Article Highlights
The Sales Survival Handbook: Cold Calls, Commissions, and Caffeine Addiction—The Real Truth About Life in Sales
07/19/2017 | Dan Beaulieu
Review of the 2017 IPC Reliability Forum
07/18/2017 | Steve Williams
The Skills Gap – Meet People Where They Are!
07/14/2017 | Julie Desisto, IPC
Patty's Perspective: What Happens in Washington Doesn’t Stay in Washington—It Reaches All of Us
07/11/2017 | Patty Goldman, I-Connect007
Mr. Laminate Tells All: PTFE is About to be Banned by IEC TC111
07/10/2017 | Doug Sober, Essex Technologies Group, with Stephen Tisdale, Tisdale Environmental Consulting LLC

Latest Articles

Reliability Testing and Statistics

Current industry views on reliability consist of customer requirements and results based on a variety of reliability testing procedures. However, there is still no consensus within the industry as to what each of the reliability test protocols prove and when each test protocol has to be used.

ESI’s New Gemstone Changing the Rules for Laser

I-Connect007 Publisher Barry Matties sat down at CPCA 2015 with ESI’s Mike Jennings, who explained the company’s newest addition: Gemstone, an ESI-designed and manufactured laser system, with 10,000 guaranteed hours, which is poised to change the rules in flex and other printed circuit processing. Jennings also discusses ESI’s new relationship with WKK, and an increased presence in China.

The Continuing Success Story of Lino's Mission

Lino's mission is following the plan. It's all about serving the customer and doing the best we can, Still having fun after 30 years in the industry.

Global Machine and Management and First EIE Strike Important Relationship

I-Connect007 Publisher Barry Matties sat down with Carl Spitko, senior technical advisor at Global Machine and Maintenance, and Jean Paul Birraux, marketing and sales manager at First EIE, for a frank discussion about the working relationship the two companies have forged, the value it brings to their global customers, and what challenges North American fabricators are faced with.

Matrix Product Lines: Laminates and Drills

Fred reviews the Panasonic line of laminates, including high speed and flex materials. Hans discusses Jinzhou's new drill design for high aspect ratio drilling, as well as the opening of several high-tech re-pointing centers in North America.

Automation in Probe Testing Provides Throughput Benefits

The general migration from grid to prober for bare board testing continues, and even high-volume users now see the benefits of automation. Klaus Koziol explains how package testing is driving prober development.

Manz: A Total Process Solution

At the recent CPCA Show in China, I-Connect007 Publisher Barry Matties had a chance to speak with Alex Liu, the deputy general manager of the PCB business unit for Manz. Manz has focused on creating a process from direct imaging to wet processing. With more entrants into the direct imaging arena, Liu feels that this approach gives Manz and their customers an advantage.

HASLEN: A New High-Reliability Surface Finish for PCBs

The new surface finish HASLEN is a process that combines electroless nickel coating of PCBs with hot air solder levelling, very common processes used by most PCB manufacturers in the world. Solder levelling of electroless nickel is very difficult as very few solder fluxes are capable of removing the oxide layer from electroless nickel. This has been enabled by solder fluxes based on the novel liquids’ deep eutectic solvents.

Isola Launches Low-loss Laminate for 100 GB Ethernet Apps

I-Connect007 Technical Editor Pete Starkey and Isola’s Fred Hickman, senior director of high-speed digital products, spent time at IPC APEX EXPO 2015 talking about Isola’s recent launch of a low-loss, low-skew laminate prepreg. Hickman explains that the new material, Chronon, will be one of the enablers of 100GB Ethernet applications.

Realignment of N.A. Operations Meets Special Industry Needs

Warren Kenzie first joined MacDermid Technical Operations in 1994, and he now has overall responsibility for technology in North America.


