Latest Articles

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.

SMTAI: A Triple Crown for Rockwell's Hillman?

Materials Engineer David Hillman sits down with Steve Gold to discuss why he presents papers at conferences like SMTAI-and what the Vegas odds are for him earning a third straight Best of Conference presentation award.

SMTAI: Evolving Technologies Summit Looks at Embedded and Solderless Technologies

Verdant Electronics President Joe Fjelstad relates some of the topics covered in SMTAI's Evolving Technologies Summit. Are embedded technologies finally becoming commercially viable? Will solderless assembly emerge from the lab into production? Keynote Speaker Fjelstad offers his observations and opinions.

Interview with Rohm & Haas' Bob Ferguson

PCB007's Ray Rasmussen talks with Rohm and Haas' Bob Ferguson about the progress of the Dow Acquisition, the global market along with their efforts into the Solar Energy Market.

An Inside Look: ICT/IEMRC Plating Technology Seminar

The Institute of Circuit Technology joined forces with the Innovative Electronics Manufacturing Research Centre (IEMRC) for a Summer Seminar on Plating Technology, introduced by IEMRC Coordinator Dr. Darren Cadman and ICT Technical Director, Bill Wilkie.


It's Only Common Sense: We're Not Getting Any Younger

In his most recent "It's Only Common Sense" column, Dan Beaulieu contemplates the aging of the PCB industry--a phenomenon he notices regularly while completing facility visits or attending various trade shows. Dan sees this as a scary scenario and wonders who will be taking the reins and running things in 10 or 20 years.

The Shaughnessy Report: FTG CEO Brad Bourne On Design Errors

Firan Technology Group CEO Brad Bourne says half of new designs coming into his shop contain data errors. Brad has some advice on how designers can eliminate many of these mistakes.

Semicon West 2008: Understanding R&D Circuits Merger with Anestel

An interview with Tom Bresnan, Sales Manager of R&D Circuits, reveals why the company merged with Anestel Corporation, and why the semiconductor test market is so important to the New Jersey-based company.

EIPC to Hold PCB Market and Technology Joint Conference

The European Institute of Printed Circuits will hold a Joint Conference to discuss PCB technologies and investment projects September 24-25, 2008 at the LENEXPO Exhibition & Conference Centre in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Book Review--Survival is Not Mandatory

Steve Williams has put together a simple to read and easy to use manual describing how to incorporate lean manufacturing techniques into your process to cut inefficiencies and improve productivity.

Kyzen Names Serge Tuerlings European Technical Manager

Kyzen announces that Mr. Serge Tuerlings has recently joined Kyzen as its European Technical Manager.

China Printed Circuit Industry Facing Crucial Changes

Driven by domestic and overseas market and policy changes, the increasing requirements of environmental protection and China's policy changes to industry development, the electronic circuits industry in China is entering into a changing phase for adjustment and relocation in which environment and standards are the key for sustainable development.

Semicon West 2008--Distributor Diversifies into Solar Market

A video interview with Technica President and CEO Frank Medina looks at how one distributor is pushing into the photovoltaic market while staying true to its electronics manufacturing roots.

UK Electronics Manufacturing Alive and Kicking--Report from IEMRC Conference

Harry Tee, Chairman of the Electronics Leadership Council, told conference attendees that traditional markets are changing, and UK electronics companies need to be more strategic in addressing skills and education if they expect to increase productivity and compete effectively.

Dow Chemical Buys Rohm and Haas

Rohm and Haas Company announced that it has entered into an agreement with The Dow Chemical Company, under which Dow will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Rohm and Haas common stock for $78.00 per share in cash.


Flex-Ability Goes Lean, Stays Flexible

Flex manufacturer Flex-Ability is celebrating its 21st birthday. Find out how this British company handled changes in the market - and its management team - and ended up lean and mean.

