August 2022 Newsletter



Hello members!

Our local chapters are returning to in-person meetings and the early feedback is very positive. Peer-to-peer networking and mentorship is at the very core of PCEA’s mission. The chapters exist to instruct, inform and connect designers and engineers across the electronics supply chain. They offer a wide variety of technical topics, plus access to colleagues who might serve as future go-to’s for technical and professional advice.

We strongly encourage you to take advantage of the local chapters or even help start one in your area.

Our scheduled free 90-minute webinar on EMI/EMC by Harry Kennedy Jr. has been postponed to Aug. 11. See Other Educational Opportunities below for more details.

The technical program for PCB West 2022 features nearly 50 presentations and more than 110 hours of in-depth electronics engineering training. Professional education hours are offered for the technical conference, which can be used for maintaining professional certifications and for corporate training program requirements.

Here are just a few of the topics:

  • Best Practices for Hardware IP Reuse
  • Power Integrity and Decoupling
  • Understanding PCB Fabrication Processes
  • PCB Design for Engineers
  • Understanding Basic High Speed PCB Layout
  • PCB Layout of Switch Mode Power Supplies
  • RF and Microwave PCB Design

Keep in mind that PCB West also feature two day-long tracks of free sessions, which coincide with the (free) exhibits on Octover 5. The conference takes place October 4 to 7 at the Santa Clara (CA) Convention Center and features classes for every level of experience, from novice to expert. Registration is now open at

Mike Buetow

PCEA President


Local Chapters

Just a few updates this month. Please forward your chapter news to for inclusion on our website and in future newsletters.

ORANGE COUNTY, CA – We held our first in-person Lunch ‘n Learn meeting event in 2½ years on July 26 in Santa Ana, CA. It was hosted by Insulectro and attracted an audience of 44 designers, engineers, and fabricators to listen to three educational presentations.

Two topics were presented by Chris Hunrath, vice president of technology at Insulectro.

Signal integrity applications in layout was very detailed in applying SI theory to a layout, where he covered EM fields, laminates, copper profile, uninterrupted GND return path, impedance discontinuities from your routing, and proper shielding.

Advanced via solutions using Ormet pastes was also presented by Chis, who had some excellent slides discussing applications for addressing Z-axis interconnects for multi-lam HDI, backdrill elimination, solving high aspect ratio plating on high layer count boards, and any-layer-via usage. A variety of different stack-up constructions were shown which got many designers thinking how this sintered metal process could bring a variety of solutions to the designer. This is a mature process that could provide improved cost and performance in many applications in comparison to the standard PCB multilayer process.

Chris will also present at PCB West this fall.

Overcoming flex design challenges was presented by Geoffrey Leeds, CID, flex product manager at Insulectro. In his presentation, Geoffrey spoke about overcoming flex design challenges by understanding the building blocks; pitfalls to avoid during layout; dynamic vs. static design constraint; and the proper materials and their applications. Many designers in the audience were unfamiliar with flex circuit design practices, so this presentation was a well-received learning experience.

Compared to webinars, the in-person experience allowed for many questions from the audience which elicited answers from the presenters, as well as fabricators and others in the room that had insightful responses that added to the knowledge exchange. The Lunch ‘n Learn meeting wrapped up the drawing for eight raffle prizes totaling over $1,000 including a Footprint Expert software license from PCB Libraries, restaurant gift cards from Freedom CAD Services, and Amazon gift cards from Siemens EDA and Insulectro.

SILICON VALLEY – We will hold our next meeting Aug. 4 from 11:30 to 1:30 at Siemens EDA (Mentor Graphics) in Fremont, CA. This is a Lunch ‘n Learn, featuring Carl Schattke, whose presentation is The A+ PCB Outline Drawing.

This presentation will save design teams time and money and prepare them for optimal communication for a fast start to the design process. All the important points of the PCB outline drawing will be reviewed, so attendees will know what to look for and what to ask for when creating or receiving an outline drawing. The details of what should be on the outline drawing will be shown and listed so attendees will gather the proper information.

Emphasis will be placed on design details, including dimensions, tolerancing, hole call-outs, component marking, and critical features for manufacturing and cost control. Keep-out designations, height requirements. Drawing formats and outputs. The author intends to leave attendees a much higher level of understanding the critical aspects of starting a PCB design the right way.

This is sponsored by Siemens EDA. Please RSVP no later than 4 pm on Aug. 1. All attendees must preregister here.

OCTOBER ELECTIONS – A ballot for the October election of the board of directors has been circulated via email. All PCEA members in good standing are eligible to vote for the board of directors. PCEA members may vote for up to 12 individuals for the board. Please use the link here access the ballot. Directors are nominated by the nominating task group and voted on by the general membership.

Please forward your chapter news to us at inclusion on our website and in future newsletters.


Other Educational Opportunities

EMI/EMC – Join Harry Kennedy Jr. August 11 (note new date) for a special 90-minute webinar on EMI/EMC. If you are not a signal integrity (SI) expert, the thought of EMI/EMC issues might bring you chills. As PCB simulation tools continue to improve, it’s important to incorporate signal integrity checks early in the design process. Instead of waiting for the analysis results after laying out your PCB, why not implement best practices into your verification process.

This noncommercial webinar, free to all PCEA members, will look at common EMI/EMC issues, and how they can be traced back to design best practices. It will also look at how to can use rule-based verification to automatically check for indicators, saving time and money.

This workshop is meant for beginner to mid-level PCB designers and SI engineers. The purpose of this workshop is to add a skillset that helps free up the time of the SI expert. This workshop also encourages users to add best practices into their current workflow by adopting this methodology. This workshop can be done with generic DfE and DfM tools. Register today!


Reading Material

Highlights of the August issue of PCD&F/Circuits Assembly:

  • THE PCB MARKET – It’s unsinkable and unstoppable. Dr. Hayao Nakahara provides his annual NTI-100 list of the largest PCB fabricators, along with commentary on where the industry is headed. (Hayao Nakahara)
  • BOARD BUYING – Are you correctly calculating landed PCB costs? PCB buyers often overlook fluctuating freight costs when considering total cost of ownership (TCO) of the offshore products they purchase. (Greg Papandrew)
  • ASSEMBLY DEFECTS – A cure for head-in-pillow. Reflow in an oxygen-filled environment can lead to all sorts of defects. Can the vapor phase reflow process address HiP in BGA/LGA hybrid connectors? (by Hunter Pullishy, Sandy Yimbo, and Jose Pineda)
  • THE WORKPLACE –  PCB design requires people skills. (Ain’t that the truth!) (John Burkhert Jr.)
  • FLEX CIRCUITS – Are your flex circuit tooling costs higher than those for rigid boards? And if so, it that normal? (Mark Finstad)

Read it all here.

Have an idea for an article? Contact us at No writing experience required!

And look for the September issue of PCD&F/CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY, which features the results of our annual PCB designer/design engineer salary survey.



The Education Committee receives requests each month for mentors. If you are open to helping coach colleagues looking to develop their design or engineering skills, or provide career advice, please let us know at

The Orange County Chapter meeting in July marked a return to in-person peer networking and instruction.

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