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Strategies to Manage Your China Business Through Turbulence
11/15/2018 | Philip Carmichael, IPC President of Asia
Increasing Productivity for Flex Fabricators
11/14/2018 | I-Connect007 Editorial Team
RTW SMTAI: LiloTree's Shah Discusses Hyper Corrosion, Black Pad in ENIG
11/13/2018 | Real Time with...SMTAI
Jeff Waters: Isola Updates
11/08/2018 | Nolan Johnson and Barry Matties, I-Connect007
Substrates for Advanced PCB Technologies: What Will the Future Hold?
11/06/2018 | Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
Strategies to Manage Your China Business Through Turbulence
While the United States may be the world’s most open market, China remains the most competitive, and is still viewed by most U.S. and EU companies as the "last great opportunity for growth.” Many companies want to gain entry to the Chinese market share for their products or services. Thus, the competition for sales of products or services is correspondingly intense. Here's how to succeed in the world's second largest economy.
Increasing Productivity for Flex Fabricators
Barry Matties and Nolan Johnson of I-Connect007 met with Shane Noel and industry veteran Mike Jennings of ESI to discuss the introduction of their CapStone laser tool, a product aimed at doubling their flex circuit fabricators’ throughput. Mike also shares advice for fabricators who are looking to move into the ever-growing flex market.
RTW SMTAI: LiloTree's Shah Discusses Hyper Corrosion, Black Pad in ENIG
Dr. Kunal Shah, chief scientist and president of LiloTree, talks about the major issues in ENIG, such as hyper corrosion—which can be very benign, or very extreme, resulting to black pad—and how LiloTree is helping to improve the performance and efficiency of the ENIG finish processes.
IPC Workforce Pledge Draws White House Praise, Points the Way to Jobs of the Future
President Trump kicked off the workforce challenge to U.S. businesses in July. As a longtime leader in education and training within the electronics industry, IPC took it as an opportunity to review our existing programs and identify ways to grow and innovate. The result? IPC joined the Pledge to America’s Workers by promising to create new career opportunities for at least 1 million Americans in the electronics industry.
Jeff Waters: Isola Updates
During PCB West 2018, Nolan Johnson and Barry Matties sat down with Jeff Waters, Isola CEO, to catch up on company activities, including the recent sale of the factory in Chandler, Arizona, the plan to build a new facility, product developments, current market dynamics, a new CFO, and much more.
Substrates for Advanced PCB Technologies: What Will the Future Hold?
The UK chapter of the global IMAPS community of electronics and microelectronic packaging engineers shared a wealth of knowledge and wisdom about PCB substrate technology trends, developments, and future requirements in a webinar on the first of November.
Catching up with... HSIO Technologies President James Rathburn
Dan Beaulieu checked in with HSIO Technologies President James Rathburn recently to see what he and his team are up to and learned how they are using liquid crystal polymers and other materials to focus on increasing high-speed and high-density PCBs for uses in all markets.
Powering the Flexible World
From 2019 we will come to a world with flexible electronics and batteries to power these devices have attracted tremendous attention. These devices may require batteries with special mechanical properties or form factors.
IPC Signs White House Pledge to the American Worker
IPC has signed the President’s Pledge to the American Worker and made a commitment to create at least 1 million new training and workforce development opportunities in the electronics industry over the next five years.
Copper Pillar Plating Systems: High Speed, Low Heat
The industry is seeing ever-more stringent requirements of interconnect technologies (ICT) from die through final assembly, in particular digital and analog high frequencies, undistorted signal propagation and efficient heat propagation are concerned.
Additive Electronics: PCB Scale to IC Scale
SAP, mSAP, SLP—what kind of crazy acronyms have we adopted now, and how much do you really need to know? In terms of consumer electronics, there is a good chance that the smartphone attached to your hand at all times contains a PCB fabricated with this technology—or at the very least, the next-generation smartphone that you purchase will utilize mSAP technology.
RTW SMTAI: MacDermid's Lenora Clark Talks Automotive Electronics Trends
Lenora Clark, director for end-user applications at MacDermid, discusses some of the trends happening in the automotive electronics industry. She talks about how her company is educating their customers in the automotive electronics sector on the available technologies in other markets such as military and aerospace, telecommunications—even the handheld market—and how they can adopt these technologies in their industry.
