May 2012


From  ACI Technologies, Inc.

Increase electronics assembly yields by utilizing these critical technologies:

Precision stencil printing: Speedline Technologies
Selective soldering rather than hand or wave soldering: RPS Automation  
Vapor phase soldering for temperature sensitive assemblies: IBL Technologies  
3D solder paste measurement to reduce failures: ASC International
Lead tinning to refurbish aged components: RPS Automation

Complimentary lunch courtesy of the presenters.

Tuesday June 5 or Wednesday June 6 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM RSVP: Katie Riggan by phone at 610.362.1200 ext. 250 or via email at
ACI Technologies, Inc. 1 International Plaza, Suite 600Philadelphia, PA 19113

Vote For Ladyada's Workshop !

Hello Engineers, please vote for Ladyada's Workshop to let LEGO make Ladyada and Manncorp 7722 Pick and Place Machine into a real LEGO set.

Welcome LEGO fans! We looked around and couldn't find a LEGO set that was geared towards inspiring young girls (and boys) to see how much fun engineering can be. After some recent articles and other LEGO releases geared towards girls we decided to work with a well-known LEGO artist Bruce Lowell to create "Ladyada's Workshop" based on our own Ladyada who runs Adafruit.
Ladyada's workshop is a place where you explore all the cool things you build and use when you're an engineer! Computers, pick-and-place machine, laser cutter, soldering station and more! In Ladyada's workshop you can run your own open-source hardware electronics company, complete with Mosfet the cat.

We're documenting how you can make these on your own and we've entered the LEGO set in LEGO CUUSOO.

LEGO CUUSOO is a site where you can share LEGO set concepts you'd like the whole world to enjoy and aim for their eventual release as real products. If we can get 10,000 votes here ( LEGO will make it in to a real LEGO set. When we submitted the project to LEGO CUUSOO we granted permission for them to use, market and sell these if we get enough votes! So now it's up to you, if you want to celebrate art, design, science, engineering and open-source hardware place vote for "Ladyada's Workshop".
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ladyada's workshop
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ladyada's workshop

ladyada's workshop

ladyada's workshop

ladyada's workshop

ladyada's workshop

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ladyada's workshop
ladyada's workshop

Teardown reveals Chevy Volt's electronic secrets

Wow, Manncorp owns this Chevy Volt's electronic car. It is amazing that Chevy Volt's designers put together all of the technology in the car.

Beyond battery chemistry and electric propulsion and control, the Chevy Volt enhanced-range electric vehicle builds in flexibility, ruggedness, and diagnostics—with attention to quality construction.

Rick DeMeis, Automotive Designline -- EDN, May 10, 2012

Teardown reveals Chevy Volt’s electronic secrets imageEngineers sometimes get assignments that are not only challenging learning experiences but also just plain fun. That scenario happened when John Scott-Thomas, UBM TechInsights’ product-marketing manager, and Al Steier, Munro & Associates’ senior associate and “design prophet,” recently took apart a Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid car to see what makes it tick, whir, and hum—and how its designers put together all of the technology in the car. Over the three days it took to creatively disassemble the Volt, they learned many things about the vehicle (see sidebar “Anatomy of an automotive teardown”).

Battery pack
The 288-cell Volt lithium-ion battery pack comprises four modules in a T shape that fits below the rear seat and in the “tunnel” between the front seats. Bus bars connect the four modules, and a service-disconnect bar connects to the pack contacts (Figure 1).

The pack physically divides into plastic-encased slices, or blades, each of which includes two cells. A cooling fin carrying five channels of coolant separates the two cells. Electrically, groups of three cells connect in parallel, and 96 of these groups are in series so that the 288 cells produce 360V with a capacity of 16 kWhr. To prolong battery life, the battery never fully charges or discharges, so it uses only the “middle” 9.4 kWhr of battery energy.

