the 1950s. Since the inception of the first optosensors, the devices have gradually found their place in commercial and industrial applications, but their adoption was limited due to the size, cost and overall performance.

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Certifying industrial systems using IEC 61508

May 21, 2013 10:52 am | by Shrikant Satyanarayan, LDRA, Inc., www.ldra.com | Ldra Technology, Inc | Comments

The IEC 61508 standard is a risk-based approach for determining the SIL (Safety Integrity Level) of safety instrumented functions. If computer system technology is to be effectively and safely exploited, it is essential that the available guidance on these safety-related aspects is adequate to make correct decisions.

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Designing for heat

May 21, 2013 9:53 am | by M. Simon, Technical Contributor | Comments

I want to start off with a look at the four methods of cooling: conduction, convection, radiation, and pumping. What? They don't teach the four methods of cooling in physics class? Only the first three? The fourth method is a combination of the first three with the addition of pumps.

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Wireless networks balance military’s defense-in-depth, custom requirements

May 20, 2013 4:44 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Ultra Electronics Ems Development Corp. | Comments

Wireless and wired technologies have advanced to the point where automated control systems are routinely networked together. Information can be shared and tasks performed across long distances, via the Internet, linking systems in large industrial spaces, or across remote or rugged areas. Networked control systems (NCS) offer many benefits such as far greater efficiency than manual controls....

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