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Category Archives: PCB Design

Advanced Test Services

We are already well known for developing advanced electronic products for numerous blue-chip clients. Most people are aware that we design products from an early idea to a fully working prototype. However, fewer people are aware that our technical services extend way beyond the creation of a prototype and that we follow the project through to volume PCB Assembly (PCBA).

Most modern products which are sold in the UK, EU and further afield such as the Middle East, Australasia and Northern America must be tested to various national standards which apply in each geographical region around the world, and this can be extremely expensive to the uninitiated.

Arrow Technical have been advising clients how to meet the different technical standards, such as UKCA, CE, UL and ISO for many years and we work closely with several test houses who provide qualified test reports, traceable to national standards, to prove the product under test does indeed meet the appropriate standards required for sales into a specific market.  We also prepare Technical Construction Files as some product types require – especially electronic ones.

Testing to national standards is a time consuming and expensive process and it is only valid when done on a production ready sample as will be sold. It is not unusual, for some people to consider their electronic product’s compatibility only right at the end of the design process when the cost of making any late alterations to the electronic design or PCB layout adds precious time and additional cost to the overall process of making the product meet the required standard.

Using our in-house test facility, we can design and test the performance of the product for EMC compatibility, electrical safety and general UL compatibility from the start and if we spot anything unusual then we have plenty of time to identify the problem and fix it.  When we are happy that the product meets our in-house pre-compliance tests then we are reasonably certain that we will get a satisfactory result when the final product is submitted to a (expensive) certified test house.

RF Emissions

RF Emissions Spectrum


Depending on the product type, we also do reliability testing such the example shown below.  Functionaly and visually, the prototype worked perfectly but when viewed by our thermal imaging system then an undesireable hot-spot became apparent.  After about half an hour of testing we measured temperatures up to 130C which would degrade the component over time and it would eventually fail.  After the redesign we only recorded temperatures around 50C which would extend the product life significantly.


PCB Assembly (PCBA)

Visual Image

PCB With 130C Hotspot

Thermal Image with 130C Hot-Spot


No Hotspot



Electric vehicle battery breakthrough coming soon!

With much of the talk in recent years gearing towards Elon Musk’s views concerning the Electric vehicle, it is a breath of fresh air to hear from somebody new. Musk’s dramatic market breakthrough made with Tesla put him in a leading position and it‘s now hard to see how he leaves much room for any other upcoming or established manufacturers of electric vehicles to make their own mark. This breakthrough was displayed by his ability to show how electric vehicles can be manufactured reliably and sold to the general public in relatively large quantities. Not only that but he made them fun, stylish and enjoyable to drive which was arguably lacking in the market for electric vehicles before that time. But, it appears that Elon has posed an interesting question during an earning call with a select audience. The question posed was “Can somebody please come up with a battery breakthrough? “. This was brought on by recent news of Toyota working on a solid state battery informed to him during the earning call. Solid State batteries are still a relatively unproven technology with regards to powering a car.

The Major difference between what Tesla uses currently in their range of vehicles (Lithium-ion Battery) and Solid state batteries is that the commonly used Lithium-ion makes use of a liquid electrolytic solution to regulate flow of current. On the other hand, solid state batteries incorporate a solid electrolyte. Although these changes still do not affect the fundamental way the battery works, it does change some performance specifications such as maximum storage capacity, charging time, size and safety. So you can see how this would be beneficial to the Electric Vehicle industry. It does come with its drawbacks though which is currently the cost. As a Product development consultancy, we would generally suggest a solid state battery if the customer is willing to accept the higher price tag.

Electronic circuit design

Size comparison

Recent news of Toyota developing a Solid state battery technology has been noted by the CEO of another Electric Vehicle company, rivalling Elon Musk’s Tesla, named Henrik Fisker. The name may sound familiar as he is the founder of Fisker Automotive. The company arrived on the electric vehicle scene in 2007 and shortly afterwards went bankrupt but they have recently started up again under the name Fisker, Inc. Henrik has stated that on his upcoming luxury electric Sedan, to be named “Emotion”, instead of using the Lithium-ion battery option his team are currently just months away from adding the final design touches for a solid state battery that will be used to power the Sedan instead. This breakthrough means that Fisker could pose a serious threat to Tesla in the luxury electric car market in terms of performance and we could also be seeing a wider variety of such vehicles on our roads soon.

Clever Electronic circuit designs to pair with the batteries will play a vital role in monitoring and ensuring the performance and safety of the batteries into the market. Arrow Technical are at the forefront of electric car drive, transmission and control systems where advanced electronic controls plays an increasingly crucial part of the entire system. Low-cost, compact, efficient and modular electronics are critical design parameters for this rapidly growing segment of the automotive industry and Arrow Technical are proud to play their part in its development.



