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Maskless Lithography's Next Generation

Maskless Lithography recently announced the sale of six digital imaging systems in N.A. while attending the company's third HKPCA & IPC show. CEO Bill Elder discusses their next-generation LDI machine, and the importance of China.

I-Connect007 PCB Asia Week: Taiwan Set for Growth

Increasing demand for high-end HDI boards, flexible PCBs, and IC substrates is expected to drive growth for Taiwan's PCB industry in 2013. Production is expected to ramp up as a number of new production lines run by Taiwan-based PCB companies in China and Thailand will come online by the end of this year or in the first half of 2013.

Fillebrown: From Salesman to President of ACD

Scott Fillebrown started out as a salesman at ACD in the 1990s, and wound up buying the company. Now the Richardson, Texas-based company has expanded to offer turnkey manufacturing services, from design through assembly. Scott shares his story.

PCB Reliability: Cleaning Up Your Act

Author Yash Sutariya explains that bare board cleanliness is a serious matter, yet also a relatively new issue for the industry. In addition to design, a product's environment causes ionic contamination to form dendritic growth. End-users should review both board design and the environment to combat the issue.

Novel Material for High-Layer Count & High-Reliability PCBs

This paper examines a new family of laminate systems developed to face the increasing physical demands of the lead-free soldering processes used in the assembly of RoHS-compliant products. A thermoplastic resin-modified multifunctional epoxy material shows outstanding heat resistance, reliability and toughness.

Built Board Tough

PCBs are electronic real estate. Establishing the foundation for assembly, a direct correlation can be made between the reliability of a final electronic product and the bare PCB. There is much to knowing what it takes as both a buyer and a producer of PCBs to ensure high-reliability PCB performance.

MFLEX in Line for Growth According to 4QFY12 Results

Net sales in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 are expected to be approximately $200 million, up 4% from the same quarter last year. Reza Meshgin, CEO, said, "We completed our capacity expansion project in September which positions us to drive record revenues during the first quarter of fiscal 2013, and support the strong demand forecasts we are seeing from customers."

Innovative Circuits Planning for the Future

Business Development Manager Amir Davoud came to SMTA International 2012 on a scouting mission to consider whether or not the company should exhibit at next year's show. He sits down with Editor Andy Shaughnessy to discuss Innovative's recent equipment purchases, including a Hitachi router and a wastewater system.

New Challenges for Higher Aspect Ratio: Filling Through-holes and Blind Microvias with Copper by Reverse Pulse Plating

This paper presents investigations on complete through-hole filling for cores by a Cu electroplating process as an alternative to the paste-plugging process. The process consists of two steps, merging both centers of the through-hole walls (X-plating) followed by filling up the resulting blind microvias. Processes and manufacturing technology are described as well as current limitations and requirements.

Tech Circuits: We're All in Customer Service

Sales Representative Stephanie Zarrella explains why Tech Circuits' customers can speak directly to the technologists working on their boards. She also discusses her company's preparation of prototype boards for volume production offshore.


Six Keys to Design Excellence: Combating PCB Complexity

When companies effectively deal with making complex PCBs right the first time, on-time delivery and income for that product is maximized. But when companies fail to deal with complex PCB issues, their product can be delayed, cost significantly more than projected, or they may miss the market window.

Gene Weiner Reflects on 50 Years of IPC

Environmental concerns and circuit board production have always been linked, but things have changed a lot since the 1960s. Looking back over his long association with IPC, IPC Hall of Fame member Gene Weiner recalled how technology's evolution, safety issues, and ecological issues have changed.

Overcoming Challenges in Laminate Development

John Coonrod, market development engineer for Rogers Corporation, discusses his company's newest development in high-speed, high-frequency laminates. This new material is also halogen-free and compatible with lead-free soldering. John explains the many challenges that had to be met to bring this material to the marketplace.

CCMP: America's Mass Lamination Company

Dan Beaulieu recently had the chance to talk with Bill Schwerter, vice president and co-founder of Copper Clad Multilayer Products, Inc. (CCMP) about his company, the industry, and the future. Dan says he enjoys talking to innovators, a word that definitely fits Schwerter.

