• February 2024 Newsletter

    PCEA

    CHAPTER NEWSLETTER – February 2024

    Greetings!

    We have more member webinars to announce this month, plus some upcoming chapter meetings.

    This month our special member webinar is on high-performance PCB materials for thermal management. On Feb. 27, Chris Hanson, Pesh Patel and Chad Wood will deliver a one-hour talk on thermal IMS (insulated metal substrate). The term “IMS” refers to PCBs built on a metal (typically aluminum but also copper), which acts as a thermal substrate, while the dielectric adhesive (prepreg) provides high thermal transfer from the components while maintaining dielectric insulation. They can be used to replace direct bonded copper (DBC) substrates for power modules and devices.

    The webinar takes place Feb. 27 at 1 p.m. EST. Register here.

    We had to reschedule our webinar on AI in Electronics. The new date is March 6. This special panel of domain experts will debate where they consider the actual intelligence in these tools, and the ways – and how soon – they might impact the industry. To register for the AI webinar click here.

    All webinars include time for audience questions.

    Past webinars can be seen on our YouTube channel or at Printed Circuit University.

    Registration for PCB East 2024 is coming along nicely, well ahead of last year’s pace. And watch the website for further details on the special UHDI (ultra HDI) Forum being held concurrently at PCB East.

    We expect to be at several events this spring, including the SMTA Dallas Expo and the Del Mar Electronics Show, among others, so please look for us.

    Mike Buetow
    PCEA President
    mike@pcea.net

     

    Local Chapters

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

    New England: The chapter plans a kickoff meeting on May 2, probably in the Andover (MA) area. Among the planned speakers are Gopu Achath of EMA Design Automation on supply chain-driven circuit design and Paul Yang of Jove PCB on embedded inductors. Contact Mike Buetow at mike@pcea.net for details

    Silicon Valley: The next chapter meeting is expected to take place in March.

    Upcoming conferences:

    • PCB East: June 4-7 in the Boston suburbs.
    • PCB West: October 8-11 at the Santa Clara (CA) Convention Center. Abstracts are now being accepted at pcbwest.com.

    PCEA Training. PCEA will hold Printed Circuit Engineering Professional curriculum and certification classes as follows:

    Classes currently scheduled for 2024 are as follows:

    • April 5 – May 3
    • June 14 – 28

    More classes will be scheduled for later in the year. Learn more at pceatraining.net.

    Reading Material

    Highlights of the recent issues of PCD&F/Circuits Assembly:

    • Effects of certain materials on conductivity. Some suggest that coating a trace or filling a via cavity can result in significant thermal and/or electrical conductivity improvements, but this is usually not the case. A look at via fillings and trace coatings and the effect that different materials can have on conductivity.
    • An overview of high-density interconnect technology. Production and assembly of HDI PCBs comes with unique technical challenges centered around reliability and quality. An overview of standards and best practices for designing and building HDI PCBs.
    • A Windy City tour. We visit a trio of EMS companies in the Chicago area, each of which specializes in different niches.
    • A new EDA company springs to life. EMA Design Automation recently announced that it will be spinning off its software products for library management, component supply chain data, and other areas into a new company, Accelerated Designs. President Manny Marcano discusses the rationale and plans for the new company.
    • Anatomy of crosstalk. Crosstalk in PCB and packaging interconnects can cause signal degradation that results in costly redesigns, but many designers do not know how to correctly identify its sources and mitigate its effects. An overview of crosstalk sources and terminology, plus models for identifying its effects.
    • WLCSP design. Should the ground connections share vias?
    • Aspect ratio and annular ring in flex circuits. Coupling buried vias with microvias can solve many manufacturing challenges.

    Read it all here.

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

  • January 2024 Newsletter

    PCEA

    CHAPTER NEWSLETTER – January 2024

    Happy New Year, members!

    We continue our member webinar series this month, with presentations on thermal management and the impact of artificial intelligence on electronics.

    On January 17, Doug Brooks and Dr. Johannes Adam will present Via and Trace Currents and Temperatures.. Rather than thinking of current density, the presenters say, focus on material parameters and properties that determine the temperature of a trace and how these are calculated. Results of some simulations of vias of varying widths and amps will be shown.

