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

Are you ready for the weekend? Fin de semana? I think we all are! In this week’s roundup, we have one article on what it takes to thrive in the industry today, as well as an interview that discusses one student’s drive to succeed as a PCB designer. We also have an article by our newest columnist, Tom Yang, who introduces us to his family-owned PCB company. Columnist Hanna Grace brings us an interview with her mentor, and Anaya Vardya continues his UHDI coverage with an article that explains UHDI’s use in the RF/microwave arena.

Insights from a PCB Pioneer: Dr. Hayao Nakahara's Global Journey

In a candid conversation, industry luminary Dr. Hayao Nakahara (Naka) delves into his long and illustrious journey across the global PCB landscape. As the founder of NTI, Naka has toured hundreds of PCB manufacturing facilities worldwide, amassing a wealth of data and insights. Dan Beaulieu captures the essence of Naka’s profound impact on the PCB industry, from his early days in R&D to his current role as a revered source of knowledge and analysis for industry professionals.

Tom Edman Leads IPC Board of Directors

IPC elected several new board members at IPC APEX EXPO in April, including new Board Chair Tom Edman, CEO of TTM, who assumes the role from Bob Neves, CTO and chair of Microtek Laboratories. Tom and TTM have long been active in many facets of IPC. I caught up with Tom and asked him about his new board appointment, IPC, and the industry he serves. He emphasizes IPC’s work in standards and advocacy as especially important for our industry.

THECA: Thailand’s Coming-out Party

Swaek Prakitritanon is vice president and general secretary of the Thailand Printed Circuit Association (THPCA), and we recently spoke about the inaugural Thailand Electronics Circuit Asia (THECA) trade show, July 24–26, in Bangkok. Among the six specific benefits cited for THECA attendees are valuable insights into the technology transfer to the China + 1 Asian region, specifically Thailand, as a ripe investment opportunity for PCB and PCBA companies. 

New Issue of IPC Community Now Ready for Your Summer Reading Pleasure

If you’re like most of us in this industry, you have a passion for your work—and it shows. In the new issue of IPC Community, which publishes online today, we feature multiple examples of individuals and companies passionate about their jobs and their work in electronics manufacturing. They truly care about #buildingelectronicsbetter.

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

I spent my week at SEMICON West in San Francisco, returning last night. It was a full week that had me drawing parallels between what is happening in the semiconductor sector and in our segment of the supply chain. I had my mind blown listening to presentations and panels on things like quantum computing. The future is indeed bright. Tech-heavy, but very bright. If there was one phrase from the conference that rings most true in my mind, it is “unprecedented opportunities and unprecedented challenges.” Stay tuned for SEMICON coverage over the next week and additional coverage in our August magazines. 

SEMICON WEST 2024 Kicks Off in San Francisco

Unsurprisingly, it is overcast as I drive into San Francisco to the Moscone Center for SEMICON 2024. The doors did not open until 7:30 am, which left a few of us loitering outside anticipating what we’d find on the other side of the doors. I am one of those strange individuals who kind of loves trade shows and conferences. I have always had a curious mind and thirst for knowledge, so continuing my education on cutting-edge technology and market trends fills me with energy. SEMICON and semiconductors are not our core industry, but everything that they do and work toward informs and trickles down into the reality of the printed circuit board supply chain. 

Expansion and Growth: You Can’t Do It Alone

Building a new PCB facility takes strong partnerships with your suppliers. I quickly learned that we could not build our new facility alone. We would need to find and develop relationships with what would become trusted vendor partners.

Remembering George Dudnikov

George Dudnikov, the PCB industry veteran and icon, passed away last week at the age of 66. Born in The Bronx, he was a New Yorker to his core. I met George and his lovely wife, Susan Hughes, when we all worked at Hadco. At that time, they had already been at Hadco for years and were much respected and well-known throughout the PCB industry.

The Value Side of Training, Part 1: Five Easy Ways to Measure the ROI on Training

The best thing about a good investment is the yield it provides. This series of articles on the value side of training will focus on how to effectively measure the return on your investment (ROI) when training your staff. I will offer practical, quantifiable metrics you can apply today. Think of it as a quick checklist for every effective training program.


Pushing the Limits of PCB Impedance Control

All PCB fabricators have their own carefully guarded methods of modifying their process to achieve the desired controlled impedance specification. When you start considering the techniques and processes in PCB manufacturing, the list seems endless: etching, high layer counts, feature density, pressing, layer registration, material storage, and expansion/contraction. With so many contributing factors, who can blame them for playing their cards close to the vest?

JPCA Show Review: Sizing Up the Market in Japan

As a relatively newer member of the PCB industry,  I found the Japan Printed Circuit Association (JPCA) show, held in June at the Tokyo Big Sight Convention Hall, to be a great experience. This year’s show was considered smaller compared to past years, but I was still impressed by the size and number of attendees.

Building Resilient Supply Chains

Globalization and offshoring have shaped the supply chains of large manufacturing businesses for the past three to four decades. The main goal has been the relentless pursuit of cost control to minimize expenditure and outlay and thus maximize returns and profitability.