Multek CTO Excited About the Challenges of the Fast-Moving Wearables Market

I-Connect007 Publisher Barry Matties and recently-appointed Multek CTO Dr. Joan Vrtis sat down at IPC APEX EXPO to discuss the rapidly evolving wearables market, especially for medical, and the myriad questions that must be addressed. Other topics include Multek’s contribution to the wearables industry and what it sees as the main challenges to putting their circuits into various applications.

Upping the U.S. Service Level of Chinese Manufacturing

Eddie Tang of Glory Faith and Yash Sutariya, president of Alpha Circuit discuss the unique business relationship between their companies. Alpha provides consulting and technical service in North America for GF, including rework and emergency manufacturing capability in its North American plants.

Report: Big Changes at Eltek

Deputy CEO Roberto Tulman talks about the recent purchase of Eltek by Nistec, a large electronic manufacturing services provider in Israel. Nistec can now offer complete turnkey capability, from design through finished product.

Raising a Unified Voice for an Advanced Manufacturing Economy

The electronics manufacturing industry is an important sector in the global economy, and John Hasselmann, VP of Government Relations at IPC, is an advocate for policies that will help our industry as well as the prosperity and welfare of billions of people.

Catching Up with Standard Printed Circuits’ Bob Bormann

Standard Printed Circuits is located in the tiny town of Sherburne in Upstate New York which is equidistant from the cities of Syracuse, Utica and Binghamton where they do a lot of business.

Steve Williams Discusses His New Company

Industry veteran Steve Williams shares about his new consulting company and what he can do for his clients, from specs and qualifications to training and teaching and how to successfully sell to CMs.

No Substitute for Experience: Dan Beaulieu on EXPO, the Industry and I-Connect007

Industry veteran and consultant Dan Beaulieu, owner of DB Management, and I-Connect007 Publisher Barry Matties, sat down at IPC APEX EXPO to reminisce on Beaulieu’s more than four decades in the business, the trend toward a more marketing savvy industry and how strategic consulting often plays out for companies in this industry.

Are There Advantages to Changing Your Registration System?

I-Connect007 Publisher Barry Matties recently had a conversation with DIS's Tony Faraci at IPC APEX EXPO 2015, to learn more about their pinless registration system. What was most interesting to Barry are the potential advantages a pinless system offers and if so, why the process has not been widely adopted.

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.

So Many Types of Test and Product Services, So Little Time

Guest Editor Dick Crowe talks with Rick Meraw, VP of Quality at Gardien Services about their testing services.


Reliability and Harmonization of Global Standards at Forefront of EIPC Efforts

At IPC APEX EXPO 2015, I-Connect007 Technical Editor Pete Starkey caught up with EIPC's Michael Weinhold and Alun Morgan, who were happy to discuss both recent and ongoing focuses for EIPC, namely, reliability. Also touched on was the importance of the alignment of global standardization processes, especially for Asia.​

3D Printed Electronics: When & How?

Josh Goldberg, marketing specialist with Taiyo America, looks beyond fusion deposition modelling and considers what might be achievable in 3D printed circuit fabrication using UV curable materials and metallic powder laser sintering.

Schmoll Keeping an Eye on the Future--and on LDI

In this interview, Thomas Kunz, who has been at the helm of Schmoll Maschinen as president since 1993, discusses the company’s lengthy history in mechanical engineering (more than 70 years!), current global scope, and what he sees as a steady progression in directions that make the most sense to customers, which includes laser direct imaging.​

Bob Neves Receives Award, Talks Bergman Tribute

I-Connect007 Publisher Barry Matties sat down with Bob Neves, one of the first recipients of the Dieter Bergman Fellowship award, to talk about the tribute held for Dieter on Wednesday night of IPC APEX EXPO 2015, and some of the reasons behind the newly created award.

Help with Hard-to-Find Board Materials

Material lead-times of up to 40 days for specific PTFE laminates can present real problems when prototyping microwave boards to meet NPI deadlines. James Hofer explains how Accurate Circuit Engineering work closely with their customers to select alternative materials with comparable dielectric characteristics to recover project timelines.

