Latest Articles

Watch Now: Episode 4 of the Micro Webinar Series: ‘Smarter Manufacturing Enabled with Inspection Data’

Episode 4, “Envisioning the Factory of the Future” from Koh Young’s new micro webinar series ‘Smarter Manufacturing Enabled with Inspection Data’ is available now.

Watch Now: Episode 3 of Koh Young Webinar Series: ‘Smarter Manufacturing Enabled with Inspection Data’

Episode 3, “Connectivity Using CFX and HERMES” from the new micro webinar series ‘Smarter Manufacturing Enabled with Inspection Data’ is available now.

Five Issues Troubling EMS Companies

The role of electronic manufacturing services (EMS) companies is very often misunderstood. Some perspectives, however, are helpful to frame the question of what is on their minds, especially in the current global environment. EMS companies build products but they are not really “product” companies. While they may provide design services, the designs are still owned by their customers. As a result, they do not have the right to select or change components. In most cases, the EMS company will still be responsible for purchasing these components which are typically 70–90% of their cost to produce the end products. They also do not determine what volumes should be built.

Fortifying EMS Leaders

The EMS Leadership Summit at IPC APEX EXPO 2023 welcomed over 60 EMS provider and contract manufacturing professionals, many of whom were first-time attendees, with a compelling agenda that provided an opportunity to discuss and solve business problems, build business networks, and share insights about how to do business better.

Darwin AI Evolving the Islands of Automation

When Canadian artificial intelligence company Darwin AI was founded in 2017, machine learning and deep learning were still relatively new terms. In the past five years, CEO Sheldon Fernandez and his team have been working with this technology to develop some foundational IP to simplify implementation. About a year ago, Sheldon took a “part happenstance, part deliberate” opportunity to develop a vertical offering for EMS manufacturing. Here’s what happened.

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

The captive shop used to be the rule, not the exception. Until outsourcing caught on, that is. North American captive shops went the way of the dodo bird, and the PCB market hasn’t been the same since. Even R&D went out the window, or offshore, if you want to be technical about it. But Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL) is something of a wild card. The company recently opened a new captive facility in Idaho, and the industry is paying close attention.

Sarah Czaplewski-Campbell: Ready to Take Flight

Sarah Czaplewski-Campbell, a materials/product development engineer at IBM, shares her experiences as a young professional who has benefited from the guidance of seasoned mentors alongside her own unflagging drive to expand her industry knowledge. She offers poignant advice for prospective professionals, urging them to assertively seek out advice and experiences that will help them progress in their careers.

Runner-up Discusses IPC Design Competition

PCB designer Adam Thorvaldson of Innovex was a finalist in this year’s IPC Design Competition at IPC APEX EXPO. He came in second place in this final heat, which is quite a feat, considering that the contest started last fall with 49 contestants from around the globe. We asked Adam to share his thoughts on the competition, what it means to be one of the winners, and any ideas about improving the contest for 2024 in Anaheim.

Sypris Reports 15% Revenue Growth in Q4

Consolidated revenue for the quarter increased 15.2% year-over-year and 17.9% sequentially driven by continued expansion across the business.

The EMS ‘State of the Union'

We recently heard President Biden’s State of the Union address, and it got me thinking that perhaps now is a good time to look at our own post-pandemic “state of the union” in the electronics manufacturing services industry. I will describe several key issues that our customers around the world are facing as we move forward into a new normal.


Schweitzer: Building Inner Strength

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL) has been building out a greenfield captive facility for board fabrication and assembly. As we conducted this interview, SEL was nearing production, and just recently announced that the facility has started production. In this part of a larger, wide-ranging discussion, we spoke with John Hendrickson, engineering director; Frank Harrill, vice president of security; and Jessi Hall, senior director of vertical engineering. They discuss what goes into the mindset of a captive EMS facility.

I-Connect007 Releases Episode 2 in the Micro Webinar Series: ‘Smarter Manufacturing Enabled with Inspection Data’

Episode 2, “Understanding CFX and Hermes” from Koh Young’s new micro webinar series ‘Smarter Manufacturing Enabled with Inspection Data’ is available now.

Christina Trussell: The Sky’s the Limit

Christina Trussell is a harness design engineer at Blue Origin and a recipient of the IPC Rising Star Award. Since she was a young child, she wanted to fly through the skies. In this interview, she talks about her dreams and what it’s like to work in the electronics industry.

