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Highlights on a Rousing Virtual IPC APEX EXPO 2021
04/14/2021 | Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
The Future Is Electric
04/13/2021 | KJ McCann and Brian Zirlin, Aurora Circuits
I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week
04/09/2021 | Andy Shaughnessy, I-Connect007
Technical Conference—Balancing Conventional and Disruptive Technologies
04/08/2021 | Matt Kelly, IPC
Book Review: Important Advice on a Well-Balanced Life
04/06/2021 | Dan Beaulieu, D.B. Management Group
PCB :: Interview
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.
Jolly Holden: Expert Insights Into Distance Learning and Webinars
With COVID-19 leading to increased distance learning throughout the U.S. and world, the I-Connect007 editorial team spoke with Jolly Holden, Ed.D., who is an expert on distance learning (and also Happy Holden’s brother). In this wide-ranging interview, they discuss what distant learning is, how to do it well, what not to do, differences between academic and job skills training, and much more.
The Smart Factory: All the Bits and Bobs
“Smart factory” is another phrase that describes Industry 4.0 programs. These programs seem to have replaced CIM and CAM, but it did not make them obsolete. While these topics are getting a lot of press, there is nothing new about them. We have been on a journey to automate manufacturing since the mid-‘70s. What has evolved are faster and cheaper computers, and more complex and integrated networking.
This Month in PCB007 Magazine: A Scorecard for Suppliers
Al Block and Naji Norder from National Instruments talk about the PCQR2 tool, what that entails, and how companies can use the data-driven analysis to validate the quality of suppliers and potentially save millions.
IPC APEX EXPO 2020 Attendees Speak: Heston Singh
"We have been coming here for many years, and we had another good experience this year," said Unitron's Heston Singh. "If it wasn’t good, we wouldn’t be coming back. They have products that are needed for this market, so we’ll be back every year."
Alumni Week at IPC APEX EXPO 2020
When you see friends and colleagues just once a year, you would think there would be a lot of catching up to do. That’s not the case at IPC APEX EXPO. Greeting friends and colleagues is always like picking up a conversation you had with them yesterday. Everyone looks the same, acts the same (we age well and lightly!), and we talk about the same things with just slight modification—like a daily conversation would evolve.
I-Connect007 Research: Readers Share Advice on COVID-19
In our survey this week, we asked readers what advice they might have for friends and colleagues in the electronics industry regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. Because this survey question was open-ended, some respondents shared more than one piece of advice; therefore, astute readers may notice that the graph totals more than 100%.
Show & Tell Feature: New Developments and Opportunities
“Elevate the Excellence of Electronics” was the theme for this year’s IPC APEX EXPO. As expected, the show set the bar high with technical sessions, professional development sessions, committee meetings, numerous networking opportunities, and an exhibitor list that included all aspects of the electronics supply chain. Columnist Tara Dunn explains how she repeatedly found herself interested in multiple sessions being hosted at the same time, and having to pick and choose which session to attend.
2020 EIPC Winter Conference, Day 2
Rested and refreshed, delegates returned to the conference room for the second day of the 2020 EIPC Winter Conference in Blijdorp, Rotterdam, South Holland. Pete Starkey provides an overview of the presentations and activities from Day 2.
Congratulations to Mike Carano! Dieter Bergman IPC Fellowship Award Recipient
Patty Goldman spoke with Mike Carano about being awarded the Dieter Bergman IPC Fellowship Award, what that means to him as someone who was inspired by Dieter, and after 40 years in the industry, what keeps him excited going forward. Talking with Mike, one can feel his enthusiasm for IPC and the industry, which is contagious.
IPC APEX EXPO 2020 Attendees Speak: Tom Salmon
"I’m impressed by what I’ve seen and the variety of solutions. Industry 4.0 is still a big thing here," said Tom Salmon of SEMI. "I’m guessing just by the number of attendees that we took a little bit of a hit from the coronavirus. But most of the people I’ve talked to are happy with the meetings that they’re having with folks. Overall, it seems to be positive for everybody."
