Article Highlights
The CPCA and China’s Electronic Circuit Industry: Past and Future
12/11/2019 | Wang Longji, CPCA
Industry Set for Shift to True 3D Printing and Photonics
12/09/2019 | Nolan Johnson, PCB007
Nolan’s Notes: Clarity of Vision
12/05/2019 | Nolan Johnson, PCB007
Calumet Electronics and Averatek Team Up on A-SAP
12/02/2019 | Nolan Johnson, PCB007
InduBond: Magnetic Induction Lamination
11/29/2019 | Real Time with...productronica

Latest Articles

ATG’s Swen Fleischer on China: the Market, the Future and CPCA

ATG Luther & Maelzer’s Swen Fleischer, vice president and GM of sales, Greater Taiwan/China, sat down with I-Connect007 Publisher Barry Matties at CPCA 2015. Among the several topics discussed are automation in China, the Chinese market in general and areas of future growth, and the effect of three major shows a year on the turnout at CPCA.

Fire Retardancy: What, Why, and How

This article takes a critical look at all aspects of fire retardancy, starting with the need for fire safety, the function of a flame retardant, the reactive and additive flame retardant classes, major flame retardant compounds, toxicology and environmental impact of retardants--most especially Tetrabromobisphenol-A, which is the most widely used flame retardant in PCB materials--as well as European legislative directives.

Material Witness: Low-Flow Prepregs – Taming the Process

In this installment of Material Witness, Chet Guiles continues his discussion around Low-Flow Prepregs giving good advice about how to actually use these materials.

Atotech’s Uwe Hauf’s View of the Global Electronics Manufacturing Market

Uwe Hauf, VP of electronics for Atotech, and I-Connect007 Publisher Barry Matties sat down at CPCA 2015 for an illuminating discussion of the global market—what’s happening now, what is going to happen tomorrow, and a few things that won’t happen for at least 10 years, according to Hauf.

Interesting Nanomaterial-based Electronic Inks from Intrinsiq

Guest Editor Joe Fjelstad talks with Intrinsiq Material's CEO Sujatha Ramanujan about the various applications for their unique nano copper material. One application is as a paste for conductive via fill; another is to simply sinter the nano copper particles in an oven to create an ultra-thin copper foil.

Zentech’s John Vaughan on the Mil/Aero Sector: “It’s Headed Up”

I-Connect007 Publisher Barry Matties and Zentech’s John Vaughan had a chance to discuss industry concerns within the mil/aero segment at IPC APEX EXPO 2015. The two also shared thoughts on the space industry, and Vaughan detailed Zentech’s involvement with National Manufacturing Day, a nationwide effort focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) that simultaneously brought high school students together with 1,600 manufacturing companies from around the U.S.

eSurface Technology Partners with Laminate Suppliers

Innovative surface treatment is an enabler for fully additive circuit fabrication, and opens up new opportunities for ultra-thin copper technology.

21 Years of Growth: A-Gas Electronic Materials Has 2020 Vision

Technical Editor Pete Starkey recently sat down for an interview with Jonathan Sellars, managing director of A-Gas Electronic Materials, at the company’s new facility in Rugby, UK. The company is a distributor of specialist chemicals and processes for semiconductor, PCB, electronic and industrial metal finishing, photovoltaic and advanced packaging technology industries. Sellars outlined the history of the company, its business philosophy and its future plans.

Rex Rozario: Investing in Graphic PLC Through Technology and Capacity

I-Connect007 Tech Editor Pete Starkey and Graphic PLC Group Chairman Rex Rozario caught up at IPC APEX EXPO 2015. Among other items, the two discussed Graphic’s current expansion in size and equipment, as well as what Starkey describes as the company’s history of making good decisions.

Bernie Kessler: Pioneering Spirit Then and Now

I-Connect007’s Patty Goldman sat down with longtime friend and IPC Hall of Famer Bernie Kessler at IPC APEX EXPO 2015 in San Diego. Among other things, the two discussed the early days of IPC, and the beginnings of APEX EXPO.


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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Aluminum Base Circuit Technology: Structures and Manufacturing Methods

Aluminum is an attractive material for use in the manufacturing of electronic assemblies due to its low cost, good thermal properties, and stability. But due to its innate thermal spreading ability, it's not easily used when solder is required to make interconnections to components. This article describes ways to manufacture electronic assemblies using aluminum as a base and eschewing the use of solder.

Disrupting PCB Imaging with Inkjet Technology: Challenges & Opportunities Explained

Why are 95% of the circuit boards driving digital devices still imaged with film, the same way they have been for the past 50 years? This paper from Henk-Jan Zwiers of Mutracx will address this question by exploring the challenges of digital PCB imaging and the emergence of inkjet imaging, a technology that has the potential to revolutionise the industry.

Electrical Testing of Passive Components

This paper, from a group of authors from Gardien Services, discusses the new processes required by electrical test centers and labs and how the ET arena has adapted to provide accurate testing of buried resistors and accommodate the buried capacitive cores to not receive false errors from the grid testers and flying probes.

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.


Printed Electronics in Perspective

A significant amount of press coverage has been given to printed electronics over the last several years. What appears to have precipitated the explosion of interest in the middle of the last decade was a report that suggested PE would dominate electronic production by the mid-2020s with an annual market of over $300 billion. Joe Fjelstad takes a closer look.

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.

Graphite-based Direct Metallization for Fabrication of Complex Interconnect Designs

According to author Michael Carano, colloidal graphite direct metallization processes have proven their usefulness as a replacement for electroless copper. Continuous improvements in the stability of the graphite dispersion has made the process an enabler for flex and HDI interconnect designs.

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.

Lead-free Reflow for High-layer-count PCBs

One of the most difficult printed circuit boards to adapt to Pb-free assembly processes is the high-layer count multilayer. Often, these multilayers have through-hole and hand-soldered components, and requirements for two or more rework cycles. One solution to this problem is to redesign the multilayer using current design rules and newer innovative fabrication technologies.
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