RF Microwave Boards: What's Driving the Technology?

Dan Beaulieu speaks with John Bushie from American Standard Circuits at IPC APEX EXPO. They discuss RF microwave boards, which are being driven by the need for better impedance control.

Ingredients for Success at All Flex

Dave Becker from All Flex talks with guest editor Kelly Dack about the five Keys for success in PCB manufacturing, It’s not just the technology! You have to spend time on corporate culture. The five key ingredients are…

Bob Neves Receives Award, Talks Bergman Tribute

Barry Matties sat down with Bob Neves, one of the first recipients of the Dieter Bergman IPC Fellowship award, to talk about the tribute held for Dieter on Wednesday night of IPC APEX EXPO 2015, and some of the reasons behind the newly created award.

How 3D Printing Will Impact PCB Fabrication

In the near future, we will enter an era where electronic devices are printed, rather than assembled. They will be fabricated layer-by-layer as a single object, rather than assembled from separate mechanical, electrical, and optical parts. This article finds out the implications 3D printing will have on PCB manufacturing.

2015 EIPC Winter Conference, Munich: Day 1 Review

Ninety delegates, eleven countries represented and a thought-provoking two-day programme on themes of reliability in PCB fabrication and assembly, copper cleaning and advanced material solutions, advanced imaging and soldermask, and how to make PCBs smart and ready for Industry 4.0. Add the further attractions of a keynote by Walt Custer and the chance to visit a military aircraft assembly plant: the formula for another highly successful EIPC Conference, this time close to Munich Airport.


It's Only Common Sense: Looking Good!

You should be constantly thinking how your company presents itself to the outside world: what it looks like when you walk through it, what it sounds like when customers call in. Does your company appear to be a well-run lucrative company or does it look like a company on its last legs, ready to go out of business?

OSP and Selective Electroless Nickel for Mixed-Metal Finish PWBs and BGA Substrates

The documentation relating to the requirements for alternative surface finishes have been well publicized at many industry forums. Pressure to eliminate lead in electronics assemblies is forcing fabricators and OEMs to reevaluate their surface finish and joint attachment procedures.

A Conversation with Andy Michniewicz

Gul Technologies (Gultech) is not your traditional offshore supplier. It is a true industry leader when it comes to technology. A few months ago, I sat down to talk with Mayne-McKenney’s Andy Michniewicz. His company represents Gultech here in North America and they were just starting a project to expand Gultech’s market reach on this side of the globe. I found that interview interesting enough that I wanted to follow up and see how things were going now that a few months have passed.

Optomec Partners with Ceradrop MGI Group

“Ceradrop has both leading-edge technology and global expertise in printed electronics and smart 3D printing, which make it an ideal partner for Optomec,” said Mike Kardos, Director of International Sales at Optomec. “We are looking forward to working with Ceradrop to expand our European marketing network for Aerosol Jet.”

MacDermid's Cullen Reflects on 20 Years in China

Recently, while in Shenzhen, China, Barry Matties had the chance to catch up with Don Cullen, the global marketing director at MacDermid Electronics Solutions. They sat down to discuss the many changes he's seen in China since his first visit there nearly 20 years ago, and the country's future.

A Cautionary Tale: Counterfeit Materials

John Ling of EIPC writes, "Risk from counterfeits wears many hats. There is reputational risk, which can be damaging; there is inherent safety risk, which could be fatal; and there is financial risk to the OEM, the PCB manufacturer, and the PCB broker. One way of minimising risk is by dealing direct."

Ventec USA Expands Sales Force

Ventec USA, a member of the Ventec International Group, leading manufacturer of high quality, high performance copper clad laminates and prepregs, is delighted to announce the appointment of two sales professionals to further augment its presence in the North American market.

