Spirit: Behind the Screen
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!

Your 4 Pillars of Protection from EMP & HEMP with Transtector and PolyPhaser (Part 2)

Your 4 Pillars of Protection from EMP & HEMP with Transtector and PolyPhaser (Part 2)

September 20, 2021

Whether you're concerned about facilities, high-reliability military equipment, or your local community networks, electromagnetic pulse (EMP) could disrupt your day-to-day capabilities. From leaving you without power to leaving you without data or sensitive equipment, having a plan to address EMP now protects you from equipment loss in the future.


Add in high-altitude electromagnetic pulse (HEMP), which can generate 3 separate strong EMP events, and our vulnerability becomes much more complicated.


We're returning for Part 2 this week around HEMP protections with Dan Rebeck and Adam Perone of Transtector and PolyPhaser. As Adam explains, electricity is everywhere on the battlefield. While the military market is investing in protecting communications and equipment, other markets such as facilities maintenance and utilities could benefit from getting ahead of the risk now.


Dan dives in again to explain the four pillars of protection you can implement to guard a system against HEMP and EMP: surge protection, grounding, shielding, and filtering. And listen in for an extra bonus pillar: backup power.


In Part 2, you can hear about:

(2:02) Who is the HEMP & EMP protection market?

(6:15) 4 Pillars: surge protection

(9:02) 4 Pillars: shielding

(9:55) 4 Pillars: grounding

(12:40) 4 Pillars: filtering

(14:05) The 5th Pillar: backup power

(16:53) MIL-STD-188-125 and product testng

(19:18) Dept of Homeland Security (DHS) guidelines and commercial infrastructure

(24:00) Infrastructure applications

(27:10) Emerging trends toward implementation


You can find the Guidelines from the Dept. of Homeland Security for protecting against EMP events here.


If you missed Part 1, be sure to listen to episode 24, where Dan and Marti talk about what EMP and HEMP are and what risks they pose.


For individual components or full system customizable solutions, you can work with Spirit as an authorized reseller for Transtector and PolyPhaser to protect your product or your facility from HEMP & EMP. If you want to learn more about what you can do to take action today, contact us at spiritelectronics.com.

Electromagnetic Pulse Risks and Protections with Dan Rebeck of Transtector and PolyPhaser

Electromagnetic Pulse Risks and Protections with Dan Rebeck of Transtector and PolyPhaser

September 13, 2021

Here's Part 1 of our HEMP interview. But no, we're not talking THAT kind of high! High-Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse is a special type of electromagnetic pulse (or EMP) that could easily smoke our infrastructure. This kind of HEMP could wreak havoc on our power grids, communication, and critical electronic operations, leaving us in the dark and vulnerable.


In this episode, Dan Rebeck from Infinite Electronics brands Transtector and PolyPhaser teaches us about the basic risks posed by EMP and HEMP. EMP is something many of us are more familiar with. Whether it's a lightning strike, a solar flare, or a localized device detonation, the electromagnetic field generated by these common events can easily damage electronics. HEMP on the other hand, is generated by a nuclear detonation at extremely high altitudes, and can generate multiple EMPs that would affect electronic systems on a wide scale.


Dan talks with Marti about why it's important to understand the risk of EMP/HEMP, and the basic protections available on the market for critical electronic systems.


Listen to Dan and Marti talk about:

(3:00) Threat of EMP/HEMP to daily life and national security

(6:56) What HEMP is and how it compares to EMP

(9:25) The types and severity of damage EMP/HEMP can cause

(13:05) What government or community infrastructure could be affected

(16:25) Customizing a solution to protect from EMP/HEMP

(17:45) Surge protection, grounding, filtering, and shielding

(21:05) What you can do to protect your household from an EMP/HEMP event


Stay tuned for Part 2 with Dan and Marti next week covering the unique product solutions and how Spirit and Transtector/PolyPhaser can help with implementation.


While it sounds like a doom and gloom risk, you can protect your electronic operations and even your household from EMP/HEMP with the four types of protective measures Dan describes. If you're interested in surge protection, grounding, filtering, and shielding solutions for your business or your product, you can get a quote for products and tailored solutions at Spiritelectronics.com.

