Archive for News

Sanata-Tech in St. Petersburg Boosts Smart Tweezers and LCR-Reader Marketing in Eastern Europe

// October 31st, 2013 // No Comments » // Distributors, LCR-Reader, News, ST5

Sanata-Tech, based in St.Petersburg, has joined Siborg Systems Inc. in marketing LCR-Reader and the ST5 model in Customs Union countries, including Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Following a summit in Minsk on October 29, 2013, Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan announced their intention of forming the Eurasian Economic Union in 2015, and opened the invitation to join to Turkey, India and Syria to join the alliance, further expanding past former Soviet Union countries.

Sanata-Tech is an Eastern European supplier of soldering equipment, electrical test equipment and workplace furniture and hand tools.

“A major portion of our clients are electronic companies dealing with Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs).” says the CEO of Sanata-Tech, Natalya Petrova, “Any person using soldering equiment finds Smart Tweezes LCR-meter very efficient in testing and characterization of Surface Mount Devices and it is an indispensable tool for PCB debugging and repair.”

This new partnership offers further accessibility to Smart Tweezers and LCR-Reader to customers in the Eurasian Economic Union.

Smart Tweezers ST5 and New LCR-Reader Now Available in Vietnam from Indochina Equipment and Accessories JSC

// September 27th, 2013 // No Comments » // Distributors, LCR-Reader, News, ST5

Siborg Systems Inc. and Indochina Equipment & Accessories Joint Stock Company, in Hanoi, Vietnam, has agreed to join efforts in offering both ST5 and LCR-Reader models of Smart Tweezers in Southeastern Japan.

Indochina JSC is a known supplier in Southeastern Asia, specializing in supplying equipment and spare parts for various industries using heavy machinery.

“In a modern world, all machines use Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) with a high density of Surface Mount Devices (SMDs),” says the CEO of Indochina JSC, Mr. Tam, “A few of our clients approached us with a request to procure Smart Tweezers LCR-meter, which is an indispensable tool for PCB repair.”

Both devices are now available for order.

LCR-Reader Is Released and Is on Sale Until October 31, 2013

// September 27th, 2013 // No Comments » // LCR-Reader, News

Siborg Systems Inc. has released LCR-Reader, a new member of Smart Tweezers LCR-meter family. The new device is half the weight of previous Smart Tweezers models at 1 oz. and a lower cost. It is offered at introductory price until October 31, 2013. To order please follow LCR-Reader Sale link.

fig 1

The new LCR-Reader, the newest model in the Smart Tweezers LCR-meter family

The new design keeps up with Smart Tweezers tradition of an accurate LCR-meter merged with a set of tweezers. The LCR-Reader is smaller and lighter than previous models, while still maintaining a 1% basic accuracy.

Before the release, the new device was showing variations while trying to reach the 1% basic accuracy objective. This problem was fixed by calibrating each unit using the Calibration Fixture.

“We are very happy with the new device. Customer satisfaction is our main priority.” said Michael Obrecht, the Director of Research and Development at Siborg, “Therefore we took additional measures to ensure high measurement accuracy of the LCR-Reader before we start mass production of this model. Basic accuracy of 1% was our target and we eventually have been able to achieve it.”

The most obvious differences between the LCR-Reader and previous Smart Tweezers, from first glance, is the size and the new high-contrast LCD screen. Still available are such features as;

  • automatic Capacitance, Resistance and Inductance measurements
  • ESR measurements
  • 1% basic accuracy
  • ergonomic, one-handed design, now with only 1 oz. weight
  • one button navigation
  • test signal amplitude of 0.5 Vrms
  • automatically selected test frequency
  • Li-Ion battery with micro-USB charging  (cable not included)

The one handed navigation button allows users to easily switch between measurement modes, from Automatic to Inductance, Resistance, Capacitance and ESR modes.

fig 2

LCR-Reader demonstrating a measurement of an Inductor

The photo above demonstrates the new screen. AM indicates Automatic Mode, ‘L’ indicates that the component under test is an inductor, the value 104.8 uH is the main impedance value, ‘Rs’ indicates parasitic series resistance of the inductor. 10 kHz is the test frequency being used. The bottom right hand corner provides an indication of battery power remaining.

While creating a device with a lower cost, some of the features found on Smart Tweezers had to be left out, including; semi-automatic offset subtraction, component sorting, open circuit detection and continuity and diode testing.

The new LCR-Reader still offers the same functionality and easy-to-use experience of previous Smart Tweezers, but the new upgrades will maximize these features, while offering a lower-priced device.

