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1. Are there any specific issues you feel PCBAA will help you with this year?
Our industry has suffered from a lack of visibility with policymakers. PCBAA brings many voices together so those in Washington realize what's at stake. Semiconductors have received the most attention in recent years while the domestic production of PCBs and related PCB materials continues to decline. We are now seeing legislative language supporting domestic production because of how PCBAA has educated lawmakers and policymakers on the PCB’s place in the microelectronics ecosystem.
2. Why do you feel the time is right for PCBAA to exist?
I think it is the perfect time for PCBAA to arrive on the scene. It took decades for domestic production to shrink to a single digit percentage of the world supply. We shouldn't let the number fall any further. With all the focus on supply chain resiliency and trusted sources, PCBs need to get the same level of attention that semiconductors are getting. One doesn't work without the other. How we view the microelectronics ecosystem needs to be more inclusive and not simply focused on chips.
3. What challenges does the industry face and how is PCBAA helping your company meet those challenges?
As I mentioned, the PCB industry has been in the shadow of semiconductors for some time. PCBs are not as well understood both in terms of function and complexity. Gone are the days of simple green plastic boards with a few components. PCBs are complex microelectronics that require specialized and costly equipment to both prepare materials and manufacture the final products. Many of the materials needed are almost exclusively from other countries. PCBAA is advocating for our industry to get the kind of legislation and policy support that will bring manufacturing back to the United States. We will never get to 100%, but to have a thriving, resilient supply chain for this industry, we need to stand united. PCBAA helps us do just that.
4. What do you see as the benefits of membership in PCBAA?
We benefit from having a presence in Washington focused solely on our industry and technology. The PCBAA has an experienced team that knows the way things work in Washington, the people to contact, and how to create the awareness we need to reinvigorate and grow the domestic PCB industry. Being part of PCBAA also brings us together with like-minded companies where we can share ideas that benefit the entire industry.
Davy Nakada is senior director at Rogers Corporation. To read more about PCBAA or contact the association, visit its column page here.
This article originally appeared in the April 2022 issue of PCB007 Magazine.