RTW SMTAI: John Mitchell Updates on IPC's Education Efforts
Dr. John Mitchell, president and CEO of IPC, sits down with I-Connect007 Managing Editor Nolan Johnson to discuss IPC's recent work in education and workforce engagement, as well as the latest developments in their certification program.
RTW SMTAI: NCAB Discusses Its Sustainability Programs
Doug Drayer, General Manager, Central Region, at NCAB Group, details the company's three-pronged sustainability programs and ISO 26000. He also talks about the company’s recent successful listing in the Stockholm Stock Exchange, and the importance of working with the customers especially during the design process.
Smartphone Substrate-Like PCBs Will Revolutionize the IC Substrate and PCB Markets
The smartphone is one of the high value-add products that carries a very high demand for miniaturization. Customers expect larger screens, cameras with high resolution, and various other functions, in lighter and thinner phones.
The Changing Shape of the HDI Market
With more mobile device designers looking to utilize the benefits of FOWLP and other direct attach package types, a new generation of HDI PCBs is already in the market. Targeting less than 30 mm features and based on mSAP techniques, these substrate-like PCBs make use of the latest high-end manufacturing processes and materials, to enable the next evolution in advanced HDI boards.
GP Ventures’ Tom Kastner on PCB Mergers and Acquisitions
Tom Kastner, president of GP Ventures, he has his finger on the pulse of the industry's mergers and acquisitions (M&A) more than anyone. In this interview, Kastner provides insights on the right time to buy, how to evaluate your company's worth, and when it is too late.
Defense Speak Interpreted: Defense Electronic Supply Chain Issues
On October 5, 2018, the Department of Defense (DoD) highlighted issues with the release of the 146-page report “Assessing and Strengthening the Manufacturing and Defense Industrial Base and Supply Chain Resiliency of the United States” from President Donald J. Trump.
Sunshine Global Circuits Discusses its Rapid, Targeted Growth
In an interview with I-Connect007, Jimmy Fang, VP of business development at Sunshine Global PCB Group, speaks about the key demand drivers for the PCB industry, the challenges in the market, and the opportunities they are seeing.
What's FLITE About? An Old Man's Observations
FLITE—Female Leaders in Tech, Everywhere—aims to raise the visibility of females in technology, manufacturing, and engineering by celebrating their achievements and learning from their experiences. I-Connect007 Technical Editor Pete Starkey sit in on FLITE's networking event at the recent What's New in Electronics (WNIE) Live show to find out more about this enterprise, which turned out to be an inspirational eye-opener.
SLP: The Next Level of Technology
As our electronic devices and machines become more powerful and as Moore’s Law chugs along, things in the world of PCBs keep getting smaller. You know the drill—finer lines and spaces, thinner laminates, more layers— cram more circuitry into the same or shrinking area. Where will it all end? Or will it?
Building a Better Board: It Always Comes Back to Communication
For our experts meeting on the August’s theme of reliability, we reached out to Colonial Circuits and asked them to participate in a conference call with our I-Connect007 editorial team consisting of Dan Feinberg, Andy Shaughnessy, Patty Goldman, and Happy Holden. Joining the call from Colonial Circuits was Mark Osborn, president and CEO, Kevin Knapp, quality manager, and Rodney Krick, manufacturing manager.
The IPC High-Reliability Forum for Mil-Aero and Automotive Sectors
I-Connec007’s Happy Holden had the pleasure of attending IPC’s High Reliability Forum (HRF) in Baltimore in May. As the IPC scripted it, it was a “Technical Conference with a Focus on Electronics Subjected to Harsh-Use Environments.”
From Trend to Game Changer: Which Technology Will Make the Cut?
At the recent EIPC Summer Conference, Hans Friedrichkeit of the PCB Network gave an engaging presentation on artificial intelligence and future technologies, which was well received by attendees. Who better than Hans to offer insight on which future megatrends might truly become game changers? Publisher Barry Matties sat down with Hans to get his take on trends such as 5G, autonomous cars and 3D printing.