New application discovered for LED’s… to help see through flames!

Usually seeing through the flames of a fire is nearly impossible, which poses a big challenge for firefighters and the manufacturers of building materials. It’s interesting to discover that researchers have now uncovered a way to see through the flames produced by a fire with just two readily available pieces of equipment. These are a Camera fitted with an optical filter and a light source which emits a blue light using LED’s (Light emitting diodes). So, Good news for LED Circuit Design enthusiasts.

The task given to the researchers was to understand how a fire destroys a structure, these tests were run in their own laboratory and on test buildings. Previously, measurements were taken before and after the fire, furthermore following the fire a model would be produced by them showing how the fire progressed to achieve the measurement taken after the fire. The problem which the researchers found with this approach is that a high degree of guess work was involved during the duration of the fire where they simply couldn’t see what was going on beyond the flames. It is critical to know how and exactly when certain items are destroyed by a fire.

Another problem faced by the researchers was that most tools and sensors do not work reliably when subject to extreme heat, even at a distance. Also a camera alone with an optical filter to provide an image of the fire was still unclear and mainly drowned out by flames and created an overwhelmingly red theme. So, the image was pretty useless for the objectives of the researchers which was to see inside the fire in real-time.

This is where the blue light source comes into play, Blue lights have previously been used to view hot materials but never in this extreme application. Researchers discovered that whilst illuminating the fire with these powerful LED’s and recording at the same time with the camera they could actually see beyond, through the flames. This has proved to be a ground breaking discovery and now is being used to determine how building materials are affected by the flames.

Here at Arrow Technical we regularly work with LED’s in numerous lighting applications from LED Circuit Design to various electronic volume manufacturing solutions which incorporate the use of lighting LED’s. So, it is eye opening to see the various other applications in which they can potentially be used. We will be keen to follow how this technology could be formed to potentially aid our fire services.   We have already designed other products for advanced firefighting such as head-up displays, breathing monitoring to prevent hyperventilation and advanced inertial guidance systems to lead fire crews through environments when traditional compass and GPS instruments will not work. Please view our Services page to see if we could be of any assistance.


Graphic created by N. Hanacek/NIST based on a concept by M. Hoehler/NIST  Read more here






We are so much more than just an electronic design house!

We are so much more than just an electronic design house!

Many people know Arrow Technical as just an Electronic Design company, being a designer of advanced new electronic products, but we are so much more than simply that. As well as designing new products we also manufacture them in-house and all under one roof. And, it doesn’t stop there.  Many times we are required to design products which interface by wire or wirelessly to other systems located either locally or remotely.  We are regularly asked to develop and supply the entire system at both ends so it’s a single point of contact to get the whole job specified and done.

In this respect, we do PC and mobile phone apps.  We also design and supply advanced PLC based control panels (and simple ones) and write advanced industrial control and monitoring software to run on them, e.g.

  • Connection to SCADA – no problem
  • Connection to remote servers and platforms – no problem
  • IoT based products and Cloud services to interface to them – no problem.
  • Battery power – no problem
  • High power, even very high power – no problem

Go to our service page and see the full range of services we provide to our clients.  You might be surprised with the range of services we can offer.

We have had over 20 years developing class leading solutions for industry, science, medicine, military and the home.  We have a huge library of functions and features we can put together to define a new product for a specific market, quickly, reliably and very cost effectively.  If its electronic and you need it, we have probably already done it before, or something very similar.

Give us a call and don’t hesitate to get in contact.  Get in touch if you would like to learn more on our Contact us page.


New Technology emerges from Apple to reduce tech-induced distractions!

New Technology emerges from Apple to reduce tech-induced distractions! 

As Product Development Consultancy its nice to see new technology has been announced from Apple Inc. with a new range of features aiding users to monitor their own Mobile device. This new feature will be featured as a part of the forthcoming IOS 12 Software. It will compromise of a weekly report that shows users in which areas they are most using their devices. This data will then help the user to identify in what ways their mobile device is most distracting them. As Product Development consultants Arrow Technical regularly monitor the inspiring ongoing developments at Apple to ensure the technology we develop is in tune to the leading market trends.

Apple have also enabled the feature to send out reports to any parents’ phone from their children’s and to set time constraints on application usage. With Mobile devices being such a big part of today’s society it has been recognised that usage can affect the mental health of users, particularly children. Here at Arrow we work within the Medical Product design industry amongst others so we know just how much of an impact this simple yet effective innovation could have.

More features include a new updated Do not Disturb feature, a new bedtime mode which will enable user to dim their screen and hide notifications until morning. As well as new group calling capabilities on Face time for up to 32 people.

It’s great to see Apple offering innovative products with the consumer’s mental health at the forecourt. With most of society being geared towards a features arms-race, offering technology which trumps other mobile device manufacturers, the actual long term health effects of extensively using their products for the consumer can often be overlooked. You can’t change what has happened, you can only control how you react in future.