The Shaughnessy Report: Brent Nolan of Global Innovation

What does a large American PCB fabricator have to do to succeed in today's global manufacturing market? Brent Nolan, COO and president of Global Innovation in Wylie, TX, says much of his strategy involves working closely with his customers and suppliers.

R&D Circuits Acquires Anestel Corporation

"Why a merger? We saw two companies with adjacent products and similar manufacturing processes addressing the same market in high performance and fine pitch test applications," said Darren Young, CEO of Anestel.

BPA Consulting Evaluates Copper Trends in PCBs

In the short term, forecasted increases on the demand side for copper prices are likely to remain at least at the current level. The trend in copper usage has diverged in the fact that a number of different applications now exist.

Advanced Circuits Upgrades Processes; Invests $1 Million in New Equipment

"Our goal with this investment is to maintain 100% redundancy enabling our manufacturing plant to continue operating at full capacity," said John Yacoub, president and CEO of Advanced Circuits.

Warning: You May Be Driving Your Printed Circuit Board Shop out of Business

A crisis is looming in the PCB industry that not only threatens the profitability of OEMs and EMS providers, but also puts our national security at risk.

Yellowasp PCB Offers Intelligent Added-Value Service

In an imposing glass-fronted office building in Makati City, a dedicated group of engineering professionals provide comprehensive front-end support to printed circuit manufacturers world-wide, under the name Yellowasp PCB Services. PCB007 asked Managing Director Colin Smithson about the company, its history, its culture, its capability and its approach to the market.

China Week in Review

Wei Chen summarizes the latest news from China--Topoint Reaches Revenue of NT $176 Million in May; Cheer-time Elects Jiang Bingji New Chairman of the Board; and LH Tech Generates NT $151 Million in May.

Global Ventec Laminates - Not Just another Laminate Merchant

Now a busy industrial and commercial town set close to the motorway network, Leamington is an ideal location for distribution businesses, one of which is Global-Ventec Laminates UK Ltd. PCB007 visited GVL's smartly-presented warehousing and panel-cutting facility and asked Managing Director, Mark Goodwin, about the company.

China Week in Review

Wei Chen summarizes the latest news from China--including announcements from Compeq, Tripod, Iteq and Lenovo.


Somacis Welcomes Chinese Delegation; Strengthens Cooperation

This significant meeting is yet another step toward reinforcing the already strong relationship established between the world of industry and the international institution world, and also highlights the need and willingness of cooperation between the two--and the consequential impact it has on the economic world.

Orbotech Brings Fresh Ideas to Circuitex 2008

Bob Neves, of Microtek Laboratories, sits down with Yair Alcobi, Orbotech's Vice President, Marketing and Sales, to learn more about a new laser-based repair system that incorporates over 25 years of knowledge gained in the support of the PCB industry. Alcobi explains how laser and CAM software capabilities were integrated into one package.

Report from Circuitex 2008

In China, three key trade shows exist for the PCB industry--the CPCA Show, the HKPCA Show and last week's Circuitex, held in Suzhou, China. Over 320 exhibitors from around the world made up the Circuitex show floor this year. Show organizers reported there were approximately 20,000 visitors over the three-day show period.

The Walt Street Journal

Industry Analyst and IPC Hall of Famer Walt Custer gives his analysis and forecast of industry market conditions. You might be pleasantly surprised by his predictions for 2008.

An International Conference and Exhibition?

Pierre Emannuel Goutroube, from CIREP in Toulouse, France, dispels the notion that IPC trade shows and educational offerings are no longer relevant for overseas visitors. Goutroube traveled to Las Vegas to find more detailed technical information on embedded components--something he thought the show could definitely deliver.

Feel the Energy with Hunter

Joe O'Neil, President of Hunter Technology, discusses the success of APEX with Dan Beaulieu--calling the show a "renewal of the industry." O'Neil also relays the success of his Santa Clara, CA-based company, which includes the addition of three new SMT lines and a pool of 40 design engineers.