Teardown reveals Chevy Volt’s electronic secrets figure 1 

LG Chem manufactures the battery, which uses lithium-manganese-spinel chemistry, but GM has licensed battery cobalt chemistry from the US Argonne National Lab, indicating that a switch to a nickel-manganese-cobalt battery could be in the offing. The battery-cooling-fluid circuit is one of four in the Volt, each with its own controller and radiator module. The other three loops are for the internal combustion engine, the two electric motor/generator inverters, and the power-line plug-in charger’s power converter.

When the battery is operating at lower than the optimum operating temperature, the fluid heats the battery to operating conditions and then cools it to avoid overtemperature. Even if the car is not operating, the control electronics activate the coolant loop to avoid overheating the battery during hot weather or overcooling in cold weather. Thus, keeping the Volt on its external charger when the car is not in use avoids draining the battery under such conditions.

The battery-pack coolant loop connects using hose clamps, indicating that the car is a limited-production vehicle. Higher production volumes would allow use of brazed joints. The bolts clamping together the pack each have three inspectors’ paint marks, showing that the assembly is carefully inspected to ensure quality and function for this $8000 component that is at the heart of the Volt.

Control and monitoring
The complex Volt battery pack, as the teardown revealed, has equally sophisticated control and monitoring, which are typical of the entire car. Scott-Thomas observes that 40% of the value of the vehicle is in its electronics, typified by the nearly 100 onboard microcontrollers. Nearly 10 million lines of code control this electronic suite—more code than it takes to control the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, at 8 million lines.

Talkback buttonAs for the battery pack itself, Scott-Thomas notes that long battery life is a key objective. Toward this end, the manufacturer regulates pack temperature to within 2°F and balances cell charge between cells so that each ages at the same rate. The control software also factors in differences in manufacturing and other variables in aging.

For example, the controllers monitor voltage on each cell during charging. To ensure the same maximum charge on each, if one cell reaches capacity early, a resistive shunt across the cell connects to prevent it from being overcharged while the other cells come up to full charge. “The level of control and software is hard to appreciate,” says Scott- Thomas. The car’s controllers monitor the battery pack’s voltage and temperature with 500 diagnostics 10 times every second, with control activity even when the car is at rest.

The battery-interface and monitoring module mounts atop the pack’s front. This unit has four orange monitoring PCBs, indicating high voltage—one for each pack section (Figure 2). Freescale, LG Chem, and STMicroelectronics chips populate these PCBs; the LG Chem and STMicro chips use bipolar CMOS DMOS (diffused-metal-oxide-semiconductor) technology. Midvoltage boards are blue, and low-voltage PCBs are green. Quality checks are in place throughout the manufacturing process; each cell connector bears multiple inspectors’ marks.

Teardown reveals Chevy Volt’s electronic secrets figure 2

Getting the battery electronics correct is difficult; the system must measure within several millivolts at the top of each cell, while a cell can be offset from ground by hundreds of volts. This task requires attention to PCB layout, trace design, ground planes, and voltage-isolation techniques. Scott-Thomas observes that the car’s design is a work in progress, with flexibility and modularity to easily introduce new cells, battery packs, electronics, and controls.

The teardown team discovered one unexpected battery-related module in the Volt. In addition to the standard onboard-diagnostics port under the driver’s side dashboard, the team found a sealed and potted module under the front passenger seat. This module stores battery- and hybrid-operation diagnostic codes and has a connection for an appropriate cable for a technician to access them.

Charging system
Besides using regenerative braking, the battery pack stores energy by charging from the power grid using the supplied 110V charger or an optional 220V charging station—for faster recharging— installed by a licensed electrician. Lear Corp manufactures the 110V home charger whose power electronics and software are sophisticated enough that charging does not occur if the user plugs it into an insufficiently grounded circuit. The charger’s relays and monitoring-electronics board communicate with the battery pack and onboard monitoring systems. As noted previously, the onboard system for changing ac power mains into dc power to charge the battery has its own cooling loop.

