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

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

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

Re-Defining Flying Probe Testing

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

1 Mil Lines and Spaces: Fact or Fiction?

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

High-Accuracy PCB Stackup Registration System

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

IPC: Federal Regulations Burden Electronics Manufacturers

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

Using Jet Printers to Apply Solder Paste

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

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

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

The Supplier and PCB Fabricator: Bridging the Gap

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

Keys to Selecting Military/Aerospace Boards

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

Isola Introduces Four New Products

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

IPC Releases PCB Industry Results for March 2012

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

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

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

Special Customers, Tight Requirements

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

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

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

Gardien's Quality Assurance for the PCB Industry

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

Specs are a-Changin'

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

Understanding New Product Introduction

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

Makers Optimistic of Germany's PCB Market

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

IPC Roadmap Offers OEM Vision of Trends, Technologies

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

Conversations with…Bill Hanson of AccuKraft

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

An Advanced Photoresist Exposure System

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

Bare Board Group Expands Into Canada

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

AT&S: Coming to America

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

Flex Tutorial Part of Updated Review of IPC 2223

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

Lloyd Doyle at 30: Roy Lloyd Reflects

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

Feinberg: CES 2012, Day 2

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

Schmid Group Unveils Vertical Etcher

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

Founder PCB: Growth and Innovation

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

Atotech Addresses Challenges of Greener Plating

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

Drivers and Changes Affecting Electra's Business

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

A Global PCB Market Update

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

North American vs. Asian Fabricators

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

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

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

Susonence: Reducing Chemical Usage & Decreasing Waste

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

IPC Seeks New President and CEO

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

Chemcut Upgrades Lab; Business Strong

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

MFLEX Posts $191 Million in Q3 Sales

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

Does America Need Manufacturing?

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

AT&S Expects Successful Financial Year

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

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

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

OEM Press Systems on the Technical Edge

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

New Gardien Facility to Focus on HDI, High Tech

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

Testing: East Meets West

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

A Fresh Look At Primary Imaging

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

Maskless Lithography Leaves a "Global Footprint"

Last year, they were the exciting newcomers at IPC APEX Expo. Bill Elder, President and CEO of Maskless Lithography, explains how the company has gone from meeting in the Mandalay Bay coffee shop last year to exhibiting their latest digital imaging technology as part of its "global footprint" strategy.

Rising Tide of Success for PCB Fabricator

Bay Area Circuits' Vice President of Operations, Stephen Garcia, meets with Guest Editor Kelly Dack to explain success strategies for his company. Garcia says his company's growth can be attributed to almost 90% referrals, a testament to the quality they offer. He also reveals the purchase of a Seica S240 tester--the first in North America.

IPC: April PCB Sales Growth Follows Seasonal Pattern

"Growth in North American PCB sales continues to follow normal seasonal patterns and seems to have returned to normal, and the book-to-bill ratio is holding steady at just under parity," said IPC President and CEO, Denny McGuirk.

Atotech to Enhance Technology; Collaborate with CWRU

Multiple research and development agreements have been signed by Atotech and Case Western Reserve University for the support and enhancement of Atotech's global metallization technology development and material science and application failure analysis activities in Europe, Asia and the U.S.

Market Overview with Marissa Oskarsen

As a PCB distributor, Marissa Oskarsen has to watch market developments in the U.S. and Asia closely. She sits down with Editor Andy Shaughnessy to share her thoughts on board-buying trends here and abroad, and the state of HDI.

Simplifying Thermal Management

Yash Sutariya, Vice President of Corporate Strategy with Saturn Electronics Corporation, sits down with Guest Editor Kelly Dack to highlight his company's new online thermal resistance calculator that cools the complexity of dealing with complex physics.

Camtek: Developments in Inkjet Solder Mask

Camtek exhibited the company's digital inkjet printer for solder mask at APEX and General Manager Jason Rollo details to Editor Pete Starkey the characteristics of the system and its benefits to the quick-turn PCB fabricator.

IPC Flex Committee Update With Co-Chair Nick Koop

Joe Fjelstad interviews Nick Koop of Minco about the IPC flex committee's activities. His committee is working on updates for the HDI specifications for flex. Lots of challenges lay ahead for the flex industry as it moves to finer lines and spaces.

The Future of Digital Imaging

Frank Medina, CEO of Technica USA, and Noriaki Tomioka, Director and Senior Vice President of Hakuto Co., discuss the transition to digital imaging in both the North American and Asian markets. This transition is made easier due to new technologies such as the new Maskless Lithography units.

TTM to Acquire Remaining Stake in Aspocomp

PCB maker TTM has entered into a letter of intent to acquire the remaining 20% interest in Meadville Aspocomp Holdings Ltd. from Finland-based Aspocomp Group Plc for EUR 14.5 million.

The Year of Design

Vicka White, principal engineer at Honeywell Aerospace, interviews Paul Reid, program coordinator of PWB Inc., about what's new in reliability testing and why he believes this is the "Year of Design." He discusses how RoHS requirements have furthered the development of more robust materials and interconnections, and how the effects of design are starting to be a major influence on reliability.

Visper Bridges the Gap in Bare Board Inspection

C.A. Picard's Gary Weidner explains to Editor Pete Starkey how an intelligent final inspection machine with Gerber reference can pick up bare board faults commonly overlooked by human inspectors in this interview from the APEX show floor.