A Conversation with Clyde Coombs

Clyde Coombs, the editor of the industry bible, Printed Circuit Handbook, sits down with Steve Gold to discuss the inception of this book in the early 1960s to its current sixth edition--including what the latest edition covers in terms of lead-free and HDI technology.

Anglia Circuits: Three Factors Ensuring Success

Dr. Chris Thomas unveils the key strategies for success of PCB maker Anglia Circuits.

Rogers--A Material World

Michael Coll, Product Manager for Rogers Corporation, explains the newest set of foils his company is offering to guest Editor Rick Hartley. Rogers offers specialty and high-speed laminates for computer and communications applications. Coll explains that he is seeing more copper foil requests from OEM and fabricator customers--from new resistor foil technology to thinner and smoother foils for various applications.

A Laminates Lesson

Global Laminates President Bruce Hurley discusses the copper-clad substrates his company offers. Hurley says customers are now requiring other advanced materials, not readily available from Asian companies in the U.S. To meet such needs, Global has developed a joint venture with Ventec to manufacture small lots of VT-46 and VT-90 in Southern California.


Selling Productivity

Ofer Ton, President of FASTechnologies, talks with Steve Gold about the IPC Printed Circuits Expo, APEX and Designers Summit's change in venue, quality of attendees and why software is a vital--but often challenging--product to sell at a trade show where many people come to "kick the tires."

Young at Heart: New Horizons for Well-Established Chemcut Corporation

Kirk Lauver, Technical Marketing Specialist with Chemcut Corporation, sits down with Ray Rasmussen to discuss his company's progress over the past year and his thoughts on the current market. Lauver also explains the company's added cleaning applications for solar equipment and LCDs, plus a few major enhancements to Chemcut's CC8000 line of etching equipment.

Inside the PCB Executive Management Meetings

An interview with Bare Board Group (BBG) CEO Greg Papendrew reveals what topics were covered at the PCB Executive Management Meetings during the IPC Printed Circuits Expo, APEX and the Designers Summit 2008. The meetings, according to Papendrew, were a fantastic networking and learning opportunity for those in attendance--a way to find out what others are doing to be successful in the current market.

The Key to Low-Cost Solar Cells: Thinner Than a Human Hair?

While thin film technologies receive worldwide attention with their potential to lower the cost of solar energy, some researchers are thinking outside the box and looking into different approaches--resulting in cost reductions for photovoltaic technologies.

A Las Vegas Review

Though most exhibitors expressed enthusiasm for the IPC Printed Circuits Expo, APEX and the Designers Summit 2008 in Las Vegas, Mania Technologie's Vice President, Stuart Hayton, raises some genuine concerns about not only competing with other exhibitors, but also with a city that never sleeps.

NRC Committee on Manufacturing Trends in Printed Circuit Board Technology Recommendations

The Conference Report (H. Rept. 109-702) to H.R. 5122, the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007, directed the Secretary of Defense to provide a report on the implementation of the recommendations of the National Research Council (NRC) Committee in Manufacturing Trends in Printed Circuit Board (PrCB) Technology to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees.

Coretec's Gareth Perry Focuses on Advanced Technologies

Coretec's Chief Technology Officer, Gareth Perry, explains talks with Steve Gold about the PCB Management Meetings focus on emerging technologies--a new twist on what had been more marketing-oriented meetings.

CCA Update: Sacramento Day, Schwarzenegger Top Agenda

California Circuits Association's Executive Director Richard Crowe discusses what his organization is planning over the next six months. Highlights of the interview include Sacramento Day, a lobbying visit with the California Chamber of Commerce on May 20, 2008 to push the state to be more "business-friendly," and the SMTA/IPC Golf Tournament coming up in June.

The Consolidation of Global PCB Industries

Rex Rosario, CEO of Graphic PLC, talks about the consolidation of global PCB industries. He answers the question of what such a collaboration will achieve for U.S. and European companies moving forward in current markets. Find out how coming together will make companies stronger and more efficient.

