01. Aerospace & Defense
Case Study – Attenuator
A connector manufacturer sought Forte Micro to assist their development of very small custom attenuators that use thin-film resistors that required a special end-use packaging concept. Forte Micro developed a multi-step vacuum reflow soldering process that aligned all components together to enable soldering with gold tin. The prototypes were quickly qualified, meeting all electrical and mechanical requirements. These custom attenuators were then designed into US defense projects and funding was allocated for volume manufacturing. Forte Micro has been in volume production of these products since 2018.
Due to the success of this program, the client hired Forte Micro to develop a scaled production process for a device that the client had been manually building in-house. We are currently working on a multistep approach to build this product utilizing a controlled and repeatable manufacturing process.
Case Study – Borg Warner | PCBA for sensor circuit assembly
In the mid 2000’s, Borg Warner hired us to develop a process to integrate a printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) to a plastic housing using thermocompression welding. We also performed wire bonding, electrical testing, serialization, and final packaging. SPC was used to monitor wire bond testing to ensure pull strength remained within its upper and lower control limits.
This sensor circuit assembly became part of the throttle body assembly, which was designed into six vehicle platforms for a 2.4L global engine. Approximately, 4.5 million units have been made with virtually zero defects over a 14-year period. Today, we continue to supply this sensor assembly for extended warranty and aftermarket requirements. This is one example of Forte Micro’s Product Life Cycle Management
03. Commercial & Industrial
Case Study – Redbox | Kiosk
In 2004, GET-A-MOVIE (which later became “Redbox”) approached Forte Micro to design and prototype the electronics and picker mechanism for their DVD rental Kiosk. Forte Micro designed the boards, which included selecting all components for six PCBAs that drive the internal mechanisms to select, retrieve, verify, and dispense DVDs to customers.
Redbox then contracted Forte Micro for commercial production. Over a 12 year period, Forte Micro manufactured the internal components of the DVD rental kiosks, on-time, with optimal quality and exceptional reliability, for over 50,000 kiosks installed throughout the United States.
Today, Forte Micro continues to support Redbox with diagnostic and repair services to refurbish their national kiosk fleet.
Case Study – Major Shoe Brand | Automated Manufacturing Cell
In 2016, a major EMS company hired us to assist in the design and manufacture of assembly equipment that would be used in an automated assembly cell to build athletic shoes. Forte Micro designed, prototyped and built hot & cold assembly presses, hammer & lacing fixtures, auto roll feeder equipment to handle different fabric materials, and conveyor systems that would facilitate product transfer from one equipment to the next.
Forte Micro worked closely with the customer’s engineering team to design the mechanical, electrical, board assembly, and enclosure requirements. We also handled subsystem level assembly, complete equipment integration, and testing for final delivery to the customer. A total of six automated cells were built and delivered to our customer’s assembly line.
Case Study – Power Supply Concepts | PCBA, Special Processes, and Box Build
Forte Micro has partnered with Power Supply Concepts (PSC), which designs and manufactures custom power supplies for wireless and satellite communications, commercial & industrial equipment, and aerospace & defense applications. Forte Micro assists in PCB assembly design, performs manufacturability assessments, develops manufacturing processes to ensure reliability, builds prototypes, applies conformal coatings, assists in qualification testing, and manufactures in volume production. Today, Forte Micro manufactures all PCBAs for Power Supply Concepts.
Case Study – Major Electronics Brand | PCBA for Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality Product
A major manufacturer of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) products approached Forte Micro to assist with quick turn printed circuit board assembly. After receiving the client’s design and manufacturing engineering files, we first perform manufacturability assessments–the client’s products have a high density of components on a small footprint (001 X 0005). The client’s products also utilize very thin boards. We design and build support fixtures for these boards to achieve best assembly results. An SMT line dedicated to this work enables us to quickly turn PCBA’s with excellent quality under the compressed delivery schedule required by the customer. Forte Micro continues to provide process engineering support on many of the client’s products to ensure optimal performance and reliability.
Case Study 1
In 2014, a global leader in medical equipment hired Forte Micro to redesign a thick film-based medical device. We advised the client on circuit design and material requirements, established process parameters, and documented process capabilities. We ran multiple factorial experiments to establish the correct combination of materials and process parameters that could achieve the customer’s design requirements. We also evaluated a full spectrum of non-thick film processes to support the manufacturing of the new medical device. We have taken the client’s new product from prototype design to full-scale production. Forte Micro designed and implemented automated manufacturing to meet the expected future growth of this product line.
Case Study 2
A major global manufacturer of hygiene and infection prevention solutions to the food, healthcare, hospitality, and industrial markets approached Forte Micro to assist in the design and prototype of a floor mat antenna and related module PCBAs to monitor the personal hygiene of medical staff upon entering a patient’s room. Forte Micro specified components and assembly processes to prevent detuning of the antenna, added features to facilitate easier handling and reduce strain on the communications cable. In addition, we developed an automated coil winding process that resulted in a consistent and highly reliable product.