Mechanism and Mitigation of Nickel Corrosion in ENEPIG Deposits
Nickel corrosion in ENEPIG was reproduced using exaggerated dwell time in the immersion gold bath. Nickel corrosion will occur at the manufacturing site if there is an attempt to plate thicker (>2.8 µin (0.07 µm) gold with standard immersion gold chemistry.
Ventec Keeps 'Shaking Things Up' with tec-speed 20.0
At the EIPC summer conference, I-Connect007 Publisher Barry Matties caught up with Ventec Europe & Americas COO Mark Goodwin, who provided an update on Ventec’s new products, the current state of the company, and how Ventec is shaking things up in the materials marketplace.
PCBs Are Moisture-Sensitive Devices
Research by SMT & Hybrid GmbH (now SMT Elektronik) was conducted just prior to the original publication of IPC-1601, which now provides detailed guidelines for the packaging and storage of PCBs, both from the PCB manufacturer and at the assembler’s manufacturing floor.
Reliability Takes on a New Urgency
Consumers wanted a reliable car that wouldn’t break down on the road; a computer that wouldn’t crash; a phone network that wouldn’t drop our calls; the plane we were hurtling across the sky in to stay in the air and land safely, with the wheels down. In retrospect, those seem rather simple wants, and the industry certainly wants to deliver.
Atotech on Challenges and Opportunities in PCB Manufacturing
Abel Ruivo, Atotech Deputy Business Director of Electronics for Greater China, and Daniel Schmidt, head of Global Marketing for Electronics at Atotech Group, spoke with I-Connect007 about the various challenges of PCB manufacturing in China, as well as about the opportunities in the sector.
The Sum of All Parts: Factors of Reliability
A popular definition of reliability is “The quality of being trustworthy or of performing consistently well.” Upfront engineering is of utmost importance in developing a design that will endure its intended life cycle. On the other hand, the manufacturing of that design is just as critical.
PCB Design, Fabrication and Use from the Mil-Aero End-User Perspective
The procedures described for Rolls Royce were directly comparable with those described for MBDA, and the presenters were unanimous in re-emphasising the importance of working closely with their chosen PCB fabricators at all levels and all stages of design, qualification and production of their circuit boards.
Thermal Capabilities of Solder Masks: How High Can We Go?
This article focuses on three different coating material groups that were formulated to operate under high thermal stress and are applied at the printed circuit board manufacturing level. While used for principally different applications, these coatings have in common that they can be key to a successful thermal management concept especially in e-mobility and lighting applications.
Circuit Automation on the Ever-Evolving World of Solder Mask
In a recent conference call, I-Connect007 editorial team was joined by Circuit Automation’s Yuki Kojima, VP of engineering; Larry Lindland, sales and applications manager; and Tom Meeker, CEO, for a lively discussion about solder mask. Spoiler: It’s not all about the equipment.
Countering Solder Mask Residue Production Concerns
The solder mask application is one of the key considerations to ensure a successful application of a selective finish. The selective finish is the final chemical step of the PCB manufacturing process; this is when the panels are at their most valuable and are unfortunately not re-workable.
IMPACT on DIVSYS and NWSC Crane
I-Connect007's Patty Goldman has known DIVSYS’ Stan Bentley for many years, having met when the company was called Diversified Systems and they made circuit boards and finished products at their facility in Indianapolis. They saw each other at IMPACT recently, and of course had to have a chat.
Solder Mask: You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby!
For the July 2018 issue of PCB007 magazine, I-Connect007's editing team met with Electra Polymers’ Shaun Tibbals and Antony Earl to discuss what’s new with solder mask, including direct imaging and inkjet printing of solder mask, and what PCB manufacturers and OEMs need to know.
More Than a Word: Solder Mask
Do you spend time, as I do, musing on the language of PCBs? We have developed our own lexicon to convey as much by picture, as by word, what exactly we mean.
Calumet Electronics on IMPACT 2018
This year at IMPACT Washington, DC, I-Connect007's Patty Goldman sat down with Steve Vairo and Mike Kadlec of Calumet Electronics, to get their overview on the event.
