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RTW SMTAI: John Mitchell Updates on IPC's Education Efforts
10/22/2018 | Real Time with...SMTAI
RTW SMTAI: NCAB Discusses Its Sustainability Programs
10/19/2018 | Real Time with...SMTAI
Smartphone Substrate-Like PCBs Will Revolutionize the IC Substrate and PCB Markets
10/17/2018 | Emilie Jolivet, YOLE DÉVELOPPEMENT
The Changing Shape of the HDI Market
10/15/2018 | Roger Massey, ATOTECH
GP Ventures’ Tom Kastner on PCB Mergers and Acquisitions
10/10/2018 | Dan Beaulieu, D.B. Management Group
Kolmodin on Testing and New PCB Mag Column
Todd Kolmodin, Gardien Group's vice president of quality, joins Guest Editor Dan Beaulieu to discuss his newest venture: A monthly column for The PCB Magazine called "Testing Todd." Kolmodin encourages readers to challenge his ideas and solutions; to write in and give opinions or suggest column topics for future issues.
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!
OEM Press Systems: New CEO, New Technology
CEO Rob Henderson and Sales Manager Mary Quinlan of OEM Press Systems join Editor Andy Shaughnessy to discuss the company's improved process control capability to give engineers better data collection and database integration--everything an engineer needs to control the PCB lamination process.
AT&S Continues Growth; FY2013/14 Sales Up 9%
The company's sales for the financial year 2013/14 reached EUR 590 million, an increase of approximately 9% on the previous year's total. "I am delighted that we have been able to achieve consistent growth and continuous improvements in our profitability in a challenging economic environment over the past few years," explained CEO Andreas Gerstenmayer.
Drilling Systems Reinvented
Mike Jennings, vice president of Interdyne Systems, joins Guest Editor Kelly Dack to discuss his company's reinvention of the drilling machine. He argues that systems developed 25 years ago just won't cut it with today's technology. Interdyne began the process by adapting a technique of building a wing from the aerospace industry to create the Flying Wing.
Dick Crowe Hands Reins to New Burkle CEO
Chairman Dick Crowe and President Helfried Weinzerl of Burkle join Guest Editor Dan Feinberg to discuss Crowe's "retirement" after 30 years in the industry and Weinzerl's move from the capital equipment industry to PCB electronics. Crowe is confident in the transition and excited for the future of the company.
The Impact of Miniaturization on Fab Processes
Brian Nelson, NPI Manager at Sanmina, joins Editor Andy Shaughnessy to discuss the impact of miniaturization on fabrication. He reveals that the small parts are not what's stressing the system--it's ball grid array. Nelson suggests that subtractive processes will eventually have to give way to additive processes to find success.
LinkedIn Changes Everything for B2B Sales
LinkedIn is a database of all--or so close to all that it makes no difference--of the B2B prospects that a company would want to know about. Every customer is there along with clues on how to address them.
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.
Book Review: Delight Your Customers
Dan Beaulieu writes, "I'm a sucker for books about customer service. I look for and read them every chance I get and this is one of the better ones, especially when you take into consideration how well written and organized it is."
Social Media 101: Eight Website Questions Answered
For now, forget Twitter and Facebook. Forget YouTube and LinkedIn. Forget Google Plus and Pinterest. Forget Slideshare. The absolute first thing you need to succeed in social media is a good website.
The Impact of Miniaturization on Fab Processes
Brian Nelson, new product introduction manager at Sanmina Corporation, joins Editor Andy Shaughnessy to talk about how BGAs are "stressing the system." Nelson says miniaturization stresses the dimensional limitations of what can be done in a subtractive process. He says additive process will be the future.
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."
Using Flex in High-Speed Applications
This article from DuPont's Glenn Oliver, focuses on flexible circuit technology; specifically, the material properties that account for the broader use of flexible circuits in high-frequency and high-speed applications.
Make The Most of High-Frequency Laminates with Resistive Foil
Resistive foils can reduce the discrete component device count, free up real estate, and improve assembly processes. Many high-frequency circuit applications rely on resistive foils as termination resistors for transmission lines or matching resistors for power dividers. Planar resistor technology offers many advantages compared to alternative resistor technologies.