DSG Invests in the Future

Mauro Dallora, COO of Dongguan Somacis Graphic PCB Co. Ltd (DSG) shares how they have increased revenue and share their plans to double it.

Polar Takes on China's Test Equipment Counterfeiters

Recently, while in China, Barry Matties spoke with Jonson Jiang, country manager of Polar Instruments. They discussed the company's latest impedance test equipment offerings and the challenges Polar faces in China, including companies that create counterfeits of their testing equipment. Can legitimate companies rely on China's government to fight counterfeiting?

Prototron Circuits to Exhibit at SMTA Rocky Mountain Expo

Dave Ryder, President of Prototron Circuits of Redmond Washington and Tucson Arizona announced recently that his company will be exhibiting at this year’s SMTA Rocky Mountain Expo and Technical Conference 2015 to be held on Wednesday, January 28th at the Champions Club &Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium in Denver Colorado.


Ventec Europe Continues Investment in FOD Elimination

In July, Technical Editor Pete Starkey checked out recent developments at Ventec Europe’s UK Distribution Centre. It was clear that continuing investment was being committed to the establishment and maintenance of meticulous cleanliness in the pre-preg handling areas. Pete recently followed up with Ventec's Mark Goodwin, who provides a company update.

Hybrid Material Technology Update

Hybrid technology (the mixing of dissimilar materials in a multilayer package) has been around for quite some time. These materials are typically PTFE-based for superior electrical performance. But these materials do not have the required mechanical attributes (flexural strength) to allow for proper assembly. Alan Cochrane of Multilayer, Irving, Texas, addresses hybrid materials in this white paper.

CES 2015: Robots and Dash Cams and Drones

An entire day at CES was spent seeing firsthand how some things that we considered toys just a year or two ago have become serious devices. Nn fact, they're far more powerful devices, and in some cases, perhaps the beginning of what was considered in the '50s and '60s to be Jetsons-era technology.

CES Show Day One: IoT and 3D Printing Circuit Boards

Dan Feinberg gives his insights and observations on the show floor during the first day of CES 2015. From the Internet of Health and Fitness, to 3D printing of things such as musical instruments and truly printed circuits, Dan gives his take on some of the latest consumer electronics developments on display.

CES 2015: Preview and Predictions

Looking back over the last five years of CES and analyzing predictions and items featured by the large exhibitors, you'd likely assume the 2015 show would feature more advanced 3D TVs, as they were predicted to take over the market...wrong!

CES 2015: Preview and Predictions

Looking back over the last five years of CES and analyzing predictions and items featured by the large exhibitors, you'd likely assume the 2015 show would feature more advanced 3D TVs, as they were predicted to take over the market...wrong!

Top 10 Most-read PCB New Product Stories of 2014

The past year brought a wide variety of new products and technologies to our readers around the world. As part of our annual industry review, the editors at I-Connect007 have pulled together a list of the top 10 new products from the pages of PCB007.

PCBs for Medical Applications: A Designer's Perspective

This article from Kenneth MacCallum of Starfish Medical provides an overview of the medical device design process, the role of PCBs in that process and in modern medical devices, and includes design considerations and tips for incorporating PCBs into medical devices.

Japan PWB Market: 2015

The downturn in business for the Japanese PWB industry can be blamed on a domino effect. The rigid circuit board segment relied heavily on business from domestic electronics companies such as Panasonic, Sony, and Sharp. Unfortunately, these electronics giants continue to lose market share and the downturn in business directly impacts the PWB industry.

Japan PWB Market: 2015

The downturn in business for the Japanese PWB industry can be blamed on a domino effect. The rigid circuit board segment relied heavily on business from domestic electronics companies such as Panasonic, Sony, and Sharp. Unfortunately, these electronics giants continue to lose market share and the downturn in business directly impacts the PWB industry.


Noble Metal PCB Manufacturing for Direct Implants

The market for active implantable devices requires new strategies in designing and manufacturing the relevant components. The request for continuously smaller devices to achieve improved patient comfort with even higher functionalities also requires further miniaturization on PCBs.