Ray Pritchard Reveals Keys to IPC's Success

“Never turn down people who want to do something,” Pritchard said. “Whenever I found two guys who wanted to do something outside our ongoing activities, I would put them in a meeting room and let them talk.”

Developments in Printed Electronics

Vice President, Strategic Technology at Oak-Mitsui John Andresakis talks with Editor Ray Rasmussen about developments in printed electronics. The IPC has made printed electronics a technology priority and John details the progress with standards and technologies in the market.

Uyemura Investing and Growing in PCB Industry

Director of operations for Uyemura, Don Walsh, sits down with Editor Ray Rasmussen to discuss the company's efforts around R&D for plating chemistry and product development for the PCB industry.

Training Demand Drives IPC India Expansion

Two years after its inauguration, IPC India continues to put down roots to bring IPC services to this populous nation. Patient efforts are beginning to pay off: companies are embracing IPC's efforts to establish itself locally, prompting the need for expansion.

LED Market Drives Demand for New Laminates

Ventec's Director of Marketing and Sales Bruce Hurley discusses how the LED market has driven demand for materials that transfer heat efficiently. Further development of standards are required in this area. Apples-to-apples product comparisons are currently a challenge and continued long-term reliability studies are needed.

Standards Development for Printed Electronics

Marc Carter, director of technology transfer at IPC, discusses the importance of standards for the electronics industry and IPC's role in standards development. He also discusses the technology of printed electronics and the role IPC is playing in the development of those standards.


Isola: European President Reveals Keys to Longevity

Isola has been around for quite some time, recently celebrating its centennial anniversary. In this interview, Europe President Karl Stollenwerk talks about the keys to their success.

George Milad Updates IPC Plating Committee 414

IPC Plating Committee Chair George Milad updates the progress of the committee while at IPC Midwest 2012. The adopted standard for ENIPIG is the latest accomplishment of this critical IPC effort.

AT&S: Coming to America

International Account Manager for AT&S Jim Sierakowski meets with Editor Ray Rasmussen to talk about his company's efforts to gain a foothold in the U.S. market, providing OEMs and EMS companies with a variety of PCBs from factories around the world.

IPC's On-Shoring Report Now Available

Is on-shoring a reality? IPC's Director of Market Research Sharon Starr sits down with Editor Ray Rasmussen at IPC Midwest 2012 to discuss the organization's new report, "On-Shoring in the Electronics Industry: Trends and Outlook for North America."

Gardien Services USA Expands with Acquisition

Gardien Services USA expands its services to the Chicago market by acquiring the assets of Electronic Test Center, Inc.

N.A. Electronics Supply Chain Shows Signs of Recovery

According to the report, reduced growth forecasts from China and continued worries about Greece reinforced concern about a global economic slowdown. Although domestic growth in China is showing resilience, exports remained sluggish in the second quarter due to the slow recovery in the U.S. and contracting economy in Europe.

Taylor Gives Updates on Polar Instrument Products

President and CEO of Polar Instruments Ken Taylor walks Editor Ray Rasmussen through the significant software upgrades to Polar's product suites on the show floor at IPC Midwest 2012.

On-Shoring in N.A. Electronics Industry Continues

Based on a May 2012 survey of 229 companies with global revenues totaling more than $935.3 billion, the study indicates that on-shoring--actions by North American manufacturers to return overseas operations to North America or to build new operations in the region--is underway and will continue.

ENIG and ENEPIG: Latest Processes and Standards

George Milad, Uyemura's national account manager for technology, and chairman of the IPC Plating Committee, explains to Technical Editor Pete Starkey how recent improvements in ENIG chemistry have reduced process costs and eliminated black pad defects. He also gives an update on IPC standards for ENIG and ENEPIG.

Basista Banks on Continuous Capability Enhancements

Basista Leiterplatten GmbH, based in Bottrop (Germany), specializes in the production of circuit board prototypes and small production runs of the highest quality. The circuit board manufacturer enjoys an outstanding reputation among its large client base. With the continual modernization of his company, Peter Basista not only guides the development of the market, he anticipates it.


Revolutionary Thermal Pastes

Ormet Circuits Vice President James Haley joins Guest Editor Dan Beaulieu to discuss his company's critical products and how they can help PCB fabricators increase their technological edge.

