Spirit: Behind the Screen
Box Builds: Spirit’s System-Deliverable Solutions

Box Builds: Spirit’s System-Deliverable Solutions

May 23, 2022

Spirit offers authorized distribution, testing to MIL-STD-883, and circuit card assembly. Is that the full turnkey or can you deliver product even closer to ready-to-use?


Jeremy Rolin, Spirit's Warehouse Manager, returns to Behind the Screen to talk about running custom box build programs, where circuit cards and components are assembled into a final deliverable product. Our flexible services and assembly options even include interfacing with customer systems, serializing and barcoding, and programming box assemblies.


Jeremy also manages receiving, work orders, and shipping, directing components through our on-site lab and board assembly line.


Jeremy's Warehouse team is the hands-on operational side of Spirit, where we do far more than distribution: we offer a full system-deliverable solution to our customers.


Learn more about value-added services from XRF to board assembly at spiritelectronics.com/services.

Handling ESD Class 0 Product in Spirit’s Warehouse with Jeremy Rolin

Handling ESD Class 0 Product in Spirit’s Warehouse with Jeremy Rolin

May 9, 2022

Electrostatic-discharge (ESD) is a universal experience as you walk across the floor and touch a door handle, but even an undetectable static discharge can damage an electronic component.


High-reliability electronics are particularly susceptible to ESD damage, which can often go undetected until it shows up as performance reductions or part failures.


Aerospace and Defense has largely moved to ANSI/ESD S20.20 as the ESD control gold standard method for protecting components during handling. Spirit has done daily, weekly and monthly monitoring and logging for years, but recently Jeremy Rolin put the Spirit program through an audit with Quantum Systems to certify one of our workstations to handle ESD Class 0 devices.


ESD Class 0 components are considered the most sensitive of electronic devices. To achieve this level of control, our warehouse has implemented robust temperature and humidity controls, workstation grounding, smock and shoe personnel grounding, air ionization and regular verifications.


You can view our certificate results along with our extensive quality programming at spiritelectronics.com/about-us/quality.

How Automation Offers Precision in BGA Reballing

How Automation Offers Precision in BGA Reballing

April 25, 2022

Marti is back with Tracey Latham to discuss how high-tech automated assembly can change the game with BGA reballing. Spirit's new process starts with robotic ball removal, and then our in-house partner Latham Industries uses their advanced assembly line equipment to place the new balls on the BGA.


The power of automation to control the ball placement and inspect the BGA really shines throughout this process. Marti & Tracey discuss each step of the Latham line, including:


  • 3S printer for solder paste application
  • 10-nozzle pick-and-place of new balls
  • 10-zone KIC-controlled oven reflow
  • Deionized wash
  • Final ball scan


Automated BGA reball includes detailed inspection at each step of the process to avoid rework and damage. The result is a leaded BGA solution, fully tested and ready for production. Your BGA never leaves our facility, protecting it from shipping delays, handling damage and ESD and environmental damage.


See our BGA reball process in action at spiritelectronics.com/contract-manufacturing/bga-reball.

How Is Circuit Board Assembly Affected by Supply Delays? And What Are We Doing About It?

How Is Circuit Board Assembly Affected by Supply Delays? And What Are We Doing About It?

April 18, 2022

Spirit's in-house circuit card assembly partner, Latham Industries, serves customers in aerospace & defense, but also in other industries.


Tracey is back on the podcast with Marti to talk about how the chip shortage is impacting board assembly specifically. After a year of supply constraints, delays, labor shortages and price increases, Marti and Tracey cover how the current supply is affecting business and what they are doing to help customers continue production.


This is a special bonus conversation before our next episode. Stay tuned for another chat with Spirit and Latham Industries on our new automated BGA reball process.


For more information about Spirit's circuit card assembly work with Latham Industries, visit our website at spiritelectronics.com/contract-manufacturing.

Zef Malik on Securing Your Supply Chain with Stronger Partnerships, ASICs  and Automated Reball

Zef Malik on Securing Your Supply Chain with Stronger Partnerships, ASICs and Automated Reball

April 4, 2022

Spirit's VP of Business Development Zef Malik is focused on the future movement of the aerospace and defense markets.


While this year has brought allocation, price increases, and supply chain disruptions, Zef shares a forward-thinking view of where and how advanced manufacturing and cutting-edge tech will be growing across the United States.


Zef's belief is that to really secure the supply chain, A&D companies need to grow closer partnerships with their suppliers. This is why Spirit has invested in bringing test services and circuit card assembly under our distribution umbrella to deliver ready-to-use parts to our customers.


Listen to Marti & Zef discuss:


(1:40) Test Lab Availability Trends

(5:00) Securing supply chain through partnerships

(9:45) The role of ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits) in current trends

(12:30) Automated reball and performance impact


To get started with our ASIC, reball, or circuit card assembly programs, visit spiritelectronics.com/get-a-quote.

Assembling a Circuit Card with Spirit’s In-House Partner Latham Industries

Assembling a Circuit Card with Spirit’s In-House Partner Latham Industries

March 21, 2022

Tracey Latham and Latham Industries moved into Spirit's empty suite with a sweet automated pick-and-place line last summer. Spirit, and our customers, have started to see first-hand what this line can do.


Latham's assembly line includes solder paste application, pick-and-place, bake, wash and inspections every step of the way.


Hear Marti and Tracey talk about the highly technical placement of a column grid array (CGA) on a custom ASIC board, cameras that can inspect and detect chip flaws in seconds, and how valuable our communication with our customers is to the whole assembly process.