IPC APEX EXPO 2023 Special Session: Advanced Packaging

The IPC APEX EXPO Special Session on Advanced Packaging this year attracted enormous interest, with Conference Room 2 at capacity long before the session began. Even with lots of extra seats squeezed around the edges, the session was standing room only for the just-in-time arrivals. IPC Chief Technology Officer Matt Kelly opened proceedings by introducing a distinguished panel of experts: Jan Vardaman, president and founder of TechSearch International; Sam Salama, CEO of Hyperion Technology; Matt Neely, director of process engineering at TTM Technologies; and Jim Fuller, VP of engineering technology at Sanmina.

Thomas Marktscheffel: Collaboratively Revitalizing the Industry

Thomas Marktscheffel, director of product management software solutions at ASMPT GmbH & Co. KG, reflects on the evolution of industry-wide standards and how his multidisciplinary approach to the development of CFX has been crucial to its success. With the advent of digitalization, cultivating a collaborative spirit is now more than ever an essential component of standards development. Patty Goldman recently spoke with Thomas about what this award mean to him

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

I try to not talk about the weather in this space, but this week I feel compelled. I’m based in the Pacific Northwest, and we’re relatively used to it being wet and rainy. But just south of us in California, the state has gone from what I read has been called the driest period in the West in the past 1,200 years to a right proper drenching. This week’s news cycle felt like one of those California-style “atmospheric rivers.” There was so much worthy reporting worthy that I was a bit overwhelmed in making my final selections. Suffice it to say that, this week, there is quite a bit of news that’s worth your time to read.

Shrinking Silicon, Growing Signal Integrity Challenges

What happens when die sizes shrink? As IPC design instructor Kris Moyer explains, quite a bit. Shrinking silicon can mean rising signal speed and rise times, and traditional PCB designers may find themselves dealing with problems formerly only seen by RF engineers. We asked Kris to discuss the pros and cons of silicon shrinkage and some of the techniques and trade-offs that PCB designers and design engineers need to understand as they find themselves entering the RF arena.

Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2023: Looking at New Technology

Guest Editor Michael Ford sits down with Zakary Smith, partner at Mata Inventive and Helena Gurusamy Cloudvidia founder and CEO to discuss their latest efforts in technology development.

Making the Most of Trade Show Leads

The show is over and it’s time to count the leads. We all know that a tall stack of trade show leads can feel like a sugar high. For many, that tall stack is proof that your trade show investment was well worth it, and if leads are the measure, then you’ll aim to collect as many as possible. However, the true ROI measure is new business, so more important than the number of leads is identifying the quality of leads in the stack.

Meet Henry Crandall: New IPC Student Board Member

Barry Matties sits down with Henry Crandall, the newly minted Student Board Member on the IPC Board of Directors, to talk about how Henry became the first PhD student in electrical engineering in his family, as well as how his role on the IPC Board will allow him to represent the voices of students and young professionals interested in shaping the future of both IPC and the industry.


A Week-long Industry Extravaganza

We were back in San Diego, maybe for a “long vacation,” as IPC APEX EXPO is in Anaheim next year. Before we get to Anaheim, though, let’s talk about the show: It was a great week. I spent Sunday and Monday visiting some excellent Professional Development courses. As you know, this is a fast-changing industry, and we have to keep learning to stay ahead. On Monday, I attended the Microvia Weak Interface/Reliability subcommittee, and on Tuesday, the Ultra-HDI Technology Committee.

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

It’s been a busy week in our industry. We have a duke’s mixture of news and columns in this week’s Editor’s Choice, starting off with some good news for the American electronics manufacturing industry. In his State of the Union speech, President Biden signaled his support for the CHIPS Act and the U.S. electronics industry, and he promised that Washington would put its money where its mouth is this time. Is it going to happen? Don’t bet the rent money.

IPC APEX EXPO Keynote Review: Shawn DuBravac

During an excellent packed-house luncheon on the Monday of IPC APEX EXPO 2023, IPC Chief Economist Shawn DuBravac gave a keynote address titled, “What's New in Tech: The Micro Trends Defining the Future of Electronics,” with an introduction by IPC President and CEO John W. Mitchell.

