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The first annual Occam Prize International Design Competition has begun accepting registrations from circuit designers from around the world. Cash prizes totaling $5,000 will be awarded to top designers in the inaugural year of the planned annual competition.
The purpose of the competition is to incentivize circuit designers everywhere to explore for themselves the prospective benefits associated with the Occam Process, a method for manufacturing electronic assemblies without solder to prospectively make them smaller, lighter, more reliable, more environmentally friendly and much less expensive. It has been estimated by the developers that if all electronics were to be fabricated side stepping the solder assembly process, billions of dollars, perhaps into double digits could be saved annually on a global basis.
Veteran PCB designer Darren Smith, president of AthenaTech, demonstrated the efficacy of the Occam Design and Assembly Process by taking an assembly he had previously designed and redesigning it. Using the approach prescribed for Occam assemblies, Smith was able to take the assembly to less than half the size of the original while reducing layer count from 12 to 6.
For those wishing to better understand the Occam Process, Joe Fjelstad's eBook, “Solderless Assembly for Electronics – The SAFE Approach," is available for free download.
The Occam Prize will be awarded annually on December 21, Winter Solstice, the day the Northern Hemisphere begins to transition from days of darkness to days of light. Registrations open on August 14, 2018 and will close on November 30, 2018.
Sponsors presently include: AthenaTech - USA, CETTI - Romania, I-Connect007 - USA, MEPTEC - USA, Micropress - Brazil, Promex Industries - USA, Rainbow Technologies - Scotland, Verdant Electronics - USA, Tatsuta - Japan, Topline Industries - USA, Terecircuits - USA, UP Media - USA, and Zero Defects - USA.
Details about the Occam Prize and how to register can be found on the Occam Prize website or by contacting Info@OccamPrize.com.
Dave Wiens, Mentor, a Siemens Business
PCB designers working with flex or rigid-flex technology face many potential risks that can derail a project and cause costly design failures. As the name implies, flex and rigid-flex designs comprise a combination of rigid and flexible board technologies made up of multiple layers of flexible circuit substrates, attached internally and/or externally to one or more rigid boards. These combinations provide flexibility for the PCB designer working on dense designs that require a specific form factor. Rigid-flex allows the PCB design team to cost-efficiently apply greater functionality to a smaller volume of space, while providing the mechanical stability required by most applications.
Dave Lackey and Anaya Vardya, American Standard Circuits
The design process is arguably the most important part of the flex circuit procurement process. The decisions made in the design process will have a lasting impact, for better or worse, throughout the manufacturing cycle. In advance of providing important details about the actual construction of the flex circuit, it is of value to provide some sort of understanding of the expected use environment for the finished product.
Dan Beaulieu, D.B. Management Group
Mark Thompson wants to help PCB designers. He’s seen it all in CAM support at Prototron Circuits: the incomplete or inaccurate data packages, boards that are unnecessarily complex or over-constrained, and so much more. Mark just returned to writing his popular Design007 Magazine column, The Bare (Board) Truth, which addresses questions such as, “What happens to your design at CAM?” I asked Mark to explain why it’s so important for designers to communicate with their fabricators, and why they need to get out of the office and visit a board shop every now and then.