Article Highlights
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
Electrolytic Plating: Filling Vias and Through-holes
05/28/2019 | M. Özkök, S. Lamprecht, A. Özkök, D. Akingbohungbe, and M. Dreiza, Atotech Deutschland Gmbh; and A. Stepinski, Greensource Fabrication

Latest Articles

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.

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.
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