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- From The Show
Elga Europe Reality and Ultra-High-Resolution Photoresist
04/24/2018 | Patty Goldman, I-Connect007
Setting the Record Straight: CEO Asher Levy on the Future of Orbotech
04/23/2018 | Barry Matties, I-Connect007
GreenSource: Good for the Industry, Good for the World
04/19/2018 | I-Connect007
The March of Disruptive Technologies
04/18/2018 | Dan Feinberg, FeinLine Associates, Inc.
Book Review: Questions That Sell
04/17/2018 | Dan Beaulieu
Behind the Scenes with IPC Technical Conference Coordinator Toya Richardson
I have known and worked with IPC Technical Conference Coordinator Toya Richardson for quite a few years, but we have never had an in-depth chat about her job at IPC. In this interview, she talks about her work at IPC, their preparations for the upcoming IPC APEX EXPO 2016, and some of the latest developments at IPC.
Specialist Coatings for Specialist Applications
Taiyo America’s Josh Goldberg agreed to spend a few minutes with I-Connect007's Pete Starkey at productronica recently, where he indeed climbed out of the box and explored the broader market for high-performance polymer coatings in the electronics industry.
productronica 2015: Ventec's Latest Developments in the UK
Ventec continue to invest in the pursuit of ultra-cleanliness in pre-preg fabrication and packaging in their UK distribution operation, and announce a range of complementary consumable materials - foils, drill boards and release films - as proven in their Ventec-Option laminating and drilling service, leveraging their purchasing power and sharing the cost benefits with their laminate customers.
For Pioneer MuTracx, the Future Looks Bright
In this interview conducted at productronica recently, I-Connect007 Tech Editor Pete Starkey and Publisher Barry Matties speak with Arnoud de Geus, Executive Board member at technology company Sioux. They discuss the success of MuTracx’s (owned by Sioux) first installation of the Lunaris machine in the Whelen factory in New Hampshire, and what this has meant towards proving it can operate in a full-time production process. Arnoud forecasts what’s next for MuTracx and what they must do in order to capitalize on the positive exposure.
For Pioneer MuTracx, the Future Looks Bright
In this interview conducted at productronica recently, I-Connect007 Tech Editor Pete Starkey and Publisher Barry Matties speak with Arnoud de Geus, Executive Board member at technology company Sioux, about the success of MuTracx’ (owned by Sioux) first installation of the Lunaris machine in the Whelen factory in New Hampshire, and what this has meant towards proving it can operate in a full-time production process. Arnoud forecasts what’s next for MuTracx and what they must do in order to capitalize on the positive exposure.
The Opportunities for Plasma Processing
Pete Starkey interviewed Andre Bodegom, managing director of Netherlands-based Adeon Technologies B.V., about their long relationship with Nordson MARCH, typical applications for plasma equipment, and what the most challenging materials are from the point of view of plasma processing in the PCB industry.
All About Flex: Embracing the Mess
Marketing in the world of printed circuits is an important discipline, but I have learned it is better to be prepared with a nimble reaction than to expect the marketing department to consistently be successful in predicting the future. The path to the goal is often achieved much more quickly by making an early decision followed by a course correction rather than waiting for all the information.
Navigating the Global Materials Supply Chain: A Roundtable Discussion
At SMTAI recently, I-Connect007's Andy Shaughnessy sat down for a roundtable discussion with some key players from the materials side of the supply chain. Participants included two executives from Ventec: Mark Goodwin, COO USA and Europe for Ventec International Group; and Jack Pattie, president of Ventec USA. Also participating in the roundtable were Schoeller Electronics CEO Michael Keuthen and Bob Willis, from the National Physics Laboratory (NPL).
HKPCA & IPC Show 2015 Kicks Off in Shenzhen China
Barry Matties talks with Daniel Chan, executive director of the HKPCA, about the organization’s expanded global outreach. They discuss what attendees can expect from this South China trade show that has become one of the biggest and most important shows in the PCB industry.
