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Weave and CAF: An Eye-Opening Discussion

Dielectric Solutions' Vice President, Technology, John Kuhn, sits down with Editor Ray Rasmussen to discuss a new glass system that promises to eliminate many of the headaches associated with traditional glass structures for laminates.

D-15 Flex Test Methods Group Update

Duane Mahnke, of DB Mahnke Consulting, heads the D-15 Flex Test Methods committee and provides updates on the group's efforts. One project under development is a thermal index test to let flex fabricators know how long flex materials will survive under elevated conditions.

PCQR2 Subcommittee Update

Designed as a benchmarking tool, the PCQR2 allows board fabricators to assess their capabilities using a common set of tests and tools. David Wolf, Vice President of Technical Marketing at Conductor Analysis Technologies, gives an overview of the committee, its mission and its goals.

The Gold Record: Crosstalk is Back!

This week's edition of The Gold Record is actually a new Crosstalk with Dan Beaulieu and new guest, Bob Tarzwell. They discuss whether or not the upturn in global economic indicators is truly having an impact on our industry. Is there really going to be a "pent-up demand" effect in electronics?

IPC Announces Environmental Compliance Conferences

The IPC (Association Interconnecting Electronics Industries) will be holding two conferences regarding compliance with the current environmental laws November 10-11, 2009, at the Marriott Hotel in Irvine, California.

IPC Lean Sigma Conference: Strategies to Improve Quality

The event offers insight into ways to immediately implement the Lean Sigma methodology and reduce cycle times, inventory levels and costs while improving quality.

Opening Eyes on Weave and CAF

Typical glass fibers can present an uneven pattern to the copper traces overlaid upon them, and that can lead to signal skew and timing errors. John Kuhn of Dielectric Solutions discusses a new, tighter fiber weave that can help eliminate "fiber weave effect" and the attendant signal integrity problems.

Inside Look: Institute of Circuit Technology Arundel Seminar

Technical Director Bill Wilkie introduced a programme of three excellent presentations on hole-plugging, high frequency materials and cost-effective panelisation, which were attentively received and which triggered some lively discussion, both in the lecture room and in the bar afterward.

The Gold Record: Printed Electronics PCBs Becoming a Reality

DMRPCB's Robert Tarzwell is a printed electronics PCB pioneer. He is now offering fabricators printed electronics "kits" that will give PCB makers a better understanding of how to manufacture printed electronics circuit boards. He's also teaming with Taiyo America, and other partners, to help push printed electronics into the mainstream. Is this technology ready?

PCB Design, Engineering Considerations for Medical Electronics Assemblies

Close collaboration between device makers and a PCB manufacturer with broad knowledge of PCB design and engineering issues can greatly improve the successful planning and production of medical electronic circuit assemblies.


It's Only Common Sense: Ten Ways to Get Sales Moving

What do you do when your bookings fall through the floor? This week, Dan Beaulieu, offers ten ways to get things moving.

Fitch: U.S. EMS Sector Credit Quality Improves

Fitch's Outlook for the sector is now "Stable" versus a "Negative Outlook" at the beginning of the year. Fitch expects moderate revenue growth over the intermediate term coupled with marginal improvement in profitability to further stabilize and improve credit metrics.

RUWEL Emerges From Insolvency

RUWEL, a PCB producer with a long tradition in Europe, has been rescued--and it couldn't have been more dramatic. The company is heading into the future with an order scope extending to the end of February and has prospects with an Asian partner.

Dow Electronic Materials Launches Silveron MF 100

Dow Electronic Materials introduces Silveron MF 100 autocatalytic silver and Aurolectroless SMT immersion gold for ASIG (autocatalytic silver immersion gold) final finish process for the PCB industry.

FLAT-WRAP: A Novel Approach to Copper Wrap Plate

Flat-Wrap Technology provides a solution to Copper Wrap Plate problems. Flat-Wrap allows for copper wrap plate without the build up of surface copper thickness. This aspect of this technology provides the benefit of producing highly reliable PCBs without sacrificing fabrication capability.