Drive for innovation image
The Chevy Volt teardown took place during the months leading up to Design West 2012 as part of an Avnet/UBM Electronics program to highlight innovation. For more on this program, go to
The charger plugs into a standardized receptacle behind a door on the left front fender. According to Scott-Thomas, dismantling this interface unit reveals GM’s attention to design detail. The manufacturer taped and foam-isolated the high-voltage components—that is, the capacitors and the common-mode choke—in this high-vibration environment for robustness and protection, and windings are robust, stable, and mechanically redundant.

Steier found one puzzling feature with the charger configuration: Although the charger receptacle is on the left fender, the charging inverter it feeds is under the right headlight. Likewise, the gas-engine controller is on the left side, whereas the engine is on the right. Such an arrangement has greater wiring weight than if the manufacturer had reversed this configuration.

Brains of the Volt
On the electric motor and generator housing, which looks like the transmission case of a gas-engine car, a liquid-cooled inverter module feeds battery power into the traction motor. The high-voltage orange cables leading to this module have disconnects with relays for safety; Steier notes that the module cover itself is also a safety-circuit disconnect. Inside is what Scott-Thomas says is the closest thing to a central brain in the car (Figure 3).

Teardown reveals Chevy Volt’s electronic secrets figure 3

The Hitachi PCB includes four 32-bit Freescale Qorivva microcontrollers. Scott-Thomas first noticed the large amount of real estate available, noting that it allows future modifications, either by changing or adding circuits. One of the four controllers functions as the supervisor, using inputs, including vehicle and wheel speeds; acceleration, or throttle; braking; and battery state, to decide which state is the most efficient (Figure 4). Decisions to be made could include, for instance, choosing which combination of outputs from the traction motor and combustion-engine-generator motor to use, when to activate regenerative braking, and to what extent to recover energy.

The supervisory controller is the largest of the four microcontrollers, with 3 Mbytes of flash memory, taking half the area of the die. The controller also endeavors to run the electric motors at lower rotation rates for more efficiency. The other three Freescale microcontrollers control the traction motor; the combustion-engine-driven generator; and the clutched planetary gear set, which the IC engine can engage if necessary.

Teardown reveals Chevy Volt’s electronic secrets figure 4

Other electronics
The rest of the Volt’s electronics, unless they connect with the hybrid-drive system, are fairly conventional state-ofthe- art automotives (Figure 5). An air-cooled dc/dc converter, with PCBs from TDK and a Renesas microcontroller, takes the place of an alternator to provide 12V for running standard auto systems, such as doors, lights, navigation, and audio, and to charge the auxiliary 12V battery.

Taking apart the center stack uncovered a communications-module PCB by LG hosting a Freescale memory controller with Spansion flash. These infotainment boards are sparse, according to Scott-Thomas, who notes there is a lot of space but not that much required processing power; thus, the electronics combine several functions onto single chips. In addition, adequate space between the resistive-touch switches on the front of the panel helps prevent the driver from incorrectly selecting the wrong function.

Teardown reveals Chevy Volt’s electronic secrets figure 5

As customers gain experience, it will be interesting to see how—and how fast—this plug-in hybrid platform evolves in the coming years. Anatomy of an automotive teardown

Before beginning a teardown for Munro & Associates, Al Steier, senior associate at the company, reads all of the available information he can find on the car. For hybrid and electric vehicles, a basic step is to locate the service disconnect that makes the high-voltage lines safe when he removes it and then secure it in his toolbox. He takes photos, from all possible angles, of components before and after their removal for documentation and as part of the effort to fathom materials and manufacturing processes. Steier determines components and their makers at the PCB level. Capping off ICs and ASICs shows memory capacity if he cannot get this information from the components’ published data.

The Volt came to the teardown just like any other new car from a dealer—with a full tank of gas. The teardown team left systems on to drain the lithium-ion battery before taking apart the car, but the vehicle software started the gas engine to prevent deep discharge of the battery. The teardown team decided to drain the tank and then leave on the lights, radio, and other systems, draining the 12V battery. The high-voltage system recharged the battery overnight—the system software did not allow the battery to completely discharge—but only to a level at which the car could travel 35 miles. A company specializing in electric vehicles then drained the battery using a power resistor across the terminals.

