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

This week, trade shows are at the top of our feed, with our coverage of the Del Mar Electronics and Manufacturing Show and IPC APEX EXPO. These two longtime events are almost polar opposites in size and scope, but Del Mar seems to be expanding from its roots as a “neighborhood gathering” with its move into the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The Del Mar show always has a good “buzz factor,” which is something you can’t buy.

A Review of the 2024 Del Mar Electronics and Manufacturing Show

The Del Mar Electronics and Manufacturing Show (DMEMS) in Del Mar, California, recently took place at an unlikely venue: the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Doug Bodenstab, founder and show organizer, says the show covers everything in electronics manufacturing: design tools, components, base materials, training, testing, board fabrication, AI, data analytics, and more. While you can find about anything online these days, Bodenstab adds that there is no substitute for meeting people in person.

Do You Think Enough About Ergonomics?

Vitorio Lorenzini, a workstation design expert with Assembled Product Specialists, discusses the importance of ergonomics in the workplace. He emphasizes the value of early involvement in workstation planning to optimize space and resources, ultimately enhancing workflow efficiency. 

Using AI to Redefine Productivity

​​​​​Plato Systems, a machine perception company spun out of Stanford University, employs AI and video data to analyze and optimize the human component in manufacturing. Initially focused on semiconductors, Plato Systems has expanded into EMS manufacturing. Co-founder and CEO Amin Arbabian, along with product advisor Anders Holden and head of growth Luis Vidal, discuss their approach to changeover optimization and its impact on productivity in the industry. They’ve also included customer Raj Vora in the conversation.

Real Time with… IPC APEX EXPO 2024: Manufacturing Intelligence from the Factory Floor

Nolan Johnson and Ranjan Chatterjee, Vice President of Smart Factory Business Units at PDF Solutions, discuss the background of Cimetrix and PDF Solutions. They explore the analytics tools provided by PDF Solutions, the merging of semiconductor and electronics manufacturing, and data handling in these industries. They also discuss different product lines, standards, packaging technologies, data usage, and integration with ERP systems

Real Time with… IPC APEX EXPO 2024: Saki America's Inspection Solutions and Market Expansion

Craig Brown, GM of Saki America, speaks with Editor Marcy LaRont about Saki's comprehensive inspection solutions, metrology, quality control, and software integration. He also touches on the company's recent X-ray machine award, the 3Di-LS3 machine, and their growing presence in the US and Mexico markets.

Listen Up: Popular Podcast Series Returns With Discussion of Electroless Copper

In the latest episode of the podcast series, On the Line With: Designing for Reality, Nolan Johnson returns to Sunstone Circuits in Mulino, OR, to continue down the manufacturing process with Matt Stevenson.

Real Time with… IPC APEX EXPO 2024: ‌Digitization and Regular Updates of the iNEMI Industry Roadmap

Ranjan Chatterjee is a board member at iNEMI. In this conversation with Editor Nolan Johnson, Chatterjee discusses the digitization of, and regular updates to, the industry roadmap. The roadmap is a collaborative effort on technologies and standards which is intended to guide CEOs and CTOs in their long-range planning. Ranjan discusses the board's role in shaping the roadmap and the vision for more frequent updates.

Viscom’s Approach to Inline X-Ray 

In this interview, Viscom President Ed Moll and CEO Jesper Lykke discuss the importance of inline X-rays for real-time data and board inspection. They also discuss AI integration, customer inquiries, and ROI considerations. Also, as Ed moves into semi-retirement, he reflects on his long career, recent developments, and the evolving X-ray industry. He shares his insights on career opportunities for emerging engineers in the industry.