IPC: PCB Sales Down YoY in May; B2B Still Positive

"North American PCB sales and orders in May continued slightly below last year's levels and reflected normal seasonal patterns," said Sharon Starr, IPC director of market research. "The May book-to-bill ratio remained positive for the sixth consecutive month and was especially strong for the flexible circuit segment of the industry."

Re-Defining Flying Probe Testing

MicroCraft introduced its new EMMA E4M6151 flying probe tester at IPC APEX EXPO. Technical Editor Pete Starkey chatted with company President Lino Sousa, who demonstrated the machine's ability to test a 36,000-test-point board in less than eight minutes.

1 Mil Lines and Spaces: Fact or Fiction?

In this roundtable discussion with George Dudnikov, Joe Fjelstad, and John Andresakis, subtractive processing, semi-additive processing, and interposers are examined. One thing agreed upon by all: Determine if there is a real need and work with the customer on design options. Bottom line: 1 mil lines and spaces are a fact, but do you really need them?

High-Accuracy PCB Stackup Registration System

DIS Engineering Manager, Gary Sortino, gives Editor Ray Rasmussen an overview of his company's high-accuracy registration system for PCB lamination stackups.

IPC: Federal Regulations Burden Electronics Manufacturers

At the invitation of U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA), IPC President Dr. John W. Mitchell outlined existing and proposed regulations that negatively impact the electronics manufacturing industry.

Using Jet Printers to Apply Solder Paste

An evolving North American assembly market is beginning to embrace the benefits of losing stencils and using jet printers. Popular in Europe, these printers can actually take cost out of the assembly process. Mydata's Global Sales Director Nico Coenen explains.

IPC: N.A. PCB Shipments, Bookings Down in April

"April PCB sales and orders in North America continued slightly below last year's levels and reflected normal seasonal patterns," said Sharon Starr, IPC director of market research. "The good news is that the book-to-bill ratio continued to be positive for the fifth consecutive month. When orders exceed sales, there is potential for sales growth over the next three to six months."

The Supplier and PCB Fabricator: Bridging the Gap

IPS Technical Sales Manager Dan Czebiniak recalls his many years of PCB fabrication experience as he explains to Technical Editor Pete Starkey how the IPS range of wet process equipment continues to be developed to meet the critical needs of the PCB manufacturer.

Keys to Selecting Military/Aerospace Boards

Zulki Khan explains why it's a good idea to ratchet up specifications to assure higher reliability. An EMS provider can increase board specs beyond an OEM's minimum engineering specifications so that the board and its end-product maintain high performance and optimum reliability, regardless of environmental, terrain, or temperature conditions.


Isola Introduces Four New Products

Rich Pangier, director of OEM marketing at Isola, discusses the company's new products introduced at IPC APEX EXPO 2012 with Editor Ray Rasmussen.

IPC Releases PCB Industry Results for March 2012

"PCB sales in North America in March continued to reflect normal seasonal patterns," said Sharon Starr, IPC director of market research. "Orders continued to outpace sales," she added, "pushing the book-to-bill ratio up for the fourth consecutive month, and that bodes well for sales growth in the next quarter."

"Those Jobs Aren't Coming Back, Mr. President."

At a 2011 dinner that included Steve Jobs, President Obama and a who's who of Silicon Valley, the president asked Jobs what it would take to bring back to the U.S. the type of assembly work being done in Asia to build Apple's products. Of course, Obama was interested in creating American jobs. The Apple CEO replied, "Those jobs aren't coming back." Is that so?

Special Customers, Tight Requirements

Prototron's Mark Thompson talks with Guest Editor Kelly Dack about his company's R&D customer base and how special fabrication requirements are being met, including high-copper boards and drilled vias that approach microvias in size.

Thermal Management of RF & Digital Assemblies Using Optimized Materials & PCB Designs

With any electronic device, its performance, reliability, efficiency, and life expectancy are related inversely and exponentially to the magnitude of increased temperature above its optimum operating range. In this paper, Sandy Kumar of American Standard Circuits discusses the thermal interface materials which are designed to rapidly transfer the heat generated from the semiconductor device to a properly designed and sized heat sink.