Ventec International: The Importance of Being Different

Technical Editor Pete Starkey sat down at CPCA 2011 with Mark Goodwin, Jack Pattie and Thomas Michels of Ventec International Group and invited them to explain how Ventec differentiates themselves from other Asian laminate manufacturers in overseas markets.

MicronSi Enters LED Market

Gordon Quinn, President of MicronSi, sits down with Editor Pete Starkey and details his company's entry into the LED market with their new imaging systems. So far, the company has seen remarkable results in just a short time.

Ventec Expands to Europe

Guest Editor Michael Weinhold, Technical Director of the EIPC, talks with Chris Lung, President of Ventec Electronics, about his company's recent venture into the European market. Lung says Ventec will target the high-performance, quick-turn, fast delivery service market in Europe.

Cicor's PCB Sales Up 23% in 2010

In 2010, the PCB Division created new key account management jobs and expanded its regional distribution network in N.A. Challenging qualification phases with new customers in various client segments were taken on to generate sales. The innovation that facilitates the use of PCB connections in three dimensions was also prioritized during the year under review.

IPC Symposium: Roadmap to Regulatory Compliance

Keeping on top of ever-changing environmental regulations around the world and providing a roadmap to compliance, the IPC It's Not Easy Being Green Symposium, May 11–12, 2011, in Boston, will give companies up-to-date information on the laws and regulations that affect every link of the electronics manufacturing supply chain, from Europe and Asia to South America and the U.S.

IPC Winter Webinar Tackles Industry Challenges

Focused on technical challenges facing the electronics manufacturing industry, including lead-free reliability issues, high-voltage PCB design, PoP assemblies, PoP component manufacturing, thermal cycle testing and barrel failures, the Webinars offer companies a great opportunity to bring IPC technical information to a large number of employees at one time.

MFLEX Reports Strong Fiscal 1Q11 Results

The company expects to report net sales in the first quarter of approximately $241 million, the highest quarterly amount in the company's history and an increase of approximately 5% from net sales of $229.5 million in the same quarter last year.

It's Only Common Sense: New Year's Resolutions

I have a confession to make. I've found lately that I am not answering my e-mails as promptly as I used to. In fact, in some cases, I am not answering them at all.

It's Only Common Sense: How Things Have Changed

Something is missing, something very important that has been eliminated and that something is human contact; the plain old face-to-face method of doing business.

Park Promotes Mastrogiacomo to SVP Strategic Marketing

Park Electrochemical Corporation has promoted Christopher T. Mastrogiacomo to Senior Vice President of Strategic Marketing. He will be responsible for the company's global OEM marketing efforts, as well as marketing and sales efforts in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe.

PCB Industry Computing on a Cloud?

Consona is an ERP company with a long history in the PCB business with their Cimnet product. In this interview from the HKPCA & IPC Show, Mehul Dave discusses his company's efforts to capitalize on the move to Cloud computing by providing their customers alternatives to the traditional Client/Server systems currently in use.

HKPCA & IPC 2010: Smiles All Around

The HKPCA & IPC Show 2010 is over, but the memories of the successful south China show can be found in this animated slide show.

Has Chinese Manufacturing Quality Improved?

WKK's President, Hamed El-Abd, sat down with Guest Editor Bob Neves at last week's HKPCA & IPC Show to talk about recent changes that have propelled his company into the manufacturing arena in China.

It's Only Common Sense: What's the Big Secret?

What's the big secret? Is it that you don't want anyone to know about your business? Is it that you feel that you already have all the bookings you need? Just what is the problem with getting your name out there in front of your customers?

Soligie Sold on Printed Electronics

Many PCB companies are moving into printed electronic circuits, but Soligie came at PEC from the other side--printing. Alex Zeitler talks with Editor Andy Shaughnessy about the benefits of PEC and why it will likely replace some traditional PCB technology.

The Real "Total Cost of Ownership" of Your Test Equipment

This paper introduces a TCO model for electronic test and measurement equipment and shows how operating costs can be critical drivers in reducing TCO beyond simply lowering acquisition (capital) costs. The TCO concept will help equipment owners make informed decisions on the purchase decision.

Business Forecast: Partly Murky?

The economy continues to struggle, but some electronics companies are doing quite well. What gives? Bare Board Group President Greg Papandrew talks with Editor Ray Rasmussen about the current state of the PCB markets and the visibility going forward, which can best be described as "murky."

Laser Processing of Materials: A New Strategy Toward Materials Design and Fabrication for Electronic Packaging

Increasing the unit volume complexity and density of next-generation packaging products is key. Laser processing is finding an increasing number of applications in the fabrication of these devices. This paper focuses on the application of laser processing to two specific material areas--thin films and nanocomposite films.

Potential Low-Cost Palladium-Alternatives for Activating Electroless Copper Deposition

In this paper, electrochemical measurements were carried out to obtain information about the catalytic activity of copper, silver, nickel and palladium in the oxidation reaction of formaldehyde, as well as glyoxylic acid. Metals with high catalytic activity for each reductant oxidation can be determined by using cyclic voltammetry. These metals are suitable for an improved activation process in electroless copper deposition.
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