Aspocomp Reports 45% Sales Drop in 1H09

"The market remained challenging. Due to decreased net sales, the Oulu plant's result turned red. In addition, about EUR 0.2 million in one-time compensation for dismissal and provision for bad debt were booked during the period," says Sami Holopainen, President and CEO.

Bare Board Group: Third Time's the Charm

Bare Board Group, Inc. (BBG), a U.S. supplier of quality PCBs, has earned position #2278 on this year's 2009 Inc. 5000 ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States.

Camtek Posts 34% Revenue Increase in 2Q09

Camtek has announced that revenues for the second quarter of 2009 increased 34% to $12.5 million, compared to $9.3 million in the first quarter of 2009. Revenues in the second quarter last year totaled $22.7 million.

Letter re: It's Only Common Sense: Circle the Wagons

I listened with interest to your audio column "It's Only Common Sense: Circle the Wagons." It is clear to me that the many excellent activities of the IPC PCB Presidents Management Council Steering Committee and other IPC Committees are not getting the acknowledgement they deserve.

Orbotech Posts Positive Sales for PCB Equipment in 2Q09

During the second quarter of 2009, certain PCB manufacturers have reported increased fabrication plant utilization--this has had a positive effect on Orbotech's sales of PCB equipment.


It's Time to Train!

It's rough out there, but that's no reason to stop training your staff. "Now is the time to take the time to ensure that the workforce is trained and prepared for when things do improve and we start growing again," says Al Dill, President of Blackfox training institute, which provides IPC training.

Research and Markets Offers "ESD: Circuits and Devices"

Research and Markets has announced the addition of John Wiley and Sons Ltd.'s new report "ESD: Circuits and Devices" to its offerings.

Are You Right, or Dead Right?

Your first technical meeting with a potential customer is not the time to explain that a design is bad or his documentation is incorrect. The customer doesn't want to hear how much you know about circuitry; he wants to assess the way you do business.

2009 HKPCA & IPC Show Offers Incentive; Close Collaboration

With a strong commitment to serving the industry, the 2009 HKPCA & IPC Show has reviewed market conditions and decided to make this year's show better cater to the needs of the electronics industry. A main initiatives is the introduction of special discounts on booth rentals to ease cost concerns of exhibitors.

Basic Impedance Fabrication Guidelines, Part 1

When we talk about signal integrity or impedance lines, there are some very basic guidelines to follow. Remember, impedance mismatches cause signal reflections, which reduce voltage and timing margins.

Proper Planning Prevents Poor Recession Performance

Nobody planned for such a dramatic recession. Sometimes, the best laid plans help a company in the worst of times. OK International CEO Mark Cowell explains how plans started before the downturn began have helped his company remain competitive.

Microvia Failures: The Pathologist's Viewpoint

Paul Reid, IST Program Coordinator with PWB Interconnect Solutions, Inc., sees his role as that of a pathologist--a specialist in examining failure modes and mechanisms, a forensic scientist conducting autopsies on defective structures to determine causes of death.

New Product Offerings to Boost Taiyo America in 2009

Dan Beaulieu sits down with Taiyo America President Dave Rund to discuss his company's outlook for 2009 and several new technologies Taiyo is introducing to the market--including a new laser-direct imaging solder mask.

Isola Grants Patent License to Sanmina-SCI Corporation

The license grants Sanmina the right to practice under U.S. Patent Nos. 5,350,621 and 5,464,658 for the terms of the patents. These patents are directed generally to laminates and PCBs that incorporate square weave fabric materials.

Endicott Interconnect Stays On Top of the Technology Curve

Mike Hills, Senior Vice President of Business Development, talks about the company's move toward strategic partnerships with their suppliers, capital equipment investment and their newest, and most significant, business venture--a recently announced PCB Fab partnership with Cartel Electronics.


