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In 2014, Whelen Engineering Company, the OEM market leader in the emergency warning industry, developed the world’s first green smart PCB fab factory as a captive operation servicing internal demand. Due to the success of this venture, in 2016, a decision was made to explore building an upgraded factory which would serve the merchant market. This article outlines the approach we took to designing this new phase of our commercial existence, which has now been spun off as a separate business unit known as Greensource Fabrication. This new business unit is expected to go live in 2018.
In our experience, a holistic DMADV approach to complex process design is not commonly used in the PCB industry. This approach requires a commitment to dedicated R&D re-sources, extensive travel by the technical team, a great deal of hands-on experience, as well as significant investment capital. Since very few PCB fabs perform R&D, we believe that there is a currently a very high ROI to this approach with low risk, since it is easy to design and secure strong competitive advantages when everyone else is just copying each other.
To read the full version of this article which appeared in the January 2018 issue of The PCB007 Magazine, click here.
Dave Lackey and Anaya Vardya, American Standard Circuits
The design process is arguably the most important part of the flex circuit procurement process. The decisions made in the design process will have a lasting impact, for better or worse, throughout the manufacturing cycle. In advance of providing important details about the actual construction of the flex circuit, it is of value to provide some sort of understanding of the expected use environment for the finished product.
I-Connect007 Editorial Team
For this first issue of Flex007 Magazine, we interviewed John Talbot, president and owner of Tramonto Circuits. Headquartered in metro Minneapolis, Minnesota, Tramonto manufactures flexible and rigid PCBs for a variety of industry segments. Editors Andy Shaughnessy, Patty Goldman and Stephen Las Marias asked John to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the world of flexible circuits, and some of the trends he’s seeing in this market.
Barry Matties, I-Connect007
Barry Matties met with Orbotech’s corporate VP of Business Development and CMO, Lior Maayan, in Shenzhen and spoke about the next-generation processes currently challenging Orbotech's R&D team. Most notable among them are additive technologies like the automated optical shaping solution, and the growth of MSAP, flex, and HDI.