Chris Mitchell's Top 10 Takeaways from IPC APEX EXPO 2022

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The recent surge in COVID cases provoked more than a few questions about what to expect at this year’s IPC APEX EXPO. But as I traversed the San Diego Convention Center last week, the top answer was clear: a lot of smiles! Sure, they were hidden behind masks, but they were evident in the eyes of everyone I met. Attendees were thrilled to be back together in person, sharing ideas as freely as elbow bumps. IPC is a community, and APEX EXPO is the place where we build it.

Equally exciting was all the great content on tap for attendees this year. Against that backdrop, here are my top 10 highlights from IPC APEX EXPO 2022, from the perspective of someone engaged in advocating for this industry.   

  1. Hall of Fame Award: Industry stateman Joe O’Neil was this year’s inductee into the IPC Hall of Fame. Joe’s achievements in business are well-recognized. Less recognized is his work for the industry. Joe has served on IPC’s Board of Directors, Government Relations Committee, the IPC Education Foundation board, and the IPC Thought Leaders Program. In his heartfelt and modest speech, Joe thanked the industry titans who mentored him early in his career and challenged everyone to stay on top of industry trends, grow in their careers, and advance the industry. Congratulations to Joe on a well-earned award. 
  2. Technical Conference: Many participants said it was the best technical conference in years. That’s a testament to the IPC staff and volunteers who organized four tracks and set a very high bar for the papers delivered. The four tracks focused on Factory of the Future implementation; PCB fab and materials; quality, reliability, test, and inspection; and assembly materials and environment. Stay tuned for an announcement soon on how you can access these papers and past papers as well. 

By the way, a special shout-out is due to Auburn University Ph.D. candidate Mohamed El Amine Belhadi, who along with peers authored the best student paper, “Reliability and IMC Layer Evolution of Homogenous Lead-free Solder Joints During Thermal Cycling.” Auburn is a center of excellence on all things lead-free, including the DoD’s lead-free electronics R&D, for which IPC has secured federal funding. 

To read this entire article, which appeared in the Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2022 Show & Tell Magazine, click here.


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