I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week


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It’s been a busy week in this industry, and we have news and articles from the PCB design, fabrication, and assembly communities. The roller coaster ride continues, with whiplash-inducing news from IPC about March North American shipment—they’re up from February but down from the same period a year ago.

We also have articles that cover everything from upskilling your labor force to using big data to help bring manufacturing back to North America. We have a review of one of our latest books, Printed Circuit Designer’s Guide to… Stackups: The Design within the Design, and a great column by Anaya Vardya about the need for American manufacturers to stop viewing one another as adversaries and start working together. We’re down to 200 domestic fabricators; cooperation may be the only answer.

As Ben Franklin said, We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”

IPC Releases PCB Industry Results for March 2022
Published April 22

Good news, bad news: According to IPC, March North American PCB shipments rose 5.6% over the previous month but fell 11.7% YOY. As Shawn DuBravac says, supply chain issues are improving just as orders are dropping in various markets. Never a dull moment in this industry.

Training the Future Manufacturing Labor Force
Published April 19

There’s been a lot of talk about the need to “upskill” the PCB manufacturing labor force, but what does that entail, exactly? In this interview, Michael Connella, Matt Stevenson, and Debra Coburn discuss Sunstone Circuits’ plans to keep their staff trained on the latest in fabrication technology and processes.

Big Data Can Bring Your Business Back
Published April 20

It’s all about data. In this industry, you either manage your data or you get left behind. But big data may provide the advantage that North America needs to regain some of the work lost to overseas companies. In this article, Siemens’ Zac Elliott explains how big data just might be the differentiator that American companies have been waiting for.

The Printed Circuit Designer’s Guide to… Stackups: The Design within the Design
Published April 18

The I-Connect007 book Printed Circuit Designer’s Guide to… Stackups: The Design within the Design has been flying off our virtual newsstand. No wonder: The stackup may be the most important part of your PCB design. One of our readers, signal integrity engineer Skyler Sopp, has written a review of this timely tome. Check it out.

Standard of Excellence: From Adversaries to Collaborators—Let’s Do This Together
Published April 20

Columnist Anaya Vardya makes a great point here: Our domestic PCB industry could have stood stronger and been much more vibrant today if we had stood together, shoulder to shoulder as one united industry. But alas, we did not, and today this what we have: fewer than 200 companies striving to stay alive with our wagons still moving in a straight and vulnerable line instead of coming together in a circle of strength.” Don’t miss this column.

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I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week

06/24/2022 | Nolan Johnson, I-Connect007
Market news was certainly big this week. While the U.S. stock market continues make some large swings, the PCB and PCBA are doing their own dance with the numbers. We’re still feeling the effects of the pandemic, but it seems to be more about playing catch up. Still, the industry is showing some instability, both in positive and negative ways.

Review: Institute of Circuit Technology 2022 Annual Symposium

06/15/2022 | Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
The British Motor Museum in Warwickshire, housing the world's largest collection of historic British cars, was venue for the 2022 Annual Symposium of the Institute of Circuit Technology on June 8, which attracted a substantial gathering of manufacturers and suppliers from the UK printed circuit industry. ICT chair Emma Hudson reflected upon lessons learned during the pandemic lock-down and how the industry has successfully adapted to circumstances. She commented that the UK’s PCB fabricators are extremely busy, as she introduced an outstanding conference programme including a keynote from the incomparable Happy Holden.

I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week

06/03/2022 | Andy Shaughnessy, Design007 Magazine
Things are heating up in the world of PCB design and manufacturing as well. In the past week, we published quite a bit of news—some good, some not so good. Some of the news is mixed, as we see with the EMS industry shipments rising YOY in April, but falling from the previous month. It’s nice to see NASA investing in American small businesses, but they didn’t really have a choice, did they?



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