On Scene: ICT Darlington Seminar, 24 November 2015
Darlington, in the north-east of England, has become an established venue for the Institute of Circuit Technology’s annual Northern Seminar, a not-to-be-missed opportunity for the UK’s PCB technologists to keep abreast with current developments and to network and exchange ideas and experiences with their peers. Coordinated by ICT technical director Bill Wilkie, and generously supported by Merlin PCB Group, the programme consisted of papers on funded projects and project funding, and updates on chemical process technology.
productronica 2015: Gardien's Quality Management in a Global Quality Assurance Organisation
Rick Meraw, group vice president, quality, for Gardien Services, discusses with I-Connect007's Pete Starkey the responsibilities of quality management in a global quality assurance service company, ensuring consistency of standards and technology across all geographical locations, cross-pollination of knowledge and skills, and making best use of data for real-time feedback and process improvement.
Data Analytics through Statistical Techniques
Many companies get caught in data traps. They focus so heavily on cost and survival that they end up using data as merely a marketing and sales tool. In doing so, they fail to realize the true power of data: It can transform every aspect of a business.
productronica 2015: Taiyo's Exciting Inkjet Solder Mask Options are on the Horizon
Donald Monn, European Sales Manager, Taiyo America, discusses with I-Connect007's Pete Starkey about the latest developments in ink-jetting solder masks.
productronica 2015: Electra's LDI Soldermasks for LED and Future Ink-jet Developments
Ashley Steers of Electra Polymers Ltd discusses with I-Connect007's Pete Starkey about the continuing developments in LDI soldermasks, and how the challenges associated with highly reflective white soldermasks for LED applications are progressively being overcome.
productronica 2015: MATU\AWP: Understanding Market Needs for Process Efficiency
The engineers in MATU/AWP represent hundreds of years of industry experience in developing the right machines for the right applications for the right customers! Design technology of the highest calibre - an in-depth understanding of achieving process efficiency, process economy and environmental friendliness in wet-processing and closed-loop copper recycling equipment.
productronica 2015: MicroCraft's EMMA Probe-tester Automated
Jesse Ziomek, sales manager at Microcraft, discusses with I-Connect007's Pete Starkey their automated version of the EMMA probe-tester, which is capable of lights-out operation on multiple designs and panel sizes, at 6000 test-points per minute.
HKPCA Executive Director Daniel Chan on the Upcoming Show and More
Daniel Chan discusses the latest developments to expect at this year's HKPCA and IPC show, and the new features that the show will offer delegates and attendees. He also speaks about the trends to expect in the PCB manufacturing industry, and the major drivers of innovation.
All About Flex: Flexible PCB: What’s in a Name?
Flexible PCB is a common term that is synonymous with flexible circuits. While the term “PCB” is generally used to describe rigid printed circuitry, “flexible PCB” is a little contradictory because “boards” aren’t really flexible. Some companies, like All Flex, design and manufactures flexible PCBs, but not rigid PCBs.
productronica 2015: Rogers Scales Up Production and Integrates Arlon's Product Range
John Hendricks gives a perspective on the European market for special-purpose laminates, and comments upon Rogers’ acquisition of Arlon and the integration of their complementary product range into the Rogers portfolio.
productronica 2015: Schmid's InfinityLine Opens New Era in Etching Machine Technology
Schmid has combined the best attributes of their long-established CombiLine and PremiumLine in the development of their new InfinityLine family of modular etching machines, which offer an attractive cost structure without compromising performance, quality or durability.
productronica 2015: Ucamco's Integr8tor Incorporates Polar Stack-up Functionality
Big extensions to the capabilities of the Integr8tor client-server work-flow system, way beyond the established CAM functions, now include full product definition covering all production stages of PCB manufacture, including flex and flex-rigid technologies. Integr8tor now incorporates all of the functionality of Polar Instruments’ stack-up design package, instantly accessible.