It's Only Common Sense: Price is King

Price is king...or, is it? An emphasis on price has practically ruined the PCB industry--along with many others in the U.S. What happened to a focus on quality, performance, delivery and service? This week, Dan Beaulieu explores these time-sensitive questions.

EIPC Helping Members Explore New Markets

EIPC Technical Director Michael Weinhold sits down with Ray Rasmussen to discuss market conditions in Europe and how his organization is helping its members explore new market opportunities.

The Bare (Board) Truth: Dielectric Constant Mismatches

To avoid dielectric constant mismatches later on, PCB designers should consult their fabricators early in the design process to determine the specific effective Dk for each critical subsection. Mark Thompson explains how to avoid impedance and signal integrity compromises.

Industry Veterans Are at It Again

Everybody recognizes we are in the middle of an unprecedented economic storm. But how are some companies surviving--even thriving--today? In today's feature, John Peters of Cartel Electronics talks about his new venture, his partners, the market and much more.

It's Only Common Sense: Hot Marketing

Special times take special marketing. In his latest column, Dan Beaulieu offers two great tips on how to get customers to come to you.

It's Only Common Sense: Be a Great PCB Rep

Are you the best printed circuit board representative you can be? Success stories do exist in the industry--take a listen and find out these companies are making the grade.

Meet Our New Columnist: Mark Thompson

My name is Mark Thompson, and I'd like to introduce myself and tell you what I plan to cover in my new audio column, The Bare (Board) Truth, which debuts next week.

IPC: March Rigid PCB Bookings Down 40%

“Sales and orders improved in March over the first two months of the year due to seasonal effects, but year-on-year growth in rigid PCBs is still down significantly. Orders are still lagging behind sales, which suggests that sales will continue to weaken for the next quarter.”

It's Only Common Sense: How Good Are Your Sales People?

The key to success in today's economy is winning and keeping valued customers. Your company's sales team becomes the "MVP" in times like these so just how good are your sales people? This week, Dan Beaulieu gives you tips on how to make them great!

Second Thoughts: Challenging Times Challenge Convention

The current economic climate and subsequent global downturn has prompted many PCB shops to revisit how they conduct business in an attempt to find an edge--be it technical, cost, service/performance or, perhaps, even a combination of each.


It's Only Common Sense: It's Time

It's time! Time to "innovate" your way through these tough economic times; to not only survive, but thrive--coming out stronger, meaner and leaner. Dan Beaulieu believes that here has never been a better time to make your company better.

Bill Jacobi Receives IPC Hall of Fame Award

Bill Jacobi received the Raymond E. Pritchard IPC Hall of Fame Award at IPC APEX EXPO. The former CEO of William Jacobi and Associates served as chairman of IPC's Flexible Circuit Committee for 17 years.

DesignCon Best Paper: Practical Analysis of Backplane Vias

Accurate, verified models for vias in a multilayer circuit board are necessary to predict link performance in the GHz regime. This paper, which won a Best Paper Award at DesignCon 2009, describes the methodology of using measurements on a test vehicle to build a high-bandwidth, scalable model of long vias that includes the through and stub effects which can be used for system simulation. Authors are Eric Bogatin, Bogatin Enterprises; Lambert Simonovich, Nortel; and Sanjeev Gupta and Mike Resso, Agilent Technologies.

Electronics Manufacturing by Inkjet Printing

Inkjet printing is of great interest in the field of electronics manufacture because its digital nature negates the need for physical tooling.

Schmoll Asia-Pacific Embarks on New Business Strategy

Schmoll Asia-Pacific President and CEO Joe Ruff details what his company is doing to make sure it can service its customers in full force while positioning itself for whenever the market recovers.

Piergiacomi Ready to Release New Bonding Machine

Dallco Managing Director Gaetano Dall'Ora reports that Piergiacomi is preparing to unveil a new bonding machine that not only raises the bar technologically, but will dramatically reduce energy consumption.