Star Wars and Disney: ‘Spinning the Script’ With Paul Bailey

Paul Bailey has quite a story to tell. The current vice president at AOA, and former principal concept technical director for Walt Disney Imagineering gave the opening keynote speech at IPC APEX EXPO 2024. He delved into some of the technological marvels he’s been involved with throughout his career, particularly with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the new Star Wars experience at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

IPC Raymond E. Pritchard Hall of Fame Award: Pierre-Jean Albrieux

Congratulations to Pierre-Jean Albrieux, who received the 2024 IPC Raymond E. Pritchard Hall of Fame Award. The award is given to individuals in recognition of the highest level of achievement, extraordinary contributions, and distinguished service to IPC and toward the advancement of the industry, including helping to create a spirit of mutual esteem, respect, and recognition among members consistent with the goals and mission of IPC.

Real Time with… IPC APEX EXPO 2024: Magnalytix's Services and Trends in the Electronics Industry

Mike Bixenman, president of Magnalytix, explains Magnalytix's services, including third-party validation, test boards, electrical testing, and comprehensive reports. He also discusses emerging trends such as power electronics and reliability. Standards and design improvements also form part of this conversation.

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

Spring is a renewal each year as dormant flora bloom, and baby ducklings and geese are ever present in local bodies of water. Even though it is beginning to get hot, I love this time of year in Arizona, with the sun waking me around 5 a.m. It fills me with an energy that I often lose in the dark winter months. Wherever you find yourself in the world, I hope you are enjoying Spring and that you are filled with energy and enthusiasm for all the great work part of our daily lives in this industry.

Real Time with… IPC APEX EXPO 2024: Industry Growth, Challenges, and Technological Advancements

Editor Nolan Johnson and Shawn DuBravac, IPC chief economist, dive into key industry topics such as growth, challenges, and technological advancements. They discuss shifts in the global competitive landscape, downstream demand, customization, and how AI is enhancing human skills. The industry outlook appears promising for both the short and long term.‌

Real Time with… IPC APEX EXPO 2024: Alltemated Focuses on Services and Customer Relationships

Rachael Temple, director of marketing and sales at Alltemated, discusses the company's offerings such as outsourcing, value added services, and quick turnaround times. Rachael emphasizes the significance of fostering relationships and trust with clients, sharing a real world example where Alltemated helped a component distributor with custom tooling, and then wraps up with a look at future growth and collaborations.

Real Time with… IPC APEX EXPO 2024: The Driving World of e-Mobility with Indium

In the competitive EV market, technology plays a crucial role facing the challenges of infrastructure. As Brian O'Leary explains, Indium's e-Mobility product suite includes proven solder and thermal management products for high reliability.

Real Time with… IPC APEX EXPO 2024: Circuit Board Testing Strategies and the Impact of AI

Editor Marcy LaRont speaks with Bert Horner, president of The Test Connection, about the importance of strategic planning and design-for-test (DFT). Bert touches on some common mistakes that occur when DFT is not adequately considered early on. The discussion outlines an overarching industry need for a culture shift toward increasingly higher levels of integration and collaboration. Bert mentions that AI now has an influence on testing, as everywhere else, and announces his forthcoming book.

Real Time with… IPC APEX EXPO 2024: ASMPT and Technica's Successful Partnership and Future Plans

Nolan Johnson speaks with Frank Medina and Jeff Timms about the fruitful collaboration between ASMPT and Technica and the upcoming launch of a machine with enhanced capabilities. They also discuss partnerships with semiconductor firms, customer demo plans, and the significance of the demo center. The conversation highlights the potential in North America.

Real Time with… IPC APEX EXPO 2024: Understanding Objective Evidence in Manufacturing Processes

Graham Naisbitt explains the importance of objective evidence in manufacturing processes, debunking the common misconception that the ROSE test is a cleanliness test. He also discusses the introduction of Rev J, a requirement for measuring ionic contamination on circuit assemblies, and the challenges in accurately measuring contamination. Alternative methods like ion chromatography and the need for updating standards like the ROSE test are mentioned.

Real Time with…. IPC APEX EXPO 2024: Innovation and Collaboration at EPTAC

Guest Editor Kelly Dack and EPTAC Vice President Leo Lambert discuss the partnership between EPTAC and Blackfox, their program alignment, and future expansion plans. Leo introduces Burak Gokmen as the new "leader of the pack." The focus then shifts to Nano Dimensions' 3D printed circuit boards, emphasizing the need for proper documentation and training.