Flex Talk: Thoughts on the IPC Flexible Circuits–HDI Forum
As an attendee at the IPC Flexible Circuits–HDI Conference held October 28–30, I found myself in a room full of people, all eager for technical information, with the opportunity to reconnect with industry friends and to make new connections. The audience was diverse with young people, new to our industry, sitting alongside industry veterans willingly sharing their knowledge and passion for HDI design and flexible circuit technology.
productronica 2015: Orbotech's Nuvogo 1000 Brings High Speed to Solder Mask LDI
28 watts of laser power enables the Nuvogo 1000 dual wavelength direct imaging system to achieve production throughput for solder mask up to 40 double-sided panels per hour, while retaining the versatility to image inner layer and outer layer features as fine as 24 microns.
Catching Up with Circuit Connect
When I met with Circuit Connect President Bob Lazzara and Director of Operations Paul LaLiberte, I was first struck by the passion they both have for their customers, as well as for their customers’ businesses, using the innovation they have today, as well as what they can develop together with their customers. They don’t just invite, but urge their customers to come and visit them in their very well-equipped facility in Nashua, N.H.
Walt Custer's 2016 Business Outlook
What’s going to be the next boom in the electronics industry? Is it self-driving cars, the Internet of Things, drones, or something else that’s still completely off the radar? At productronica, the I-Connect007 team caught up with Walt Custer of Custer Consulting Group, who offered his forecast for 2016.
All About Flex: Flexible PCB: What’s in a Name?
Flexible PCB is a common term that is synonymous with flexible circuits. While the term “PCB” is generally used to describe rigid printed circuitry, “flexible PCB” is a little contradictory because “boards” aren’t really flexible. Some companies, like All Flex, design and manufactures flexible PCBs, but not rigid PCBs. There are many similarities between the two, but also significant differences.
productronica 2015: atg Shows Off the Latest in Automated Inspection Equipment
Peter Brandt, sales manager with atg Luther & Maelzer, tells I-Connect007’s Pete Starkey all about their automated inspection equipment that is well-suited for both small and large batch operaions. Watch this video from the floor of productronica to see the equipment in action while Brandt discusses the embedded technology market that is taking off.
Designs on Flex: Underwriters Laboratory and Flexible Printed Circuits
Underwriters Laboratory is a worldwide safety consulting and certification company headquartered in Northbrook, Illinois. UL certifies, validates, tests, inspects, audits, and advises on safety of electrical and electronic products.
Mr. Laminate Tells All: Where in the Holy Halogens did 900, 900, 1500 Come From?
The 900, 900, 1500 is not a combination to an enormous safe that contains the remains of Jimmy Hoffa, nor is it the weight of three elephants at the San Diego Zoo in kilograms. The 900, 900, 1500 is the maximum parts per million (ppm) of bromine and chlorine and the total bromine and chlorine in a material that can be defined as “halogen-free” in the electronics industry today. But where did these requirements come from? Clearly, 900 ppm of bromine or chlorine is obviously not halogen-free. Some would argue that it is not even low-halogen at all.
Catching up with PNC
PNC, in Nutley, New Jersey, is a truly unique company. Started in 1968, and then taken over by Sam Sangani in 1996, it has evolved into one of the premier PCB companies on the East Coast, if not the country. Over the years, the company has grown to the point where it now offers circuit design, layout, fabrication and assembly to its customers, making it one of the few total concept under one roof companies in North America.
Plant Culture: a Direct Contributor to Quality, Output and Predictable Manufacturing
The culture of any organization influences the net output of any product or service it produces. That being said, the manufacturing of products brings complexity with an order of magnitude that can affect the net output at any given point along the build cycle, starting with the sub-component supply chain to final pack.
Whelen & IPS: A Strategic Partnership—A Winning Combination
Of the 39 suppliers Whelen chose to use, none were as integral to the automation and overall design and layout of the line as IPS, with its team led by President Mike Brask.
Catching up with Cosmotronic’s Gary Abel
Cosmotronic’s history spans a number of decades, from the hot-as-hell boom days of the '60s and early '70s when Southern California was leading the world in electronics, from weaponry to avionics to apace exploration. Today, as innovation has become more focused on personal electronics, Cosmotronic has been there, leading the way and serving a customer base that is uniquely similar to the one they had back in the day.
Recruiting for Growth - An Interview with Jack Pattie, President & CEO of Ventec USA
Ventec USA is growing its successful US team, whilst others seem to be suffering from closures, stock downgrades and market challenges. I caught up with Ventec USA President Jack Pattie to find out why they are busy bucking trends.
