June 2023 Newsletter



Hello members!

The Printed Circuit Engineering Association has opened registration for the technical program for PCB West 2023 featuring nearly 50 presentations and more than 130 hours of in-depth electronics engineering training.

Among the industry experts on tap for this year’s show are Rick Hartley, Lee Ritchey, Susy Webb, Tomas Chester and Dan Beeker.

The conference will be held Sept. 19 to 22 at the Santa Clara (CA) Convention Center and features classes for every level of experience, from novice to expert.

The scope of classes ranges from basics on design engineering and DfM, to designing and building RF and microwave products, board stackup, circuit grounding, PCB layout of DDR memory, thermal management, manufacturing PCBs, and more. New courses this year include the role of AI in PCB design, system level simulation, and signal integrity in thin PCB materials, among others.

Also new this year: Ask the Experts, a series of help sessions with experts in signal integrity, high-speed design, EMI, DfM, flex circuits and more.

Conference registrants who sign up by Aug. 18 can take advantage of the Early Bird Special discounts for the conference.

An exhibition featuring more than 100 leading suppliers to the electronics design and manufacturing industry will be held Sept. 20.

Mike Buetow
PCEA President


Local Chapters

Please forward your chapter news to pcea@pcea.net for inclusion on our website and in future newsletters.

RIO GRANDE VALLEY – The RGV Chapter had its first public meeting on June 1. We are planning our next meeting for September and will have more details as we get closer.

SAN DIEGO – Palomar Community College is offering a comprehensive online PCB design course, taught by John Watson. The classes include a 16-week beginner course and a 16-week advanced course, with the beginner classes starting on Aug. 22, 2023, and the advanced courses starting on Jan. 30, 2024.

The chapter has elected John Watson vice chair and Nick Maldonado communications director.

National News

EMI seminar. Rick Hartley will present a special live two-day workshop on “Control of EMI, Noise and Signal Integrity in High-Speed Circuits and PCBs,” coming June 20-21 to the Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta. As Hartley notes, EMI is a leading concern for electronics designers and a major cause of failures. The seminar has been updated to contain a fair amount of new information that was not taught in years past. Each attendee will receive a color PDF copy of the full slide deck. For details, visit pcb2day.com.

PCB fabricator database available. PCEA now offers FabFile Online, a list of active North American printed circuit board fabricators, free as an industry service.

This database was initially compiled and provided to the industry by Harvey Miller. For over seven decades, Miller was a leading source of data on market and technology trends for the printed circuit board industry. Using the FabFile database, Dr. Hayao Nakahara of N.T. Information performed extensive editing to clean up and add commentary to the list.

The database is available for download in the free section of Printed Circuit University .

Education committee. Free content overview feedback is due in mid June. This project is being managed by John Watson. The committee is also updating the 2023 PCD&F Salary Survey prior to distribution to the membership. And we are pleased to announce Troy Hopkins has been named chair of the Conferences Task Group.

PCB East 2023 registration up 59% year-over-year. Registration for the PCB East 2023 conference and exhibits rose 59% overall from last year. Conference registration more than doubled, rising 110% from last year, while the expo-only trade show registration rose 63% over the same period.

The annual trade show was held May 9-12 at the Boxboro Regency Hotel and Conference Center in Boxborough, MA. In all, more than 60 leading suppliers of electronics design tools, manufacturers of bare boards and assemblies, and suppliers of fabrication and assembly equipment and materials exhibited at the show.

Plans for PCB East 2024 will be announced shortly.

Reading Material

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

  • Onderdonk’s and Preece’s equations: How do they compare? Two unique equations can be used when fusing a trace – each offering its own strengths and weaknesses.
  • Simulating electronics components in the cloud. 3-D models and numerical methods can analyze CAD models of electronic devices and components. Numerical computations of conduction, convection and radiation are essential for understanding how these heat transfer mechanisms can be utilized for effective cooling techniques.
  • Cpk or Ppk? A look at using both capability indices. Summary statistics can be misleading, but in different ways. Always graph your data.
  • The CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY Top 50 EMS companies. Putting aside the obvious supply chain disruptions, the two big stories out of the EMS industry in 2022 were the emergence of India, led in particular by Apple’s pivoting from China, and the number of IPOs.
  • Power to the PCB. Thermal considerations for printed circuit board designers.
  • High-speed rigid-flex Rigid-flex can meet the speed you need – with the right design and materials.
  • The printer and the pea. In the stencil printing process, seemingly small settings or interferences can prevent a good print outcome – particularly as assemblies continue to move toward higher densities and miniaturization.

Read it all here.

Have an idea for an article? Contact us at pcea@pcea.net. No writing experience required!


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 pcea@pcea.net.

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