Catching Up with Circuit Connect


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Dan: Too many times today, board shops are just too busy to bother working this closely with the customers.

Circuit Connect: It’s true —and with so much innovation going on and so many new cutting edge products being developed, this type of cooperative effort is needed now more than ever. We have another customer who is developing a line of cordless outdoor power tools. In order for them to be much more powerful than anything else on the market today, we worked with them to develop a series of heavy copper boards that were really the key to making the tools both commercial-grade and battery efficient. Their products are really taking off and we feel very proud to be a party to the development of that product. If you think about it, this is the way it used to be. Board shops and their customers used to sit down face to face and work on projects together.

Dan: I couldn’t agree more. So often now, things, especially boards, are bought almost incognito, with no one taking to one another.

Circuit Connect: Just look at the back of the trades, for example. Those pages are filled with ads for online board buying, where no one talks to anyone. It’s just slam, bang, give us your credit card and what you get is what you get. There is no discussion of technical ideas whatsoever. The poor designers have no idea what the board shops could do for them beyond just filling the order for exactly what they asked for. We do quick-turns and prototypes without losing sight that each design should yield a well-engineered product.

Dan: I agree. So let’s talk about your technology. What can you guys do?

Circuit Connect: Well, first of all, we have all of the necessary qualifications from ITAR to MIL-PRF-55110 and, of course, we have ISO. We do rigid, rigid-flex and flex boards as well. We deal with a number of special technologies also, such as Teflon, high-speed rigid-flex and pre-pasted PCBs...

Dan: Tell me about pre-pasted PCBs.

Circuit Connect: Pre-pasted PCBs arrive ready-to-assemble, right out of the box. No stencil or paste required. Appropriate for high-mix, low-volume work because it really cuts down the set-up times. It is a process where we use either eutectic tin/lead or lead-free paste and tacky flux. It is very popular with new product development companies, and larger assemblers who want to do prototypes without retooling a high capacity line. We also offer FR-flex, a cost-performing alternative to conventional rigid-flex, perfect for flex-to-fit installations. Customers like this product because there are many instances when the board just has to be flexible for end product assembly and FR-flex is much more economical than normal flex products. And of course, one of our specialties, heavy copper, is seeing continuous growth as the demand for it rises.

Dan: Why is that?

Circuit Connect: Well, everything has much more power these days. Take those huge windmills, for example. We produce a number of ringed heavy copper boards for that industry as well. Think of the amount of power that is generated by one of those giant turbines. The heavy copper board is acting as a kind of transformer, a conduit through which that power is conducted far more efficiently than conventional wire-wound devices.

Dan: I think I know the answer to this, but I’ll ask it anyway. What makes Circuit Connect a stand out company?

Circuit Connect: To begin with, we care deeply about what we do here. We have assembled a team of long time experienced experts who have a true passion for building PCBs. We consider PCB fabrication to be part art/part science and we have a very healthy respect for the technology. We consider ourselves the opposite of the mega shops. We never want to be one of those; rather, we want to be a center of excellence for product development. We want to work on new and innovative products that will not only help our industry, but our customers and the world as well—products that matter, products that are important. And we want to be a true resource center for our customers, too. We invite as many people as possible to come to our facility and learn about our technology. We want designers to come here and learn how a circuit board is actually built. We want to change their perspective of what a PCB is and what it takes to build one. And finally, we are willing to spend our time and energy actually helping our customers develop their products. We feel that if we know everything about their products and they have a good understanding of what we do here, then together, we will build a much better product in the end. That’s what makes us stand out today, and an extension of that goal is what we plan for the future.

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