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86 PCB007 MAGAZINE I NOVEMBER 2021 An advanced test floor may resemble an ICU with all the equipment around for these test options. You have machines for basic opens and shorts, TDR, inductance, HiPot, and IR. is can become costly to operate and main- tain. Many OEMs are now requiring these tests as basic criteria for acceptance. All this equip- ment requires space and, of course, money. e key to success is to do more with less. is is the 5S discipline at work. Today, the larger test facilities and equipment manufac- turers are working to combine the require- ments to single points of service. To streamline and provide cost effectiveness, these tests are being combined into single machines. Imag- ine a machine that can provide standard opens and shorts testing but can also provide bur- ied passive testing, HiPot, 4-wire Kelvin, IR, and inductance testing from one platform. It is available right now. No more need for mul- tiple test stations, machines, and extra opera- tors. In the July 2021 issue of PCB007 Maga- zine, my column, "e PCB Limbo—How Low Can You Go," we discussed that price pressure is common and we must progress to maintain margins that keep us in business. e solution is machine combination testing which reduces operation and labor cost. We must make what we have do more. e next progression is AI and automation. Systems are now available that communicate with internal databases that validate machine abilities, maintenance status, calibration sta- tus, and historic test data for any given part. If a machine is overdue for maintenance or cali- bration, the system disallows operation of that machine until remediation is completed for the point of error. Further, competence and train- ing can be incorporated so that any operator who is not trained in a particular test method or type will be disallowed to continue. ese are just some of the newer compe- tencies available with production systems of today. Speak with your service provider to see if they are doing more with what they have. It is the wave of the future and the best way to save money while enjoying the total benefits of what is now available to you. PCB007 Todd Kolmodin is VP of quality for Gardien Services USA and an expert in electrical test and reli- ability issues. To read past columns or contact Kolmodin, click here. Purdue University engineers have developed a "thermal switch" made up of compressible gra- phene foam, that dynamically adjusts to tempera- tures both inside and outside the device to maintain consistent thermal management. Graphene foam is a commercially available product, built from nanoscopic particles of carbon deposited in a specific pattern, with small voids of air in between. When the foam is uncompressed, it acts as an insulator, with the air pockets keeping the heat in place. But when the foam is physi- cally compressed, the air escapes, and more heat is conducted out through the foam. Depending on how much the foam is compressed, the amount of heat transfer can be precisely dialed in. The Purdue researchers measured the thermal conductance by sandwiching a 1.2-millimeter-thick sample of graphene foam in between a heater and heat sink, and placed the system under an infra- red microscope to measure the temperature and heat flow. When fully compressing the foam to a thickness of 0.2 millimeters, the thermal conduc- tance went up by a factor of 8. Researchers also conducted an experiment in a chamber at Purdue's Flex Lab that can cre- ate specific environmental condi- tions, and achieved similar results with ambient temperatures from 0° C (32° F) to 30°C (86° F). (Source: Purdue University) 'Thermal Switches' Dynamically Moderate Heat of Electronic Devices

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