    And on January 23, a special panel of domain experts will debate AI in Electronics. Artificial intelligence has made its way into ECAD and other software used in electronics manufacturing. But what’s the actual intelligence in these tools? And in what ways — and how soon — can we expect them to impact our roles? Experts from a handful of key ECAD companies will offer a snapshot of where we are, what’s feasible, and the forecasted timeline for implementation.

    Past webinars can be seen on our YouTube channel or at Printed Circuit University. The most recent addition is from December, when Tony Senese and Eriko Yamato of Panasonic presented PCB Material Properties – Considerations for Design and Manufacturing.

    All webinars include time for audience questions. To register, visit the PCEA Events page.. Be sure to click on the “Register now here” link. You will receive an email confirmation for the event; if you do not receive a confirmation, you are not registered.

    We are also excited to announce registration is open for PCB East 2024. This year’s technical conference features more than 75 hours’ of training for all experience levels. And stay tuned for a special addition: the UHDI Forum.

    Finally, this month we welcome Will Bruwer as our new senior sales executive. Will joins us from CBT News, where he served as director of sales for all media solutions across the CBT News platform with strong emphasis on digital, video/interviews, and custom media. He has 20 years’ experience in media sales and is a Navy veteran and a graduate of Georgia State University.

    Mike Buetow
    PCEA President
    mike@pcea.net

     

    Local Chapters

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

    Portland: On Jan. 11 from 3 to 4pm Eastern, the Portland Chapter will host an online presentation: Establishing Design Rules for the Laser Depaneling of Printed Circuit Boards, by Stephan Schmidt. All PCEA members are invited to attend.

    Upcoming conferences:

    • *PCB East 2024: June 4-7 in the Boston suburbs.
    • PCB West: October 8-11 at the Santa Clara (CA) Convention Center. Abstracts are now being accepted at pcbwest.com.

    PCEA Training. PCEA will hold Printed Circuit Engineering Professional curriculum and certification classes as follows:

    Classes currently scheduled for 2024 are as follows:

    • Feb. 5 – March 4
    • April 5 – May 3
    • June 14 – 28

    More classes will be scheduled for later in the year. Learn more at pceatraining.net.

    Reading Material

    Highlights of the recent issues of PCD&F/Circuits Assembly:

    • Electrical and thermodynamic parallels. Most designers have exposure to the fundamentals of electrical engineering principles, but most have almost no exposure to thermodynamic fundamentals, which can be just as important. A presentation of parallel information on the two disciplines that board designers can use to understand the basic principles of thermodynamics that they often have to deal with.
    • Signal integrity. How to calculate transmission line impedance with dispersion and roughness, no field solver needed!
    • Depaneling. Establishing design rules for laser depaneling of printed circuit boards.
    • Ultrasonic wirebonding. Wirebond technology’s flexibility gives it a major advantage as an interconnect method, but its durability is lost in open-air applications. Here, the authors look at ultrasonic wirebonding as currently used in EV battery packs, where they are vulnerable to breakage due to vibration in part because they are not encapsulated.
    • Who owns the fakes? AI design brings questions of ownership.
    • The benefits of internal benchmarking. Look within for improvements.
    • Sintered copper can handle the pressure. The ability to electrically connect two cores or sub-laminated sections together without drilling through the entire section and then going through the plating process can be both a significant time- and cost-saver on the manufacturing side, as well as a huge win for the designer.

    Read it all here.

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

  • December 2023 Newsletter

    PCEA

    CHAPTER NEWSLETTER – December 2023

    Hello members!

    In the next two months PCEA will host three free PCEA member webinars on PCB materials, PCB thermal management, and the impact of artificial intelligence on electronics to be presented by industry experts.