Vern Solberg Gives IPC-7092 Embedded Standard Update
Industry expert and long-time IPC Technical Committee Member Vern Solberg joins Guest Editor Dick Crowe to discuss embedded component technology and IPC-7092, a standard that began life three years ago as a way to give designers and manufacturers better guidance on how to develop a board with embedded technology.
The Application of Spherical Bend Testing to Predict Safe Working Manufacturing Process Strains
The authors describe an extensive "Spherical Bend Test" program to assess lead-free compatible materials and area array packages. This work has confirmed "pad crater/pad lift" as the dominant failure mode in lead-free materials in agreement with observations from multiple streams of field returned product.
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.
Laminate Technical Support for OEM Designers from Isola
Richard Pangier, senior director for OEM marketing at Isola, joins Guest Editor Joe Fjelstad to discuss how his company has a dedicated group to help OEMs and designers figure out material options to address thermal reliability and signal integrity test needs. Isola also works with fabricators to make sure its laminate materials are easy to process and ready for next-generation designs.
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.
Tom Sandman Named IPC's New CFO
IPC announces that Tom Sandman has joined the association's staff as chief financial officer (CFO). He is responsible for leading IPC's global financial operations and staff. With more than 25 years of experience in finance and financial management, he most recently served as interim controller and consultant to CFO at EverMark LLC, a multinational manufacturer.
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.
Viking Moves On
Technical Editor Pete Starkey says the warmth of the welcome at Viking more than compensated for a three-hour trek through the traffic and southern England's miserable weather: "There was a buzz of excitement about the place and the development workshop was a hive of activity, with a crowd gathered around the CircaPrint digital ink-jet printer, the print-head scanning smoothly in a glow of purple light."
The Internet of Things Drives New PCB Design Approach
The most common question asked of electronic product developers today is how to do more with less. How do you incorporate newer, faster technologies in smaller packages to take advantage of new products and architectures that provide more functionality and power efficiency, all on time and under budget?
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.
The Pros and Cons of PCB Surface Finishes
Hot air solder leveling (HASL) was once the tried and true method of deliver consistent assembly results. However, ever-increasing circuit complexity and component density has stretched the capabilities of even horizontal solder levelling systems to their limits. Author Al Wright examines the more common surface finishes used in PCB manufacturing, along with key advantages and disadvantages for each.
Standard Operating Procedure at Molex
Joe Dambach, global new product manager for the company, joins Editor Andy Shaughnessy on the show floor at DesignCon 2014 to detail his work in developing new high-speed IO PCB standards.
Thompson & Dack on Value-Added Vendor Visits
While at DesignCon 2014 Guest Editors Kelly Dack and Mark Thompson had a lively discussion about the often underestimated value of keeping in touch with your suppliers through on-site visits.
Coonrod & Oliver Partner on Materials Workshop
John Coonrod, market development engineer at Rogers, and Guest Editor Glenn Oliver detail the materials workshop they presented at DesignCon 2014, including various test methods for different scenarios and materials.
Book Review: Time Management
This is the latest in Brian Tracy's series aimed at helping us to be better managers, salespeople, and overall better business people. In this small but powerful volume, Tracy focuses on time management which is something on which we can all improve.
Isola Materials: 100 Gb/s and Beyond
Fred Hickman, Isola's high-speed digital product director, discusses a few new products, including Tachyon, an ultra-low-loss material that can help developers reach 100 Gb/s. He also details GigaSync, a material that addresses skew in differential pairs.
Sourcing in China: The Real Deal
Alan Zhou, director of overseas sales at Sun & Lynn Circuits, joins Guest Editor Kelly Dack to discuss the the realities of sourcing printed circuits in China.
A New Approach to Vias from Insulectro
Jim Ryan, Insulectro product manager, joins Guest Editor Glenn Oliver to discuss his company's completely different way to build vias. A big help in that process is Ormet, a conductive paste use for z-axis connections that can replace copper in the plating process.
