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.
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%.
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.
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.
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?”
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.