Study on Application of Four-Wire and Four-Terminal Flying Probe Test Scheme
With the four-wire and four-terminal flying probe test method, voids in the holes formed in the PCB due to process differences, thin copper, and poor conduction due to residual adhesive after laser drilling of the HDI board can be detected, and the circuit board guide can be solved. With the development of multilayer, high-density PCB layout, four-wire four-terminal flying probe testing will play an increasingly important role.
Advanced Copper Plating Process for Any Layer Via Fill Applications with Thin Surface Copper
Copper-filled microvias are a key technology in HDI designs that have enabled increasing miniaturization and densification of printed circuit boards for the next generation of electronic products. Compared with standard PTHs, copper-filled vias provide greater design flexibility, improved signal performance, and can potentially help reduce layer count, thus reducing cost.
Book Recommendation: The Introvert’s Edge
This new book by Matthew Pollard banishes the notion that only extroverts can sell. Gone is the idea that the back slapping, glad handling, joke saying, method of selling is the only way to go.
Catching up with LiloTree’s Dr. Kunal Shah
Every so often, a new product comes around that promises to be a game changer and LiloTree has one of those products. Not only is it cyanide-free, it has the potential to save 40% on your entire ENIG process and is proving to be far more stable than traditional ENIG products.
Agfa: Staying Ahead of the Technology Curve
In the ultracompetitive electronics manufacturing space, companies that don’t continually evolve and invest in new technologies run the risk of being left behind. At the recent EIPC summer conference, many next-generation processes and technologies were discussed and even put on display.
An Owner’s Positive Take on IMPACT 2018: American Standard Circuits’ Founder & Chairman Gordhan Patel
During a full day at IMPACT 2018, I had a chance to speak with American Standard Circuits’ founder and chairman Gordhan Patel. We had much to talk about after listening to several speakers from the departments of Defense and Education, and the International Trade Administration.
Characteristics of New Electroless Au/Pd/Au Process for Fine-Line Applications
The characteristics of electroless gold/palladium/gold (IGEPIG) deposit, which has been newly developed for fine-line application as electroless nickel-phosphorus (EN) free, has been compared with that of conventional electroless Ni-P/Pd/Au (ENEPIG) deposit and electroless Pd/Au (EPIG) deposit.
Welcome to the Silicon Valley Neighborhood: Nano Dimension Arrives in California
I-Connect007 Technical Editor Dan Feinberg accepted an invitation recently to tour Nano Dimension’s new USA headquarters in Santa Clara’s Silicon Valley, which included a sit-down with President and Co-Founder Simon Fried.
Book Recommendation: The Age of Agile—How Smart Companies are Transforming the Way Work Gets Done
This new book by Stephen Denning addresses the issue of change and adaptability like no other book I have read thus far…and I read a lot of business books! Centering on meeting the challenges of new and often changing business environments and how to meet them, the author’s focus on agility runs from the power of smaller teams that are focused on solving problems quickly while eschewing the normal bureaucratic road blocks that have been in place for decades.
Autocatalytic Gold: How it Fits as a Final Finish
For process sequences or more information regarding semi-autocatalytic gold baths or the latest in the development of a fully autocatalytic gold bath that can eliminate corrosion at thickness of >100 nm please contact the author.
MacDermid Enthone Talks Wet Processing Trends in 2018
I-Connect007’s Patty Goldman, Barry Matties, Andy Shaughnessy, and Happy Holden were recently joined by MacDermid Enthone team members Jordan Kologe, technical marketing specialist; Ted Antonellis, applications manager for electronics specialties; and Don Cullen, marketing director for electronics solutions and MacDermid performance solutions. The discussion topic was the wet processing end of PCB manufacturing.
Patty’s Perspective: Staying Current on Wet Processes
This month, Mike Carano’s “Trouble in Your Tank” column on troubleshooting PTH failure mechanisms fit well with our wet processing topic. We hope you benefit from his practical knowledge and are storing his columns for future reference! Our final column this month comes from Elmatica’s Didrick Beck. The subject is Lean manufacturing and the differences between standard and non-standard product lines. Good information to know.