TTM Reports Strong Q4 and FY 2013 Results
"We delivered strong results for the fourth quarter as seasonal revenue growth combined with solid execution resulted in increases in gross margins and operating profit," said Tom Edman, CEO. "Strong demand for our advanced HDI and rigid-flex PCBs drove our product mix shift toward advanced technology PCBs and brought our Asia Pacific factory utilization rates above 90%."
Streamline Circuits: Investing in the Future of its Customers
The company is like no other board shop in the United States. Just over 10 years ago, three seasoned PCB professionals, each with a proven track record for success, purchased a tiny board shop and, in just a few short years, transformed it into one of the industry's leading PCB companies when it comes to both advanced technology and quality.
Determining Phosphorus Content in EN Plating Using XRF Spectroscopy
The most commonly used electroless plating process is electroless nickel (EN) plating using nickel phosphorus baths. Previously, it was only possible to measure plated phosphorus content on steel substrates, but new developments have extended the measurement application of electroless plating processes to nearly any substrate.
Characteristics of EPIG Deposits for Fine-Line Applications
In this paper, the ability to plate fine patterns, the solder joint reliability (SJR), and the wire bonding reliability (WBR) of the electroless Pd/Au (EPIG) deposit are compared with the electroless Ni-P/Pd/Au (ENEPIG) deposit. The coupons used consisted of a copper-clad laminated substrate which were copper plated to a thickness of 20 µm using an acid copper electroplating process.
EIPC Excited About Winter Conference and WECC Events
The World Electronic Circuits Council (WECC) is held every four years and EIPC will host the event in 2014. EIPC Executive Director Kirsten Smit-Westenberg is excited about the opportunity and tells Guest Editor Bob Neves the organization now promoting the conference all over the world.
High-speed, High-reliabiity, and Halogen-free
Isola Director of OEM Marketing Alun Morgan explains how his company has addressed the market for special-purpose laminates. He describes how high-speed performance can be achieved with high-reliability, halogen-free materials and discusses the latest developments in ultra-thin glass-reinforced laminates.
All Things Automotive at CES 2014
Philip Stoten wraps up what's happening in the automotive world at CES 2014 in Las Vegas. Having talked to many car makers and automotive OEMs, he shares his view on the impact of these technologies on the future driving experience as well as their impact on the very different supply chains of the car and consumer electronics industries.
IPC Redefines Microvias, Again
In 2013, IPC changed its definition of a microvia. Before then, a microvia was defined as any printed board with holes that have a diameter of equal to or less than 0.15 mm [0.006 in]. Over time, that size became common, while more challenging geometries emerged to alter the definition of microvia structures.
Doduco Leads the Way in Bonding Surface Finishes
Ulrich Blendl, business unit manager at Doduco GmbH, joins Guest Editor Bob Neves to talk about his company's different palladium-based finishes and the advantages of palladium use for surface finishes.
Gardien Delivers Integrated Bare Board Test Solutions
Heiko Henrich, managing director of Gardien Europe, explains how bare board testing throughput can be increased by a factor of 7 when the Acceler8 scanner is integrated with the G60 flying probe system. He also describes how the inScan final inspection system delivers a more consistent performance than can be achieved with a human inspector.
A "Drawing" Paints More Than a Thousand Words
Globalization requires paying attention to many details, some of them unexpected. As IPC began increasing the number of standards that are translated and converting documents into more languages, they quickly found that one drawing can be worse than 1,000 words.
2014 Forecast and Surprising New Companies
Hamed El-Abd, president of WKK, joins Guest Editor Bob Neves to reflect on the past year and provide his forecast for 2014. Hamed details the increase in world-class Chinese capital equipment manufacturers exhibiting at this year's HKPCA & IPC show.
Catching up with Canadian Circuits
Columnist Dan Beaulieu says, "We often hear about the large global PCB companies, but seldom about the smaller ones like Canadian Circuits--companies that, for many years, were the very backbone of our industry. With consolidations, mergers, and globalization, not many companies like Canadian Circuits are left."
Field Notes: Is Social Media Marketing Relevant?
Columnist Judy Warner's column, "Does Marketing Matter?" was so well received, she thought it worthwhile to plumb a bit deeper into the adoption of social media marketing and its relevance for the PCB industry. Here, she shares a few tools from her toolbox to help you navigate through the murky waters.
