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NIST Resources for CHIPS Act Participants
01/27/2023 | Nolan Johnson, I-Connect007
I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week
01/27/2023 | Nolan Johnson, I-Connect007
The Nuts and Bolts of Advanced Packaging
01/24/2023 | I-Connect007 Editorial Team
Monday Recap: Optimism and Economics at IPC APEX EXPO
01/24/2023 | Nolan Johnson and Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
Classes and Meetings Under Way at IPC APEX EXPO
01/23/2023 | Andy Shaughnessy, Design007 Magazine
PCB :: Certifications
Chemcut’s Robotic Solution
The I-Connect007 Editorial Staff spoke with Chemcut’s Jerry Reitz, and Atlantic Microtool’s Bruce Siemering and Neil Robinson about recent robotic automation advances, a specific robotic solution from Automata, and the changing factors tipping toward robotic automation in the current market.
We Must Talk to Each Other
“What we have here is a failure to communicate.” Sometimes when I hear that line from "Cool Hand Luke," I can’t help but think that old Strother Martin was in our business. That is to say that printed circuit board designers and board builders have always battled with a failure to communicate.
Economic Drivers Take Us ‘Up, Up, and Away!’
Prices are up, up, and… up! Copper, for example, is at an all-time high—up 94% over the last year and up 69% compared to two years ago. But copper isn’t alone. We are seeing higher prices across the board. The IMF’s Non-Fuel Price Index, which includes precious metal, food, and industrial inputs, is up 43.6% over the last year and 44.7% over the last two years. Include fuel prices, and prices are up 70% over the last year. And that’s if you can even get the product you want in the first place, as shortages and longer lead-times abound. Shawn DuBravac explains.
Feeling the Supply Chain Squeeze
Nolan Johnson speaks with Joe D’Ambrisi of MacDermid Alpha to gain insight into what he’s seeing in the market from his perspective as a specialty chemicals and materials provider.
Catching Up With Archer Circuits’ Echo Yang
I was thrilled when Echo Yang called to talk about her company, Archer Circuits. And the more she talked, the more I liked her story. Echo is a 37-year-old woman who started her own trading company. She is well-educated, well-trained, and well-spoken; she is filled with ambition and passion for what she does. You are going to find her story and the story of her company as interesting as I have. Enjoy.
Time, Space, Structure, and Model Analysis of CCL Price Increase
According to the CCL Association, copper foil accounts for the largest proportion of raw materials (traditional CCL uses epoxy resin, glass fiber cloth and copper as raw materials). Copper foil in thin plate accounts for about 30% of the overall cost; in thick plate copper accounts for 50%. In CCL production, using Shengyi Technology and Chaohua Technology as examples, the cost of raw materials accounts for about 88% of the total cost, with labor accounting for about 4%. Other costs such as equipment depreciation account for about 8%.
The Future of Imaging and Inkjet Printing
We recently spoke to Ed Carignan of Technica, who outlines the current landscape for both direct imaging and inkjet printing and describes how the technologies have evolved over the years. He also details what’s next on the horizon.
Whiteside’s View From the Summit: An Industry Perspective
I spoke with Shane Whiteside to get his unique perspective on the industry as president and CEO of Summit Interconnect, as well as his position on the board of directors for the IPC. Whiteside discusses the business challenges he sees overall.
Millennials and Seasoned Veterans: Your Future Lies in Both
There is no doubt that we are having a crisis when it comes to the workforce in our industry today. In the PCB and PCBA industries, as well as most manufacturing industries, there is a definite shortage of good people we can hire. Dan Beaulieu describes how the future of the electronics manufacturing industry lies in both millennials and seasoned veterans alike.
PCB Technologies Focuses on an All-in-One Solution
Recently, PCB Technologies reached out to us with news about their new All-In-One offering. Intrigued, we followed up and spoke with VP of Marketing and Business Development Arik Einhorn to get more details on the All-In-One services. We’ve included the short article and the interview here.
Gardien on the Right Track With New ERP System
Andy Shaughnessy speaks with Roland Valentini, Gardien Group COO, about the company’s new OnTrack2 ERP and process management software. He explains how OnTrack2 is purpose-built for customers around the world and why it’s much more than a replacement for OnTrack1, which was being stretched beyond its original intent.
