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Eurocircuits, environment and REACH regulation

Eurocircuits and environment

Eurocircuits believe that we have an important duty to ensure good environmental practices in all business operations and to provide the necessary organization, commitment and training to fulfill this obligation. We aim to continuously improve our environmental performance, pollution prevention and environmental protection.


All employees are responsible for implementing our policy and contributing to its success through their actions.

Our company is committed to comply with all environmental laws and regulations, and all other requirements to which the organization subscribes.

We are reducing our impact on the environment by cutting our energy use. We started an energy saving project in 2008. From then on we have continuously monitored our energy usage. From 2009 we have used a web service based ION Enterprise monitoring system. In the first 2 years of our energy saving project we were able to decrease our water and electricity usage by more than 25 %.

We produce our printed circuits boards on pooling panels to reduce material, water and energy usage.

REACH

REACH is the European Community Regulation on chemicals and their safe use (EC 1907/2006). It deals with the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical substances. The law came into force on 1 June 2007, with a phased implementation over the next ten years.

The aim of REACH is to improve the protection of human health and the environment through the better and earlier identification of the intrinsic properties of chemical substances. The REACH Regulation places greater responsibility on industry to manage the risks from chemicals and to provide safety information on the substances. Manufacturers and importers are required to gather information on the properties of their chemical substance, which will allow their safe handling, and to register the information in a central database run by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki. REACH monitors and identifies potentially harmful chemical substances, not only as they are manufactured or imported but also as they occur in articles or products. Accordingly, REACH affects not only the producers of chemicals, but also all manufacturers of finished goods, distributors, retailers and importers working within the EU.

System of REACH

REACH establishes procedures for collecting and assessing information on the properties and hazards of substances.

Registration

Manufacturers and importers of substances have to submit a registration to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) for each substance manufactured or imported in quantities of 1 tonne or more per year per company. Registration is based on the “one substance, one registration” principle, so the companies need to work together with other companies who are registering the same substance, and have to submit their registration together.

In the absence of registration the substance cannot be manufactured or imported.

Evaluation

ECHA and the Member States evaluate the information submitted by companies to clarify if a given substance constitutes a risk to human health or the environment.

Authorisation

The main objectives of the authorization are to ensure adequate control of the risks related to certain substances and to help replacement of the Substances of Very High Concern with safer alternatives.

Restrictions

Restriction is a tool to protect human health and the environment from unacceptable risks of chemicals. Authorities can decide to restrict the use of a particular substance or make its use subject to a prior authorisation. Restrictions can ban hazardous substances if their risks are unmanageable.

Our Reach declaration

Our declaration is available here.

Electronics & Automation 2013

Eurocircuits on Electronics & Automation 2013

E&A exhibition – Jaarbeurs Utrecht – 28-30 may 2013 – booth 8E042

Also in 2013 you will find Eurocircuits at the E&A exhibition. Many visitors have already registered for a free entry ticket and for the gadget “Helios”. The last 3 editions of the show (2007-2009-2011), Eurocircuits customers visited the show and our booth in great numbers. Thanks to them we were successful in the marketing cup.

marketing-cup-2011

For this edition we are again counting on your support. Register now for a free entry ticket and do not forget to opt in for the gadget as quantities are limited. All customers that visit our booth with their Eurocircuits entry ticket may expect a nice give away.

Eurocircuits presents:
“Eurocircuits goes Visual” extended. After PCB Visualizer and PCB Checker we are now proud to present PCB Configurator. PCB Configurator is currently running in beta test phase. During E&A we will be able to demonstrate all of its powerful features. More info coming soon …

pcb-configurator

Eurocircuits participates:

• show gadget “Helios” – we make and sponsor all the bare boards
• traceability seminar – we explain how and why we apply full traceability at Eurocircuits
• design for excellence seminar – we elaborate on the influence of the design on the PCB quality

 

PCB Visualizer image from Helios gadget board

And last but not least there is of course the “live line”, the many pavilions (PLOT, DEVclub, …) and double the number of Belgian exhibitors against 2011. More later …

As a good tradition of the last years we continue our cooperation with tbp electronics: tbp takes care of their nice café booth and we make sure they serve various lovely Belgian beers. We hope that with our booths side by side we will again form the centre of the atmosphere during this years edition of E&A.

 

Eurocircuits booth Belgian beers

Don”t forget to register for a free ticket. See you at E&A.

 

Prototype soldering with the eC-reflow equipment- Workshop in Augsburg

Perfect prototype soldering with the eC-reflow equipment – a lively Eurocircuits workshop in Augsburg.

On 28 – 29 November 2012 Eurocircuits GmbH ran two one-day workshops in Augsburg, Germany. The topic was SMD assembly. A total of 36 people attended.

Our hosts were Claudia and Benedikt Sauter, the owners of embedded projects GmbH, a young company distributing third-party products from Atmel Arduino and Olimex as well as developing their own embedded measurement and control solutions. Their flagship product is the Gnublin Linux family of boards (http://www.gnublin.org/designer). These allow engineers to develop their own embedded solutions.

