UConn launches $1 million cybersecurity lab to teach students how to fight hackers

Altek’s Chairman and Founder instrumental in making this possible.

UConn officially launched its cybersecurity program on Wednesday, with the opening of a $1 million lab donated by alumni brothers Stephen ’54 and Samuel Altschuler ’50. The curriculum teaches students hacking skills in a controlled environment, so they can use this knowledge to stop real hackers “in the wild.” Read the full Hartford Courant article.

Planning for Success – Part 2 of 3

Understanding how it’s made.

Understanding the process that will be used to manufacture your product can provide insight into the overall quality of your electronic assemblies.

Quality Control
Solder Paste Inspection

All manufacturing processes have opportunities for defects. Ask what type of inspection occurs throughout the process. Does your CM use state-of-the-art equipment, such as solder paste inspection and 3D automated optical inspection? Having paste and optical inspection in the line flags defects before they make it off the line, and helps the CM perfect their process to eliminate defects altogether. Make sure your CM can also provide testing services. Functional and in-circuit test can ensure that your boards will work as intended in their application. A CM with the right engineering resources can design and build custom test fixtures and write code to automate testing and track test results. Is burn-in testing a desirable option for your product? Make sure this is addressed with your CM before your order is placed. A quality CM should ask these questions up-front and make sure they are planned into the job cycle.

Compliance Requirements

RoHS, REACh, ITAR, IPC Class, J-STD – Review your drawings before going to bid and make sure these and other requirements are clearly indicated on the drawings.

Best Practices
Robust Test Department

To maximize ROI, get your Contract Manufacturer involved early in the process. Talk about the following and make sure your CM measures up:
• Engineering expertise
• Quality and On-time delivery metrics
• Six Sigma practices
• Evidence of LEAN and continuous improvement initiatives
• Global Supply Chain Management
• Kanban inventory
• Investment in state-of-the-art capital equipment

If you are a company that has limited resources or are working at capacity, it’s critical to align with a Contract Manufacturer that can provide you with the depth of support you need.

If you are not getting enough support from your current Contract Manufacturer, let us know. We have over 46 years of experience that we can put to work for you.



Planning for Success – Part 1 of 3

Choosing a CM with a strong Engineering Department

Today’s electrical engineers are designing circuit boards that enable technology we didn’t dream about a few decades ago. From driverless cars to smart homes, new applications are changing the way we design and build boards. New products require smaller board sizes and a tighter footprint. This is why board layout is more important than ever. With less real estate, it’s tempting to place components too close together, creating manufacturing issues that can be compounded on panelized products.

Design Review

Some common board failures can be attributed to design oversights. Make sure that your CM’s process includes a DFM review as a part of their normal business practice. For example, they can identify potential issues with blind or buried vias caused by insufficient copper thickness or stacking. Layouts may not allow adequate spacing for proper thermal distribution during reflow or proper space for inspection, testing and rework. In addition to the PCB, the Engineer should analyze the BOM to identify component lifecycle risks, environmental compliance issues, long lead times and obsolete parts. Uncovering design and BOM weaknesses early in the process will significantly reduce your time to market and field failure rate. We can’t stress enough how important it is to involve your CM as early in the process as possible. A manufacturable design is the foundation of a successful product launch.

New Design

Starting from scratch? Identify a CM with a robust Engineering team. Utilize them as an extension of your business for new product development. A valuable CM will work with you from concept to schematic, layout, prototype, and production. Designing with the best manufacturing knowledge on your team will help you avoid design pitfalls and make sure your product moves through production with ease.

Product Support

Overcoming obsolete parts is a stumbling block with legacy products. Make sure your CM’s Engineering team has the ability to perform component engineering services and design custom solutions, such as daughter boards, to replace obsolete parts. Ask for examples of solutions they have provided for their customers.

Having a CM that can provide custom Software Development is a plus for product support. This is a value-added service, keeping your active and legacy products on the market for your customers.

If you are not getting enough support from your current Contract Manufacturer, let us know. We have over 46 years of experience that we can put to work for you.



SMTA Expo & Tech Forum

Altek Electronics will be exhibiting at the SMTA Expo on October 8, 2019.
Hope to see you there!


New England Chapter Expo & Tech Forum – October 8, 2019 – Boxboro MA

Registration is free for attendees, and exhibitor space is available (but not for much longer!). Take a look, and register now! Visit https://lnkd.in/eRDv-dw

Tech Session 1 : The Basics of SIR and ECM
Speaker: Meagan Sloan, Indium Corporation

Tech Session 2: Reliability of Robotics for Electronic Manufacturing

Tech Session 3: Bubba Powers, Weller Professional Tools
Perfecting a Cleaning Process for Hi-Rel Electronics
Speaker: Mike Jone, MicroCare

Keynote: Collaborative Robot UseCases in Electronics Manufacturing
Speaker: Eric Cowan, Stanley Black & Decker

Tech Session 4: Triple Jeopardy – Are you Game?
Speaker: Chrys Shea, Shea Engineering; Dr. Mark Curie, Henkel Electronic; Dr. Neil
Poole, Henkel Electronic

Raffle Prize Drawings – Must be present to win


Finding Your Pain

Diagnosing the symptoms and discovering the root cause is challenging, however the rewards are well worth the journey.

We all experience pain – Whether you’re feeling Chronic pain or Breakthrough pain with your PCB Assemblies and Box Builds business partner, it should not be overlooked.  Sometimes the most difficult task is finding the source of your pain and working through it.



THE SYMPTOMS What you may be experiencing with your Electronics Manufacturing Services Supplier.

Missed Delivery Dates

Unacceptable defect rate

Unsatisfactory Customer Experience

Lack of Engineering Support

Service and Warranty Management issues

Lack of Flexibility to meet your needs

THE ROOT CAUSE – Finding the source of your Pain with your PCB or Box Build Assembly Supplier.