8 Measures for Sales and Operations Planning in Turbulent Times, Part 6
In this series, CEPHAS principal Fane Friberg highlights the interdependent elements of an effective S&OP process for leaders of supply chain management. While some companies tend to fall back on the status quo, Friberg highlights why it’s critical to actually increase the frequency of the S&OP rather than decrease the operations. He has reviewed the importance of staying committed, strategic imperatives, participation, technology, and rough-cut capacity planning. Today, he discusses suppliers.
Atotech Looks to Expand Product Portfolio
When Barry Matties toured Atotech’s facility in Feucht, Germany, he spoke with Andreas Schatz, Atotech’s global product manager of equipment, and Daniel Schmidt, Atotech’s global director of marketing. In this interview, Andreas and Daniel break down the global plating and chemistry trends they see, most notably around horizontal plating and smart factory automation.
A Year in Review: Cultivate New Opportunities in Crisis, Start Fresh
Recently, the China Electronic Circuit Industry Association (CPCA) invited Dr. Shiuh-Kao Chiang from Prismark to present an online video report regarding the current and future impact of the current epidemic on the global electronic circuit industry. The I-Connect007 China Team attended the presentation, and the following report summarizes some of Dr. Chiang’s remarks.
July PCB007 Magazine Preview: Rethinking Manufacturing
This issue is an exploration of the rethinking currently underway across the industry. Our conversations on rethinking manufacturing include re-imagining wet processes, additive, and subtractive processes. We also explore rethinking the tools available to your incoming CAM department in the form of best practices for landing pads, the advantages of the new VeCS technology, and more information on Elsyca’s sophisticated CAM analysis software. This issue provides some insight into the Chinese industry’s recovery within the global marketplace (as reported by Prismark) and takes you through a real-world example of how ransomware can be a serious threat to your business.
This Month in PCB007 Magazine: Lessons Learned From Past Applications of TQM
Nolan Johnson spoke with Dan Feinberg about his experiences with TQM while serving as president of Dynachem and Morton Electronic Materials in the ‘90s. In this interview, Dan explains how TQM can sometimes be misidentified as a philosophy instead of a set of tools and processes focused on accomplishing business goals.
Survey Results: Five Tips to Stay Safe at Work
Face masks, gloves, arrows on the floor, social distancing, working in shifts, working remotely—our work environment has been vastly altered over the past three months. How has it affected you and the people around you the most? Are you open to these changes or do you find yourself resisting the changes? Here are five powerful tips for staying safe at work, according to the latest I-Connect007 survey responses.
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish: Same Industry, New Look
Learning a lesson from challenges is one thing, but implementing changes based on those lessons is quite another. I-Connect007 regularly surveys leaders in the electronics industry to bring you important and relevant information that helps you make better decisions. What lessons have you learned during the COVID-19 crisis, and what changes have you made?
Nolan's Notes: Sometimes, You Have to Shout ‘Stop the Presses!’
I-Connect007 was working diligently to research and report on “Going Green” for the April issue. Although it was a good topic, sometimes, the world has other plans. While going green was our original topic, current events demanded that we pivot, devoting this issue to the breaking news and changing dynamics COVID-19 has brought us.
14 ‘Business as Usual’ Tips, Part 2
In this series, Dan Beaulieu will share 14 “business as usual” tips for selling without visiting customers during the COVID-19 outbreak. In Part 2, he highlights using online tools.
Accurate Circuit Engineering Staying Ahead of the COVID-19 Curve
On April 16, Andy Shaughnessy spoke with Accurate Circuit Engineering’s James Hofer. James provided an update on the company’s responses to the challenges of fabricating PCBs while much of the country is under COVID-19 quarantine. James explained that he is dedicated to keeping his employees safe and healthy while continuing to meet the needs of his customers, many of whom are medical and military OEMs. He also discussed his current workload, which includes one customer developing a ventilator that can serve four patients at the same time.
IPC Standards Work Continues to Move Forward
On April 3, 2020, Teresa Rowe, IPC’s director of assembly and standards technology, and David Bergman, vice president, spoke with Barry Matties about ongoing standards activities during the global COVID-19 outbreak. Rowe and Bergman reported that, where one might think that standards committees would be negatively affected, standards work seems to be going stronger than ever.
When Your Fabricator Is Late
The I-Connect007 Editorial Team recently had a wide-ranging discussion with John Watson, CID, of Legrand. Questions covered include, “What happens when your fabricator is late, whether it’s a prototype or volume production?” and, “What are the costs and ramifications up and down the chain?”