We support these kind of considerations in advanced product developments.  It’s in tune with Arrow Technical’s inherent design philosophy that technology should work in harmony with the human race and make us better people and not be worse off for the experience.

Read More here…


Happy New Year from the Arrow Team!

Hi All,

We hope everyone has had a great Christmas & New Year break. We have definitely enjoyed our much deserved break and are all refreshed, raring to get back working as a team.

We look forward to what the world of Electronic product design & manufacturing has to offer us this Year.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our customers, suppliers and many friends throughout the industry a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.

We will be spending this great year doing all we can to provide our wonderful customers, and hopefully, many more new customers, with the best possible electronic design services we can. Check out our electronic design services here and become one of our customers this year. We hope to prosper more than ever this year and we’d love you to come along on this journey with us, keep visiting our site to stay updated.


Arrow Technical Services Breaks All Sales Records

Our new financial year has started with a storming sales performance.  Results for our first quarter show that we are more than 50% up on the same time last year and 7% above our previously recorded best quarter ever with plenty more to come.

This result is particularly pleasing as it has required the whole team to pull together and get numerous jobs through the door.  Teamwork has been the key to our success and we look forward to plenty more quarters like this one. We are confident that we will be able to continue with fantastic work like this, and we will break this record many times more in the future!

The result reflects our increased activity in electronic contract PCB assembly across many industries and an increased presence particularly in Medical, Industrial, Automotive and Scientific electronic product development.

Wonder what the team are going to spend their bonuses on?


Eggcellent news! Eggs offer surprisingly good electrical performance

electrical research
electrical performance from egg

Egg-based electronics’ offer surprisingly good electrical performance. Egg white also known as egg albumen is not only good-tasting, it also has very good dielectric properties. It boasts a high transparency and high elasticity. This makes it a promising material for fabricating transparent, flexible electronic devices. In a new study, researchers have shown that when egg albumen is mixed with hydrogen peroxide a series of chemical reactions occur that transforms the bio material into an active film. This can then be used to make transparent, flexible resistive memory devices.

This is not the first time that egg albumen has been incorporated into electronic devices. Previously, the albumen from chicken and duck eggs has been used in transistors and other devices as the dielectric (insulating) layer. However, the new work marks the first time that egg albumen has been used to make resistive memories. These memories are being developed as a next-generation alternative to the silicon-based memories that dominate today’s electronics.

Here at Arrow we will be keen to get our hands on them and test against the silicone based products, if they do come to market that is!.
The Research is ongoing at the Southwest University in China. If you want to find out more about this electrical breakthrough follow the link below.


Arrow Technical Celebrates 10 years at the AMP

First Visit to AMP
Advanced Manufacturing Park
Concept Art for AMP
Concept Art for AMP

July this year is a year which Arrow celebrates, as it marks the 10th Anniversary of our move to the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Sheffield.  We have seen windmills and companies come and go and buildings go up all around us.

It was a very new idea when we first arrived and took a lot of vision and initiative from the Sheffield and Rotherham support agencies to get it off the ground.  Back then, who knew what a storming success it would have become by now and still growing rapidly.

We are so proud to have played our small part in its journey and are still the only electronics product design and sub-contract electronics Assembly Company on the whole park.

Who knows what the future for the next ten years holds but its looking bright. For more information on the Advanced manufacturing park visit their website here…


Premature births predicted using ‘smart electronic pen’

A new test using a smart electronic pen promises to revolutionise the prevention of premature births by accurately predicting the chances of pre-term delivery up to three months in advance.

The “pencil-looking” device which uses state of the art digital signal processing techniques, will save the NHS £1 billion a year and can alert doctors to tell-tale accumulations of moisture in the cervix, giving them the chance to intervene and artificially prolong pregnancy.

The new test, which has been trialled at an NHS hospital in Sheffield, takes a maximum of 15 seconds and is so simple it could be used by GPs or nursing staff.

Gynaecologists currently rely on time-consuming and expensive procedures such as ultrasounds or foetal fibronectin swabs, which yield many false positives and, even when accurate, can only predict premature birth a few days hence.

By contrast, the new device can detect tiny amounts of moisture on the outside of the body and uses wireless technology to send a signal to a computer which give the medic a “red, amber, green” result indicating how likely a premature birth is.

The test, which could be ready to roll out across the NHS within three years, can accurately predict premature birth from as early as 20 weeks gestation.

Arrow Technical Services Ltd are involved in using advanced electronic techniques to develop this project further for more complex applications as well as several other related medical devices in partnership with the teams at The Sheffield Hallamshire Hospital and Sheffield University.  We are proud to be part of this technology development program.