Customizing a Test Program with Spirit‘s Sean Macdonald

Customizing a Test Program with Spirit‘s Sean Macdonald

September 6, 2021

What does your component testing and qualification need to include? We've talked with experts about electrical testing, PEMs qualification, XRF, acoustic microscopy. But what your test program tests and how is going to depend on your product and its application.


Spirit team member Sean Macdonald has talked with customers big and small across multiple applications, for single parts all the way up to a full bill of materials, about how to put together the right tests in the right parameters. He helps customers consider requirements from MIL standards, source control drawings, and applications to make sure we test parts under the right conditions for reliability.


And as Sean explains, the benefit of running a complete test program with Spirit is keeping the cost and handling all in house instead of extending your supply chain. Listen in to hear how you can accomplish procurement, inspections, qualification, assembly, and system-level testing in one order, one shipment.


Sean talks with Marti about:

(0:55) What electrical parameters to test

(3:18) How application affects test requirements

(5:19) How to customize a program with cost and schedule in mind

(7:10) Customize your data sheet, streamline your supply chain

(11:50) Copper inlay boards from Taiyo Kogyo and circuit board assembly


Get in touch with Sean and our agile team to talk about how to customize a test program for your needs at spiritelectronics.com. Or as Sean says, give us a call, and someone at Spirit is always ready to answer: 480-998-1533.

XRF Analysis with Hitachi’s Matt Kreiner: What Is It Made Of?

XRF Analysis with Hitachi’s Matt Kreiner: What Is It Made Of?

August 23, 2021

XRF, or X-ray Fluorescence analysis is a nondestructive compositional analysis, especially useful in the Aerospace & Defense industry for verifying lead composition and finishes. Hitachi produces several analyzers from handheld all the way up to bench analyzers that can identify elemental composition, measure coating thickness, and perform complex mapping.


In today's episode, product manager Matt Kreiner talks with Marti about Spirit's new Hitachi EA6000VX and what it can do. From coating analysis to component mapping, the EA6000VX can tell you what you need to know to inspect and qualify your component lot for production.


Listen in for

(1:26) What is XRF?

(8:30) How deep does x-ray analysis go?

(12:00) How are Hitachi's XRF analyzers superior?

(17:28) Just for fun: what strange things have you analyzed?

(22:58) Hitachi and the test equipment supply chain


For a limited time, Spirit is offering a free XRF analysis report with your regular component purchase order. Ask us to try out XRF analysis and see what it can tell you about your product.


Matt Kreiner is Hitachi High-Tech Analytical Science's product manager for their coatings analysis product line. In his current role, he focuses globally on Hitachi's coatings customers across numerous industries to find new solutions to the challenges they face in their everyday work environment. He has 18 years of experience working with XRF technology, starting his career as an applications engineer, and has held many different roles within the organization. Matt resides in Chicago and holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University.

Challenges of a Career in Service: Saying Farewell to Our Veteran Teammate for Deployment

Challenges of a Career in Service: Saying Farewell to Our Veteran Teammate for Deployment

August 16, 2021

Spirit's team includes several veterans who have served in our nation's military, some even still in reserve or Guard service. It's a major challenge to juggle a civilian career with the demands of military service. This week, Team Spirit is saying farewell to our teammate Zac who is headed out for a year of active deployment.


Zac joined Spirit only a few months ago for his first ever corporate job. In this episode, he shares with Marti what has made the biggest impact on him in his time with the company.


Before joining Spirit, Zac served over 20 years, beginning with enlistment in the Navy, navigating a reduction in force, serving in civilian contractor roles, and finally earning his commission. We are so honored  that Zac chose to bring his call to service to our team, supporting the Aerospace & Defense supply chain.


We wish you the best of luck, Zac, and hope for your safety on deployment. We hope to welcome you back when you return, knowing as our team does what that transition can be like for those who serve.


For more information on how to help Spirit in our mission to support veterans and families in service and beyond, visit our nonprofit at SpiritGives.org.

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