The Direction of MacDermid Alpha’s Automotive Initiative
Nolan Johnson speaks with Lenora Clark about MacDermid Alpha’s automotive initiative, where her role fits into the company’s focus on supporting carmakers in various business areas, and where the future of automotive is heading.
Book Review: The 10 Stories Great Leaders Tell
Everyone is talking about stories, and rightfully so. Anyone who knows anything about marketing in the 21st century knows that the way to get into peoples’ heads is to tell them a story. Dan Beaulieu reviews Paul Smith's 'The 10 Stories Great Leaders Tell.'
One Year Later: IPC Education Foundation Update
In this video interview from IPC APEX EXPO, Aaron Birney, education program manager for the IPC Education Foundation, speaks with Guest Editor Steve Williams about the foundation's focus on STEM, its growth over the past year since launching at IPC APEX EXPO 2019, and how IPC members can get involved and sponsor student chapters.
IPC Validation Services: What to Expect at IPC APEX EXPO 2020
IPC’s Randy Cherry previews what to expect from IPC APEX EXPO 2020, including a full line on display demonstrating CFX/Hermes, further development of the Validation Services program, as well as testimonials from member companies that have been participating in IPC’s new trusted supplier program to the Department of Defense (DoD).
Alex Stepinski: GreenSource Fabrication Update
Alex Stepinski gives an update on GreenSource, their acquisition of AWP, and their move to full production after some delays. Barry Matties and Alex also discuss automation and the difficulties in hiring in the U.S. and announces the decision to go to market with their recycling equipment in 2020.
Ivanka Trump CES Keynote: The Path to the Future of Work
The Palazzo Ballroom at the Venetian Hotel and Casino was the site for one of the most anticipated keynotes at CES on Tuesday afternoon. CTA CEO Gary Shapiro moderated a conversation with Ivanka Trump, advisor to the President of the United States. The two discussed the current state of the workforce, higher education, skills retraining, alternatives to university education, and immigration. These are all topics that have been under discussion within the electronics manufacturing industry for some time now.
Heading Into 2020 With Isola
Barry Matties recently spoke with Isola’s Travis Kelly, who has moved from acting CEO into the position of president and CEO. Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Sean Mirshafiei also joins the conversation as they share an update on the progress on the company’s new Arizona factory, as well as their views on the markets and technology trends.
What’s the SCOOP: Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year really is an amazing celebration with millions of workers returning to their families for the celebrations. But with the shutdown and mass migration come stress on infrastructure, supply chain and the whole manufacturing and fulfillment ecosystem. I asked a few Industry experts what they thought the key issues are and what advice they’d offer.
MacroFab: Manufacturing Digitized
MacroFab CEO Misha Govshteyn explains how a digital manufacturing platform connected to a network of vetted partner factories can help eliminate a lot of variability from the fabrication process.
Wi-Fi 6: Wired vs. Wireless
We all know that it makes no sense to get the latest device just because they come out with a new one every year. Sure, post-millennials tend to want a new phone every year, but most of us are well past that. However, as the competitive nature of the consumer tech industry continues to increase, the rate of change is also accelerating, as is the peer pressure to upgrade. Non-techies get new phones every year, techies get new CPU and GPUs every two years, average consumers get bigger and higher-res TVs every three years, and on it goes.
CIMS Galaxy: More Than an Inspection System
Editor Pete Starkey and Vladi discuss the newest CIMS AOI platform, Galaxy, which is more compact and more versatile than the previous Phoenix model. The Galaxy is scalable and can be equipped with more functions and connected to a variety of Industry 4.0 databases. Vladi explains that the Galaxy can be used for everything from inner layer inspection to final inspection, detecting defects down to 1 pixel. The system is available with multiple metrology options as well.
The ICT 2019 Christmas Seminar
Since 2016, the Institute of Circuit Technology (ICT) has held its northern area Christmas seminar at the Majestic Hotel in Harrogate—the elegant and historic English spa town in North Yorkshire. Pete Starkey provides an overview of this popular ICT event.
Industry Set for Shift to True 3D Printing and Photonics
Nolan Johnson sits down with Zach Peterson, owner of Northwest Engineering Solutions, who predicts two things that would challenge the current status quo for the PCB manufacturing industry: true 3D printing and additive, including discretes as well as the substrates and traces, and a completely different approach with photonics.