ICT Joins New Project to Battle Effluent with Crab Shells
The Institute of Circuit Technology (ICT) has recently joined a new multi-partner research and development project to investigate the use of materials derived from crab shells for capturing and recovering metals from PCB manufacturing effluent. Professor Martin Goosey reports.
CBT and Maskless Strike Alliance
President and CEO Dr. Bill Elder explains that 400 direct imaging (DI) systems have now been installed worldwide. Maskless' DI system is well-known in the industry and their new distributor, Chime Ball Technology (CBT), is committed to supporting customers in China.
German Market for PCBs: Automotive and Industrial
Ventec's Thomas Michels gives an overview of the market for PCBs in Germany, dominated by automotive and industrial sectors. He describes how Ventec has recognized the substrate requirements for LED vehicle lighting, with a range of high-thermal-conductivity IMS materials.
Delivering the Right Imaging Solution
Wim Perdu, chief technology officer at ACB in Belgium, joins Ucamco Managing Director Karel Tavernier to explain how LED-based direct imaging of solder mask benefits the manufacturing of specialized, high-reliability PCBs.
India's Industry Ready to Serve Globally
IPCA President Viral Bhulani came with Indian government representives to the HKPCA & IPC Show. The group discussed infrastructure improvement and the great progress achieved in the last couple of years--they think India's PCB industry is ready to serve the global market's needs.
HKPCA & IPC Show Now Largest in Asia
This year, the HKPCA & IPC Show has merged with APEX, leading to a big improvement for the SMT industry side at this year's event. HKPCA Chairman Canice Chung and Vice Chairman Thomas Li explain how the show space has grown to 14,000 square meters, making it the largest industry show in Asia.
Industry Supports IPC-2581 Implementation
Now that the standard has been released, the focus shifts to moving it into production. As with many standards, there's always concern about adoption. Since previous attempts to standardize this application have been disappointing, there's already a significant effort to make sure IPC-2581B sees adoption.
Burkle Sees European Market Stabilization & Steady Growth
Vice President Dave Howard joins Technical Editor Pete Starkey on the productronica 2013 show floor to provide an honest view of the state of the market for capital equipment in Europe and North America.
Domestic vs. Offshore PCB Manufacturing
If you are sending your PCB manufacturing offshore, what factors weighed heaviest in your decision-making? How do you know if offshore manufacturing still makes sense for you? This article considers both simple and complex ideas for cost-benefit analysis to help guide your decision process.
Simpler Sharing of Design Files on the Horizon
Myriad acronyms segment the world of design tools: CAD, CAM, CAE, and PLM to name a few. Whether the tools are computer-aided design/manufacturing/engineering or product life cycle management, there's a push to ensure that diverse design tools from multiple suppliers can communicate freely.
Steve Williams Writes a New Chapter
Having spent his entire career learning the best ways to manufacture high-quality products, Steve Williams now wants to pass on that knowledge and experience to his clients through his new venture--Steve Williams Consulting. He recently spoke with Editor Ray Rasmussen about the newest chapter in his life.
Second Report: IPC Standards Committee
These standards committee reports from IPC's Fall Standards Development Committee Meetings have been compiled to help keep readers up to date on IPC standards committee activities. This is the second report in the series.
EIPC Chairman on WECC 2014 World Conference
Alun Morgan, EIPC chairman, joins Technical Editor Pete Starkey to describe the build-up to the 2014 WECC World Conference, to be held in Nuremberg, Germany, May 7-9, 2014. Morgan explains how the various industry associations are cooperating to ensure its success.
EPTE Newsletter from Japan: Typhoon Haiyan
Typhoon Haiyan swept through the Philippines leaving a trail of damage and destruction. The typhoon was the strongest to make landfall in recorded history. It is estimated that more than 10,000 people are dead or missing and millions more remain homeless.
First Report: IPC Standards Committee
These standards committee reports from IPC's Fall Standards Development Committee Meetings (co-located with SMTAI) have been compiled to help keep the industry up to date on IPC standards committee activities. This is the first in a series of reports.
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