    On December 13, Tony Senese and Eriko Yamato of Panasonic will present PCB Material Properties – Consideration for Design and Manufacturing. Engineers use PCB material product charts to reference electrical, mechanical, and thermal properties to seek solutions for specific applications. It is important to understand the significance of a given property and how it affects PCB design and manufacturing. This presentation will cover key material properties such as Tg, CTE, and modulus to guide how they can impact PCB design and processing. Knowing the capabilities and limitations of these tests and reported values is critical when defining the boundary conditions for a given design. How normal product line up variations in construction, resin content, and use conditions may change a given value will be discussed.

    On January 17, Doug Brooks and Dr. Johannes Adam will present Via and Trace Currents and Temperatures. Rather than thinking of current density, the presenters say, focus on material parameters and properties that determine the temperature of a trace and how these are calculated. Results of some simulations of vias of varying widths and amps will be shown.

    And on January 23, a special panel will debate AI in Electronics. Artificial intelligence has made its way into ECAD and other software used in electronics manufacturing. But what’s the actual intelligence in these tools? And in what ways — and how soon — can we expect them to impact our roles? CTOs and related domain experts from a handful of ECAD companies will offer a snapshot of where we are, what’s feasible, and the forecasted timeline for implementation. All webinars will include time for audience questions. For more info or to register, click here.

    In other news, we received more than 60 abstracts for PCB East 2024, one-third of which are from new presenters. The Conferences Task Group is working to develop the technical program, which will be announced in early January.

    As 2023 draws to a close, a work of thanks and gratitude to our members, customers, board of directors, and other friends and colleagues, of which there are far too many to cite, for your support this year. Pursuit of the ideals encapsulated in our motto – “Collaborate, Educate, and Inspire” – starts with each of you, and we at PCEA draw from your energy and passion every day. Thank you.

    Mike Buetow
    PCEA President
    mike@pcea.net

     

    Local Chapters

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

     

    Steph Chavez and Mike Buetow are planning a four-city chapter roadshow for 2024. The tentative schedule:

    • March 7 – Austin
    • April 11 – Phoenix
    • May 2 – Boston
    • October 24 – Portland (OR)

    Each meeting will include at least one tech talk, plus some time for networking. We will have more details in the new year.

    Education committee. John Watson is working on a series of videos on design, with the first couple scheduled to be complete by year-end.

    PCB East 2024 will take place June 4-7 in the Boston suburbs. And PCB West will take place October 8-11 at the Santa Clara (CA) Convention Center. Abstracts are now being accepted at pcbwest.com.

     

    PCEA Training. On July 31, PCEA acquired PCE-EDU, the developers of the Printed Circuit Engineering Professional curriculum and certification program.

    Classes currently scheduled for 2024 are as follows:

    • Feb. 5 – March 4
    • April 5 – May 3
    • June 14 – 28

    Learn more at pceatraining.net.

    Reading Material

    Highlights of the recent issues of PCD&F/Circuits Assembly:

    • PCB design reuse. Reusing proven circuits and layouts can enhance innovation. Here’s how.
    • Virtual is getting real. PCB design for virtual and augmented reality headsets.
    • Basics of high-frequency materials. As more electronic devices function at high frequencies, selecting materials suitable for high-frequency work is becoming crucial for new product development. An overview of the important characteristics of high-frequency PCB materials.
    • Assessing data independence and normality for SPC charts. Many printed circuit board chemical manufacturing processes can violate the assumption of data independence, which along with normality is crucial for accurate statistical process control charts. Being able to confirm data’s independence and normality before plotting them on an SPC chart can save valuable time for a process engineer.
    • In-house fixture fabrication. Leveraging additive manufacturing technology to mistake-proof production.
    • Going green. Speed is of the essence at Green Circuits, a Silicon Valley EMS that offers same-day (!) turns.
    • Ready for 6G? While the 5G era continues to take hold, materials science must advance for us to move to the next stage.

    Read it all here.

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

  • August 2023 Newsletter

    PCEA

    CHAPTER NEWSLETTER – August 2023

    Hello members!

    Our big news this month: PCEA has closed on the acquisition of the assets of PCBDesign-Edu, Inc., (dba PCE-EDU, Inc.), including its industry leading printed circuit designer training and certification program. The deal extends PCEA’s position as the leading association for training printed circuit engineers worldwide.