IPC APEX EXPO 2020 Attendees Speak: Scott Pohlmann
"As a salesman, my job is to make sure I stay on the cutting edge of technology," said Scott Pohlmann of Milwaukee Electronics. "When our customers ask for certain features that they need on their equipment or performance, I need to know what the state-of-the-art equipment, profiles, and procedures are out there.
NCAB: A ‘Hub’ That Works With Designers From Start to Finish
In this video interview from the show, Guest Editor Kelly Dack meets with Ruben Contreras, field applications engineer at NCAB Group, and Shaun Salas, key account manager. They discuss a variety of ways to overcome challenges with tariffs and broker relationships, as well as emphasizing upstream expertise and how the company operates as a "hub." Part of NCAB’s objective is to work with designers and design engineers to make the board more manufacturable.
David Bergman: CFX a Key Ingredient of Smart Factories
In this video interview from the show, Jennie Hwang and David Bergman, IPC's VP of standards and training, address the use of CFX to facilitate plug-and-play smart factories. IPC APEX EXPO 2020 offered a variety of demonstrations of CFX, IPC’s Connected Factory Exchange.
Designing Hardware for IoT Security
Andy Shaughnessy and Happy Holden talk to John Watson about IOT device security, highlighting the types of attacks and points of entry that are conceivable in a wireless smart sensor filled world.
CB Tech and Technica Tout Titan’s Traits
During the show, Technical Editor Pete Starkey met with Frank Medina, president and CEO of Technica USA, and Harry Kok, international sales director at CB Tech. They discuss the features of the CB Tech Titan direct imaging system, which has very high throughput capability with best-in-class registration consistently maintained from the beginning to the end of the batch. Kok also explains how the Titan fits in with CB Tech’s ongoing plans for Industry 4.0.
IPC APEX EXPO 2020 Attendees Speak: Lauren Byrge
"We design and fabricate group spaces for various clients on the show floor, so we’re just visiting clients and checking out what IPC APEX EXPO is offering this year," said Lauren Byrge, account executive for Marquis Exhibits. "I feel like the crowd is pretty good. Every booth looks like it’s buzzing. My impression of the electronics industry is good. The people are friendly and nice, and we enjoy working in this space."
Advances in Substrates for Thermal Management
Pete Starkey and Eduardo Benmayor, general manager for Aismalibar, discuss ways in which insulated metal substrates have been modified to relieve stresses on the solder joints of high-end LED assemblies during thermal cycling. Eduardo also describes a range of thermally conductive FR-4 laminates that can be processed like standard FR-4 for applications where thermal dissipation can be maximized without changing the design.
iNEMI: Emerging Technologies Driving Rapid Industry Development
During IPC APEX EXPO, Editor Joe Fjelstad spoke with Grace O'Malley, iNEMI's VP of technical and project operations, about the well-attended roadmap sessions and other iNEMI meetings taking place at the show. Topics covered included emerging applications and how these technologies are driving industry development across the board, and at a fast pace.
RTW IPC APEX EXPO: John Mitchell Discusses the Show's Evolution
During IPC APEX EXPO, Technology Editor Dan Feinberg spoke with John Mitchell, CEO and president of IPC, about the event’s evolution from a strictly PCB show into a miniature Consumer Electronics Show, including new ideas and prototypes. They also discussed several new IPC initiatives, including IPC Design.
IPC APEX EXPO 2020: Day 2 Review
Wednesday at IPC APEX EXPO drew a fairly steady stream of attendees to the show floor. Exhibitors we spoke with said the visitors were ready to spend some money. Almost everyone said their company was having a good quarter and experiencing slow but consistent growth year over year.
AT&S: Working With Designers on a Global Level
Barry Matties recently took a tour of AT&S’s Austrian factory, which is developing new circuit design strategies surrounding embedded and active components. Gerald Weis discusses the company’s focus on serving and educating PCB designers around the world, as well as their plans to embrace the latest technology and Industry 4.0 processes going forward.
Residual/Free TBBPA in FR-4
Sergei Levchik describes how testing has shown that FR-4 printed circuit boards do not contain free or residual tetrabromobisohenol-A (TBBPA).