Day 1 Coverage of International Electronics Circuit Exhibition in Shenzhen
The newly named International Electronics Circuit Exhibition, formerly known as the HKPCA Show, kicked off today in Shenzhen, China. This event is now part of a cooperation between the CPCA and HKPCA associations. This is the largest trade show serving the south China region, with 3,537 booths from 621 exhibitors this year.
Sunstone Circuits on Staffing Trends in the Digital Age
Sheri Kuretich, human resources manager, and Nancy Viter, VP of operations, of Sunstone Circuits speak with Nolan Johnson about what they see from the perspective of a prototyping shop, the current state of the hiring market, and how they have used ISO 9000 as an information repository to pass technical knowledge from experienced employees to newer ones.
Prototron Receives MIL-31032 and AS9100 Certifications
Kim O’Neil, general manager of Prototron Circuits in Tucson, Arizona, discusses the company’s recent MIL-31032 certification and how this experience prepared them for the AS9100 certification. He also explained why auditing is a good thing for any company’s processes and highlighted some of the areas that the auditors inspected.
Carrying the Flag
The September 2019 issue of PCB007 Magazine concludes our month-long look at industry standards. We wrap up by "waving the standard" in celebration. Of course, that phrase immediately piques the interest of us wordsmiths. Why, after all, do English speakers use "standard" as a synonym for a flag?
Industry Outlook from IPC's Sharon Starr
Sharon Starr, IPC's director of market research, provides updates on the EMS and PCB industry outlook, benefits of IPC membership and participation, plans to expand the EMS statistical program, and new studies being published.
Strategies for Compliance with DoD Regulations Including ITAR and DFARS
ITAR is usually the topic when compliance with DoD regulations is discussed. But what about DFARS? This article will examine strategies one can implement to ensure that one is compliant with all DoD regulations, by analyzing internal and external factors in relation to procurement and compliance, and by asking the vital questions: what, how, where and to whom?
Imagineering CEO Khurrum Dhanji Discusses New AS9100 Guidebook
I have had many conversations with Imagineering President and CFO Parvin Dhanji, and CEO Khurrum Dhanji, and I always come away very impressed with their dedication to their community, associates and their customers. That’s why it was no surprise to me that they teamed with I-Connect007 to publish this long overdue guide to AS9100.
Supplier Spotlight: American Standard Circuits' AS9100 Journey
I had the privilege of working with American Standard Circuits (ASC) over the past year with their successful pursuit of AS9100 quality management system certification. The company has chosen to share their approach, lessons learned and benefits gained by going through this formidable process.
Let's Talk Testing: Does your Product have a Military Application?
Just like any other industry segment within the circuit board world, the military sector has its own share of documents…and likely many more than most! These documents have been developed over the years to guide, shape, and test anything and everything that might go into a jet fighter, a radar system, a warship, a weapons system, etc.
All About Flex: FAQs on RoHS for Flex Circuits
In 2003, the European Union (EU) adopted a standard called the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS), which restricts the use of certain materials in electronic products and electronic equipment. The intent is to reduce the environmental impact of known hazardous materials and has driven changes in manufacturing processes and materials used to manufacture a wide array of electronic products.
CES 2016: Press Day, Showstoppers and LaunchIt Event
Tuesday, January 5, was press day at CES 2016. Some of the largest press conferences are held on press day. Many of them are one- or two-hour advertisements with a number of new product announcements inserted, and some do provide a great deal of market data and trends. The bigger “pressers,” such as the Samsung event, fill multiple auditorium-sized rooms as well as overflow rooms.
How to Handle Short Development Cycles
Automotive is a segment that any market can learn from. In past years, we had a saying: “You can have cheap, on-time or high quality; pick two.” Going back five years, this was the response to short development cycles. In looking at the last two years, however, we have the reality of the short development cycle. Mix this with the recent recalls and safety issues, and it is now an unwritten requirement to deliver low cost, high quality and on time. It is not uncommon to go from idea to series production in only 14 months.
Quality Assurance Through Testing
The PCB Magazine columnist Todd Kolmodin of Gardien Services discusses the challenges related to the electrical testing of high-density PCBs, and what is required to meet IPC and military specifications.
Mentor: PCB Technology Leadership Award Winners
Continuing its tradition of promoting and recognizing PCB design excellence, Mentor has announced the winners of its 25th annual PCB Technology Leadership Awards. Started in 1988, this program is the longest running competition of its kind in the EDA industry. It recognizes engineers and designers who use innovative methods and design tools to address today's complex PCB systems design challenges and produce industry-leading products.
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