Chinese Government Bolsters Electronics Sector with 3G Infrastructure Push

Will the Chinese government's economic stimulus plan reap benefits for our industry? Arlon Vice President of Sales Brad Foster gives his impressions of how government action has led to growth in the Chinese market. He also discusses the movement of OEM design teams into China, and how that will impact purchasing decisions in the future.

Sunstone Launches Comprehensive Parts Library With NXP, Digi-Key

PCB designers can now search the parts library, including certified footprints and schematic symbols, and order parts in real time from Digi-Key through Sunstone's PCB123 design software.

Major OEMs Outline Expectations, Challenges at APEX 2009

Intel Corporation, IBM and Hewlett-Packard Company will take the stage at the IPC APEX EXPO OEM Summit to define key issues they are facing in halogen-free materials, materials reliability and supplier quality.

Standards Development Activities at APEX Running at Full Capacity

Representatives from companies across the supply chain and around the world will tackle and debate issues in areas from printed board design, plating and acceptance to assembly and joining processes to environment, health and safety to product reliability and testing. Five weeks out, committee registrations are keeping pace with last year's record turnout.


IPC European Summit Negotiates Challenges Into Opportunities

The two-day event will kick off with a Government Relations and Regulatory Forum to discuss the proposed changes to the RoHS Directive and IPC efforts in regard to the impending changes, as well as other laws and regulations with the power to affect a company's bottom line.

Frontline: "Inside the Meltdown"

This amazing program really shows us how close we came to the complete collapse of not only the U.S. financial system, but the entire global economy.

IPC: Tax Incentives Will Aid Technology-Based Businesses

IPC is lobbying Congress to pass bonus depreciation tax incentives and research and experimentation (R&E) tax credits contained in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, also known as the economic stimulus package.

Rohm and Haas to Pursue Alternatives to Dow Acquisition

Rohm and Haas has been advised by The Dow Chemical that it does not intend to close the pending acquisition of Rohm and Haas on or before Tuesday, January 27, 2009. Rohm and Haas stated that it intends to pursue all available alternatives to protect its shareholders' interests.

Seven Substances Recommended for Inclusion in REACH Authorization List

Seven of the fifteen substances on the REACH Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) List were recommended for inclusion in a list of substances subject to authorization (Annex XIV) by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). Once a substance is included, it cannot be sold on the EU market 42 to 48 months after the inclusion date, unless authorized.

TTM Technologies Announces Closure of Washington Facility

TTM Technologies today announced that it will close its Redmond, Washington facility during the first quarter of 2009 due to weakened demand for commercial PCBs. In addition to the Redmond closure, TTM is reducing headcount at other plants by approximately 140 employees.

HDI Book Chapter 1: Introduction to High-Density Interconnects

The widespread use of new electronic components employing ball-grid array (BGA), chip scale packaging (CSP) and other evolving technology form-factors means new fabrication techniques must be used to create printed circuit boards (PCBs) that will accommodate parts with extremely tight lead pitches and small geometries.

BPA: World PCB and Laminate Industries Outlook

The years 2000 and 2001 saw a dramatic, unprecedented growth in electronics equipment, certainly unequalled in the previous ten years since 1991; then came the drastic 2001 slowdown.

Energy Harvesting Strategies for Industrial Applications

Energy harvesting technology is still in its infancy. In a presentation with voiceover from the EKTN "Bending the Design Rules" conference, Dr. Markys Cain of NPL describes one part of the solution - the materials science of piezo materials. The efficiency by which piezo materials may convert vibrational energy into useful electrical energy is described, along with a description of the typical sources of energy found in the environment.

Advanced Circuits Reveals Secret to Success

John Yacoub, President and CEO of Advanced Circuits, gives editor Steve Gold a tour of his newly-expanded facility and also sits down to discuss his company's secret to success--a philosophy of "Customer Excellence." With more than 35,000 customers, ranging from students to billion-dollar companies, Yacoub explains that each customer has access to the company's automated, online ordering system--the very first of its kind introduced more than eight years ago.