Is China Losing its Luster?

Dan Beaulieu, a well-known industry writer and columnist, offers his opinion on the industry in China. Higher wages, water and energy issues, employee turnover and shipping costs are all taking their toll on the Chinese electronics manufacturing sector. Will it help North American businesses?


The Best of the PCB Industry: IPC Innovative Technology Center Winners

We're highlighting the PCB industry winners of the IPC Innovative Technology Center Award--find out why each won this exciting recognition.

Robots will Play an Integral Role in the Future of the Human Race

MIT professor of Robotics and co-founder of iRobot (Roomba), Rodney Brooks provided the keynote at the opening of the IPC Expo, APEX and Designers Summit Tuesday morning in Las Vegas. Brooks provides a summary of his keynote presentation which looks at the current state of Robotics technologies and also looks at where Robotics is headed.

In the Beginning: How IPC Started a Successful Tradeshow

IPC Hall of Famer Jerry Siegmund takes us back to 1994, when IPC started its first Printed Circuits Expo. Find out how the exhibition began--despite the protests of IPC board members.

Video: EI Drives PCB Technology, Focuses on High-end US Markets

James Wilson, Endicott Interconnect Technology Product Manager for Printed Circuit Boards talks about the company's PCB business today and where it's headed. EI has implemented substantial R&D efforts that are helping the company develop some world-beating technologies to support their customer base.

Video: IPC Addressing Board Storage and Certification for PCB Companies

TAEC Chairman, Don Dupriest, Lockheed Martin, and his committees are working on standards for PCB storage as well as an IPC certification for PCB companies.

IPC Begins to Tackle Counterfeiting

Counterfeiting in electronics is causing enough concern for IPC to offer a Free Forum on the subject. Forum Chair Denny Fritz and Bob Neves join Steve Gold to discuss what could become one of the biggest issues facing our industry.

North American Fabricators Look for New Market Opportunities

What markets should companies be pursuing? According to Bob Clarke, FTG, fabricators are talking more with each other to better define which end markets will prove lucrative in the future.

Video: Sierra Circuits Discusses Their Micro Electronics and HDI Capabilities

Dale Baird, GM for Sierra Micro Electronics and Amit Bahl, HDI Manager for Sierra Proto Express, discuss the technologies driving their business.

Video - Terry Heilman, Sunstone Circuits: How to Beat a Flat North American Market

Once you admit a PCB is a commodity, then you can address how to succeed in a tough manufacturing environment. At least that's what Sunstone CEO Terry Heilman believes. His interview reveals other strategies for success in a flat fab market.

Video Interview: Dupont's Karl Dietz Talks About Embedded Materials

One of the industry's premier technologists, Dupont's Karl Dietz makes his video interview debut for a discussion of embedded materials technology aimed at packaging substrates.


Eltek Achieves Strong Sequential Revenue Growth in the 4Q

Revenue growth in the fourth quarter was driven, in part, by continued penetration of the high-end PCB market in the U.S. This market includes customers in the aerospace, industrial and medical industries who have growing demands for Eltek's flex-rigid capabilities.

Video: Beamind's Christophe Vauche Talks About His Contactless Test System

Beamind COO talks with Bob Neves last week at the CPCA Show in Shanghai, China. Christophe discusses the test issues facing the industry and the solution his company provides.

iNEMI Schedules Three Industry Workshops for 2009 Roadmap

The International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI) has scheduled three regional workshops to give the industry an opportunity to review "work in progress" on the 2009 Roadmap.

The Gold Record: CPCA Show Review

Bob Neves joins Steve Gold as the two review what was (not) new in Shanghai and examine some issues the Chinese market will be grappling with this year--including a need for stronger domestic engineering skills.

Video: Camtek's Issey Endey Discusses the Challenges in the Chinese PCB Market

The Camtek China president offers important insights into the current state of industry affairs in China. Do not miss this honest assessment of the Chinese market.
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