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Conversations With Two IPC President’s Award Winners

We interviewed two of this year’s IPC President’s Awards, Joe Kane of BAE Systems and Zhiman (Susann) Chen of Zhuzhou CRRC Times Electric Co., Ltd. The IPC President’s Award is given to IPC members who have exhibited ongoing leadership in IPC and have made significant contributions of their time and talent to the association and the electronics interconnect industry. The award is a personal honor to recognize the winners’ selfless dedication to the electronics industry in terms of their time, expertise, and leadership.

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

In the news this week we found a synchrony of topics. Much of the world is aware of the speaking points from U.S. President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address this past Tuesday. In that speech, President Biden talked prominently about U.S. legislation in process to bring more technology manufacturing back to the states. In fact, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger was not only an invited guest, but was referred to directly in the speech as a positive example. I can only assume that President Biden meant that moment to be a motivator for other CEOs in the industry.

Bob Neves: IPC Continues Its Global Reach

During IPC APEX EXPO, Nolan Johnson visited with Bob Neves of Microtek Laboratories China and the new board chair of the IPC Board of Directors. Nolan asks Bob about IPC’s views on the disruption in supply chain, about restoring PCB fabrication in the United States, and how the IPC is looking to resolve supply chain issues from a global perspective.

IPC EMS Leadership Summit: Peer Solutions to Supply Chain and Labor Development

EMS leaders gathered for the EMS Leadership Summit on Monday, January 24 at IPC APEX EXPO. Expert and peer presentations on priorities ranging from the economy to the supply chain, cybersecurity, and software were interspersed with peer-to-peer discussions on several key topics.

Joe O’Neil Joins Illustrious Group of IPC Hall of Famers

The IPC Raymond E. Pritchard Hall of Fame Award is given to individuals in recognition of the highest level of achievement, extraordinary contributions, and distinguished service to IPC and in the advancement of the industry, including the creation of a spirit of mutual esteem, respect, and recognition among members consistent with the goals and mission of the IPC on a long-term basis. This is the highest level of recognition that IPC can give to an individual and is based on exceptional merit over a long-term basis (the operative word being long term).

Where Have All the Board Shops Gone?

When I look at the landscape of U.S.-based PCB fabricators, the title of this article reminds me of a 1960s protest song. If you don’t remember the song or that era, you have some interesting research to do. As well, a Hank Williams Jr. song comes to mind, “All my rowdy friends have settled…” Seriously, I am pleased to see many of my old friends taking advantage of the present opportunities.

EIPC Technical Snapshot: A European Roundup

Although it was originally proposed to hold a one-day face-to-face EIPC conference in Frankfurt, travel restrictions in Germany made this impractical. But the Technical Snapshot webinar format has proved so successful that it was decided to run an extended version as an alternative—two sessions, with three presentations each. It worked extremely well. The carefully selected program on February 23 featured excellent speakers, and seamless organisation added up to an outstanding event.

The IPC STEM Event Inspires

Once again, IPC APEX EXPO featured its successful STEM event, organized by the IPC Education Foundation, and sponsored by several companies, including I-Connect007. The event had nearly 80 students in person for a hands-on introduction to our industry. After the welcoming comments, the students broke into groups for different activities. While some enjoyed a guided tour of the show floor, upstairs the other students learned how to solder. Then they rotated so that they all had the same opportunities.

PCB Adoption of Innovations

For North America, there is a growing need for more ultra-high density HDI capability. Some of the reasons for the slower adoption of SAP/HDI fabrication may rest with two obstacles: Subtractive processes have difficulty as they approach 50-micron traces and spaces (0.002”), and it is not clear what the total system acquisition costs will be for ultra-HDI.

IPC Education Foundation STEM Outreach

The IPC Education Foundation (IPCEF) hosted its annual STEM Outreach event on Thursday, January 27 at IPC APEX EXPO in San Diego. Due to COVID restrictions and regulations on field trips, the Foundation unfortunately could not host all the schools and students as initially planned, but we were thrilled to welcome nearly 80 students from e3 Civic High School, San Diego. The day was packed with several hands-on technical activities, career exploration, and industry engagement. The students participated in educational tracks with a focus on soldering, PCB design, a roundtable discussion, and a tour of the IPC APEX EXPO show floor.


DFM 101: Plating Methods

One of the biggest challenges facing PCB designers is not understanding the cost drivers in the PCB manufacturing process. This article is the latest in a series that will discuss these cost drivers (from the PCB manufacturer’s perspective) and the design decisions that will impact product reliability. There are two methods of plating copper on PCBs—pattern plating and panel plating. The panel plating method eliminates most of the copper plating distribution issues, but because it adds copper thickness to the base layer, it makes maintaining fine line definition and consistency difficult.

David Pogue Keynote Opens IPC APEX EXPO 2022

There were just a few empty seats in the huge, main lecture hall of the San Diego Convention Center on January 25 as IPC APEX EXPO welcomed the opening keynote speaker, science and tech writer David Pogue. Despite the early time of 8:30 a.m., the crowd enjoyed his topic, “Disruptive technology and how it will affect your business: What’s coming by 2026?” Pogue took us on a short journey through some of the technological innovations that continue to accelerate the transformation of our lifestyles and gave us a preview of how we might succeed in a world we’ve never seen before.