2015 Outlook for the PCB Industry: A Global Perspective

The total value of global electronics production (excluding components) in 2013 was estimated at $1.5 trillion and the value of worldwide PCB production at $58 billion. In 2013 Asia (including Japan) accounted for 58% of worldwide electronics production, while Japan accounted for less than 5%, Europe (EU28) accounted for 15% and North America (U.S. and Canada) for 16.5%.

DSG Invests in ALTIX's New LED Exposure Machine

Giovanni Tridenti, president and CEO of DSG, and Sylvain Dromaint, sales and marketing director at ALTIX, join Guest Editor Bob Neves to discuss the partnership between their companies in the LED exposure machine market.

WKK Partners With ESI to Bring Top Tech to China

Hamed El Abd, WKK president, and Mike Jennings, director of marketing with ESI, join Barry Matties to discuss a partnership in which WKK will represent ESI's laser-based manufacturing equipment in Asia. El Abd says the partnership comes at the perfect time, as more and more customers are asking about implementing laser technology.

DSG, atg L&M Partner to Expand Technology in China

Giovanni Tridenti, CEO of DSG, and Sven Fleischer, vice president of sales, Greater China, atg Luther & Maelzer, join Guest Editor Bob Neves to discuss how the two companies expanded technology in the region. A large part of their success is due to the installation of a new automated test system that is the first of its kind in China.

Wearable Electronics Driving the Need for a New Level of Systems-in-Package Performance

The functionalities required by the evolution of electronics no longer necessarily scale according to Moore's Law. This suggests that miniaturization itself is no longer the sole vector, but that a complementary approach is emerging which combines functionality and form factor in a relationship which is becoming known as "More than Moore."

Wearable Electronics: The Shape-shifting Future of Medical Devices

Imagine this scenario: You check in at the doctor's office. The receptionist hands you a small, self-adhesive patch that you wear on your skin and it instantly transmits all your vital healthcare data directly to the doctor--before you even get to the exam room. After a brief chat with the doctor, you're sent on your way with a clean bill of health--all accomplished during your lunch break. This is the future potential of flexible electronics in wearable medical devices.

Three Industry Giants From WKK Gather Around for Discussion

During the recent HKPCA show we sat down with Hamed El-Abd, Lionel Fullwood, and Gene Weiner. Our discussion covered an array of topics, from politics to new PCB factories and what it takes to stay competitive in today's market.

European Industry Leaders Discuss China Partnership

Rex Rozario, executive chairman of Graphic PLC, and Giovanni Tridenti, CEO of SOMACIS SpA, join guest editor Bob Neves to discuss the success of Dongguan SOMACIS Graphic PCB Co. Ltd. (DSG) in southern China. After nearly 10 years of cooperation and following the market, efficiency is still a priority and the company recently invested $10 million on new equipment, including LED direct imaging, AOI, drills, electrical test, and more.

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.


A Conversation with Gaby Waisman, Orbotech, Ltd.

During the recent HKPCA and IPC Show, held in Shenzhen, China, I sat down with Gabby Waisman, President, Orbotech Pacific. We discussed the exciting electronics market in Asia, the market for Laser Direct Imaging (LDI), AOI and AOR among other things.

A Conversation with Canice Chung, TTM Technologies

We had the opportunity to sit down with Canice Chung, Executive Vice President of TTM Technologies, Inc. to discuss the current trends and challenges of PCB Manufacturing in China.

The Challenges of Labeling for OSHA's Revised Hazard Communication Standard

Ongoing regulatory changes in the chemical industry, successful GHS compliance, and regional regulatory adherence all require rapid labeling changes to be deployed quickly throughout an organization. The ultimate goal is meeting the requirements presented by the GHS at the same time you deal with the complexity of labeling hazardous materials to protect all participants in the global supply chain.