The Smart Tweezers Comparison Table has been updated to provide a side-by-side comparison of previous Smart Tweezers and the new LCR-Reader.

LCR-Reader Delayed for Firmware Revision

// July 31st, 2013 // No Comments » // LCR-Reader, News

With the approaching targeted release date of the new LCR-Reader, Siborg Systems has to review the firmware to ensure that the devices are working at their best.

After the first few hundred models were produced, inconsistencies between each device reaching the projected 1% basic accuracy. This problem is due to a variation of component values on different PCBs,  which Siborg found is easily solved by individually calibrating each and every PCB, using a special calibration fixture.

“Customer satisfaction is our main priority,” says the Director of Research and Development at Siborg Systems Inc., Michael Obrecht, “Therefore we would like to ensure a high measurement accuracy of the LCR-Reader before we start mass production of this popular LCR-meter of Smart Tweezers family. Basic accuracy of 1% is our target and we will do our best to achieve it.”

The new, lighter and cheaper model of Smart Tweezers LCR-meter, the LCR-Reader is scheduled to be available this summer.

First Batch of LCR-Reader Replaces Smart Tweezers ST5L Model

// June 30th, 2013 // No Comments » // LCR-Reader, News

The first batch of the new LCR-Reader, the lightest and cheapest model in the Smart Tweezers LCR-meter line, has been manufactured, and begun to replace the ST5L model of Smart Tweezers. Now that the LCR-Reader has begun production, the ST5L model production has stopped in June 2013.

First shown to the public last April, the new LCR-Reader is very simliar to Smart Tweezers in use and function. The most obvious upgrades made to the device are the new high-contrast LED display, as opposed to the previous model with LCD screens. The weight is only 1 oz., half of previous Smart Tweezer models. A one-button navigation makes switching between modes such as Automatic, Inductance, Resistance, Capacitance, and ESR as easy as a push of a button. The device features a high basic accuracy of 1%, the test frequency is automatically selected depending on the type of component, and all measurmeents are done with 0.5 Vrms test signal amplitude.

Features on LCR-Reader;

-Automatic LCR and ESR measurment
-Basic accuracy of 1%
-Best Range Selection
-Li-Ion battery and USB connector
-1 oz. (30 grams) weight

Some features available on previous models, but not on LCR-Reader;
-semi-automatic offset subtraction
-component sorting
-diode and continuity testing
-open circuit test

 

Siborg Systems Inc. Stops Producing Smart Tweezers ST5L; Replaced with LCR-Reader

// May 31st, 2013 // No Comments » // LCR-Reader, News

Following the release of the new LCR-Reader, a lighter and more cost effective model in the Smart Tweezers LCR-meter line, Siborg has decided to start phasing out production of the ST5L model, the “budget” model of Smart Tweezers.

The LCR-Reader is in the final stages before production, with small changes being made to the mold, packaging and PCB,  the device has an intended release date of July 1st, 2013.

fig 1. The new LCR-Reader from Siborg Systems Inc.

fig 1. The new LCR-Reader from Siborg Systems Inc.

The new LCR-Reader (fig 1), is very similar to Smart Tweezers in terms of use, but is half the weight of previous models at 1 oz. and half the price of previous models. The re-design offers users a one-button control, allowing easy switching between modes such as Automatic, Inductance, Resistance, Capacitance and ESR (Equivalent Series Resistance) modes.  The LCR-Reader has a basic accuracy of 1% and makes all measurements at a fixed 0.5 Vrms, with an automatically selected best test range frequency.

Like Smart Tweezers, the LCR-Reader has a fully automatic mode, where the device automatically determines what type of component is under evaluation and measures respectively.

LCR-Reader display during an Inductance evaluation

LCR-Reader display during an Inductance evaluation

Fig 2. shows the device during an Inductance measurement, displayed as ‘L’,

indicates that the device is measuring in Automatic Mode, the parasitics are also accounted for, displayed here with Rs, 10kHz is the test frequency being used. 108.4 uH is the main impedance value. A small battery icon shows the remaining charge of the Li-Ion battery.

Unfortunately, to be able to offer LCR-Reader at a significant cost reduction, some features available on previous Smart Tweezers LCR-meter models had to be left out on the LCR-Reader, including;

-Offset Subtraction
-Component Sorting
-Diode  and Continuity testing

A short video introduction of the new LCR-Reader is available on youtube.

Pre-Order today here to get a 20% discount. The Smart Tweezers Comparison Table has been updated with the new LCR-Reader to compare features on the new device and previous models.