Michael Kottke: Growing With Greenfield Sites

About a year ago, we interviewed Michael Kottke, CEO at Rocket EMS. That interview paid close attention to how Rocket EMS’ in-house software suite, Voyager, improved processes across the company. Now we’re checking in to get Kottke’s perspective on the current market’s shifting dynamics, and what he’s got his eye on as Rocket EMS moves into 2023.

Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2023: Positioning in the U.S. Market

Bryce Timms talks about Essemtec's positioning in the U.S. market and their newest applications, including innovative dispensing technology and all-in-one solutions for various applications.

A First Look at IPC-CFX Box for Legacy Equipment

Although the prevalence of IPC-CFX in the electronics manufacturing industry has increased since the standard’s launch in spring 2019, the committee responsible for the standard has recognized legacy equipment in the field as a significant barrier to widespread industry adoption. To address this, an A-Team under the IPC-CFX Standard Task Group spent the past year working on a project that provides simple, readily available IPC-CFX hardware with supporting SDK that can act as an IPC-CFX endpoint for existing legacy equipment.

Alpha Takes the Greenfield Route

Alpha Circuit is a PCB fabricator located in Elmhurst, Illinois. Given that the launch of a new PCB fab is a rare occasion these days, we caught up with the senior team—Prashant Patel, president and CEO; Steve Smith, general manager; Steve Ryan, sales and direct support—guiding the buildout of Alpha Circuit’s brand new 44,000 square foot facility. They discuss what goes into equipment selection and line design, and the timing couldn’t have been better. At press time, the new facility was on schedule for test production by the end of January 2023.

A Post-show Marketing Plan

After you’ve exhibited at a trade show, then the work really begins. Where do you begin? How do you best capitalize on the leads and other contacts you’ve made? We asked Kiki Shimomae, sales and marketing coordinator for Taiyo, to discuss her pre- and post-show plans for a show like IPC APEX EXPO, and the importance of staying visible on social media.

EIPC Winter Conference 2023, Day 2 Review

Day 2 of the EIPC Winter Conference at the Groupama Stadium in the Décines-Charpieu region of the Metropolis of Lyon in eastern France included a privileged visit to the Bugey Nuclear Power Plant for those who were registered and passed their security clearance. Such was the interest that the party was split into morning and afternoon groups. EIPC board member Martyn Gaudion, CEO of Polar Instruments, made a fine job of moderating Session 6 twice over.

Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2023: IPC's Sustainability Initiative

Michelle Te talks with Dr. Kelly Scanlon about IPC's Sustainability for Electronics Initiative, which will provide direction and ensure realistic and appropriate tools for the electronics manufacturing industry.


After the Show: Share What You’ve Learned

You’ve just attended a trade show, spending time in conference classes, seeing some new ideas that you think could help your company. What’s your next step? I asked IPC design instructor Kris Moyer to share his thoughts, and he explained how to best share your newfound information, convince management to adopt what you’ve learned, and build on this momentum.

Another Successful STEM Outreach

The IPC Education Foundation (IPCEF) hosted its annual STEM Outreach Event over the course of two days at IPC APEX EXPO 2023 in San Diego, accommodating more than 550 students on Wednesday, Jan. 25 and Thursday, Jan. 26. This was IPCEF’s largest event to date. The event created awareness of the many careers available in the electronics manufacturing industry and helped future talent engage and connect with industry professionals.

Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2023: Time to Design for Test

In this RTW interview, Andy Shaughnessy and Bert Horner of The Test Connection talk about how setting up a successful circuit card plan starts with the DfT of the schematics and ends with knowledge that your CM/manufacturer has available to inspect and test your product.

Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2023: Taking Our Message to Washington

Nolan Johnson talks with Chris Mitchell, vice president of Global Government Relations at IPC, about key issues IPC is working on today and how you can be involved in advocating for our industry in 2023. Their conversation also covers the CHIPS Act, advanced packaging, and much more.

Coreen Blaylock: Opening Doors for New Professionals

Coreen Blaylock, recipient of the IPC Excellence in Education Award, is project management and ping operations at Lockheed Martin. She shares her unconventional introduction to the industry and how her work in STEM education and building industry partnerships has been instrumental in reinvigorating the manufacturing workforce. Lockheed Martin’s commitment to continuous education has provided veterans and displaced workers the training and financial support they need to be successful in our exciting industry.

