Article Highlights
Emma Hudson: From Tomboy to Tech Lead
06/21/2019 | Gen3
IPC’s PCB Tech Trends Study Highlights Issues Impacting Fabricators
06/11/2019 | Michael Carano, RBP Chemical Technology
PCB Fabricators’ Tech Capabilities Exceed OEMs’ Needs in Many Areas
06/06/2019 | Dennis Fritz, Fritz Consulting
Laminate Suppliers Face Increasing Demands From Customers
06/04/2019 | Nolan Johnson, I-Connect007
IMPACT Washington, D.C. 2019 Recap: Leaders Call for Action on USMCA Trade Deal
05/30/2019 | Chris Mitchell, IPC VP, Global Government Relations

Latest Articles

Alun Morgan on the European PCB Market and Role of EIPC

On the eve of the EIPC Winter Conference in Berlin, Guest Editor Stuart Hayton met up with old friend and recently-appointed EIPC Chairman Alun Morgan to get his thoughts on the state of the European market and plans for the organization now that he's at the helm.

Manufacturing Renaissance: For Show or For Real?

Editor Ray Rasmussesn feels that it really never made sense to send most U.S. manufacturing to China. For some products, China was a no-brainer, but for many others it wasn't the lowest-cost producer. Now, he says more and more companies are beginning to figure that out.

OEM Press Systems Moving Forward

Mary Quinlan, sales manager, talks about the loss of company founder Jon Copp, his legacy, and the company's plans for the future. With solid engineering and operations, OEM Press Systems is introducing a series of new, innovative systems to the market.

A Techie Book Review: Pulse Plating

This book features chapters covering all aspects of pulse plating, from the fundamentals to the equipment and processes for the deposition of a range of metals. Conveniently, the book is arranged in four sections that start with the fundamentals and then move through implementation to applications and, finally, special systems.

Electra LDI Soldermask Addresses Future Needs

It's an exciting time to be in the LDI space. Sales Director Shaun Tibbals joins Editor Andy Shaughnessy to detail his company's newest LDI soldermask products, as well as the issues his customers face now and in the future.

TTM COO Provides Global Perspective on the Market

Guest Editor Stuart Hayton and TTM COO Shane Whiteside discuss the challenges faced when operating a global organization in the PCB industry today while attending IPC APEX EXPO 2013. Whiteside shares his perspective on both the Asian and North American markets.

McQuarrie: Solving Your DAM Problems with New Book

Dan Beaulieu recently had the opportunity to sit down with Gray McQuarrie, president of Grayrock & Associates, and chat about his new book, "You Have a DAM Problem: How to Identify the Behaviors Sabotaging Your Company."

Electrically Testing PCBs with Gardien

Rick Meraw, senior vice president, joins Guest Editor Mark Thompson to discuss the technical paper he and Todd Kolmodin, vice president of quality, presented at IPC APEX EXPO 2013. The electrical test conditions and considerations offered are designed to help PCB fabricators better understand the various types of electrical test requirements.

Book Review: You Have a DAM Problem

Many business books focus on systems and processes, but fail to reveal the source of problems within a company--the people. McQuarrie identifies all types of DAM thinkers: the "jerk" whose ego is so big that he crowds everyone else out of the room, and the "perfectionist" who is so busy trying to get everything just right that he spends his life in the "aim, aim, aim" mode.

John Mitchell on IPC's Future Plans and Programs

IPC President and CEO John Mitchell discusses the association's five-year strategic plan and its renewed focus on member success, training and certification, and marketing to the needs of the member base. IPC also announced the Ambassador Program for those who contribute to IPC, but do not work for a company.

Gardien's Kolmodin on Electrical Test

Dan Beaulieu recently sat down with Todd Kolmodin, Gardien's VP of quality, to discuss a variety of subjects pertaining to the fast-changing world of electrical test technology and to find out more about the paper he's presenting this week at IPC APEX EXPO 2013.

Carter Details Printed Electronics Initiative at IPC

Director of Technology Transfer Marc Carter is leading IPC's efforts to develop materials standards for printed electronics. Now in it's second year, printed electronics will play an ever-increasing role in the electronics industry as new technologies enter the market.