American Standard Circuits Taking Business to New Heights
PCB007 Managing Editor Patty Goldman sat down with American Standard Circuits President Anaya Vardya at the recent SMTAI show and conference in Rosemont, IL. Anaya wanted to share all the great new things going on at his company. Among the topics they discussed: new equipment, new processes, new people, and what it all means for ASC’s growth.
Breaking the Bottleneck: Electrical Test Cycle Time Reduction
From the conception of the design and issuance of the procurement document, dozens of processes must take place before the PCB is shipped for assembly. This article looks at reducing the cycle time in electrical test of PCBs, and highlight strategies to do so.
Cycle Time Reduction in a Flexible Circuit Facility
Managing product flow and cycle time across a wide range of product constructions and volumes in a high-mix flexible circuit fabrication facility can be extremely challenging. What seems to work best is a tailored hybrid system, with concepts adopted from classic just in time manufacturing (JIT), theory of constraints (TOC) and quick response manufacturing (QRM).
All About Flex: Plated Through-holes in Flexible Circuits
There is probably no more important feature than the plated through-hole (also called via or via hole) with regard to the reliability and integrity of a flexible circuit. The through-hole provides electrical connection between insulated layers and enables electrical functionality on double-sided and multilayer flexible circuits.
The Economics of Reducing Cycle Time in PCB Fabrication
As circuit board fabricators are constantly pressured for cost reductions, speed is definitely one thing worth paying for in 2015. This article highlights examples of industry practices that successful fabricators in the quick-turn market embrace that can help those companies who want to reduce cycle times in their operations.
The PCB Marathon
Printed circuit board shops have been driven to build new business strategies that overcome the paradigm of trade-offs, in which customers had to choose between one characteristic or another, into a new way of doing business in which an equilibrium is found that meets customer needs.
Book Recommendation: A Team of Leaders
Many changes have occurred in the workplace in the past 25 years. Great efforts have been made to increase productivity. Companies have been hit with so many financial challenges that their people have been stretched to the limit when it comes to being able to take a breath, coordinate with their follow workers and come together as a team, with common goals.
Flex Circuit Shielding Design Options
Shielding may not be your company’s number one design concern when thinking about your interconnect designs. But if you have to shield circuits for EMI, then you will need to depend on your supplier to assist you with their favorite shielding technique and experience.
Practical Application of Lean Six Sigma to Drive Cycle Time Reduction, Part 1
One of the most systematic and successful approaches to the challenge of cycle time reduction can be found in the principles and tools of lean six-sigma methodology. The success of this strategy requires commitment; it is not a quick fix, nor will it be effective if it is only used as an occasional housecleaning activity.
Interim CEO Jeff McCreary Discusses Recent Changes at Isola
Isola’s Interim President and CEO Jeff McCreary explains to Barry Matties the impetus for the personnel reduction taking place at Isola, the closing of their northern California facility, and why there’s no need to panic. He also shares his view of what the industry may expect from Isola going forward and what the company is looking for in a new CEO, the name of which McCreary expects to announce in the next few months.
Book Recommendation: Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins
Stories sell. Stories are what get your point across. They are the very best way to communicate with your customers, with your employees and just about everyone else you want to communicate with.
Mutracx: First Install Achieves CAM to Etch in 5 Minutes
Mutracx Sales and Marketing Director Peter Coakley discusses with I-Connect007's Barry Matties how the new Lunaris machine installed at Whelen Engineering works and explains how it can save time and money on the shop floor.
Catching up with Nujay Technologies: A Conversation with Urvi and Nesh Dholakia
I have been following value added vendor Nujay Technologies for a number of years now because I like their story and their positive and helpful attitude. Their mission, if you will, is to provide their customers with whatever they need. They are also willing to talk to their customers and prospective customers to find out what their biggest challenges are when it comes to finding and purchasing PCBs. Thus, they embody the classic definition of a business, which is to find a need and fill it.