MIVA Technologies’ Explosive Growth Shows no Signs of Slowing Down
MIVA Technologies is a leading equipment builder for direct imaging technologies in the circuit board and microelectronics space. The company’s head of its business development group, Brendan Hogan, sat down for an interview to provide some background and where the company’s specialties lie.
Book Recommendation: The Excellence Dividend—Meeting the Tech Tide with Work That Wows and Jobs That Last
If you wait for a Tom Peters book the way some people (myself included) wait for a new Stephen King novel, then you’re in luck because Tom finally has a new book and it’s a winner. This book covers a myriad of topics in pure Tom Peters fashion. Who but Peters could bring good old meat and potatoes common sense logic to this fast-moving new world order of social media and techno faux-communications?
EIPC 50th Anniversary Conference: Alun Morgan Announcement
As the 2018 EIPC 50th Anniversary Conference came to a close in Dusseldorf, Germany, Barry Matties met with Chairman Alun Morgan to look back at how far the EIPC has come in the past 50 years and say goodbye to Michael Weinhold, longtime director and industry veteran, who announced his retirement at this year’s event.
EIPC 50th Anniversary Conference Day 1: The Past, the Present and the Future, Pt. 1
Just like old times—meeting with John Ling, with whom I had previously travelled to industry events for over two decades, and who still carries the role of EIPC marketing manager, to fly together from Birmingham UK to Dusseldorf in Germany for the EIPC 50th Anniversary Summer Conference.
Cerambus Discusses the Next Generation in PCB Plating
Cerambus Technology Inc. President John Nash sat down with I-Connect007 for a discussion on the latest developments in plating technology, challenges and opportunities in the China market, and their strategy for sustaining growth in a highly competitive industry.
Michael Weinhold: Time to Say Goodbye
This year’s EIPC summer conference marked the 50th anniversary for the organization, and with it, the retirement of longtime EIPC member and industry leader Michael Weinhold. I spoke with Michael on his 50+ years in the industry, and on behalf of everyone at I-Connect007, we wish Michael a pleasant retirement and the best going forward.
Flex Time: Why is Rigid-Flex So Expensive?
One question that I hear fairly often, particularly after an initial quotation, is “Why is rigid-flex so expensive?” In this article, I’ll share with designers the cost drivers in rigid-flex relative to standard rigid boards and flex circuits with stiffeners. A typical rigid-flex PWB will cost about seven times the cost of the same design on a hard board, and two to three times an equivalent flex circuit with stiffeners.
Book Recommendation: Listen Up or Lose Out
There can never be enough books about the art and virtue of listening. As a sales trainer, I've learned that there is nothing more challenging than teaching people how to be quiet and listen. So, it was with great anticipation that I read this new book by the Boltons. Never has there been a better time to try to teach people, not just salespeople to turn down the devices, focus, and start intentionally listening to one another.
EIPC 50th Anniversary Conference Day 2: The Past, the Present and the Future, Pt. 2
Alun Morgan wrapped-up the proceedings, thanking delegates for their attention, speakers for sharing their knowledge and sponsors for their generous support. Special thanks and good wishes to Michael Weinhold for his enormous contribution over the years, and to Kirsten Smit-Westenberg and Carol Pelzers for their calm and professional organisation and management of another superb event.
EIPC 50th Anniversary Conference Day 2: The Past, the Present and the Future, Pt. 1
The sun was shining in Dusseldorf as delegates returned to the conference room for the second day of the EIPC 50th Anniversary Conference. There were very few empty chairs—even those who had enjoyed a late networking session in the hotel bar had taken their seats as Paul Waldner opened the proceedings with Session 5, on a theme of future PCB design, material and processes for the PCB supply chain.
Book Recommendation: Customer Service Training 101
No matter what business you are in, whether it be retail or B2B, you’re going to be able to benefit from everything in this book. It is without a doubt the best customer service training book on the market today.
Flying Probe Testing: It’s about Speed and Stability Says MicroCraft
The I-Connect007 team had the pleasure of meeting with Takayuki Hidehira at the MicroCraft booth at productronica, where they had on display their new eight-probe flying tester, fully equipped with autoloader and new ease-of-use software. Takayuki discusses where flying probe testers currently stand in the market and MicroCraft’s observation of the rise of captive PCB shops in Japan.
