Monthly Archives: July 2015

Badge Lanyards versus Pin-on Badges

badgelanyardsIn any organization, be it in the workplace, school, convention and other institutions, identification badges have practically become a part of most everyone’s attire. Aside from serving security purposes, these badges are important in improving communication by making it easier to identify anyone within an organization. In many cases, these badges, whether they are worn as badge lanyards or pin-on badges, also become successful marketing tools that aid in improving and increasing brand visibility.

With so many benefits coming from the use of identification badges, one can’t help but wonder which is the superior way of wearing them—worn around the neck through the use of a lanyard, or attached to the shirt through the use of a pin.

Badge Visibility

One factor to consider, of course, is whether or not the chosen method of wearing the badges will help make them easily visible. In this regard, pin-on badges may have the upper hand in that they are closer to eye-level, and they stay in position even while its wearer is in motion. On the other hand, badges worn on lanyards tend to move with the wearer, and they are almost always positioned below the chest.

Promotional Value

Badge lanyards have an edge over pin-on badges because the latter can hardly be used to aid in marketing a company or organization’s brand. Lanyards can be customized to include a company logo, an organization’s tag line, a school’s motto, and so on.

Convenience

Between the two, it is clear that badge lanyards are much easier and faster to wear than pin-on ones. This is what makes lanyards so popular, especially in schools and workplaces where people are required to wear them daily. With lanyards, wearing badges no longer need to be a nuisance because the owner only has to slip it onto his neck.

On the other hand, pins can become difficult to wear, especially if they are the ones that use sharp locks that may damage the attire if worn regularly. An owner of a pin-on badge is also likely to get hurt quite often by the sharp points of the pin, especially if the owner is old and has unstable hands or an unclear vision.

Cost

In general, pin-on badges come cheaper than custom lanyards. However, when bought in bulk, lanyards aren’t too far-priced from pins. Also, when deciding between the two, one should not only look at the cost of an item, but also its cost-effectiveness. Aside from the fact that lanyards offer more marketing value, they are also less susceptible to damage. Pins often need to be replaced on a frequent basis, and may cost more in the long run.

Aesthetic Appeal

Especially in organizations where marketing is concerned, it is important that badges are worn in a manner that is pleasing to look at. Pin-on badges look neater than lanyard-worn badges because there are no strings that are seen dangling around the wearer. However, manufacturers of badge lanyards and even individual owners, have found a way around this. Some manufacturers incorporate patterns and artwork onto their designs so that the lanyards may complement one’s attire. There are even some owners who customize their lanyards so that they too become fashion statements because of their embellishments.

Versatility

Lanyards are also useful in various crafts projects, which proves their versatility. Many lanyards are turned into jewelry, while others decide to recycle them into bottle holders, key chains, bookmarks, scrap booking materials, and many other craftworks.

While both methods are perfectly okay, it is evident that the use of badge lanyards can be more beneficial than pin-on badges. This may seem like a rather small deal, but if given much thought, one will realize that this choice will also affect the organization in further improving its brand.

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9 Safety Tips in PCB Assembly

Although PCB assembly remains a profitable business, there are risks in the process of assembly and manufacturing. There might be work-related diseases and injuries that can be caused by the materials and equipment used in PCB assembly. Apart from that, there is also a chance of electrical shock while working on PCBs.

Proper steps must be followed to ensure that the working environment is free from any hazards.

1.Solder fumes contain lead. Exposure to substantial amounts of lead is toxic to anyone. It is important to do the soldering process in an enclosed area to make sure that the fumes are contained and not released into the open air.

pcb  design2.Although it has been previously mentioned that the place must be a closed environment, it does not mean that is should not be well lit. Remember that you are working with complex pieces that need to be placed precisely on the board. Any minor shift in position could lead to a complete error in the entire process. Therefore, insufficient lighting might lead to serious injuries such as being burned by a soldering iron.

3.To be safe at all times, wear hand gloves. There are processes that require handling of hazardous chemicals that can burn your skin. Soldering requires the use of a soldering iron that reaches a hundred degrees. Without proper heed for safety, this can take toll on the worker’s safety.

4.Inspection and testing are the last process in PCB assembly. If you are doing the assembly yourself, either get a portable appliance testing apparatus or hire a technician that will test the equipment for you.

