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Real Time with... productronica 2023: Aismalibar Poised to Meet Thermal Management Challenges

Technical Editor Pete Starkey and Aismalibar's Eduardo Benmayor reflect on opportunities and challenges for thermal management and the battery industry and discusses Aismalibar's product solutions.

Real Time with... productronica 2023: Dennis Pusch Shares Features of Schmoll's Direct Imaging System

In this interview, Pete Starkey speaks with Dennis Pusch of Schmoll Maschinen and Kurt Palmer of Burkle North America about Schmoll's newest DI system. Dedicated to fineline imaging, Schmoll’s MDI Ultra supports PCB manufacturers moving into IC substrate manufacturing.

Real Time with... productronica 2023: Altix, MGI Team Up for Inkjet Solution

Pete Starkey speaks with Frederic Soulier and Damien Boureau from Altix and MGI Digital Technology. The combined expertise of two innovative companies lead to a radically simplified digital solution for solder mask and additive processes in one machine.

Real Time with... productronica 2023: TSK Finds Benefits in Vacuum Etching

Marc Aicheler and Pete Starkey discuss TSK’s horizontal vacuum systems, including vacuum etching process equipment. Aicheler details the benefits of a vacuum etch in managing challenges such as etchant puddling, etc. Aicheler also teases at a vacuum alkaline etchant systems as well.

Registration: From Raw Data to Intelligent Manufacturing 

While previous industrial revolutions have introduced factories, mass production, and computer-controlled systems, the advent of Industry 4.0 and the concept of the Smart factory have ushered in a new era in PCB manufacturing. For the PCB industry it is a very ambitious and aspirational objective to evolve from disconnected processes to an integrated system with automated data capture, real-time data analysis, process visualization, autonomous control, and self-correcting processes. 

I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week

I learned to cook late in life, and is my go-to recipe source. Their recipes are peer-reviewed, you might say, and they’re always dead-on. So, this week, I present my top five recipes for traditional Thanksgiving dishes; these will also work well for Christmas dinner, or any big family gathering. Enjoy!

The Finer Points: World Champions of the IPC Hand-Soldering Finals

Productronica 2023 played host to the IPC World Hand Soldering Competition, bringing talented regional solder champions from all over the globe to compete for the title of World Champion. Each competitor was given sixty minutes to assemble a complex printed circuit board with their performance judged in accordance with IPC-A-610 Class 3 criteria. Each competitor’s efforts were rated on the merits of the results achieved, scored on the quality of the assembly process, the electrical functionality of the assembly and the speed at which the assembly was produced.

Check Out Our Real Time with... productronica 2023 Interviews

Last week in Munich, 42,000 visitors descended on productronica’s 88,000 square meters of show space over eight sprawling halls to see some of the 1,400 exhibitors, representing 45 countries worldwide and all parts of the PCB/SMT supply chain. If you weren’t able to make it to productronica this year, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. 

Happy Thanksgiving From the I-Connect007 Team

As we each take a moment to enjoy life and reflect on the goodness in our lives today, everyone here at I-Connect007 wishes you and yours a Thanksgiving full of family, friends, and lots of delicious carb-laden food. Today, we are also thankful our readers, our columnists and contributors, and our team members.

Marcy’s Musings: Productronica 2023 and Coming Home

Productronica has concluded and I have wrapped up my first two weeks back on the I-Connect007 team. I’m exhausted, and I am looking forward to bit of a “lie in” as they say around here. It’s time to be home. It was a great week in Munich. The show had 42,000 visitors, all descending on 88,000 square meters of show space over eight sprawling halls, to see some 1,400 exhibitors, representing 45 countries worldwide and all parts of the PCB/SMT provider supply chain. It appears the show has regained pre-pandemic levels of engagement, and we congratulate them.

I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week

On a global scale, productronica has been dominating the news this week, mostly with announcements and show preliminaries. It’s been a long and full week for those who have exhibited and attended the trade show (despite the November rain), and I encourage you to review our productronica coverage from this week. In the coming days, we’ll be showcasing more photos, videos, and interviews, so please stay tuned.

Productronica 2023: It’s a Wrap!

It’s the last day of productronica 2023, the doors are closed, and will not reopen until November 2025. The show was a success, however, there is still talk about uncertainty in the economy. Of course, those that service the defense industry are busy, while other industries lag behind. As exhibitors finished up their last conversations, the halls began to empty out, final sales were made, and IPC wrapped up its World Hand Soldering Championship. Even the rain let up for a bit.

Productronica 2023: Day 2 Review

After a rainy Tuesday for the start of productronica, we had a brief respite on Wednesday morning, so we were able to walk from the U-bahn to the west entrance of Messe München without getting wet. We were accompanied by a horde of eager exhibition attendees mobbing the turnstiles to get into what promised to be an even livelier second day of the show. Yes, productronica has come back to life after COVID and re-established its identity as a premier event with more than 1,300 exhibitors from 45 countries, together with an exclusive supporting program.