Updated Smart Tweezers LCR-meter, LCR-Reader, Shown at Nepcon Shanghai

// May 22nd, 2013 // No Comments » // Distributors, LCR-Reader, News, ST-5S

The very first public glimpse of Siborg Systems Inc.’s new LCR-Reader, a simplified model of Smart Tweezers LCR- and ESR-meter, featuring a lighter weight and price with high accuracy measurements.

 

Siborg Systems Inc.’s new, updated model in the Smart Tweezers family was presented for the first time in Shanghai. The new LCR-Reader offers users the same familiar functionality as Smart Tweezers LCR-meter, but boasting half the weight and half the price without limiting the high accuracy measurements.

Nepcon Shanghai 2013, left to right: Eagle Sun (Ascentek), Alston (Goldtek), Michael Obrecht (Siborg), Willie Fan (Ascentek), Jason Yeh (Goldtek)

Nepcon Shanghai 2013, left to right: Eagle Sun (Ascentek), Alston (Goldtek), Michael Obrecht (Siborg), Willie Fan (Ascentek), Jason Yeh (Goldtek)

The LCR-Reader was presented at Nepcon Shanghai Trade Show, the largest electronics manufacturing show in China. About 20,000 visitors and hundreds of exhibitors attend the show, including leaders in Surface Mount Technology, including; Fuji Machine Manufacturing, Sony, Panasonic Factory Solutions, Hitachi, OK International and Heller.

Presented by Siborg and distributors GoldTek and AscenTek in China, and AscenTex in Taiwan, the prototype [shown] was well received. Jason Yeh, the GoldTek Sales Manager, said;

“It is very important to be able to reduce the price of LCR-Reader compare to the Smart Tweezers LCR-meter. We hope to double our sale with the introduction of the new affordable model.”

fig 1

LCR-Reader prototype

The cost reduction was possible by way of cheaper manufacturing cost to the benefit of the consumer. The device keeps the same high accuracy known in Smart Tweezers with a basic accuracy of 0.1%, the same accuracy available on the previous ST2 model. The updated design offers a one button navigation, one push of the button cycles through measurement modes including; A Automatic, C Capacitance, L Inductance, R Resistance, ESR Equivalent Series Resistance. LCR-Reader automatically selects the best range for L, C, R and ESR measurements, based on the component value and type. Parasitic impedance components, such as the R for C or L, are measured and shown, along with the main impedance component. All measurements are performed at a test signal amplitude of 0.5V rms. The device is powered by Li-Ion battery charged by Micro USB cable.

Some of the features known to Smart Tweezers were lost on the new device, including; the offset subtraction feature, voltage measurement, diode and continuity testing and component sorting.

The LCR-Reader will be available in July-August 2013, with sales expected to be fourfold to the ST5 model. A 20% discount is offered for customers pre-ordering the exciting new model.

An intro video is available for viewing.

 

(more…)

A Sneak Peek into New Model of Smart Tweezers LCR-meter with Half the Weight, at Half the Price

// April 2nd, 2013 // No Comments » // LCR-Reader, News

Designed specifically for Surface Mount Technology (SMT), Smart Tweezers are a pioneer in handheld LCR-meters. With a compact design that integrates a set of tweezers, a small display, and an LCR-meter, Smart Tweezers simplifies evaluating and identifying components. The unit’s 2 oz. slender design is easily held and operated with one hand, leaving the other free for taking notes or using other tools, and has been proven as winning combination of tools, currently being used by many major high-tech companies and customers worldwide.

 

Although Smart Tweezers popularity has grown exponentially over the years, the high price tag can range from $300 to $700 depending on the region and seller. The size of the screen, and overcrowding has also become a problem for some customers on the ST5 model. Even with accessibility and worldwide acclaim, the price leaves the device out of reach for hobbyists and casual users. Siborg had attempted making an alternative model of the device with a lower price, without a 1 Volt test signal option, but the price cut appeared to be only 20% and did not change the market picture overall.

Fig. 1

Fig. 1

A prototype for the new model has emerged (Fig 1.) that features half the weight and half the size of previous Smart Tweezers, but also a much lower manufacturing cost.. Development on this new model began nearly a year ago, based on new microchips and a new idea of simplifying the circuit without losing the accuracy that has become synonymous with Smart Tweezers.

 

Siborg’s new LCR-Reader is about half the size of current Smart Tweezers and is able to charge the Li-Ion battery via USB. Although similar in design and features, like the gold-plated tweezer tips, the new LCR-Reader features a 1% basic accuracy (the same as the previous ST2 model), a one-button navigation which turns the device power on or off, as well as mode selection; ‘A’ automatic, ‘L’ Inductance, ‘C’ Capacitance, ‘R’ Resistance and ‘ESR’ Equivalent Series Resistance. The new device still offers fully automatic measurements, with the test frequency adjusted according to the component type, test signal amplitude is 0.5 Volts.