CML Poised to Be ‘More Than a Manufacturer’
The I-Connect007 Editorial Team recently spoke with Chris Minard, director of business development at CML, about how CML’s business model has evolved and some of his insights about manufacturing trends around the globe right now.
Four Reasons to Choose Polycapillary Optics for XRF Coatings Analysis
As electronic components continue to shrink and increase in complexity, metal finishes on these components need to be plated onto smaller features. X-ray fluorescence (XRF) is a widely used technique for measuring coating thickness and material composition. X-ray fluorescence (XRF) is a widely used technique for measuring coating thickness and material composition because it’s non-destructive, fast and straightforward to use.
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.
CES: Sands Show Floor and ShowStoppers
Every year at CES, ShowStoppers and a similar event, Pepcom, demonstrate many new devices and technologies. Again, some will become devices we can’t live without, and some you will never hear about again. Seeing all of these new ideas is one of the highlights of attending CES. Enjoy this look at a potpourri of new, innovative high-tech products.
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.
Electra Polymers: Inkjet Soldermask is Ready, Reliable and Green
Editor Pete Starkey and Tibbals discuss Electra Polymers’ move into the inkjet soldermask market, and some of the challenges and benefits of this technology. Tibbals explains how inkjet soldermask can enable end-users to improve reliability of the final product, for instance, because this additive process allows manufacturers to control the thickness of soldermask around vias and BGAs and eliminating trapped chemistry in undercut areas.
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.
Industry Wind Vane: Future Development Through the 2019 HKPCA Show
The annual HKPCA Show, which has been renamed the 2019 International Electronics Circuit Exhibition (Shenzhen), will be held from December 4–6 at the Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center. This year’s exhibition will be jointly organized by the Hong Kong Printed Circuit Association (HKPCA) and the China Printed Circuit Association (CPCA) and will provide a more efficient business platform for all visitors. The PCB007 China Team interviewed a representative from the HKPCA about the exhibition, the industry’s current situation, and future developments.
Communication, Part 5: Internet Impedance Calculators for Modeling
Bob Chandler of CA Design and Mark Thompson of Prototron Circuits address how new engineers use internet impedance calculators for modeling (e.g., formulas versus recipes) in Part 5 of this series. Do you use impedance calculators that you found on the internet? Read on!
Meet George Milad, I-Connect007 Columnist
Meet George Milad, one of our newest I-Connect007 columnists! George’s columns will cover PCB plating, IPC specifications, and more. George is the recipient of the 2009 IPC President’s Award, chairs the IPC Plating Committee, and is a permanent member of the IPC Technical Activities Executive Committee.
Chuck Bauer: SMTAI 2019 Founder's Award Recipient
At the recent SMTAI conference and exhibition, Chuck Bauer, Ph.D., senior managing director at TechLead Corporation, received the Founder's Award, a prestigious award given to a member who has made exceptional contributions to the industry and provided ongoing support and service to the SMTA.
Communication, Part 1: How to Qualify a Board Shop
In Part 1 of this six-part series for "Fab Fridays," Mark Thompson, CID+, engineering support at Prototron, and CA Design CTO Bob Chandler discuss ways that PCB fabricators and designers can better communicate, starting with how to qualify a board shop.
Laminate Suppliers Face Increasing Demands From Customers
As a global laminate supplier with a large product offering, TUC is at the forefront of the growing customer demands that stem from a number of market segments pushing next-generation products. In an interview with Nolan Johnson, TUC North American President Alan Cochrane talks about the company’s shift toward trending areas and how strategies like the adoption of thinner glass styles have helped make it all possible.
Alun Morgan on Thermal Management and LEDs in Automotive
Guest Editor Judy Warner met with Alun Morgan, technology ambassador for Ventec International Group, to discuss topics addressed at the Automotive Executive Forum that took place at IPC APEX EXPO 2019. Morgan describes his presentation and findings centered around thermal management in automotive, specifically LEDs, as well as the unique set of growing thermal management challenges Tier 1 suppliers are now facing in the automotive sector.
RTW IPC APEX EXPO: Orbotech West on Supporting Customer Needs
Orbotech West President Sharon Cohen speaks with Kelly Dack about Orbotech West’s restructuring to better support customer needs, their customer monitoring center, and hints at the capabilities of new products coming soon.