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

This week’s most important news is strategic—and telling. When one puts together the IPC industry reports, we simply have to include the recent conversation with Shawn DuBravac and Tom Kastner. On the design side, check out the latest “On The Line With…” podcast featuring Brad Griffin from Cadence Design Systems, discussing SI and PI in the realm of intelligent system design.

Seeking Employment: Palash Pranav Vyas

Despite skilled worker shortages across the industry, there are many educated and qualified individuals ready to contribute to electronics manufacturing. Here we profile Palash Pranav Vyas, a Ph.D. candidate at Auburn University whose work in drop shock reliability won him Best Student Poster at IPC APEX EXPO 2024.

Real Time with… IPC APEX EXPO 2024: Exploring Electronic Card Testing and AI Integration with SPEA

Luca Fanelli, President of SPEA, and Andrea Furnari, Vice President, give insight into the company and its business units. The challenges in testing electronic cards and the company's solutions are discussed. SPEA has a global reach and focus on the US market are emphasized. The use of AI in testing, particularly in optical inspection and test program execution, is examined.

Real Time with… IPC APEX EXPO 2024: Outlining Rehm's Innovations and Global Presence

Michael Hanke, the chief sales officer for Rehm Thermal Systems, shares insights on the North American market, new machinery, and software development. He also discusses Rehm's turnkey solutions, process flexibility, global presence, and the dedicated team of 700 employees working on global solutions.

All-Inclusive: PRIDE Industries Helps Employees With Disabilities to Succeed

PRIDE Industries is the leading employer of people with disabilities and those with other barriers to employment in the United States, including veterans and former foster youth. The company offers job training, placement, on-the-job coaching, and skills development for independent living. It has held IPC membership since 2000. Read more about this unique business and its connection to the electronics manufacturing industry.

Real Time with… IPC APEX EXPO 2024: The Latest Advancements in Dry Storage

Editor Marcy LaRont and Super Dry Totech's Jordan Mandel discuss the latest developments in dry storage solutions, the J standard, and the ongoing challenge of moisture management while highlighting the industry's shift toward smart solutions and the importance of seeking expert help for moisture mitigation.

Real Time with… IPC APEX EXPO 2024: Operational Excellence and Smart Factory Initiatives

Operational excellence and operational efficiency are defined in this interview with Koh Young General Manager Joel Scutchfield. He touches on automation, AI, and collaboration as solutions to resource limitations. Koh Young's data-driven approach uses AI for process adjustments, data analytics, and supply chain enhancements. The discussion underscores the shift toward smart factory initiatives and the future of manufacturing, with a focus on reshoring, nearshoring, and technology utilization.

USPAE to Springboard U.S. Technology Forward

The U.S. Partnership for Assured Electronics (USPAE) was launched as a nonprofit subsidiary of IPC in 2020, specifically to manage the DoD relationship and access to funding, and to develop a cooperative facility to develop UHDI capabilities in the U.S., not only for the defense sector, but for the whole of the U.S. electronics industry. It is a tall order, but industry veteran Joe O'Neil believes it will happen. Having been tasked with making the UHDI Capable Cooperative Production Facility (UCCPF) a reality, he provides an update on this important project for U.S. electronics manufacturing.

Real Time with… IPC APEX EXPO 2024: Insight into Summit Interconnect's Success

Shane Whiteside, CEO of Summit Interconnect, discusses the company's recent recognition as one of the best PCB fabricators in the industry by receiving IPC's Peter Sarmanian award. Whiteside touches on the impact of changes in the marketplace, such as the Defense Production Act and presidential determination, on their growth. Whiteside also shares the company's focus on mechanical and data automation to enhance manufacturing processes and anticipates more automation and evolution in the industry.

Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2024: Adhesive Materials and Equipment Update with Dymax

Virginia Hogan, global business development manager at Dymax, discusses adhesive materials, dispensing and curing equipment, a new, high-reliability conformal coating, and various materials and dispensing methods.

Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2024: Factory Insights: A Customizable Data Collection Solution

Editor Nolan Johnson and Julie Cliche-Dubois, product manager for Cogiscan, focus on Factory Insights, a new product that emphasizes customization. With years of experience in data collection from various machines and factories, the Factory Insights product offers dashboards and KPI customization, striking a balance between out-of-the-box solutions and customization, ultimately bringing contextualization to machine data.

Real Time with… IPC APEX EXPO 2024: A Global Presence in PCB Manufacturing

Rob DiGiovanni, VP of sales for the Americas at STARTEAM Global, discusses the company's global presence in PCB manufacturing. As he explains, the firm operates facilities across Europe, Asia, and North America, specializing in serving contract manufacturers in the automotive and medical industries. They emphasize quality and meeting OEM standards, focusing on offshore supply and non-Chinese factories in the North American market. The company has grown through acquisitions and rebranding to offer multiple products.

Real Time with… IPC APEX EXPO 2024: Aegis Software Partners With Arch Systems

Jason Spera, CEO of Aegis Software, discusses the company's collaboration with Arch Systems to develop the Aria X2 Bridge, a tool designed to boost continuous improvement. Spera delves into how Arch's AI enhances the work of human engineers, the harmonious relationship between Arch and Aegis, the integration process, and the customer experience. As Spera explains, the integration of Factory Logics and the Aria Bridge is simple, benefiting existing Factory Logics customers with pre-existing seed data.

Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2024: Sustainability in the Industry

Guest Editor Henry Crandall and Chris Nash of Indium Corporation discuss the company's 90th anniversary and its focus on sustainability. They focus on the benefits of sustainable materials, their compatibility, and value propositions. The conversation also highlights how Durafuse LT technology's role in reducing reflow temperatures is leading to significant cost and energy savings. Nash also touches on downstream sustainability efforts such as using recycled materials for packaging.

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

In this week’s roundup, we have a variety of articles covering everything from design through assembly, and even box build. I’ve always wondered whether box build was all it was cracked up to be. Do customers really pick one EMS provider over another because one company offers box build? And if you’ve ever wanted to volunteer, IPC’s Thought Leaders Program is looking for a few good technologists to help them on their mission. Check out Stanton Rak’s article, which was published in the spring issue of IPC Community.

Real Time with… IPC APEX EXPO 2024: Plasmatreat: Innovative Surface Preparation Solutions

In this interview, Editor Nolan Johnson speaks with Hardev Grewal, CEO and president of Plasmatreat, a developer of atmospheric plasma solutions. Plasmatreat uses clean compressed air and electricity to create plasma, offering environmentally friendly methods for surface preparation. Their technology measures plasma density for process optimization and can remove organic micro-contamination. Nolan and Hardev also discuss REDOX-Tool, a new technology for removing metal oxides.

Stan Rak: Elevating the Ideas and Insights of IPC's Thought Leaders Program

As a member of the IPC Thought Leaders Program (TLP), I am responsible for identifying knowledge-sharing opportunities that can generate ideas and insights that strengthen the IPC community as well as create a sustainable and lasting future for its members. I am delighted to highlight some of my recent contributions as a member of the TLP.

Book Excerpt: The Printed Circuit Assembler’s Guide to... Factory Analytics

In our fast-changing, deeply competitive, and margin-tight industry, factory analytics can be the key to unlocking untapped improvements to guarantee a thriving business. On top of that, electronics manufacturers are facing a tremendous burden to do more with less. If you don't already have a copy of this book, what follows is an excerpt from the introduction chapter of 'The Printed Circuit Assembler’s Guide to... Factory Analytics: Unlocking Efficiency Through Data Insights' to whet your appetite.