Productronica 2023: Day 1 Review

The November rain didn’t stop the long line of attendees waiting at the door for productronica 2023 to open Tuesday, November 14 in Munich, Germany. Exhibitors and attendees came from all over the world to be part of this biannual event, and the crowds were strong. The most recent productronica, held in 2021, drew over 19,000 visitors from 68 countries.

Advice From a Young Professional

As I reflect on my opportunity to as the IPC Student Board Member, I'm eager to share three impressions with our wonderful community: Executive leaders of IPC value the input of students and young professionals; the electronics manufacturing industry is undergoing a changing of the guard, and many of the most experienced players are looking to share their hard-earned wisdom. I've been exceptionally fortunate to receive invaluable career advice that I wish to pass on to anyone else beginning their professional career.

Munich Opening Its Doors to productronica 2023 This Week

Messe Munchen's productronica 2023, one of the world’s biggest electronics manufacturing trade shows, begins Tuesday in Munich. The key topics for this year’s forums and live demonstrations are power electronics, AI, and sensors in electronics production. The show features more than 1,300 exhibitors occupying nearly 90,000 square meters in eight halls of the massive 200,000 square meter venue.

I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week

This week's edition focuses almost entirely on young people. This in itself is quite a feat as not long ago, there were no young people coming into this industry. Now, we have a small but steady stream of young folks entering the industry, and we’re focusing on providing them with the latest training and education. Our industry, for a variety of reasons, is now attractive to people born in this millennium. Didn’t see that coming!

Simplifying Your Design

For this issue on simplifying PCB designs, the I-Connect007 Editorial Team spoke with IPC instructor Kris Moyer about ways that designers can avoid over-constraining their designs and making them needlessly complex. As Kris says, streamlining your design comes down to having a solid understanding of fab and assembly processes and the silicon tradeoffs that can simplify or overcomplicate your design, as well as the need to start working with fabricators early in the cycle.

PCB Carolina 2023 Breaks Attendance, Exhibitor Records

Call it a good problem to have. PCB Carolina 2023 was so big that that exhibitors were literally spilling out of the show floor at NC State’s MacKimmon Center for Continuing and Lifelong Education. This year, PCB Carolina drew 1,200 attendees and so many exhibitors that some “overflow” booths had to be set up in a classroom near the show floor, as well as in the registration area. Where did all these attendees come from? The line for lunch and dinner looked what you’d see at DesignCon

Meet the New Workforce at IPS

I recently visited IPS in Cedar City, Utah, which has been manufacturing wet process equipment for printed circuit boards fabrication for more than 30 years. While there, I conducted candid one-on-one interviews with several of the team members. They shared their views on manufacturing, their roles and challenges, their burgeoning passion for what they do, and valuable advice for others looking at manufacturing as a career.

AI Revolution Reshaping the Future of PCB Manufacturing 

In the rapidly evolving landscape of PCB manufacturing, the integration of machine learning (ML) in the context of smart factories is ushering in a new era of efficiency, adaptability, and competitiveness within the industry. This article explores how ML is revolutionizing various facets of smart factories, including predictive maintenance, quality control, production, and inventory optimization.

I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week

When I use our analytics to see what’s of most interest to our readers, what comes to the top of list are topics such as sustainability, materials, reshoring, upskilling, and high reliability. It makes sense, doesn’t it? In today’s business climate, we must be ever aware of the impact we’re having on the environment while maintaining a high-quality product that supports our national economic and security interests.

New Materials Simplify Fab and Design Processes

During PCB West, Andy Shaughnessy and Kelly Dack met with Paul Cooke, senior director of business development, Ventec International Group. In this interview, Paul discusses some of the global trends he’s seeing in new materials that address the issue of stacked microvia failure, and his drive to educate North American designers about the use of pure resin and no-flow materials. 

Financial Risks of Ignoring Copper Grain

The topic of intrinsic copper structure has been largely neglected in discussions regarding the PCB fabrication quality control process. At face value, this seems especially strange considering that copper has been the primary conductor in all wiring boards and substrates since they were first invented. IPC and other standards almost exclusively address copper thickness with some mild attention being paid to surface structure for signal loss-mitigation/coarse properties. 

Planning, DFM, and Inspection: Key to High-reliability Fab

At PCB West, Andy Shaughnessy and Kelly Dack spoke with Marc L’Hoste, VP of West and South Americas for ICAPE Group, a company that supplies and manufactures high-tech PCBs at locations around the world. We asked Marc to share some advice regarding high-reliability fab. In this conversation, Marc is clear that planning, pre-work, and inspection are the key ingredients to high-reliability success.
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