Steier had previously taken apart a Toyota Prius hybrid and found some differences between the Prius and the Volt (Reference A). For example, as a plug-in vehicle, the Volt has an extra inverter module for charging. The Volt uses a lithium-ion battery, whereas the Prius uses a nickel-metal-hydride battery. For hybrid thermal management, the plug-in Volt uses liquid cooling, whereas the Prius features air cooling. Further, in supplying the electronic components, the Volt seems to have a more diverse supplier base; the Prius primarily uses Toyota technology.

 A. Mannion, Patrick, “Video: Tear down that Prius!EE Times, April 26, 2007.


Manncorp's 'HIGH THROUGHPUT LINE' Turnkey System

Posted by Manncorp

Manncorp's 'HIGH THROUGHPUT LINE' Turnkey SMT System: Quick Changeovers & More Production at Untouchable Cost !

For more information, please visit the website: Manncorp 'HIGH THROUGHPUT LINE' Turnkey SMT System

Ask Technicians

Posted by Manncorp

Ask: How to solder SAC105 BGA with SAC305 Paste?

  • Usually those kinds of issues are related with the difference between both SAC, SAC305 is liquids at 426°F and SAC105 is at 437°F, when this difference occurs you have to set the liquid point at the worst condition 437°C.  Now you will see that's is only 11°F but that difference will reduce our process windows. So when you define your new process window your liquids will be at 437°C.
  • Try a longer TAL (time above liquidus) for additional 30 sec.

Ask: How can we improve the BGA soldering process?

Few care can help you hit is right the first time.
  • Baking the BGA (Hands down. no exceptions, even if it is in vacuum sealed. it will just help your process)
  • Baking the boards.
  • Having proper stencil apertures. Use IPC-7525-L to begin with.
  • Having properly handled solder paste, thaw it to room temperature before use.
  • Using proper reflow profile. Don't have first few zones high and have proper TAL.
  • Using x-ray online inspection to make sure all solder joints are up to required or spec or to follow IPC-610D


 From  ACI Technologies, Inc.


Increase electronics assembly yields by utilizing these critical technologies:

Selective soldering rather than hand or wave soldering: RPS 
Automation Vapor phase soldering for temperature sensitive assemblies: IBL 
Technologies 3D solder paste measurement to reduce failures: ASC
International Lead tinning to refurbish aged components: RPS Automation 

Complimentary lunch courtesy of the presenters. 

Tuesday June 5 and Wednesday June 6 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM 
RSVP: Katie Riggan by phone at 610.362.1200 ext. 250 or via email at

 ACI Technologies, Inc. 1 International Plaza, Suite 600Philadelphia, PA 19113

Check out Manncorp MC600/1200 Semi Automatic Stencil Printer Video

Posted by Manncorp

Manncorp MC-600 and MC-1200 semi-automatic stencil printers fill application requirements of large-board assemblers whose print areas range from 24" to 47", making them ideal for LED, backplanes and multi-panel assemblies.

For more information, please visit the website: Manncorp MC600/1200 Semi Automatic SMT Stencil Printer

Thank You, Mom

Posted by Manncorp

The hardest job in the world is the best job in the world. Thank you, Mom"

Manncorp Benchtop Reflow Oven BT300C Customer Review

Posted by Manncorp

"The BT300C benchtop reflow oven has programmable temperature ranges at up to 40 points. I've found that it is far too many, but the option to fine tune is nice. I also have the optional temperature probe for closed loop control and tuning. ..

Many spare parts were sent with the oven from Manncorp, which will all be included. Quartz heating elements, fan motors, ceramic standoffs, etc., are all provided… This was actually the reason I purchased the oven from Manncorp instead of one of the other vendors. They also claim to do more quality control, which I believe after several conversations with owners of other T200C ovens. .."
Anthony Andriano, CEO of Andriano Engineering, Fort Collins, Colorado

Thank you Anthony, we are glad you like our product. 