Determining the Value-add of Box Build

At a strategic level, adding box-building services makes sense for customer loyalty. But is it really that simple? Jon Schmitz, who manages customer engagement at RiverSide Integrated Solutions, talk about about what it really takes to be successful in offering EMS and final assembly services under the same company banner.

Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2024: Advancements in Laser Depaneling with LPKF

Jake Benz, LPKF sales manager for North America, discusses the company's advancements in laser depaneling. LPKF has introduced a green wavelength laser for processing rigid FR-4 circuit boards, bringing significant gains in processing speeds to market. The company transitioned from IR CO2 to UV wavelength due to heat and burning issues.

Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2024: Industrial Quality Solutions from Zeiss

Editor Nolan Johnson and Herminso Gomez of Zeiss Group discuss the company's industrial quality solutions, with a focus on X-ray technology. Zeiss provides a range of microscopy options and Herminso highlights the advantages of X-ray technology for aerospace, medical, and consumer electronics sectors.

Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2024: Innovative Products and Software from KYZEN

Editor Nolan Johnson meets with Tom Forsythe, VP of KYZEN, who discusses their latest products, including the AQUANOX A4618 water-based cleaning chemistry. KYZEN develops custom software designed for monitoring and documenting cleaning processes, and Forsyth underscores its labor-saving and defect-preventing features. The discussion concludes with a discussion of KYZEN's commitment to continuous improvement and the development of safer, greener products.

Growth Potential: Electronics Manufacturing Driving Massive Surge in Manufacturing Investment

In the early months of the pandemic, investment in manufacturing infrastructure, such as plants and production facilities, declined sharply. Real investment dropped over 11%, before finally recovering to pre-pandemic levels in the first half of 2022. Over the past two years, however, several factors have combined to drive manufacturing investment to record levels.

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

For my must-read picks of the week, I’m highlighting Parker Capers, a young professional seeking employment, solid counsel from Dan Beaulieu on what your post-show plan should look like, more information and insight on “chiplets” and the need for secure data transfer standards from columnist Preeya Kuray, as well as Matt Stevenson’s design for reality wisdom. It’s a reminder to download one of our newest books (there are several) you don't want to miss if you are an assembler.

Seeking Employment: Meet Parker Capers

Parker Capers, a cybersecurity professional with a decade of experience in the SMT industry, earned a bachelor’s degree from DeVry and is CompTIA Security Plus certified. He is open to various industries but has a strong affinity for manufacturing due to extensive familiarity. Parker appreciates smaller companies where personal connections matter. Are you hiring?

Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2024: AI Implementation at Omron

Editor Nolan Johnson and Omron Product Manager Nick Fieldhouse discuss the company's focus on AI implementation to enhance customer experience and results. They address programming challenges and how AI can help customers achieve better outcomes with less experience. Omron's AI is compatible with existing systems, facilitating easy upgrades.

Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2024: Exploring Silicone Solutions with R&D Director of CHT

In this interview, Gerry Ellis, the R&D director for CHT, discusses the product range offered by his company. He explains the challenges in creating base formulations, the drive to make products more user-friendly, and the various application techniques involved. Ellis also highlights the key market segments and the significance of providing efficient solutions to customers.

Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2024: MYCRONIC's Evolution and New Solutions

Henry Crandall interviews Kevin Clue, the vice president of global sales for MYCRONIC's High Flex division. They discuss the company's evolution, emphasizing its strong customer relationships and its role as a versatile, turnkey solution provider. Kevin unveils new solutions launched at IPC APEX EXPO, including an AI-integrated inspection system and the A40 pick-and-place platform. The conversation also touches on the increased use of AI and deep learning.

The Connection Between Wire Harness and Box Build

Christina Rutherford is a technical lead and expert in materials engineering at Honeywell, where her specialty is the design, specification, and manufacture of cables and wire harnesses. Rutherford also sits on the committee for IPC/WHMA-A-620. In this conversation, we explore the changing dynamics in wire harnesses and how they relate to box build. Christina’s standards work allows her to draw insightful parallels between wire harness and box build.

Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2024: Innovations in Thermal, Warpage, and Strain Metrology

Editor Nolan Johnson talks with Neil Hubble, president of Akrometrix, about the company's leadership in thermal, warpage, and strain metrology. Neil details how Akrometrix is committed to addressing customer challenges through technological evolution, innovative solutions, and a focus on data processing. A tabletop unit for thermal warpage testing is showcased at IPC APEX EXPO this year.

Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2024: An Introduction to Mastering IPC Certifications With Blackfox

Darin Pesola, master instructor for IPC certifications and sales manager at Blackfox, discusses the development of training materials for their training centers and online courses. Darin also emphasizes the challenging space addendum training course, which involves meticulous tasks and takes a week to complete. Upon finishing, students can demonstrate their acquired skills and move into the workforce.

Phil Kinner Pushes His Limits in Engineering and Running

Engineers break things on purpose. They like the challenge of putting things back together and making them stronger and more resilient. The skills engineers use to build products can also be used to rebuild their lives after a personal loss, something Phil Kinner learned when he laced up his running shoes after many years of a sedentary lifestyle.

Team Spirit: IPC's Global Advocacy Team Acting on Your Behalf

The once seemingly apolitical world of printed circuits and soldering irons has evolved into the politically engaged electronics manufacturing industry that we know today. This landscape of technology is quickly evolving by intersecting innovation, economics, and politics.

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

As we publish this week’s most-read news, the I-Connect007 team is wending its way home from an eventful and productive week at IPC APEX EXPO in Anaheim, California. We’ve posted a variety of dispatches from the show this week, released 73 video interviews (and counting), and also gathered the content and updates you’ll be looking for in the upcoming issue of Show & Tell… IPC APEX EXPO 2024.

IPC WinterCom 2024 Through the Eyes of One Dedicated Student

Lauriane Testuz stands as a testament to the power of curiosity, perseverance, and the relentless pursuit of knowledge. Her story serves as a reminder that the path to success is often paved by an unwavering commitment to one's dreams.

IPC APEX EXPO 2024 Day 2: A Focus on Workforce Development

Solving workforce development issues seemed to be a common theme among many conversations during the second day of IPC APEX EXPO 2024 in Anaheim, California. In his keynote address, “The Future of the Human Workforce: Maximizing Potential in an Automated World,” IPC President and CEO Dr. John W. Mitchell discussed the rapidly evolving workforce climate.

Feeling the Magic of a Show Opener at IPC APEX EXPO 2024

As we walked the show floor at IPC APEX EXPO on Tuesday, April 9, we were struck by the subtle differences in the feel of the show floor between Anaheim and the previous home in San Diego. Somehow, the large booths seem less dominant, and the smaller booths seem more prominent here in the shadow of Disneyland where everything feels just a little bit magical.

T-Global Technology Offers Solutions for Thermal Management Challenges

James Hopkins from T-Global discusses the company's focus on thermal management products, including thermal interface materials, heat sinks, and thermal simulation services. He highlights the importance of collaborating with mechanical engineers and addressing challenges in balancing thermal performance and mechanical requirements. Hopkins also mentions the role of thermal simulation in guiding product recommendations and the significance of early collaboration among stakeholders for optimal product outcomes.

Thinking Inside the Box for a Change

In this interview, Joe O’Neil discusses the growing importance of box build from an EMS provider perspective. Supply chain disruptions and the desire to offer more value to customers have fueled interest in box build. Additionally, mass customization is emerging as a trend, allowing for personalized product variations. While Tier 1 companies have mastered this approach, Tier 2 and 3 players hold significant opportunities in the industrial space.

The Need for a Holistic Global Sustainability Standard

No one can deny that the resources of our fragile planet are finite. The environment seems like a third party, subject to constant degradation. We’re acutely aware of the effects of pollution on our climate, and despite our “throw-away” culture, recycling and recovery of materials has remained relatively expensive, even as we use more energy just to survive.

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