With Spirit and Latham partnered under one roof, authorized component sourcing, value-added testing and board assembly are now only a walk down the hall.


You can learn more about Spirit's partnership with Latham Industries and our contract manufacturing capabilities spiritelectronics.com/contract-manufacturing.

Renesas High-Reliability Components: Production Excellence and Flight Heritage for New and Deep Space

Renesas High-Reliability Components: Production Excellence and Flight Heritage for New and Deep Space

March 7, 2022

Renesas' (formerly Intersil) experience making components for the aerospace industry spans seven decades. Marti sits down with Josh Broline from Renesas's high-reliability unit to talk about what makes their rad-hard products such a cornerstone of space electronics.


Marti and Josh discuss:

(1:00)  Renesas and the Intersil brand background

(2:40)  Power management devices

(5:05)  Power management for memory and variation

(6:19)  Process technologies when designing devices for space

(8:57)  Radiation testing, low- and high-dose rate TID

(10:20)  Manufacturing, fab to qualification and out-the-door

(12:43)  Testing, failure analysis and evaluation lab capabilities

(14:20)  Specializing in aerospace and growing applications


Renesas' Intersil die & wafer products are now available at Spirit Electronics. You can learn more about their rad-hard, rad-tolerant, and die & wafer options at spiritelectronics.com or get a quote for your next space mission.

Filling Your Pipeline During Shortages with Supplier-Managed Inventory (SMI)

Filling Your Pipeline During Shortages with Supplier-Managed Inventory (SMI)

February 20, 2022

Spirit's Ivan Santana is now our Director of Program Management after 10 years supporting our long-term agreements and supplier-managed inventory (SMI) programs. He's an expert at materials and resource planning (MRP) and can manage ordering and projections years in advance.


SMI programs allow us to order parts and materials well ahead of production dates and stock components for just-in-time delivery. With the current microchip shortage, production lead times are pushing out weeks on some materials.


If you can plan ahead and work with suppliers who have strong relationships down the supply chain, it's possible to keep your materials pipeline full and your production flowing smoothly. Ivan talks about the kind of forecasting and communication you need to make this possible.


Aerospace has seen long lead times and pull-ins before, but never quite on the current scale. Manufacturers have rolled out major price increases and more are expected. Ivan explains why working with the right supply chain partners can support your best interests.


You can learn more about Spirit's supplier-managed inventory programs and logistics opportunities at https://www.spiritelectronics.com/services/logistics/supplier-managed-inventory/.

Texas Instruments Space EP: Rad-Tolerant Products for New Space and LEO Missions

Texas Instruments Space EP: Rad-Tolerant Products for New Space and LEO Missions

October 4, 2021

Marti speaks with Gary Reichmuth, Texas Instruments General Manager for Aerospace & Defense, about TI's approach to rad-tolerant products that meet the needs of New Space.


TI has a long history in the space industry, with parts currently hurtling into the unknown beyond our solar system on the Voyager missions. But "New Space," the recent shift from government space programs to commercial and private space launches and innovation, is exploring applications much closer to home.


When it comes to satellite constellations and low Earth orbit (LEO) missions, programs need to build and launch on tighter timelines to stay competitive. New Space programs need to build at lower cost in higher volume while still meeting the minimum radiation tolerance and harsh environment requirements for mission success.


TI's Space EP rad-tolerant products fit this perfect niche of cost-effective parts without compromising on performance. TI's expertise in design and experience in space allows them to make ready-to-use plastic-packaged ICs with enhanced performance and reliability screening.


Listen to Marti and Gary talk about:

(1:50) TI's history in space

(2:30) Changes in space missions and the Space EP product line

(4:20) Rad-tolerant vs rad-hard and TI's radiation testing

(6:50) New Space applications for Space EP products

(10:14) Engineering and reliability testing with the Space EP line

(13:10) TI's screening, especially radiation, and avoiding program risks

(18:47) Wafer lot variations and risks

(21:24) Space EP product family growth--new products are coming!


The TI Space EP line fills the gap between expensive rad-hard deep-space components and off-the-shelf unknowns. The last thing you want is to lose money and time in a failed product or missed launch schedule. The Space EP products significantly reduce this risk.


Spirit Electronics is an authorized distributor working closely with Texas Instruments for the Space EP line and their full range of products. Get a quote at Spirit for TI products for your mission.

Our Team Member Laura Bowling Retires After 29 Years of Service at Spirit

Our Team Member Laura Bowling Retires After 29 Years of Service at Spirit

September 27, 2021

This week, Spirit is bidding a fond farewell to our teammate Laura Bowling, who has worked with the company an impressive 29 years, starting in March 1992.


Many teammates have come and gone in that time, and the company has moved facilities, added services, and changed ownership. But Laura has always been there for us.


The most meaningful parts of her career that have kept her going when chip supplies were tight and lead times got long? The Mission. Laura explains that we support the military mission of our customers, and the people she has met during her time have been the best part of the job.


Laura reminisces with Marti about starting out sending POs by fax and tracking parts by hand back in the early 90s. She helped to implement our ERP system, which brought many automation opportunities. The company went through ISO and AS9100 certification to implement quality management. And yet with each challenge or risk, the work has been successful and a worthwhile effort.


We're not sure if we're ready to send her off, but we know she's ready to take this next big step in her career and enjoy the sunrise sipping her tea from her porch.


Laura, we can't thank you enough for serving with us and for showing us what it takes to build a meaningful career one day and one customer at a time. Best wishes!

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