Fig 2.

Fig 2.

 

Figure 2 shows an example of the device measuring inductance, where AM shows the measurement in ‘Automatic Mode’, ‘Rs’ indicates the parasitic series resistor of the inductance, 10 kHz as the test frequency, L proves that the component is an inductance, and 104.8 uH is the inductance value in micro-Henries, and a battery indication of the charge.

 

The new LCR-Reader is projected to be available in the summer, estimating sales to be four time more compared to the previous sales of the ST5 model.


The Smart Tweezers’ Blog features all the latest news about Smart Tweezers and the coming LCR-Reader.

Smart Tweezers Available in Japan from Alpha Corporation

// March 4th, 2013 // No Comments » // Distributors, News, ST-5S

The third agreement made to have the popular device offered in Asia, Smart Tweezers have entered the Japanese market with help from Alpha Corporation from Chiba, Japan.  Alpha Corporation is a distributor of nieche testing tools, materials and machinery for electronics, primarily offering imorted products to Japanese clients. Alpha Corporation also offer unique test equipment for PCBs.

“We are constantly serarching for new original products that would be useful to Japanese engineers.” says Norio Ito, the Director of Alpha Corporation, “I was impressed by Smart Tweezers LCR-meter when I found information about them at Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) web site. it looked so unique and handy for any work involving Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) that I contacted Siborg right away and suggested to market this product in Japan and neighbouring countries. Although it is very hard to sell imported electronics in Japan, we see a good potential for Smart Tweezers here.”

 

Alpha Corporation:
Established in 2005, the company offers domestic sales of electronic measuring instruments, precision measuring instruments, inspection equipment.

For more info please contact:
Mr. Norio Ito
Alpha Corporation
3F P.O. Building, 3-10-3 Tsuga, Wakaba-ku
Chiba City, Chiba 264-0025, Japan
Tel: +8150-3373-9558 Fax: +8143-235-2731
E-mail: norio_ito (at) alphacorp (dot) ecweb (dot) jp
Web: www (dot) alphacorp (dot) ecweb (dot) jp

 

New Calibration Facility Launches in Europe by the End of 2012

// February 28th, 2013 // No Comments » // News, Smart Tweezers Maintenance, ST-5S, Uncategorized

After nearly 9 years on the market, Smart Tweezers have become a highly sought after tool for testing and troubleshooting electronics with Surface Mount Technology (SMT) used by many high-tech companies worldwide. Even with worldwide recognition, calibration for Smart Tweezers is only available in North America and India, creating hassle for companies that require annual calibration and/or calibration verification of their test equipment in order to be ISO compliant.

Without proper calibration facilities, users must seek out alternate calibration techniques such as third party calibrations. Unfortunately, third party calibration is not true calibration but just a verification of accuracy by comparison of measurement accuracy with the actual values of high-precision components. This “calibration” may be common practice, but does not ensure that Smart Tweezers are working at optimal performance.

“In order to calibrate Smart Tweezers LCR-meter, you need to have the Calibration Fixture designed particularly for Smart Tweezers’ calibration and adjustment of the calibration coefficients.” say Michael Obrecht, the Director at Siborg Systems Inc. “This calibration fixture itself needs to be calibrated annually to ensure the highest possible precision.”

The Smart Tweezers’ Calibration Fixture is a semi-automatic device that updates the calibration coefficients stored in EEPROM of every Smart Tweezers unit. The update is based on comparing the results of measurements obtained using Smart Tweezers with values of a few high-accuracy components called “the standard components”. The calibration coefficients are eventually adjusted by finding the best fit to the values of the standard components ensuring optimal performance of Smart Tweezers.

Currently, there are only 3 of these calibration facilities worldwide; Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, Pasadena California, and New Delhi, India. This makes for a lengthy and costly procedure for European companies that use Smart Tweezers, having to send the devices to North America or India, or they use the third party calibration technique. Shipping, handling customs, etc. may not be time or cost effective.

To simplify the process for European users, Siborg Systems Inc. (Canada) and Bokar International (USA) have joined together to establish a new facility at Production Solutions in Poland. Production Solutions has serviced Bokar’s SMT and ESD products for years, and is the first company in Poland to provide Polish and Central European electronic industries with the highest world-class equipment and products for SMT production, rework and repair.