Graphic CEO Refuses to Participate in Economic Malaise

Many interviewees at the HKPCA Show are taking defensive measures to ensure long-term survival. Graphic Plc CEO Rex Rozario is taking the opposite approach. He details some aggressive steps his company is taking to increase sales regardless of volatile global financial markets.

Understanding the Korean Market

The Korean electronics market was experiencing a deep recession long before the current economic crisis hit. CSS International CEO One Son explains why Korea is experiencing difficulties. Find out whether or not vertical integration in Korea will help the country rebound sooner rather than later.

German PCB Market Drops 10.7% in August

Germany's printed circuit board (PCB) market posted an 8.1% sequential drop in revenues for August, and a year-on-year decline of 10.7%, according to ZVEI/VdL.

Iteq Settles Patent Dispute with Isola; TUC Still in Litigation

As reported previously, Isola USA filed patent infringement complaints against Taiwan-based copper clad laminate (CCL) makers Taiwan Union Technology (TUC) and Iteq in September 2008. Iteq has now settled with Isola, the company recently announced, while TUC is still in litigation.

Observations on the iNemi Summit: OEMs Talk "Sustainability"

Having been stung by RoHS and, in particular, lead-free, these leading companies have established efforts to get ahead of the curve by developing more environmentally friendly products, taking a "cradle-to-cradle" approach. They've decided it's time to get ahead of the environmental regulations coming down the pike.

IPC Delivers Comments to the U.S. CPSC On Electronic Devices

IPC noted that most electronic devices should not be considered children's products. While some computers and other electronics are specifically designed for use by children, the majority of electronic products are not generally viewed as "children's products," even though they may be used by children from time to time under the supervision of adults.

Artetch Circuits Achieves AS9100

West Sussex-based PCB manufacturer Artetch Circuits Ltd. has been awarded AS9100 by the British Standards Institute after satisfying the BSI of its ability to make PCBs to the standard required by the international aerospace industry.

NTERA and GSI Technologies Sign License and Material Supply Agreement

GSI Technologies and NTERA will bring a range of printed electronics products to market, leveraging the capabilities of NTERA's all printed display technology.

Interview: TTM's Lee Wilmot on IPC's RCRA Regulatory Victory

"The IPC Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Committee worked with IPC staff for years to obtain regulatory relief from the onerous RCRA hazardous waste rules. We're pleased to finally see these efforts yield some tangible results."

New Report on Dielectric Materials Now Available

According to a new report from NanoMarkets LC, an industry analyst firm, the market for dielectric materials for thin-film, organic and printable (TOP) electronics will reach more than US $635 million by 2015.


Register Now for IPC Executive Conference and Management Meetings

There's still time for electronics industry executives ro register for IPC's Executive Market & Technology Forum Conference and the IPC Management Meetings, October 28-30, 2008, in Kissimmee, Florida.

The Shaughnessy Report: Russo on Altium's New China Strategy

Altium President Emma Lo Russo explains the company's recent announcement of amnesty for illegal users of its EDA software in China. That offer is just one part of the Australian company's strategy for gaining market share in China.

Compass Will Automate IPC Standards

IPC Director of Technology Transfer Dieter Bergman discusses Compass, a software tool that may revolutionize the way PCB designers use IPC standards. IPC and PCB Matrix are collaborating on Compass, due out this spring.

Case Study: Utilization of Buried Capacitance

This technical paper, presented at DesignCon 2008, compares the performance of a standard PCB design to one using various types of buried capacitance layers with a reduced number of SMT decoupling capacitors. The paper was authored by Jun Fan, University of Missouri-Rolla; Norm Smith and Jim Knighten, Teradata: John Andresakis, Oak-Mitsui Technologies; Yoshi Fukawa, TechDream; and Mark Harvey, Sanmina-SCI.

SMTAI: Dell Offers Information to Supply Chain in Hopes to End Lead-Free Hassles

Dell Senior Manager Dr. Randy Schueller needed to address server board field failures. His research led him to the realization that lead-free HASL, a seldom-used surface finish, was the best way to solve Dell's problems.
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