Automotive Initiatives Make Headway at IPC APEX EXPO

A significant number of automotive activities made notable strides at this year’s IPC APEX EXPO. Several committees dedicated to creating and updating automotive addenda for existing IPC standards, like assembly processes, PCB fabrication, and high-voltage cable, met and were led by companies like Toyota, Bosch, Continental, and Elmatica. Automotive dedicated groups, like the Cold Joining/Press-fit Task Group, also met and discussed inclusions in its next planned revision.

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

Like many of you, for the past few months, we’ve been busier than a farmer with two rattlesnakes and one shovel. As soon as we got home from IPC APEX EXPO 2022 we started work on our post-show publication, Real Time with… IPC APEX EXPO 2022 Show & Tell Magazine. Now in its fifth year, Show & Tell is the best—and most exhaustive—source of in-depth information about IPC APEX EXPO. We published Show & Tell this week, and the response from industry leaders has been off the charts. Show & Tell gives the reader a taste of what it was like to be at the show, from ribbon-cutting and keynotes through the last conference classes.

Chris Mitchell's Top 10 Takeaways from IPC APEX EXPO 2022

The recent surge in COVID cases provoked more than a few questions about what to expect at this year’s IPC APEX EXPO. But as I traversed the San Diego Convention Center last week, the top answer was clear: a lot of smiles! Sure, they were hidden behind masks, but they were evident in the eyes of everyone I met. Attendees were thrilled to be back together in person, sharing ideas as freely as elbow bumps. IPC is a community, and APEX EXPO is the place where we build it.

Alex Stepinski: Taking Control of Input Costs

Barry Matties and Nolan Johnson talk with Alex Stepinski about strategies to lower costs in brownfield facilities. Alex has extensive experience designing and optimizing manufacturing processes and is currently helping companies implement straightforward step-by-step solutions to move into smarter manufacturing across different industries.

Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2022: The Growing Demand for Automation

Guest editor Dick Crowe speaks with Jeff Brandman of Aismalibar North America about the growing demand for automation in PCB facilities. Jeff shares discusses a variety of Aismalibar's solutions for meeting this need, and he shares his thoughts on the rise of automation in this industry. If you were unable to attend IPC APEX EXPO 2022, don't worry. We're bringing you coverage of the week's events in San Diego, from ribbon cutting to teardown.

Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2022: Supplying the U.S. Market for 30 Years

Ashley Steers of Electra Polymers shares his perspective with Pete Starkey about the company's history, including supplying the U.S. market for 30 years. They also discuss the latest trends in inkjet solder mask. If you were unable to attend IPC APEX EXPO 2022, don't worry. We're bringing you coverage of the week's events in San Diego, from ribbon cutting to teardown.

Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2022: High-Speed Materials

In this interview conducted by Editor Andy Shaughnessy, Deanna Bustamante of Arlon EMD shares her thoughts on the state of materials in the PCB industry. They also discuss the global high-speed materials market. If you were unable to attend IPC APEX EXPO 2022, don't worry. We're bringing you coverage of the week's events in San Diego, from ribbon cutting to teardown.

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

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we’re now closer to the equinox than to the solstice; change is in the air. Where I live in the Pacific Northwest, we’ve had unseasonably mild and sunny weather, teasing us that spring might be right around the corner. Change is in the air in our news feeds, too. This week, we bring you on-the-grow news from NCAB and Aegis, some market reports on smart manufacturing, and a widely read column on cybersecurity from Mehul Davé. Now that’s something to warm up to.


Finally! A Book About PCB Stackups

‘The Printed Circuit Designer’s Guide to… Stackups: The Design within the Design’ is the latest addition to I-Connect007’s comprehensive, educational library. In this book, brought to readers by Siemens Digital Industries Software and I-007eBooks, author and stackups expert Bill Hargin discusses materials, laminate datasheets, impedance planning, and more. This book provides the reader with a broader understanding of stackup planning and material selection in an effort to comprehend what Hargin calls “the design within the design.”

Real Time with… IPC APEX EXPO 2022: Rigid-Flex Specialists

As flexible circuit specialists growing their world-wide business, Flexible Circuit Technologies is planning to expand its workforce. Chris Clark, senior applications engineer, discusses the company’s 25% growth in the last year, as well as its new plant in Zhuhai, China, which will focus on rigid-flex circuitry. Chris just joined the company in the past year, but he has spent 31 years in the industry wearing whatever hat was required, and he lays out the company’s plans for the next year.

Real Time with… IPC APEX EXPO 2022: High-Tech Rigid-Flex Boards and More

Jeff De Serrano, president of PCB Technologies for North America, and Editor Andy Shaughnessy discuss Jeff’s current quest to acquire a PCB fabrication facility. Just six months into his new position at PCB Technologies, Jeff explains his plans for the next few years, including the company’s focus on rigid-flex boards and their plans to invest heavily into high-tech substrates and microelectronics assembly.

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

This week’s picks comprise a potpourri of published articles, a hodgepodge of helpful hints, and a brood of business news. Our collection includes several interviews from IPC APEX EXPO; we filmed over 60 of these video interviews that week, all shot with our new anti-COVID protocol. The boom microphones, selected so that we wouldn’t have to attach clip-on mics to each interviewee, gave our booth/studio an air of 60 Minutes. But unlike what we see in most news shows, almost all the news at IPC APEX EXPO was positive as companies emerge from the pandemic with even more innovative software, services, and equipment than before. It’s looking like 2022 is going to be a really good year.

Real Time with… IPC APEX EXPO 2022: An Additive Printing Solution

Avi Greenberg of Orbotech, a KLA company, discusses how their solutions can help the ICS market and the many manufacturing challenges which impact quality and capacity. The conversation also covers an additive printing solution.
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