Experts to Discuss Industry Standards at IPC APEX EXPO

Hundreds of experts will discuss electronics manufacturing standards in more than 80 standards meetings during IPC APEX EXPO in San Diego, California. According to Dave Torp, IPC vice president of standards and technology, industry standards enable companies to negotiate commerce and contribute directly to the success of the industry as a whole.

Book Review: Ninja Innovation

Author Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA, which owns and produces CES, the most influential innovative oriented trade show in the world, has seen it all.

Electrical Test Talk with Gardien's Rick Meraw

In an effort to learn more about opportunities offered during Since IPC APEX EXPO 2013, Dan Beaulieu spoke with one of this year's white paper presenters, Rick Meraw, senior vice president of U.S. operations for Gardien Group. Meraw's paper is geared toward PCB designers and design engineers, as well fabricators.

IPC Sees Bright Future for Latin American Industry

"The Latin American region has received significant attention in the last few years as a potential growth area for the electronics industry," says Sree Bhagwat, IPC market research manager. "This report examines political, economic, and business risks companies need to understand as they consider pursuing opportunities in the region."

Automated Drill Bit Resharpening

Drill bit resharpening using the latest, fully-automated techniques goes a long, long way toward eliminating traditional defects resulting during the drilling process. However, one of the most important steps occurs before the resharpening process begins: Ultrasonic cleaning.

PCB Industry Results for December 2012 Released by IPC

"North American PCB book-to-bill ratios appear to have begun recovering after a downward trend that began in the second quarter of 2012," according to Sharon Starr, IPC director of market research. "The industry's sales ended 2012 at 5.2% below 2011."

Zen and the Art of Manufacturing Flex

Engineer Glenn Oliver of DuPont discusses a paper he's presenting at DesignCon that stresses the need for collaboration among all parties to get flex manufactured right.

PCB Teamwork Works

Guest Editor Kelly Dack joins Mark Thompson, CID, Prototron Circuits, and several members of his team to examine the benefits of using stack-up templates to speed up the prototype fabrication process.

A Year in the Life: Spirit Circuits

"As is typically British, putting your best foot forward was the order of the day in January 2012, and we started the year with positive energy, vigour, and enthusiasm; we were ready to face another year on the PCB roller coaster," says Steve Driver, managing director.

NAMM: Perhaps the Happiest Place on Earth

NAMM featured a record 11,981 exhibitors at the show: Huge multi-room suites featuring Fender, Gretsch, and others; custom-carved instruments that not only sound like a work of art, but also look like one; and even small 10 x 10 booths selling--yes, you guessed it--covers and stands for smart phones and tablets.

How Often Do You Visit Your Fabricator?

If you anticipate that you'll never layout boards with more than two layers, or holes, traces and spaces smaller than 10 mils, and you're sure you'll never have to deal with impedance control, you have no reason other than curiosity to investigate how your boards are constructed. But if you design complex, high-speed boards, Amit Bahl's new column is just for you.

Book Review: Supermanager

If you want to know how to be a great manager in about an hour, read this book. Everything you need to know about becoming a great manager can be found by discovering seven principles put forth by Greg Blencoe.

MESMOPROC: Implementation of a Maskless Electrochemical Surface Modification Process

Professors Martin Goosey and Sudipta Roy explain the EnFACE approach, a process that exploits the possibility of localizing deposition and dissolution current on an unmasked substrate by optimising reactor design, flow conditions, and the electro-chemistry of a system.

CES: Innovation, Not so New Technology

After a long week exploring the new products and innovations on display at CES 2013, Dan Feinberg gives an in-depth review of the technologies that impressed him most. Except for a very few items, Dan did not see many revolutionary new products, but the evolution of the consumer tech world's devices seems to be accelerating.

Iron Atom: Changing the Way the Industry Views DFM

One of the most enjoyable parts of Dan Beaulieu's job is getting to meet with new companies, especially companies create with new and innovative ways of doing things. He recently interviewed Iain Wilson, president of Iron Atom, a new software company whose DFM/Pre-CAM product is based on the cloud.

Trouble in Your Tank: Understanding the Reactions of Resin Systems with Alkaline Permanganate Processes, Part 1

Don’t assume your current set-up for desmear will work the same way with all the newer laminate resin systems. You must carefully evaluate any changes and make adjustments accordingly.