Testing Flexible Circuits, Part 3: The Completed Flex Circuit
Most flex houses perform a variety of tests on completed flexible circuits. The type, frequency, and complexity of these tests vary with customer and application. Test requirements are generally defined by the customer, but input is often solicited from the supplier during the quote process.
Whelen Engineering Reduces Cycle Time by Building a New Automated PCB Factory
With the Chinese stock market in turmoil and China’s wage scales still rising, one might think this would fuel new hope for U.S. PCB manufacturers trying to gain traction in a marketplace that’s been dominated by their Asian counterparts for the better part of two decades. But despite chatter about reshoring of late, the general consensus in the industry doesn’t seem overly optimistic that substantial change will occur.
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.
Book Recommendation: Make it Matter
Look, it’s pretty straightforward isn’t it? People work harder and are much more passionate when they know that what they are doing has a purpose and a meaning and what they are doing is important.
The Application of Advanced Ultrasonics in Metal Plating Processes
Most surface modification chemical treatments by their very nature contain hazardous and oxidising chemicals; there is a major concern that these chemicals are used maliciously with the intent to manufacture explosives or formulate poisons to harm the public. Cyanide-based plating solutions and high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide used in current techniques are a significant use of these materials in industry.
This month in The PCB Magazine we are paying attention to cycle time and the many ways to reduce it in your process—whatever you consider your process to be. Beginning with the story of Whelen’s new fully automated facility in New Hampshire and continuing through discussions on Lean Six Sigma, Kanban, Value Stream Mapping and other cycle time reduction strategies, our contributors have it covered.
Stepping Up To Laser Processing for Flex, Part 1: Opportunities and Implications
Market demand for smaller, faster, wearable, lighter and more powerful devices continues to keep PCB manufacturers scrambling to keep up as they evolve and adapt their manufacturing capabilities to meet changing customer needs. But keeping up with the dizzying pace of change in the world of PCB manufacturing need not be a daunting task.
New Leadership at MuTracx
I-Connect007's Barry Matties speaks with Arnoud De Geus, managing director of the Sioux Group, who discusses the recent integration of MuTracx into the Sioux Group, and how Whelen Engineering, who has installed the MuTracx Lunaris primary imaging equipment and happens to be the United States’ first captive PCB manufacturing facility in many years, will impact U.S. manufacturing.
Book Recommendation: No Sweat
People don’t do things they don’t want to do, especially in our industry, and they sure as shooting don’t do things they hate doing. Instead, they do things they like to do, and that is what this book is all about. This book is about fitness. It’s a book about staying motivated to stay fit.
Semico Impact Conference 2015: The Coming of Age of Hardware Technologies
For most of us who are deeply involved in the electronics hardware market, we are used to talking about new products and technologies, the future of things to come, and probably most importantly, the challenges or issues that we, as an industry, are facing.
Book Recommendation: The Hidden Leader
The true leader is one who is customer purposed, not just customer service but purpose which means a much deeper understanding of the customers. Wanting to learn everything possible about a customers in order to serve them better than they have ever been served before. A true leader makes it her purpose to develop her company’s products and services in such a way that they will make her customers successful and hence unable to live without them.
Computer on Wheels
You could say that today's automobile is a "computer on wheels," but from a point of accuracy it would be more like 35 computers on wheels. With printed circuit boards being the backbone of our electronic products, this is major market segment for our industry. In this article, Steve Williams writes about the evolution of automotive electronics, and the future of the industry.
Testing Flexible Circuits, Part 2: Raw Materials and Components
Even though the raw materials may individually meet certain specifications, it is important to determine if the final product configuration meets those specs. So testing done at the finished circuit level is also needed. Tests specific to the finished circuit will be the topic of our next column on testing.
Book Recommendation: Learning to Succeed
It’s time we took learning seriously. For many years things in business were static enough or at least much more static that they are today so that you could go to college, get your MBA and then be set for life.
Carmakers Now Embracing Plasma Treatment
The growing complexity of automotive electronics is leading more carmakers to consider using plasma treatment to ensure greater reliability. Nordson MARCH's Jonathan Doan shares the benefits of the process along with some new information regarding the MES3 requirement with I-Connect007 publisher Barry Matties.