PAT tester or insulator tester is a special testing equipment used by manufacturers. It can be quite expensive apparatus for a hobbyist so if you cannot afford it, resort to the second option: hire a technician. If you can’t do both, then at least get a pair of anti-static gloves and anti-static mat when testing your PCB.

5.If you are a hobbyist who is passionate about learning electronics, you might try to do the assembly by yourself. There is nothing wrong with that but always take the necessary precaution when inspecting and testing your finished PCB.

Remember to use appropriate power and voltage when testing your PCB. You must also check for the connections before actually plugging in the power. Otherwise, short circuits and other electrical mishaps could happen.

6.PCB assembly manufacturers should also use engineering tools such as exhaust hoods. It is also important to regularly check these hoods to ensure that they are still fully functional. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, evaluation of exhaust hoods must be done every 3 months.

7.Meet all the employees on a regular basis for safety trainings regarding potential hazards in the workplace and how work-related injuries can be addressed. All workers must be required by the manufacturer to wear safety goggles while working.

As you know, soldering requires heat and metal. There is therefore a possibility for metal pieces to fly into your eyes. The same might happen during the etching process where strong acids might emit fumes that are dangerous to your eyes.

8.Encourage the employees to report any possible work-related diseases. Electronic circuit assembly certainly exposes the workers to hazardous chemicals. It is better to abate the condition earlier.

9.PCBs become easily outmoded in 12-18 months. This means that PCB assembly is an ongoing process of meeting ever-increasing demands. These outdated PCBs will add to the things piling up in landfills and waste streams. PCB manufacturers can help save the environment by reusing older products and selling them to interested consumers.

Remember that handling electronics and potentially hazardous chemicals requires you to follow a lot of safety measures.

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Custom Military Coins and How they are Made

Custom military coins used to be exclusive to the military. Various departments, branches, and bureaus of the military often handed out these coins to their members. They gave them out to inspire loyalty and boost morale. Another reason why such organizations gave out the coins is to recognize efforts and contributions made by their members.

The tradition has expanded into a large variety of different organizations. Business organizations, charitable institutions, and universities have also begun to give out custom coins for the same reasons as their military counterparts.

coinsMost people are already aware of the tradition and history of these coins. Many people know the story behind the challenge coin and why they are slammed. What most people do not know is how these custom military coins are produced. Below is a discussion of the process and the equipment used in the production of these custom coins.

The metals that coins are made from

The very first coins made by man were from different metals. Custom coins are no different, even if they lack the monetary value of real coins.

Military coins are made from a wide variety of different metals such as brass, zinc alloy, gold, silver, copper and so much more. The value and cost of producing a custom coin depends largely on the metal used in the production process. More often than not, zinc is the cheapest option and those working on a limited budget often favor this material.

Choosing the metal for the coins is often the very first step involved in coin design. Metals are chosen for a variety of reasons; it could be the luster, hardness, color or all of the above. Some custom military coins are not made out of a single metal, but are instead alloys.

Die stamping

Die stamping is a process, which involves stamping the design into the metal. There are two stamps: the male and the female stamp.

The female die is the recess shaped steel type. The other side is the male die. The male die is the steel stamp pressed into the female die. Together, the design of the coin is produced by stamping these two dies against one another.

The melting process

Since the beginning of time, men have made coins by melting metal and putting them into a mold. Though the details have changed, almost everything else has remained the same, at least when the fundamentals are involved.

Nowadays custom military coins are melted in an oven. Once melted, the metal is poured into billets. The cooling metal is then pressed to produce long thin strips. These long metal strips are measured by a micrometer, which takes precise measurements of its thickness.

Blanking press

A blanking press punches out the coins from the sheet metal produced during the early process. This is basically what gives the coin its desired shape. The coin then goes through another process where a combination of tiny ball bearings, water, and soap are used to clean the coin blank.

The minting press

This part of the production process involves stamping of the design itself onto the coin. After cutting them into shape, the coins are then stamped with the design asked for using the die made earlier. This part of the process is what gives custom coins their detailed look.

Finishing touches

There are other pieces of equipment that are used to add finishing touches to a coin. Most of these items are used to add the color and finish to the coin. Custom military coins that have no paint on them are often cheaper in comparison to their colored counterparts.