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48 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I JULY 2019 In my last few columns, I've covered quite a bit of ground regarding the important con- siderations for conformal coating selection and performance, and the suitability of conformal coatings for LEDs and protecting circuitry from the harshest environments. I hope these col- umns have provided plenty of food for thought as well as given you a basic understanding of coatings and their benefits and limitations. In this column, I'm going to look at the differ- ent angles that design engineers and purchas- ing professionals come from and explore how these can sometimes conflict when selecting conformal coatings. It is an area we are often confronted with at Electrolube. However, if experienced pro- duction personnel are reviewing the design- er's suggestions at an early enough stage, they could potentially prevent the perpetuation of some common problems. Thoughtful design will always pay huge dividends down the line, and designers will have friends for life among your production colleagues if you make their jobs just that little bit easier! In an ideal world, the design engineer would work closely with either production engineers or the industrial engineers who oversee the coating process in the factory. Identifying po- tential production problems at the design stage will always be preferable and far easier than trying to fix problems or concerns following finalization of the engineering drawings. Here are four factors to consider when designing out production issues with coatings: 1. Simplify the Board Layout By the simple act of placing connectors and components that must not be coated along one edge of the assembly, the conformal coating ap- plication process will be simplified. This might Conformal Coatings: How to Design Out Production Problems Sensible Design by Phil Kinner, ELECTROLUBE

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