Why Companies Fail at Social Media and What to Do About It
Sales executives should embrace social media more than anyone in a company, but this usually isn't the case. Done well, social media is a means of communicating a company's story to a wide network of people, raising awareness and credibility amongst prospective customers, and solidifying the company as a viable option for when a prospect needs the company’s product or service.
Making Microstrip Coupled Circuits Work
Microstrip transmission lines are widely used throughout the high-frequency industry, for both active and passive circuits. They are building blocks for many components, including couplers, filters, resonators, and power dividers/combiners, along with various coupled features formed from microstrip lines that help transfer energy from one point in the circuit to another.
RF Capacitor Material for Use in PCBs
Using ceramic-filled organic-based composite material, the authors successfully achieved low DF of ~0.002 at GHz frequencies, higher dielectric strength, and better TCC by optimizing size of the filler and controlling its distribution in the polymer matrix. This material can be applicable for use in discrete RF components or embedded within the packaging substrate as an embedded RF capacitor material.
IPC Strengthens Position in China with HKPCA
The 2014 theme, "Building Through Resilience," conveys what the industry is seeing in China. Philip Carmichael, president of IPC Greater China, says, "Steady growth, new technology, and the resilience to take on new challenges in the competitive global printed board industry are all part of China's business environment."
Book Review: Nonstop Sales Boom
"If you plan to buy, read, study, teach from, and hand out just one book this year, it must be 'Nonstop Sales Boom: Power Strategies to Drive Consistent Growth Year After Year' because it has everything you need to be a successful sales manager, salesperson, sales team, and company," writes Columnist Dan Beaulieu.
MorTech's CircaPrint: Advantage for Smaller PCB Shops
Praveen Arya, owner of Canadian Circuits, and Lino Sousa, president of MorTech, join Guest Editor Dan Beaulieu to discuss the advantages of MorTech's low-cost digital ink jet printer. The CircaPrint offers the industry the first three-color (black, white, and yellow) digital Legend printer for small- to medium-sized PCB shops.
Basic Principles of Polymer Thick Film Flexible Circuits
Polymer thick film circuits are similar to their rigid and flexible counterparts; however, because of the materials and processes, they have their own very specific design rules. Because most PTF processing is most commonly based on screen printing technology, the limits of design are intrinsically linked to the printed ink's processing considerations and limitations.
Cutting-edge Materials & Solutions from Aismalibar
Jeff Brandman, president, North America for Aismalibar, joins Guest Editor Mark Thompson to discuss a new line, Cobritherm HTC Ultra Thin, which features a 35-micron dielectric. He also talks about a new diamond-coated router that allows routing as fast as FR-4 and a 200 to 400% increase in productivity.
Bay Area Circuits: 39 Years and Still Growing
Stephen Garcia, president of Bay Area Circuits, joins Guest Editor Dan Beaulieu to discuss the longevity of his company--started by his grandfather in 1975, a move into a new facility in Freemont, California, and the drive to provide excellent customer service and fast turnarounds--some even the same day.
From Single-sided to HDI: The "Three Phone Call Method" Works
Author Dan Smith writes, "One experiences both extreme joy and anxiety when watching a prototype PCB being powered up for the first time. The test bench surrounding the new board resembles an operating room, with probes attached everywhere to an array of oscilloscopes, multimeters, and other indicators. The silence is broken by this electrical engineer when he erupts with the exclamation, "Wow! The circuit works!"
Modern Marketing Strategies with Omni PCB
Tara Dunn, president of Omni PCB, joins Guest Editor Judy Warner to discuss her company's marketing strategy to increase customer interaction through "Coffee Talks," a quick, fast resource where she sits down with industry experts to talk about materials selection, surface finishes, new materials, rigid-flex design, and much more.
Dave Sommervold on Thermal Substrate Materials Standards
Bergquist Company's Engineering Manager Dave Sommervold discusses the need for standards addressing thermal substrate materials and fabrication. He is part of a task group working on IPC-4105, a metal-based laminate standard, and IPC-6012, a metal-based addendum. The group is also in the process of creating thermal performance testing standards which will also address dielectric performance.
Kosmowski Demos Interdyne's New K6 Flying Wing Machine
Recently, PCB007 had the opportunity to visit Wojciech Kosmowski, CTO and chief designer of Interdyne's impressive new K6 Flying Wing drilling machine. He has been focused on improving machine dynamics to significantly increase productivity. His effort resulted in a unique new machine architecture, which he demonstrates in this video.
Testing Todd: Seven Tips for Choosing the Right Test Service
Do you need to go outside your company for your testing service? Maybe you have capacity issues, maybe your equipment is down, or maybe you just want an established back-up plan? Whatever the reason, it is very important to choose the right outside testing service because, ultimately, you're not just choosing an objective service provider; you're choosing a partner.