Becoming an Automotive Supplier—Proceed with Caution
Possibly further fueling a growing desire in our industry towards participating in the automotive electronics sector have been further technology advancements in automobiles, as well as a tear in Tesla's stock price and headlines. But before you make that plunge to becoming an automotive supplier, we need to talk about liabilities.
The Reindustrialisation of Europe
With an inquisitive mind and a head for challenges, besides the ability to think outside the box and the courage to dare to be different and strive to be first, Spirit Circuits MD Steve Driver can be relied upon to grab the attention of an audience of PCB professionals. As keynote speaker at the Institute of Circuit Technology Hayling Island Seminar, he lived up to his reputation with a motivational presentation, the two themes of which exemplified his latest entrepreneurial venture.
Final Surface Finishes for Automotive: No One-Size-Fits-All Solution
Regardless of whether your application is automotive, medical or military, there are many factors to consider when selecting a final surface finish. Cost, lead or lead-free requirements, end environment, shelf life, fine-pitch components, RF applications, probe-ability, thermal resistance and shock and drop resistance, to name a few. There is not a one-size-fits-all finish. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each surface finish allows the designer to select the finish that best fits each particular application.
How to Handle Short Development Cycles
By focusing on developing relationships, delegation and avoidance of mistakes, you can make your next project a success and improve the current one. Be open-minded and analyze your situation without bias. Simple changes that are implemented as culture will ensure your success in the environment we operate in today.
It's Only Common Sense: Leaders Instill Greatness in Their People
It’s very simple. As a leader, it is your job to do everything you can to encourage your people to greatness. And a company filled with great people is a great company, every time.
Testing Flexible Circuits, Part I: Requirements and Procedures
In this first of a three-part series regarding tests for flexible circuits, I will examine overall requirements and procedures; the second installment will focus on raw materials, and the third and final part will focus on testing for bare flexible circuit and circuit assemblies.
Automotive Technology: The Next Driving Force in Electronic Manufacturing
The devices we have come to expect in luxury and high-end vehicles are now becoming available and even common in lower priced ones. While that significantly increases automotive electronic device manufacture volume, the next wave, will dwarf what we have experienced to date. Soon, we will be considering the self-driving, fully connected and self-learning vehicle that is part of a network that teaches and learns from its peers.
The automotive electronics segment has exploded. Early cars didn’t have much in the way of electronics. Even in 1950, electronics made up only 1% of a car’s cost. But that figure is expected to hit 35% in 2020, and 50% in 2030--and that means a whole lot of PCBs. This issue of The PCB Design Magazine features the impact of increasing electronics content in cars on the PCB design and manufacturing industry.
Big Strategies for Success
I-Connect007’s Barry Matties speaks with Pratish Patel of Electronic Interconnect about the new strategies and capabilities the company is building. The conversation also covers Electronic Interconnect’s move into the automotive industry and how strategies for buyers could help to lower cost and improve quality.
HDI Technology - Flex Circuits
The flex circuit industry in North America is moving rather quickly. The packaging densities are moving to smaller and the electrical requirements much faster. In order to keep pace with the industry requirements of HDI, North American flex vendors need to invest in equipment, resources and R&D.
Detroit vs. Silicon Valley: What’s Driving the Proliferation of Automotive Electronics?
For the past several decades, modern cars have not changed much. They have four wheels, an engine, a radio (possibly even an 8-track) and seatbelts. Over time, however, cars’ electronics parts have evolved faster than any other part of a car with enhancements like power windows, power mirrors, seat heaters and GPS navigation.
Cars, Cars, Cars!
The September 2015 issue of The PCB Magazine focuses on automotive electronics, and includes discussions on the automotive electronics market today, where it's heading tomorrow, and what it all means to companies wanting to participate; latest innovations in automotive electronics technologies; and what to expect in our car of the future.
Catching Up to Yesterday
Recently, KPMG, an international consultancy that operates as a network of member firms offering audit, tax and advisory services, came out with their 6th annual survey of manufacturing executives focusing on global manufacturing trends.
Press Release Tips
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