These are some of the things that we have uncovered that may be the source of your pain:
Contract Manufacturers who lack experience in managing a Complex Global Supply-Chain.
Older technology that is not able to handle the demand for smaller, more densely populated assemblies.
Inability to provide Product Life Cycle Management Services to identify obsolete components.
Capability does not include box builds that arrive to you tested and ready to install.
Your Electromechanical Assembly Manufacturer is not the “right size” to quickly adjust to your production needs.  Too large and they can’t adjust – too small and they don’t have the equipment to remain competitive and ensure quality. 
Does your Customer Service Representative understand and respond to your needs?
Are they at the forefront of manufacturing innovation?
Do they have a clear engineering vision as part of their core values?

THE CURE – What to look for in a Contract Manufacturer

  • Make sure your CM provides an Engineering review of your PCB Assembly and Box Builds – making suggestions that will enhance your assembly layout, keeping cost and functionality in mind.
  • A business partner that can provided Prototyping as a part of your new designs prior to product launch.
  • Look for an onsite lab for testing and unique test fixture development.
  • Have thorough product inspection controls throughout the entire manufacturing process.
  • Experienced in Logistics and Supply Chain Management with tight inventory management controls and LEAN culture.
  • Make sure they are a resource that is “right sized” so they can handle large and small quantities in-plant.
  • Provide a dedicated Customer Service Contact to manage your account from quote, through production, and including final receipt.

THE UPSIDEHow your company will benefit from a solid partnership

With strategic outsourcing you can align yourself with a CM that can diagnose your pain and prescribe the perfect solution.  This will allow you to focus on your core business.  Altek is not complacent with the status quo.  We continually review our process and embrace LEAN as a part of our culture. 

Our Quality Policy – “Altek is committed to providing customer satisfaction through open communications and continuous improvement”   

Please let us know if we can cure your pain!

Contact our team @ info@altekelectronics.com


Ever Changing State of Design – Design for Availability

Design for Manufacture has taken on a whole new direction. Keeping up with how the industry is changing and what you can do about it.

Design for Manufacture has taken on a whole new direction.  It used to be enough to consider component spacing, orientation, and electronic compatibility.  The number of components used in electronic products today has increased significantly, therefore putting a strain on the availability of components in the market place. 


Gordon Moore, Co-Founder of Intel authored Moore’s Law in 1965 – Moore states that the number of components able to fit on a single IC will double every year.  In 1985 Moore tweaked his projection to read “doubling every 2 years”.  This has continued to hold true for over 30 years.  Some say this is coming to an end as components will only get so small; however, the demand for new electronic devices continues to rise adding to the strain on the component supply.   The incredible increase in usage – demand outpacing supply, sourcing of raw materials, dealing with trade agreements and tariffs are lengthening our lead times considerably. 


These days the strained availability of components make it a whole new game.  Component size has decreased significantly allowing many more parts to be placed within the footprint of today’s smaller electronic devices.  The concept of Design for Manufacturability is joined by the necessity of Design for Availability.

Everyone can relate to the general consumer example of the cell phone.  Using today’s smaller component package size, mobile devices have decreased in size with a significant increase in functionality.  The capability of today’s integrated circuits turns cell phones into mini-computers with email, camera, video, internet access and thousands of apps making today’s product much different than Motorolas’ DynaTAC launched commerically in 1984 with 30 minutes of talk time.  This remarkable evolution is also evident in many other products including automobiles, medical devices, commercial and industrial equipment, consumer devices and aerospace applications.

Fun Fact:
1983 – Motorola Dynatac 8000X weighed – 1.75 pounds and was 13″ x 1.75″ x 3.5″.
2018 – iPhone XS Max weighs 7.34 oz and is 3″ x 6.25″ x .33″.


Design Engineers many not have control over the component market, but there are some things we can do to avoid shutting down assembly lines.

•  Use smaller packages where possible.  For example, replace 1206 and 0805 chip caps and resistors with 0603, 0402, and 0201.

•  Verify that specified parts have an active lifecycle status (instead of Not Recommended for New Design, End of Life, etc.).

•  Spec at least 3 alternates for each item on the BOM, with a different manufacturer for each.

•  Use the lowest rating and widest tolerance range your design can handle. If these parts become unavailable, the same part with a tighter tolerance or higher rating may still be available.


We’re here to be a part of your solutions team.   Getting your CM involved early in the process will add significant value and eliminate build delays.  Altek can often assist with recommendations for alternates or design custom solutions.  We will identify and can handle advance ordering on long lead items. Our excellent relationships with our distributors give us an edge in meeting your needs.


As Ben Franklin said in 1736 “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.  This still holds true today.  Design for Availability activities will mitigate lead times and get your product to market on time.

Students, Manufacturers Meet To Fill Connecticut Aerospace Jobs

What a great day yesterday! The morning spent educating high school students on careers in manufacturing and the afternoon chatting with Aerospace professionals.

What a great day yesterday!  The morning spent educating high school students on careers in manufacturing and the afternoon chatting with Aerospace professionals.

Click to read the full article as it appeared in the Hartford Courant – by Stephen Singer

New England Expo and & Tech Forum – Worcester MA

Local Expos and Tech Forums have become one of the great benefits of SMTA’s local chapters. Attendees get valuable technical info, meet leading suppliers

New England Expo and & Tech Forum to be held in Worcester MA.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018.

Local Expos and Tech Forums have become one of the great benefits of SMTA’s local chapters. Attendees get valuable technical info, meet leading suppliers, and get a FREE lunch. Exhibitors get a great opportunity to connect with people in their region who want to know about their products and services.

Click here to find out more information and to register!