Always Feeling Wonderful To Hear From Our Customers

Posted by Manncorp

It is always feeling wonderful when a customer says that:

" We are still using the reflow oven CR 6000 Manncorp sold us many years ago and it is fantastic! I might be in the market for another one. " From Russell J. Gulotta, CEO/President, Precision Assembly Technologies, Inc.

Russell: Thank you so much for being our customer and giving us feedback. 

Manncorp I&J2300 Bench Dispensing Robot

Posted By Penny Tang, Manncorp

Check out Manncorp I&J2300 Bench Dispensing Robot - Easy to program robot for affordable dispense automation.

 For more information, please visit the website: Manncorp I&J2300 Solder Paste Dispenser

Manncorp New PCB Inline Cleaner

Posted by Manncorp

Typhoon PCB inline cleaner is the industry's newest, most advanced inline cleaning / defluxing system. Typhoon PCB inline cleaner contains numerous performance and safety features not available on any other inline cleaning system.

Typhoon-WS Inline Cleaning / Defluxing System is capable of removing all water soluble (OA) flux residues from post-reflow circuit assemblies. Typhoon's extra wide stainless steel conveyor belt accommodates up to 24" (609mm) wide. Unlike other machines, Typhoon Inline Cleaning / Defluxing System features two high-performance / high efficiency stainless steel spray pumps that deliver impressive flow and pressure ratings. One pump is dedicated for wash and the other for rinse. The use of two pumps allows for maximum performance in each of the cleaning zones. 

  • Removes all water-soluble (OA) flux residues from post-reflow circuit assemblies. 
  • Extra-wide stainless steel conveyor belt accommodates up to 24" (609mm) widths. 
  • Not one but two high-performance, high-efficiency stainless steel spray pumps that deliver flow and pressure ratings equal to pumps twice their size. 
  • Unique stainless steel nozzle sprays fluid at 60-degree angle to allow superior below-component coverage for more thorough cleaning than 90-degree sprays. 
  • Equipped with the industry's first turbine-powered rotating air knife as well as fixed-position air knives to provide maximum effective drying area - much greater than fixed-position air knives alone. 
  • Typhoon is equipped with heaters that straddle the sump tank's wall, rather than penetrate it. This reduces the possibility of leakage to add an unprecedented level of safety. 
  • Typhoon's all-digital control panel consists of eight pressure gauges, wash and rinse temperature controller and conveyor speed controller. Extremely large windows give the operator complete visibility of assemblies as they are washed, rinsed and dried. 
  • ECO-Cycler Water Recycler optionally available. Captures and re-deionizes Typhoon' s water for closed-loop (zero discharge) operation. 

For more PCB inline cleaner information, please visit the website Typhoon PCB inline cleaning / defluxing system.

Strengthen Your Marketing

 From Semplice Industry Marketing

Industrial companies today are struggling to get an appreciable return on their marketing dollar. It's not surprising considering the challenges companies like yours are faced with:
  • Cost per visitor reached at trade shows has been trending sharply upward since 2005
  • Trade publication print circulation continues its decline while at the same time ad prices rise to cover increased printing and postal costs
  • Actual digital readership of trade publications is not yet bridging the gulf
  • Industry publications are folding, merging or going "online only," reducing the number of outlets available for your message
  • 31% of banner ads are blocked by user software
  • Banner ads that aren't blocked are often placed in what have become "no-see" zones on web pages 
  • When people do click through to your site from an ad, you can't tie those clicks to revenue
  • Social media is the hot new thing, but how do you turn that into something that actually meets your bottom-line marketing objectives?
The system isn't broken—your company just may not have had a chance to adapt to its changes yet.

Free new guide, Get the Marketing Results You Need (to Meet YourTargets & Grow Your Company), gives you the basis for getting your marketing on track so that you can bring more money in the door while lowering your cost to acquire it.

12% Off All SMT Assembly Equipment At Until June 30 Only

Posted by Mike Schwartz, Marketing Director of Manncorp

Manncorp is anticipating a record number of first-time visitors and customers to its new e-commerce website,, thanks to an across-the-board 12% price reduction, in effect through June 30 only.