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

This week, I used my super sleuthing skills to select news and articles that are both driven by numbers and themes. Let’s see if my selection matches up with yours. We know our readers are opening our daily and weekly newsletters, scanning the important news of the day. The numbers tell me that. But it’s the content within those clicks that help me lock in on a clear line of thought. This week, the topic of the week: investments.

Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2023: PFAS and TSCA Regulations

IPC’s Suhani Chitalia sits down with Pete Starkey to discuss PFAS regulations in the U.S. and TSCA in the EU. Also discussed is U.S. reporting and record keeping requirements for EU REACH updates.

A Conversation With ‘The Space Gal’

With multiple advanced degrees in aerospace science, Emily Calandrelli could have had her pick of any project in earth and space science. Instead, she has chosen to use her skills in science policy and communication to break down complex science topics, advocate for women in STEM fields, and bolster enthusiasm for the next generation of scientists through her own Netflix show and an active slate of social media accounts. Emily’s platform is huge, but it's one that she wholeheartedly embraces. In this interview with the I-Connect007 Editorial Team, Emily talks about her unconventional entry into science, what’s ahead for space commerce, advice for industry leaders, and what she really thinks about going into space.

The Industry Is Back and Better Than Ever

To say that anticipation had been building prior to this show would be an understatement. Bearing in mind the various unknowns as we emerge from the worst of the pandemic, IPC APEX EXPO 2023 stood apart as a beacon of cautious optimism. Overall, I don’t think anyone left the show disappointed. There was a real air of resurgence on the show floor related to the many new technologies, innovations, materials, and Smart manufacturing solutions being developed in the industry.

Show & Tell Magazine: Reflecting on Another Unforgettable Year

There’s always a sense of heightened expectation as we prepare for another show, and then a bit of a collective sigh when it’s over—a sigh of relief, maybe, but mostly a sigh of contentment at another job well done. Thank you for a week of unforgettable memories. The close of the show also means it’s time for our annual Real Time with… Show & Tell Magazine, the only post-show guide you’ll need. Why? Because it isn’t just a comprehensive look at what happened at the show—it’s so much more. We have exclusive interviews with IPC award winners, thoughtful observations on the show from industry leaders, pages of image galleries, special STEM event coverage, and a complete listing of the nearly 80 Real Time with … interviews conducted and posted during the show.


Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2023: An Efficient Software Solution

Susan Kayesar of Siemens PCBFlow and Steven Hughes of Boardera Software, share with Nolan Johnson powerful new software solutions they’re making accessible for small and medium fabrication companies by tapping into a network of experts to optimize designs and minimize time to market.

Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2023: More Than Traceability

Nolan Johnson meets with Dr. Eyal Weiss, CTO and founder of Cybord to talk about traceability based visual inspection trends, and how Cybord’s SaaS solution is helping customers find success. Cybord works in the traceability space, but it’s much more than that.

Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2023: Industry Trends With American Standard Circuits

PCB fabricator Anaya Vardya and guest editor Geoff Leeds discuss important developments at American Standard Circuits and a variety of industry trends.

Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2023: We Can All Learn Something

Dylan Nguyen speaks with Charlene Gunter du Plessis, senior director, IPC Education Foundation, about careersinelectronics.com, a newly designed information-driven, industry-focused career website from the IPC Education Foundation.

Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2023: Highlights of a Successful Tech Conference

IPC chief technologist and vice president of tech solutions Matt Kelly visits with Nolan Johnson to share his immediate feedback on the Technical Conference at IPC APEX EXPO 2023, as well as other ongoing technical programs and highlights from the show.

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

This week, we published a variety of articles, columns, and news items. But let’s have a special round of applause for Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Blake Moore (R-UT), two members of the House of Representatives who sent the DoD a letter detailing the need for more production of PCBs and IC substrates in the United States. Republicans and Democrats have been mixing like oil and water lately, so it’s promising to see these two reach across the aisle and try to get something accomplished for the greater good.

Koh Young: Getting Equipment In-Line and Customers Online

With machine installs somewhere in the range of 500 new annually and award-winning customer and field service, Koh Young has a commanding perspective on the evaluation, purchase, and installation processes for new equipment. We spoke with Mitchell Kim, applications engineer manager; Brent Fischthal, senior manager of Americas marketing and regional sales; and David Nemeth, Koh Young’s service manager for the U.S. and Canada, on what they see as the best practices for acquiring the right capital equipment.

Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2023: Objective Evidence Site Launched

Andrew Naisbitt, CEO of GEN3, describes how his team navigated the COVID-19 crisis, and how PICT has become established as an industry standard, with a free website (objectiveevidence.org) to explain the details.

Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2023: Connecting the Digital Thread

Jason Spera of Aegis Software has an interesting conversation with Nolan Johnson focused on Lean material management and composable architecture. Key topics included their new PLC gateway, material management systems, and the emerging concept of composability.

Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2023: Advanced Metrology and Inspection

Guest Editor Kelly Dack speaks with Giancarlo De La Garza of Nordson Test and Inspection about the acquisition of CyberOptics Corporation, the scales of inspection, common failures in each scale, and how the acquisition will energize both companies.


Printed Circuit Boards Have Champions on Capitol Hill

House Resolution 7677 from the 2021/22 Congressional session may have run out of time before the election cycle, but that hasn’t ended the effort to help fund the printed circuit board industry alongside the semiconductor industry. IPC vice president of global government relations, Chris Mitchell, shared this letter, sent to DOD on Wednesday by Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Blake Moore (R-UT), which insists DOD must “leverage all available resources, including the use of Title III of the Defense Production Act (DPA), to increase domestic production of PCBs and IC substrates.”

Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2023: Updating Training Methods

EPTAC’s VP and technical director, Leo Lambert, converses with Pete Starkey about the need for updates in training methods and the use of visual tools. Training the next generation is top of mind.

Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2023: BTU International Partners with iRaptor

Guest editor Michael Ford speaks with Paul Lancaster of BTU about the company's new technologies, including iRaptor, a fully integrated profiling device that provides greater operational visibility with advanced analytics, enabling highly accurate and dependable, small lot, right first time, reflow process preparation.

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

We have new projects in the U.S. Army space programs, research on gold thickness and solderability, a call for papers throughout 2023 from SMTA, an investment in Korean facilities by ASM, and an adjustment in TTM’s assignation with the U.S. DoD. All together, these five must-reads represent the hurtling trajectory that R&D seems to be following in 2023.

Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2023: Efficient Use of Factory Space

Jonny Nichols, VP of marketing with Hanwha Techwin Automation, explains how Hanwha Techwin's innovative dual-lane pick-and-place assembly solutions offer more efficient and profitable use of factory space.

Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2023: IPC Standard Revision Changes in 2023

Hannah Nelson discusses the latest IPC standard revision changes with Jeffrey Duch of Blackfox Training Institute, and their expansion to Minnesota. He talked about how it is impacting the surrounding areas in positive ways, especially economically.

Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2023: PCBA Cleaning Trends

Tom Forsythe of KYZEN talks with Nolan Johnson about cleaning trends as well as the launch of their newest addition to their AQUANOX line, the A4626 cleaning chemistry, and how pairing it with KYZEN PCS can increase yields and reliability.

Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2023: Flex Time

In this interview, Frank Hart from PVA speaks with Guest Editor Michael Ford about EV and aerospace demand, customizing for customer needs and PVA's plans for expansion and their new valve kiosk stand for an array of applications. If you were unable to attend IPC APEX EXPO 2023, 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 2023: Automotive Electrification

Nolan Johnson talks with Senior Product Manager Chris Nash of Indium Corporation, who discusses Durafuse LT, a novel solder paste mixed alloy system with highly versatile characteristics that enable energy savings, high-reliability, low-temperature, step soldering, and assemblies with large temperature gradients. It also provides superior drop shock performance to conventional low-temperature solders, outclassing BiSn or BiSnAg alloys, and performing better than SAC305 with optimum process setup.

Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2023: New Innovations From Koh Young

Joel Scutchfield, general manager and director of sales for Koh Young America, shares with Nolan Johnson new innovations from Koh Young including the company's next-generation GUI software, evolution of the KSmart software, and investigative R&D for advanced packaging. If you were unable to attend IPC APEX EXPO 2023, don't worry. We're bringing you coverage of the week's events in San Diego, from ribbon cutting to teardown.


Copyright © 2024 I-Connect007 | IPC Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved. Log in