Catching up with… Artnet Pro
I recently sat down with Artnet Pro Co-owner Meir Polack to discuss his company's move to represent Altix in North American, South America and parts of Asia. Artnet has traditionally sold pre-owned Orbotech and Camtek equipment, especially LDIs, but due to the increasing competitiveness of this high-end market they decided to seek out the best alternative in new DI equipment.
EIPC 50th Anniversary Conference Day 1: The Past, the Present and the Future, Pt. 2
Part 2 of I-Connect007 Technical Editor Pete Starkey's article on the recent EIPC 50th Anniversary Conference in Dusseldorf, Germany, continues with recap of technical presentations by Emma Hudson, Shannon Juan, Alex Ippich, and Russell Morgan. Read on.
The PCB Norsemen: The Velocity of Technology— What Does It Really Mean?
Driving a car is probably one of the areas where the user comes in direct touch with the technology development. And we understand the speed when we see how fast we get new versions of smartphones and other gadgets. But in what direction are we going?
Book Recommendation: Combo Prospecting
Tony J. Hughes has come up with a series of unique techniques combining social media and traditional methods to get to the right people with the right message using the right techniques.
RMAs: Negative Experience or Valuable Opportunity?
Non-conforming material that is sent back by the customer can easily be interpreted as a negative experience. However, if it is perceived as an opportunity to learn and support the customer it becomes a much more pleasant and satisfying endeavor.
Excerpts from Prismark’s Presentation at CPCA 2018
Prismark Partners LLC presented a detailed report at the recent CPCA meeting and show in Shanghai, China, on the challenges and opportunities for the PCB market. Part of the discussion was on 5G and is excerpted here with permission.
PCB Material Toolbox for Today’s 3G and 4G Networks and Future High-Speed Needs in 5G
The material toolbox idea first came up when I saw the IPC appendix list for standard 1-ply stack-ups. The idea is to make a very simple bill of materials, specifications and notes, and possibly use the same prepreg/resin in the laminate and in the core.
Book Recommendation: Do Good—Embracing Brand Citizenship to Fuel Both Purpose and Profit
The best way to get your people engaged to is give them a mission that is bigger than the company. Now more than ever, people want to believe in things and causes that matter. They want to be proud of the company they work for.
5G—Generation after Generation
If you’re like me, you’ve probably heard of 5G, but you may not understand what all the fuss is about. First, 5G simply means fifth-generation mobile networks. The best way to understand what 5G is about is to understand all the other Gs, like 3G and 4G (we rarely hear about the early Gs!).
Catching up with Fineline-Global N. American CEO Eran Navick
After entering the North American marketplace just six months ago, printed circuit board provider Fineline-Global is making its mark. As the largest value-added PCB supplier in the world, Fineline prides itself on being any able to meet any challenge for any company in any part of the world. I recently had the chance to sit down with Eran Navick, the company’s North American CEO to catch up on how things are going.
May the G Force Be With You
We are about to begin the transition from the present cellular standard 4G LTE to the next generation, 5G. As in the past, most people will wonder, “What does 5G mean to me, and what is LTE anyway?” After all, if you can make your connection reliably and you can send and receive data at reasonable speeds, why should you really care?
The Institute of Circuit Technology Annual Symposium 2018
ICT technical director Bill Wilkie is well-known for choosing notable venues for Institute of Circuit Technology events, and his choice for this year’s Annual Symposium was the National Motor Museum, located in the village of Beaulieu in the heart of the New Forest, a national park in the county of Hampshire in Southern England. The region is known for its heathland, forest trails and native ponies.
Book Recommendation: Becoming Facebook—The 10 Challenges that Defined the Company That’s Disrupting the World
Besides being an excellent history book into one of the most fascinating companies in the world, it is also a great business book. Full disclosure, I wanted to read this book because I wanted to know the Facebook story. I did not expect any of the lessons in this book to apply to me and my own small business or the small businesses that I work with, but I was wrong. The book is filled with valuable lessons that can be applied to any company, no matter the size.
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