In announcing the cut, CEO Henry Mann stated, "This will be welcome news for companies with an immediate need for PCB assembly equipment. It’s also an opportunity for our old and new customers to experience the savings and convenience of a B-to-B e-commerce site that is virtually unique in the EMS industry." showcases selected machines from the company’s existing lines of surface mount and through-hole products, with descriptions, specifications and reportedly lower prices that are instantly accessible. According to the CEO, fast delivery is obtainable for most systems, including stencil printers, bench-top reflow ovens and wave solder machines, plus PCB depanelers, conveyors, SMT component counters, through-hole lead formers, desiccant cabinets and more. "This is our answer to cheap and unreliable gray market imports with no after-the-sale support. We fulfill or exceed customer expectations with products that perform as advertised and are backed with warranties and a continuous availability of spare parts. Assistance, if needed, is always available by e-mail, phone or text," he stated. "Furthermore, our user manuals are in English and shipping is expedited from our San Diego warehouse."

"Our new site is an opportunity to secure quality machines quickly from a trusted source. However, will continue to remain a key site for higher-throughput equipment that often requires pre-sale application assistance from our engineers and/or installation and onsite training."

For details, call 1.800.PIK MANN (745.6266) or e-mail

Manncorp XL-390W-ST PCB Conveyor

Posted by Manncorp

The versatile Manncorp XL-390W-ST PCB conveyor can be used for loading PCBs onto the production line from either standard CAB or Nikko magazines or from stacks using an adjustable vacuum pick-up head. Full magazines are loaded onto the upper platform and automatically transferred to the indexing elevator. Empty magazines are transferred to the lower platform. When magazines are not used, stacked PCBs are simply placed on the platform and transferred to the XL-390W-ST's 390 mm buffer conveyor via a vacuum head with adjustable pickup cups. The XL-390W-ST is compatible with standard CAB 601 and 701 or Nikko NKAJ 0525 Series magazines. Please contact Manncorp for special pricing.

For more information, please visit the website: Manncorp PCB Conveyors

Manncorp Turnkey Serves As ACI’s Demo Line For SMT Assembly Training

Posted by Mike Schwartz, Marketing Director of Manncorp

Manncorp has installed an SMT equipment line at American Competitive Institute that is being used for both actual PCB assembly in-house and as a training facility for ACI’s "Boot Camp" teaching programs. The line utilizes Manncorp’s popular automated turnkey, now known as the "ACI Best Seller".

This line was chosen for its flexibility in performing high-mix assembly with long or short run capability. The equipment package includes the dual-head, conveyorized MS392 pick and place with speed of 5,500 cph and ability to mount SMDs down to 01005 and connectors up to 150 x 100mm. Also included is the MC-1400 automatic stencil printer; the lead-free CR5000F convection reflow oven with KIC Auto Focus Power software, and the CT-90L inline inspection conveyor. The line is priced at $139,995 complete. For details, access ACI Best Seller.

"Our turnkey line is being fully utilized by ACI to train personnel of their client companies in advanced SMT assembly technique. It will also allow our techs to demo our equipment in face-to-face meetings with prospects and customers – who will build their proprietary boards in real time," stated CEO Henry Mann. He reports that the ACI Best Seller line is also being shown at Manncorp’s San Diego location, 888.PIK.MANN (745.6266).

ACI’s 10,000-square-foot facility adjacent to Philadelphia’s International Airport is dedicated to the advancement of the electronics industry, as well as research and development of various electronic manufacturing methods and materials. ACI is associated with the US Navy’s Electronics Manufacturing Productivity Facility (EMPF).

For details, call 1.800.PIK MANN (745.6266) or e-mail

Manncorp offers pick and place machines, SMT stencil printers, SMT convection reflow ovens, reflow soldering ovens, benchtop/batch soldering reflow ovens, BGA rework stations, wave solder machines, turnkey systems, solder pastes, board cleaners, desiccator cabinets and more. Accessing is an informational experience. Not only are full details and specifications provided for the 150+ products, but prices are also attainable immediately after minimal contact information is provided.

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