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

It’s a holiday weekend in the United States, but the news doesn’t stop just because a few of us have the day off! You’ll have to pardon me; my ears are still ringing from the fireworks. Without further ado, here are the five things you should not miss from this week.

Overcoming Workforce Challenges from Onboarding to Upskilling

Everyone seems to be talking about workforce and staffing, but after the pandemic, staffing for manufacturing jobs became an even greater challenge. In April, IPC published a white paper, “Building Electronics Better: A Plan to Address the Workforce Challenges Facing the Electronics Manufacturing Industry.” The paper addresses myriad issues surrounding workforce recruitment, development, and retention while outlining a specific approach to tackle these challenges.

Don’t Overconstrain Your Board Materials

When we started planning May’s issue, which centers on the use of traditional laminates in certain high-frequency PCBs, we knew we had to interview Kris Moyer and Ed Kelley together. Kris teaches advanced PCB design classes for IPC, and Ed is the former CTO of Isola and founder of Four Peaks Innovation. What ensued was a wide-ranging discussion on the evolution of “standard” PCB laminates and the recent trend by some OEMs to use these materials in high-frequency and even RF boards.

Shane Whiteside Appointed as New PCBAA Chair

Summit Interconnect President and CEO Shane Whiteside was recently appointed as chair of the Printed Circuit Board Association of America (PCBAA), replacing Travis Kelly, CEO of Isola Group. Shane’s distinguished career in PCB manufacturing and leadership spans several decades, so this new role lends itself well to PCBAA’s mission as an important advocacy vehicle for the PCB industry.

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

Much of our recent coverage focuses on being ready for the future—technologically and otherwise. We have news about APCT relaunching as AdvancedPCB, and an interview with Freedom CAD’s Scott Miller about their new leadership—young managers who bring new vision to the company.  We also have coverage of “Bold Breakthroughs: Women Reshaping the Engineering Landscape,” a webinar that celebrates Women in Engineering Day. We bring you an interview with Ventec’s Alun Morgan, who discusses the advent of glassless materials, and an article by FCT’s Chris Clark about cost-drivers in the flex and rigid-flex arena.

Freedom CAD Ready for Future With New Leadership

During PCB East, I caught up with our friend Scott Miller of Freedom CAD. Scott has been chief operating officer of the company for quite a while, but he recently assumed a new title as new, younger managers moved up into top leadership positions. I asked Scott to discuss his new role, as well as the company’s move to keep looking at the industry in novel, fresh ways.

Dan’s Biz Bookshelf: 'The Practice: Shipping Creative Work'

As you must know by now, I am an unabashed fan of Seth Godin and an equally unabashed fan of this particular book. Out of all of Seth’s books, and there are a lot of good ones in the 20-plus he has written, this one motivates me the most. I go back to it repeatedly when I’m stuck in the middle of a creative project and I need a good swift kick in the you-know-what to get moving.


Webinar Review: Women Reshaping the Engineering Landscape

IPC celebrated International Women in Engineering Day with “Bold Breakthroughs: Women Reshaping the Engineering Landscape,” a webinar moderated by Teresa Rowe, IPC senior director of assembly and standards technology. The event featured a panel of eight innovative engineers representing eight different countries, and each with varied backgrounds and in various stages of their respective careers.

Forty Years of Innovation at Electra Polymer

In this engaging interview, Don Monn, national sales manager at Electra Polymers, talks about the company's 40th anniversary and recent developments in inkjet solder mask technology. Don shares insights on the company’s history, commitment to innovation, and the environmental benefits of its products. He discusses the challenges and advancements in the circuit board industry since the 1990s, emphasizing the importance of education and mentorship. The conversation highlights Electra's strategic investments and their confidence in future growth.

Career Opportunities Are Knocking

Are workforce topics on your mind? In this market, of course they are! Finding and keeping qualified employees is continually cited as one of today’s greatest business challenges. That's why I-Connect007 features Career Opportunities in every magazine issue. Whether you’re looking to hire or be hired, check out the Career Opportunities section in every issue of our magazines.

Beyond Prepreg: The Glassless ‘Revolution’

As our industry rallies around the call to action for HDI and UHDI, we find unparalleled and myriad laminate options. This abundance is rivaled only by the question surrounding them: Can they measure up to the high technology packaging demands required in our near future? Unsurprisingly, recent developments in FR-4-esque materials for high-speed and high-density designs, as well as newer, glassless technology for replacing traditional glass-impregnated laminates and prepreg, are garnering much interest. I caught up with Alun Morgan, technology ambassador for Ventec International Group, to ask about the impending “glassless revolution” and how it’s poised to solve some of our manufacturing challenges.

USPAE’s Jim Will on PCBMC, Defense Needs, and Onshoring

Jim Will has assumed the role of executive director of the U.S. Partnership for Assured Electronics (USPAE). In his first interview with I-Connect007, Jim discusses his background in the commercial and defense industries, emphasizing U.S. defense assured electronics needs. His passion shows through as he discusses USPAE initiatives and looks forward to finding ways for partner organizations to work more closely together.
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