Advance Your Company Through Automation
At the recent IPC APEX EXPO 2019, Yash Sutariya discusses with Patty Goldman the labor shortage he has experienced in the Detroit area, the impact automation can have in the manufacturing process, and other strategies to advance your company.
RTW IPC APEX EXPO 2019: MivaTek Discusses Flatbed LED Direct Imaging Systems
Brendan F. Hogan, managing director for MivaTek Global, and Chris Hrusovsky, VP of business development, give Pete Starkey their outlook on the market for flatbed LED direct imaging systems, report spectacular sales success, and describe their new introductions for large-format, dual-tray and microelectronics systems.
RTW IPC APEX EXPO 2019: Miraco Discusses Flexible Circuit Products and Offerings
Jason Michaud is the vice president of sales and marketing at Miraco Inc. In this interview, Michaud discusses with Joe Fjelstad the history of the company, and their flexible circuit products and offerings. He also talks about how they are helping customers improve their product designs.
RTW IPC APEX EXPO 2019: MacDermid Alpha Discusses Recent Company Rebranding
Senior VP Joseph D’Ambrisi of MacDermid Alpha Electronics Solutions speaks with Steve Williams about the recent rebranding of the business, and the benefits to their customers.
RTW IPC APEX EXPO 2019: Arlon Discusses Investments and Important Role of a Niche Supplier
Arlon Electronic Materials President Brad Foster sits down with Nolan Johnson to discuss capital investments the company is making in business expansions and upgrades, and the important role a niche supplier plays in the North American quick-turn electronics market.
RTW IPC APEX EXPO 2019: Ucamco Discusses Latest Evolution of PCB Software
Ucamco Managing Director Karel Tavernier speaks with Dan Feinberg about their aim of automating the CAM process as much as possible. He also discusses the recent evolution of their PCB software.
RTW IPC APEX EXPO 2019: Insulectro Sees Growth and Opportunities in Printed Electronics
Judy Warner speaks with Tim Redfern, Insulectro president, and Kevin M. Miller, VP of sales, about growth in the printed electronics market, the direction Insulectro is going, and opportunities for North American PCB suppliers. They note that the company will increase their focus and investment in the printed electronics market.
RTW IPC APEX EXPO 2019: Limata Unveils Exciting Developments in LDI
Lino Sousa, sales, Limata, explains to Pete Starkey the latest developments in Limata’s laser direct imaging technology, which eliminates the need to change the solder mask.
Gene Weiner on the IPC APEX EXPO 2019 Automotive Executive Forum
Dan Feinberg spoke with Gene Weiner, president and CEO of Weiner International Associates, about IPC's history of forums, his thoughts on the Executive Forum on Advancing Automotive Electronics at IPC APEX EXPO 2019, and how the IPC Hall of Famers and the industry can help improve forum success.
RTW IPC APEX EXPO 2019: Pluritec Partners: Information Systems, ECOSPRAY, & OCCLEPPO
Pluritec VP of Sales Lino Sousa discusses the history of Pluritec and its relationships with Information Systems and ECOSPRAY. He also announces the purchase of the assets and identity of OCCLEPPO, and describes the long-term plan for the integrated one-stop-shop.
Selective Solder Mask Deposition by Inkjet
At IPC APEX EXPO 2019, Pete Starkey spoke with Joost Valeton, product manager for PiXDRO inkjet printing equipment with Meyer Burger, about their newly configured inkjet printer for PCB applications, and bringing awareness to opportunities using selective solder mask deposition.
RTW IPC APEX EXPO 2019: LPKF on Benefits of Laser Depaneling
Laser technology marches on, and marching along with it is LPKF's new line of laser depaneling equipment. Stephan Schmidt, president, talks with I-Connect007 Guest Editor Kelly Dack about the many benefits of using lasers including cleanliness and higher yields through increased array density.
RTW IPC APEX EXPO 2019: Super PCB Discusses High-end PCB Procurement Services
Kelly Dack speaks with Jessica Zhang, program manager for Super PCB, who focuses on serving customers with a small-business-type relationship. Based in Plano, Texas, Super PCB matches customer design requirements to a myriad of supplier capabilities through time-saving, direct communication with the supplier and best pricing.