UL and Standards: Faster, Less Expensive
Doug Sober, IPC Hall of Fame member and standards engineer at Shengyi Technology, the largest copper-clad laminate maker in the world, joins Guest Editor Dan Feinberg to discuss time-to-market and the concerns over the cost of listing a copper-clad laminate and what the IPC's UL Task Group is doing to address these issues.
Why Procuring Flexible Printed Circuitry is Different
Flexible printed circuit (FPC) specifications and quality controls tend to be too tight; FPC is, by nature, a flexible, easily formed product of thin sheets of plastic film and metal foils bonded together with flexibilized adhesives. It is not carved out of billets of metal in a machine shop and it is not reasonable to assign thousandths-of-an-inch tolerances to every dimension.
Advanced Coatings & Surface Preps from Uyemura USA
Don Walsh, director of operations at Uyemura USA, joins Guest Editor Kelly Dack to discuss his company's finishing technology solutions, including PCB finishes, ENIG, ENEPIG, ENEG, ENAG, and much more. The company has just installed its first Nanofics system in Connecticut for plasma work and is ready to produce sample parts.
IPC Printed Electronics Standards Update
Josh Goldberg, marketing specialist with Taiyo America, joins Editor Andy Shaughnessy to discuss specialty materials in printed electronics and how they are being applied to new technologies. Goldberg is also chair of the IPC Printed Electronics Committee and talks about the association's work to define materials, substrates, design and testing rules, and more.
Panel Discussion: Has Outsourcing Lost its Luster?
Moderator Steve Williams joins panelists Dan Beaulieu of D.B. Management and Joe Fjelstad, founder and president of Verdant Electronics, for the Prototron Circuits-sponsored IPC APEX EXPO 2014 panel, "Has Outsourcing Lost its Luster?" The group discusses the changes happening in the electronics industry and the reasons companies are making their way back to the United States.
Panel Discussion: What's New in Flex?
Moderator Joe Fjelstad, founder of Verdant Electronics, joins panelists Al Wasserzug, senior business development manager at Cirexx, and Michael Jawitz, a member of the Research and Technical Group at Boeing, for The PCB List-sponsored IPC APEX EXPO 2014 panel, "What's New in Flex?" The group discusses flex opportunities in the U.S., new industry applications, and much more.
NCAB Expands U.S. Presence, Acquires M-Wave
One of the world's largest suppliers of PCBs, NCAB Group, has acquired 100% of M-Wave International, LLC's PCB Division. Bob Duke, former president of M-Wave's PCB Division, commented, "Being selected by NCAB to be a part of their U.S. team is a great compliment. As the PCB supply market continues to evolve, I felt this was an excellent time for M-Wave to expand its resources."
EPTE Newsletter from Japan: Anytime, Everywhere
Ten years ago it was difficult to find WiFi service in public areas throughout Japan. Nowadays, we can find WiFi signals in almost any public place, including airports, train stations, hotels, shopping malls, restaurants, and more. WiFi service is now even offered on airplanes!
IPC India Planing May APEX EXPO
David Bergman, vice president of international relations at IPC, and A. Vijayendra, managing director of IPC India, join Guest Editor Dick Crowe to discuss the creation of the association in 2010 and the upcoming APEX India, May 19-22, 2014, in Bangalore. Vijayendra and his team take global programs and finds ways to tailor them for local demand and education.
Thermally Conductive Substrates & Thermal Management
Ventec's Ian Mayoh reviews the status of thermally conductive printed circuit substrate options in terms of performance, construction and processing, and future developments. With particular reference to insulated metal cored substrates, he explores the mechanical, thermal performance, and cost considerations when selecting an appropriate IMS material for a particular application.
Sustainability: What and Why?
Joe Fjelstad writes, "The resources of our planet are limited and thus are diminishing as we continue to unleash and ramp-up a seemingly never-ending flow of products to both serve and amuse us with output of the global electronics industry likely to be nearing the top of the list of 'offenders.' In that regard, we are becoming victims of our own success, to one degree or another."
Ultra-flat, No-Profile ED Copper Foils for High-speed Digital PCBs
As our planet becomes more interconnected, the infrastructure needed to capture and work with increasing amounts of data must respond and deliver faster results. To cope with an increased demand for improved resin systems with better electrical properties, many new dielectrics have already been introduced to the market, and many others are at their final development stage.
thePCBlist: A Global Directory for PCB Manufacturing
Patty Goldman, project manager for thePCBlist, joins Guest Editor Dan Beaulieu to discuss the benefits of this global directory. Work on building thePCBlist started two years ago and the project went live just nine months later. The directory now features detailed information for 1,900 PCB manufacturers. OEMs, designers, EMS providers, and more use the list to find the perfect manufacturer to fit their needs.