Gardien's Quality Assurance for the PCB Industry

Todd Kolmodin, Gardien's vice president of quality, discusses how his company offers the highest level of quality assurance products, including embedded test centers right in customers' factories.

Specs are a-Changin'

Panasonic's Michael Cieslinski, chair of the committee that recently revised IPC-9850, discusses the key changes made in the standard, such as simplifying stages and adding more components, as well as how the specification was organized to allow for expansion with future technologies.

Understanding New Product Introduction

MuTracx has been in inkjet product development mode for nearly three years. With the successful installation of its first machine recently, the company is entering a new growth phase. Global Sales and Marketing Director Stuart Hayton discusses the long, strange trip that is NPI--and where his company will be headed in the near future.

Makers Optimistic of Germany's PCB Market

Germany's overall PCB revenue for 2011 rose by about 4% over the previous year, according to the ZVEI PCB and Electronic Systems.

IPC Roadmap Offers OEM Vision of Trends, Technologies

"We've turned the roadmap inside out to help users connect the dots a little easier, in terms of translating OEM system level requirements into the materials, features, structures, and process requirements for printed boards and assemblies to support those needs," says Jack Fisher, chairman of the IPC Roadmap Executive Committee.


Conversations with…Bill Hanson of AccuKraft

Rack 'em up! Bill Hanson, general manager of AccuKraft, has a passion for plating racks and corrosive-resistant baskets, and it shows. Plating racks aren't glamorous, but they're absolutely critical to PCB manufacturing. Guest Editor Dan Beaulieu caught up with Hanson recently and interviewed him while he worked at a client company's board shop.

An Advanced Photoresist Exposure System

Maskless Lithography's new exposure unit allows extremely fine line and very fast exposure of dry film photoresist. It is compatible with all standard resists; therefore, it is not necessary to use an LDI formulation. Global Vice President of Sales and Marketing Rich Chenoweth takes the viewer through a full demonstration of the unit, inside and out.

Bare Board Group Expands Into Canada

Bare Board Group President Greg Papandrew and new Canada Sales Director Tony Scott discuss BBG's recent opening of a Canadian office, as well as plans for the future, with Editor Andy Shaughnessy on the IPC APEX EXPO show floor.

AT&S: Coming to America

Guest Editor Stuart Hayton catches up with AT&S Chief Operating Officer Mark Beesley and AT&S Director of Sales, Americas Andreas Wippel to learn more about their company's entry into the North American PCB market.

Flex Tutorial Part of Updated Review of IPC 2223

Mark Finstad, senior application engineer for Flexible Circuit Technologies, highlights updates to the IPC-2223 design specification and describes his involvement with the addition of a design-handy tutorial.

Lloyd Doyle at 30: Roy Lloyd Reflects

Founded in 1982 by Roy Lloyd and Dr. Keith Doyle to develop industrial automation products, the company is celebrating its 30th anniversary and the original partners continue to lead the business. Lloyd reflects upon the origin and evolution of the company with Editor Pete Starkey.

Feinberg: CES 2012, Day 2

Yesterday I posed the question asking whether CES will become a toy and gadget store instead of a stage for truly interesting new technology introductions. Today I can say I don't think so, at least not this year.

Schmid Group Unveils Vertical Etcher

Precision machine manufacturer Schmid Group earns 50% of its revenue in the Chinese market. But the company is a significant supplier to the PCB industry worldwide, serving the U.S., Taiwan, Japan and Europe. Laurent Nicolet, VP - PCB Business Unit, discusses the company's new vertical etcher and wet process solutions.

Founder PCB: Growth and Innovation

Chief Technology Officier George Dudnikov of Founder PCB has spent almost a year in China and he is celebrating the company's growth and expansion, including Founder's new R&D facility. He offers his perspective on Americans working for Chinese companies, on innovation, and on the atmosphere of today's PCB industry.

Atotech Addresses Challenges of Greener Plating

Atotech's Dr. Gerd Linka carries responsibility for sustainable development, risk management and compliance. He gives Editor Pete Starkey a brief insight into the challenges to be overcome in the development of greener plating technologies.


Drivers and Changes Affecting Electra's Business

While at productronica 2011, Chris Wall, Technical Director of Electra Polymers, comments on the drivers and changes affecting the requirement on Electra's products, and tells Editor Pete Starkey about current developments.