Benedikt Sauer started the proceedings each day with a presentation of his company and its products.

welcome and introduction

Uwe Doerr then gave a short introduction to Eurocircuits GmbH, followed by an overview of the theoretical part of the workshop. He followed this with a presentation of the features and operating principles of Eurocircuits’ reflow soldering equipment, the eC-stencil-mate solder paste printer and the eC-reflow-mate reflow oven.

Uwe Dörr in action

Ben Verwaest, SMT specialist from Arcoss, Belgium, and Eurocircuits’ soldering technology partner, then explained the different processes and materials used for assembling PCB using surface-mount technology.

Theory session by Ben Verwaest

This completed the theoretical presentations and we moved onto the practical part of the day. The first step was to print solder paste onto demo PCBs using the eC-stencil-mate printer. Each step was explained in detail to show the participants how to achieve professional quality results.

Solder paste printing

 Next the components were placed and the boards reflow soldered in the eC-reflow-mate. A big screen was on hand so that the audience could see what Ben and Uwe were describing as they explained the critical features of each stage of the soldering process.

Hand soldering Reflow soldering

 Ben then moved on to demonstrate tricks and tips for hand soldering. The participants had been encouraged to bring their own problems and queries for this part of the day, so that they could work with Ben to find solutions..

Manual soldering techniques

Finally he showed how to solder a BGA. This was a live demonstration using a special BGA soldering station. Ben explained in detail the difficulties of soldering BGAs and what procedures to adopt how to overcome them.

Throughout the participants showed great interest in the topics presented. Their questions made each workshop a lively and successful event. Even between presentations, Benedikt, Uwe and Ben were kept busy answering yet more questions..

Time for a break

Eurocircuits-CadSoft EAGLE workshop for electronics engineering apprentices

Eurocircuits and CadSoft run their first EAGLE workshop for electronics engineering apprentices.

On 29 – 30 January 2013 Eurocircuits and CadSoft organised a joint workshop on PCB design for engineering apprentices at SMA Solar Technology AG in Kassel, Germany.

SMA Solar Technology leads the market in Germany for solar power installations.  After surveying the market, they decided that all their electronics engineering apprentices should be trained on the EAGLE PCB Layout package.

Uwe Doerr from Eurocircuits started the January workshop with an illustrated presentation to the whole group of first and second year apprentices.  The presentation showed how we make 4-layer multilayers at our factories in Eger, Hungary, and Baesweller, Germany.  To make it even clearer and easier to understand, Uwe had brought along sample panels taken from the various production stages.

 

Uwe Doerr – multilayer production technology

 

Richard Hammerl from CadSoft was in action on both days.  On day 1 he gave basic instruction to a group of first year apprentices who had only limited experience of the layout program.  This part of the course provided basic information to help them get started with schematic capture and PCB layout. On the second day, Richard provided more in-depth instruction to 17 second year apprentices.

Richard Hammerl – EAGLE CAD software

 

All in all, more than 30 young engineers joined in the sessions.  Their keen interest, individual feedback from their practical sessions, and a host of questions on a wide range of topics ensured that the two days were both educational and highly entertaining.  Everyone, including Helmut Fligge, Team Leader for Technical Training, agreed that the two days were a great success, and should if possible be repeated in future.

Electonics engineering apprentices at SMA Solar Technology

 

EAGLE workshop

On 10 December 2012 we joined with CadSoft to run our first workshop on their highly successful EAGLE PCB layout package.  The meeting was hosted in Augsburg by our old friends and customers embedded projects GmbH.  Despite the sudden onset of winter 14 participants braved the snow and ice to attend.

Benedikt Sauter, Managing Director of embedded projects GmbH, opened the seminar with a presentation of his company.  Then Uwe Doerr, Project Manager at Eurocircuits GmbH, introduced Eurocircuits.  He highlighted our plans to provide a support infrastructure for designers to help them bring their projects to completion on time and on budget.  For PCB designers these added-value services include special links with EAGLE CAD: free upload of EAGLE DRU files, sale of EAGLE licences, and direct links between the EAGLE V6 user interface and Eurocircuits’ Price calculator menu.

Richard Hammerl then took over.  He has worked for CadSoft GmbH for more than 18 years and is known to many designers across Europe as the lynch-pin of the EAGLE support services.  He started with a presentation on CadSoft from its foundation in the late 80s to the present day.  He moved on to explain the principal new features in EAGLE V. 6 xx compared to V.5.   This was followed by a lively question and answer session which allowed the participants to put forward their wish-list for new features and to raise a broad range of technical issues.  In reply, Richard explained the basics of the software and clarified many issues including component libraries, multilayer layouts and schematics.

After a light lunch kindly provided by our hosts, embedded projects, Uwe Doerr presented Eurocircuits’ new PCB Visualizer and PCB Checker.  Using examples of actual PCB designs he explained the benefits of online visualisation and the direct comparison of the analysed data with the customer’s order and the specifications of the chosen Eurocircuits’ service.  He went on to show how PCB Checker displays the DRC results directly on the layout.  The designer can locate any errors immediately.  He can save time in two areas: design review is faster, and by uploading clean data he can eliminate potential production delays.