Trouble in Your Tank: Is it Black Pad or Something Else? Case Study No. 2

It is easy to blame solderability and ENIG problems on black pad. In this month’s Trouble in Your Tank, readers can test their troubleshooting skills. How can you tell if it is really black pad?

SMT Manufacturability and Reliability in PCB Cavities

Considering technological advances in multi-depth cavities in the PCB manufacturing industry, various subtopics have materialized regarding the processing and application of such features in device manufacturing.

The First 200 Tech Talks: A Reflection

In January 2004, Tech Talk Number 100 was published. At the time, Karl Dietz used the occasion to reflect on noteworthy industry changes during the course of the previous 100 months and reminisced about the beginnings of this column. At #200, Dietz looks industry changes throughout the years and the transition to The PCB Magazine.

IPC APEX EXPO to Feature Seven Free BUZZ Sessions

Seven free BUZZ sessions will be offered this year at IPC APEX EXPO. The industry's top technical experts, on subjects ranging from automotive and new technologies to conflict minerals, export controls, and technology roadmaps, will provide insights into timely issues surrounding each of these BUZZ-worthy topics.

Is Kaizen Required to Make Those DAM iPhones?

In the not-too-distant future, the demand flexibility that Apple achieves with manual labor will have to be replaced with automation. Our best chance of figuring out this complex challenge is to embrace the value, principle, and philosophy of Kaizen.

Book Review: Proactive Selling

This book will help you: Learn the language of value, demonstrate the value of your product or services to the customer, open a sales call, craft an introduction, control the meeting, discuss customer needs (instead of just your product), and help you engage the customer.

Top 10 Most-Read PCB007 News Stories of 2012

As the year comes to a close, the editors at I-Connect007 have pulled together a list of the top 10 news stories from the pages of PCB007. Enjoy this list of the most-read news highlights of 2012.

The Efficiency Toolbox

What should the efficiency toolbox contain for Lean manufacturing, Six Sigma, or any manufacturing discipline that hopes to flourish? Two must-haves are a healthy dedication to continuous improvement and plenty of common sense.

Book Review from Professor Goosey: Pulse Plating

Although many papers and several earlier books have been published on the pulse plating, this new work by Wolfgang Hansal and Sudipta Roy provides a more up to date compilation of the basic science coupled with details of the latest developments, possibilities, and applications associated with this powerful technology.

Multek Around the World

Company President Werner Widman speaks with Editor Marcy LaRont about his company's extensive international market presence: LCDs in Brazil, smartphones in China, and what about Germany?

Orbotech Launches Two New Machines at HKPCA 2012

The company has installed more than 730 LPI machines worldwide. To celebrate, the company launched several new machines at the HKPCA & IPC Show 2012. Yair Alcobi, vice president of Orbotech's PCB business, discusses the Discovery II AOI solution with Editor Marcy LaRont.

IPCA President Updates Goals

India Printed Circuit Association President Paresh Vasani joins Editor Marcy LaRont on the HKPCA 2012 show floor to discuss the IPCA's efforts to foster and support PCB manufacturing in India.

Airtech Demonstrates Staying Power in China

Airtech PCB Business Development Manager Jim Hegeduis has been coming to the HKPCA show for 10 years and he's watched the show and the region grow and develop. He discusses his company's strong commitment to technology and their equally strong commitment to Chinese PCB manufacturing.

Weiner, Kennett Break Down the Rainbow Process

Based on a liquid resist, LEDs, and phototools, the Rainbow Process can achieve 20 micron detail and below, and produce a double-sided image in under 20 seconds. Jonathan Kennett, CEO of Rainbow Technology Systems, sits down with Guest Editor Gene Weiner to discusses this process, which can operate without a full clean room.

An American PCB Manufacturer's Tale

Though it is among the smaller companies of its type in the U.S., Mass Design is well positioned as a manufacturer of high-reliability military, aerospace and medical PCBs. Mass Design's Bill Gately shares his views on the company, its challenges and successes, and the future of the industry overall.

HKPCA Supports China's Manufacturers

Ivy Wong, honorary chairman of HKPCA, says the show has expanded, with a record-breaking number of exhibitors this year. Wong explains how the HKPCA has developed over the years, following the development of electronics in China; she also discusses how the HKPCA is working to support Chinese manufacturing and their member companies.

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.
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