Ventec USA Prepares for Growth
Technical Editor Pete Starkey writes, "IPC APEX EXPO 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada, gave me the opportunity to catch up with Ventec USA President Jack Pattie and to meet the recently-appointed General Manager of the Ventec Fullerton Southern California facility Ray Young. The pair also gave an update on current developments and future company plans."
PCB Auditing at the Next Level
Rob Scott, president of Next Level PCB, joins Guest Editor Kelly Dack to discuss measuring the capabilities of suppliers to ensure companies are getting what they pay for. Scott says a true in-depth audit involves a personal visit to investigate processes, procedures, certification, and much more.
IPC, ITI to Address Environmental Compliance Requirements
IPC and the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) will host a series of seminars on "Critical and Emerging Environmental Product Requirements" this May. The seminars, to be held in the Boston, Silicon Valley, Phoenix, and Chicago areas, will feature well-known United Kingdom regulators, Steve Andrews and Chris Smith.
Key Factors Influencing Laminate Material Selection for Today's PCBs
Recently, a flurry of new and promising laminate materials have entered the market, coming from the four corners of the world. Sanmina's Steve Iketani and Brian Nelson offer their take on materials, from FR-4 to low-Df/Dk laminates, and much more.
Sticking to His Roots Earns Carano IPC Hall of Fame Nod
"The president of my company said I should get involved with IPC, so I went to a TMRC meeting," Mike Carano said. "I thought it was the coolest thing, it was a great place to network and the view of things happening around the world that influenced our business was really something. I got information that would have cost thousands of dollars and taken days of effort if I could have found it at all."
Sunstone on New Initiatives and Lean Focus
Matt Stevenson, marketing manager at Sunstone Circuits, joins Editor Ray Rasmussen to discuss the company's new initiatives: A new, upgraded website; easier quoting and an on-time guarantee; and new equipment at its facility. He reports that six employees have graduated a college-based Lean leadership academy allowing for a reduction in waste and a savings of nearly $100K a year.
Smart Data Transfer Formats Automate CAM/CAD Design to Fabrication
With ever-increasing functionality, density, and complexity, fabricators and assembly houses must look for new ways to meet demands for high quality and on-time delivery. Because the data transfer process has a lot of manual input, human errors often creep into the process. Fabricators estimate that about one-quarter of all Gerber file sets received have errors of one form or another.
Mike Carano Inducted Into IPC Hall of Fame
A long-standing IPC volunteer, Carano has served on 16 IPC committees, including the 8-40 Roadmap Executive Committee, the 7-20 Process Control Management Committee and the 4-14 Plating Process Subcommittee. In addition to serving on IPC's Board of Directors, Carano has taken on a recent role as chairman of the IPC Technology Education Outreach Initiative.
Rejuvenation of an American PCB Maker
North American PCB production once dominated the world with more than $12 billion of output. Today, it has shrunk to one quarter of that peak. However, several world-class North American PCB makers have not only maintained volume capability, but also produce very high levels of technology.
How Lean Manufacturing Adds Value to PCB Production
While DFM represents a powerful tool for PCB manufacturers, it is one component of a broader Lean manufacturing philosophy focused on eliminating any production component not delivering value to the customer. Here, the authors explore the impact of Lean, including how it may provide competitive advantage to those organizations making it a key part of their culture.
Sanmina on Hybrid Materials, Testing, and Challenges
Brian Nelson, new product introduction manager at Sanmina, describes to Guest Editor Kelly Dack the evolution and testing of hybrid high-speed materials for a dynamic electonics industry.
Change Your Dam Thinking: Are Boringly Predictable Operations Possible?
We've excelled at developing new technologies, new materials, and new processes, and appreciate the statement, "variety is the spice of life." But, what we have grown to accept in our operations are the unpleasant surprises that too many of us describe as "burning platforms." Is there anything we can do with our operations to make them significantly more predictable?
Closing the Gap Between Design and Fab
Author Ben Jordan writes, "I think that CAD tool vendors have done a fantastic job of making design easier and faster, but there is still a huge gap between what a PCB designer intends, thinks, and lays out in CAD and what a PCB fabricator needs to build and assemble the boards with reasonable yields. It's one (good) thing to support universal data transfer formats, but that's not an automatic fix-all, either."
Validate Your Model Data
Do you test and correlate simulation models, or do you just take someone else's word for it? Let's be honest--we all want fast, accurate simulation models. Testing is difficult, time-consuming, and a general pain in the neck. If we take a close look at most the models we use, we'll likely raise questions that take time to resolve--time that most of us don't have in our project schedules.