A Global PCB Market Update

Drilling machine maker Posalux has become a worldwide company. Sue Klay, Sales and Marketing Director for Posalux, shares her observations of the global PCB market with Guest Editor Stuart Hayton at productronica 2011.

North American vs. Asian Fabricators

Marissa Oskarsen, President of Printed Circuit Girls and Geeks, discusses a few of the differences between North American and Asian fabricators. She says many Asian shops have stepped up customer service, and North American companies need to do the same.

Letter to the Editor re: Government Regulations Create Huge Costs for Manufacturers

The October 5, 2011 article titled "Government Regulations Create Huge Costs for Manufacturers," Ron Chamrin, Manager, Government Relations, for IPC, is encouraging companies to take action to prevent new costly and burdensome regulations by sending letters to legislators urging them to address government over-regulation.

Susonence: Reducing Chemical Usage & Decreasing Waste

A new European multi-partner development project has commenced to introduce more efficient and cleaner production into the PCB and metal finishing industries. The project will employ sonochemical processes that decrease hazardous chemical usage and minimise the amounts of waste generated. Energy consumption will also be reduced.

IPC Seeks New President and CEO

As the chief executive of the association, the President and CEO is responsible for providing strategic leadership and vision by working with the Board and other stakeholders to establish long-range goals, strategies, plans and policies. The position oversees association operations and policies, delivery of services to the membership and overall programming.

Chemcut Upgrades Lab; Business Strong

Longtime wet process industry supplier Chemcut Corporation has upgraded its lab to better support its customers. Technical Marketing Specialist Kirk Lauver updates us on the progress of the business.

MFLEX Posts $191 Million in Q3 Sales

Net sales in the third quarter of fiscal 2011 were $191.8 million, an increase of 6% from net sales of $181 million in the same period of the prior year. "While we achieved year-over-year net sales growth of 6% during the third quarter, our top-line results were below our expected guidance range," said Reza Meshgin, Chief Executive Officer.

Does America Need Manufacturing?

The data is clear: America is no longer a manufacturing nation. With only 23% of our GDP, and 20% of jobs coming from the manufacturing sector, this disturbing reversal of fortune from the "good old days" begs the question, "Is there hope?" Perhaps, but one thing remains crystal clear: American manufacturers control their own destiny. Steve Williams breaks it all down.

AT&S Expects Successful Financial Year

Despite restrained growth, Chief Executive Officer Andreas Gerstenmayer is confident in achieving targets for the current financial year. "One good sign is that the growth trend remains unchanged in all the markets in which we operate." Earnings before interest and tax for the first quarter 2011/12 came to EUR 4.4 million with sales revenues of EUR 110.46 million.


Gardien's On-Track Debuts in China at Huizou Facility

Rick Meraw, Gardien's Director of Operations, Toronto, discusses Gardien's proprietary On-Track system, which debuts in China at the new Huizhou facility. He tells China Editor Edy Yu how the On-Track system allows customers to view the complete test history of their product online, and why Gardien plans to release On-Track in Japan and Taiwan as well.

OEM Press Systems on the Technical Edge

John Copp, President, and Mary Quinlan, Sales Manager, of OEM Press Systems sit down with Editor Andy Shaughnessy to explain their company's latest technological updates, as well as what the firm does to support customers.

New Gardien Facility to Focus on HDI, High Tech

Editor Edy Yu recently attended the opening of Gardien's 26th worldwide facility in the Huizhou area of Guangdong, China. Gardien COO Roland Valentini explains that the new test facility will focus on HDI and other high-tech markets, as well as introducing new ideas such as the On-Track traceability system into these markets.

Testing: East Meets West

Alex Fung, Technical Director for Garien Independent Testing, and Adam Yin, Manager, introduce Gardien's AOI manager to Guest Editor Kelly Dack. Fung also talks about the paper he presented at APEX, which dealt with merging automated optical inspection with other forms of inspection.

A Fresh Look At Primary Imaging

Stuart Hayton, Global Sales and Marketing Director at MuTracx, brings his old friend and colleague Editor Pete Starkey up to date on developments in applications of ink-jet printing of inner-layer etch resist.
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