A Conversation with Laurent Nicolet, Schmid Group

During the HKPCA & IPC Show 2014, Laurent Nicolet, VP - PCB Business Unit of Schmid Group took a few minutes to discuss the automation technology that was on display and share the changes he's seen in the China market.

Testing Todd: What is 4-Wire Kelvin?

"I've been asked many times, 'What is 4-Wire Kelvin?' So, this month I will explain the 4-Wire Kelvin Test and how it can help uncover defects that normally would go undetected in standard electrical test methodology," writes Columnist Todd Kolmodin.

The Smart Grid Opportunity

The growing demand for electrical power coupled with aging infrastructure is placing strain on the electrical power grid. In addition, migration of electric power generation to the periphery of the grid is presenting challenges for load balancing and synchronization. The continuing need for greater efficiency in electric power utilization and control also means that control systems are in the process of migrating toward individual loads.

Field Notes: Making the Impossible Possible

"eSurface is an additive (or embedded) process that may change the way many circuit boards are manufactured--particularly HDI boards and high-performance boards that are built for speed and require the highest levels of signal integrity," writes Columnist Judy Warner. She has met with key company leaders and shares all that she learned about this viable additive technology for the PCB industry.

Aerosol Jet Technology for Production Grade/Scale Printed Electronics

While traditional electronic products are the current beneficiaries of printed electronics, a new generation of smart devices with integrated sensors and antennas enabling the Internet of Things hold even greater potential for widespread adoption. This new generation of intelligent devices will require new manufacturing methods that can closely couple electronics onto mechanical structures.

Deciphering Your Chinese PCB Supplier

Not knowing who you are buying from can present a host of problems that will end up coming out of your pocket and have a direct impact on your clients’ satisfaction. Faulty boards, suppliers refusing to refund money, upfront payment made for boards that never arrive, and delivery issues are the most popular problems I hear.

electronica 2014: The "Spark" Returns

A spark returned to Munich's Deutsches Museum during electronica 2014--perhaps not quite the jolt visitors fortunate enough to witness the spectacular high-voltage display in person experienced, but a spark nonetheless.


Thin PCBs for Smart Phones: Technology and Reliability Considerations

The next generation of smartphones will demand very thin multilayer boards to reduce product thickness. This paper shows three different manufacturing approaches which can be used for very thin, any-layer build-ups. The technological approaches are compared on reliability level--the any-layer copper filled microvia technology which is to be considered state-of-the-art for high-end phones and the ALIVH-C/G technology well established in Japan.

ASC Making All the Right Moves

"American Standard Circuits is always on the move and making improvements: From hiring the right people to buying the right equipment to investing in the right technologies. This company is one of the few investing in R&D. It is willing to work with customers on new products and technologies and will take on board projects no other company has successfully built," comments Columnist Dan Beaulieu.

ASC Making All the Right Moves

"American Standard Circuits is always on the move and making improvements: From hiring the right people to buying the right equipment to investing in the right technologies. This company is one of the few investing in R&D. It is willing to work with customers on new products and technologies and will take on board projects no other company has successfully built," comments Columnist Dan Beaulieu.

Thin PCBs for Smart Phones: Technology and Reliability Considerations

The next generation of smartphones will demand very thin multilayer boards to reduce product thickness. This paper shows three different manufacturing approaches which can be used for very thin, any-layer build-ups. The technological approaches are compared on reliability level--the any-layer copper filled microvia technology which is to be considered state-of-the-art for high-end phones and the ALIVH-C/G technology well established in Japan.

3D LDS Components: New Opportunities in PCB Layout and Production

"One clear trend has dominated electronic and mechatronic products for many years: Components must get smaller in size while also packing in more functions. Manufacturers in the communications technology sector are under tremendous pressure to continuously launch new products on the market at shorter and shorter intervals..." writes LPKF's Malte Borges.
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