RTW IPC APEX EXPO 2019: MacDermid Alpha on Affinity for ENIG
John Swanson, director of final finishes for MacDermid Alpha Electronics Solutions, speaks with I-Connect007 Guest Editor Kelly Dack about the ENIG finish process and their new product Affinity, which smooths out the challenges of the process.
RTW IPC APEX EXPO 2019: CBT and Technica’s Relationship, Roadmap, and Equipment
Pete Starkey speaks with David J. Clark, CBT project director, and Najib Khan, photoimaging product manager at Technica, who explain the background of their companies and their current working relationship. Further, they address their technology roadmap, and the unique features of their direct imaging equipment—particularly the registration accuracy that can be achieved.
RTW IPC APEX EXPO: Rogers' Anthony Mattingly Discusses the Advanced Laminate Market
Rogers Corporation's Senior Product Manager Anthony Mattingly and Editor Pete Starkey discuss the ever-evolving market for advanced laminates for technologies such as 5G. Mattingly explains how Rogers has invested heavily in infrastructure for adding about 40% more capacity in the next few years.
RTW IPC APEX EXPO 2019: Uyemura Discusses Heavy Gold Deposition
Richard DePoto, business development manager at Uyemura, brings Pete Starkey up to speed with the success of the heavy gold deposition process they discussed last year. It has been seamlessly integrated into standard ENEPIG lines to give a choice of finishes, and how advances in electroless palladium have enabled the elimination of electroless nickel for high-speed signal integrity.
RTW IPC APEX EXPO 2019: The Circle Is Complete
Jesse Ziomek, sales specialist for North and South America at DIS Inc., speaks with I-Connect007 Technical Editor Pete Starkey on the growth of the company in the global market, and how DIS continues to make life easier for fabricators of rigid, flex, and rigid-flex multilayers by showing them the benefits of their pinless registration systems.
RTW IPC APEX EXPO 2019: LPKF Highlights Laser Processing Tech, Glass Drilling Capabilities
Guest Editor Joe Fjelstad sits down with Stephan H. Schmidt, LPKF president, who provides an overview of the company's laser processing machine and their capabilities, and highlights the new glass drilling capabilities.
RTW IPC APEX EXPO 2019: New IPC Technical Education Program Manager
Brook Sandy-Smith discusses her new role as IPC technical education program manager, which is also a brand-new IPC position. She further explains the benefits of membership, when a member should contact her, the IPC STEM Outreach Program, and upcoming events.
RTW IPC APEX EXPO 2019: Taiyo Discusses New Solder Masks and Photoimageables
Donald Monn, Midwest regional sales manager for Taiyo America, turns the tables on I-Connect007 Technical Editor Pete Starkey and quizzes him about his knowledge of Taiyo's new crack-resistant white solder mask for automotive, and the company's standard photoimageables re-formulated for laser direct imaging (LDI) that avoid the need for UL requalification.
RTW IPC APEX EXPO 2019: Ventec's Goodwin on Global Technology Directions
Mark Goodwin, Ventec International Group CEO EMEA and USA, comments on technology directions globally and in the North American market. He also explains how Ventec's quality accreditations, technical expertise, and flexible manufacturing capacity continue to strengthen their leading position.
RTW IPC APEX EXPO 2019: Atotech Discusses Developments in Metallization Chemistries
Roger Massey, technical marketing manager at Atotech, and Technical Editor Pete Starkey discuss the challenges technologists face as circuit lines and spaces get smaller and smaller, and the latest developments in metallization chemistries to help customers address these issues.
Rainer Beerhalter Discusses His AltiumLive Munich Presentation
Rainer Beerhalter is a physicist, and according to his design bureau’s website, “founder, owner, and mastermind” of B GMBH. Rainer attended the first AltiumLive in Munich in 2017, and he’s returning to this year’s event in Munich January 15–17. I asked him to tell us about the class he’ll be teaching in Munich, and why he decided to come back for the sophomore AltiumLive show.
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