Finally Uwe gave an illustrated presentation on the manufacture of a 4-layer multilayer in our factories in Eger and Baesweiler.

It was a long day but we covered the whole progress of a design from layout, through ordering and online data checking, and finally to manufacture.

Eurocircuits would like to thank everyone involved.  The hospitality of embedded projects GmbH and the support of CadSoft GmbH gave all participants an informative and exciting day.

Open house in our production facility in Eger, Hungary

At the end of November our factory in Eger, Hungary organized an  ’Open house’ for our Hungarian customers.

About 50 visitors were welcomed by Gabor Wachter, the managing director of Eurocircuits Kft. starting the day with a warm welcome and the details of the program.

Jozsef Lengyel,  our technology manager gave a detailed presentation on how pcb”s are manufactured in Eger.

design guidelines presentation

 After that Jozsef Bahul explained how our design guidelines can help electronic engineers to optimise their layouts for easier production and higher reliability.

We took this occasion to present PCB Visualizer and PCB Checker for the first time in Hungary.

After two hours of presentations we guided our guests through a factory tour, where they could continuously fire their questions at our technology experts. Next to the pcb production process, also the stencil cutting was shown and explained.

factory tour

Our customers showed a good interest also in the eC-prototype equipment during the live demo.

ec equipment presentation

More questions came after the tour, during the coffee and sandwich break. Judging by the reactions, our visitors found it an interesting day.

A stressful day for our Hungarian team, time for a group picture.

Eurocircuits at Electronica 2012 – 13-16 November Hall A5-booth 314

PCB Checker
PCB Visualizer-PCB Checker

PCB Checker shows design rule check results directly on your PCB before you order.

At Electronica 2012 Eurocircuits launch PCB Checker, the latest update to their highly praised PCB Visualizer PCB data verification software tool.

Watch the Evertiq interview on electronica with our managing director Dirk Stans

PCB Checker – the next level of PCB designer support.

PCB Checker takes PCB Visualizer’s pre-order design rule check (DRC) to the next level. It provides a graphic display of the DRC results directly on your PCB layout.

Using PCB Checker’s clear menus and displays you can immediately filter the errors and view each type, stepping through from worst first. Correct your design data to enhance the manufacturability of your PCBs and to make sure that they fit into our lowest cost pooling service. You save time, you save money, and you save a frustrating search.

PCB Checker and PCB Visualizer allow you to check your designs prior to placing your order, using automated tools otherwise only available in professional front-end engineering software. You can place your pre-checked order confident that the data-set is complete and correct to the order and that your design data matches the most cost-effective of our pooling services.

Production data.

As soon as our engineers have completed the tool data preparation (see front-end-data-preparation) they now put the finished data back into PCB Visualizer. You can see every detail of the production data as it will be used to make your PCB.  If our engineers have found any issues you can see exactly what they have queried, ensuring clear and effective communication.

 

Try PCB Visualizer and PCB Checker here.

Eurocircuits – Webinar following the D&E event in Holland.

What do PCB fabricators do with your data before they make your PCBs?

This year”s D&E event in Holland was followed by a webinar. For Eurocircuits this was the first webinar in our history. It took place on 20 June launched from the premises of XWebinar in Holland.

We announced the webinar to our customer base with the working title, “Front-end data preparation“. This raised a lot interest among our customers and around 140 were online when we started at 11H00. An hour and 20 minutes later over 120 were still with us. We would like to thank all those who took part.

The content of our webinar, “What do PCB fabricators do with your data before they make your PCBs”, can now be found online as a white paper.

The white paper covers all aspects of the presentation we made during the webinar. It has the added advantage that it contains links to the in-depth information on the web site for all the technical issues discussed. This means that it reads more smoothly than the presentation itself. However, if you wish to review the recording, you can do so here…

Since it was our first webinar, we were glad to learn from the valuable feedback we received. Our conclusions so far:

  • The webinar communication technique certainly fits for us and is highly appreciated by our customers
  • We need to improve drastically on the tools used to run the webinar to deliver a better experience
  • We should in future reduce the number of topics so that we can cover them more in-depth
  • We should repeat the same webinar several times on different dates so more people can join
  • We need to think about offering these webinars in more languages
  • You like our investment in visualization techniques
  • There can never be enough technical information available on the website
  • You like the BLOG that we have started this year bringing as much of our knowledge to you as possible
  • We should tell you more often what we do and what technical information is available

– …

As we covered too many topics, not so many focused technical questions came out of the chat we were running. The conclusion here also is that we should continue to publish in-depth technical articles on our web site.

We have learned that visualization and modern communication tools in all their aspects are the right way forward for us. We are planning to go further on that journey and to take you with us should you choose to come.

Any comment is welcome below or at euro@eurocircuits.com