    The transaction includes the Printed Circuit Engineering Professional curriculum and related Certified Printed Circuit Designer (CPCD) certification exam, licensing agreements and customer database, among other assets, including the 400-page handbook created by the PCE-EDU founders – Michael R. Creeden, Stephen V. Chavez, Gary Ferrari, Rick Hartley and Susy Webb.

    The PCE-EDU founders developed the best training handbook I’ve ever seen for PCB design. There is tight overlap between PCEA and PCE-EDU’s respective missions and approaches. We feel strongly we will be able to expand on the work of the PCE-EDU founders and reach a larger audience for the CPCD curriculum.

    For more information about the Certified Printed Circuit Designer program, visit pceatraining.net.

    Also, we are pleased to announce Louis Feinstein will keynote PCB West this year. Lou is High Tech Industry Strategy Director, High-Tech at Dassault Systemes. He is a seasoned executive and visionary engineer with profound knowledge and experience in the high-tech market. His talk is titled Revolutionizing Electronics Cyber-Physical Systems: Unleashing the Power of MBSE and AI for Electronics System Design, and focuses on the next paradigm in Electronics Cyber-Physical Systems (ECPS) development.

    For more on the keynote, which takes place September 20 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., and is free to all conference and expo registrants, see below under Education.

    Mike Buetow
    PCEA President
    mike@pcea.net

     

    Local Chapters

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

    SILICON VALLEY – Next meeting is August 30, from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm at Siemens EDA, 46871 Bayside Parkway in Fremont. The topic is Leveraging Advanced Technologies to Accelerate Electronic Systems Design, and the speaker is David Wiens, Xpedition product manager, Siemens.

    National News

    Trace temperature video. Stop thinking about current density! In a new 30-minute video, available for free at Printed Circuit University, Doug Brooks and Dr. Johannes Adam explain the material parameters and properties that determine the temperature of a trace, how these are calculated, and show results of some simulations of vias of varying widths and amps.

    Brooks and Adam are coauthors of several publications on trace and via temperatures, including “PCB Design Guide to Via and Trace Currents and Temperatures” and “Predicting Fusing Time of Overloaded PCB Traces Can We Predict It At All?”

    Education committee. We are preparing the call for abstracts for PCB East 2024. We will have some examples of good (and incomplete) abstracts available at pcbeast.com to help prospective speakers with their submissions.

    The Conferences Task Group is headed by Troy Hopkins.

    PCB East 2024 will take place June 2-5 in the Boston suburbs.

    PCB West keynote. As noted above, Lou Feinstein will keynote PCB West this year. Says Lou: By leveraging model-based systems engineering (MBSE) and artificial intelligence (AI), we accelerate the design of electrical and electronic systems. MBSE streamlines integration, while AI-driven optimization ensures alignment with design intent and derived requirements. The synergy of MBSE and AI empowers efficient ECPS development, establishing new benchmarks in quality and speed. A use case will be showcased to validate the approach, paving the way for the future of ECPS.

    Lou’s diverse background, which ranges from design systems to the assembly floor at leading companies like Dassault Systèmes, Textron and EMC, makes him ideal to explain the impacts of the array of coming technologies on the day-to-day operations of almost every engineer and production staffer. To register for the keynote and the other Free Wednesday sessions, visit pcbwest.com.

    Sept. 20 is also the date of the one-day exhibition. This year’s show is sold out, so be sure to see the more than 100 companies on site — and grab a free lunch starting at 12 noon.

    Reading Material

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

    • The heat is on. Thermal interface materials (TIM) are used between components to help with heat dissipation. Claire Wemp, Ph.D., a thermal applications engineer at DuPont, discusses the use of TIMs, as well as her involvement in the Society of Women Engineers.
    • A plethora of pitches. The evolution of integrated circuit package technology drove the electronics industry to its present state, but a closer look at the past reveals missed opportunities to create a more coherent set of IC standards, as well as lessons to be learned for future choices to improve design efficacy and product performance and reliability.
    • Cpk or Ppk? A look at using both capability indices. . Summary statistics can be misleading, but in different ways. Always graph your data.
    • Selectively assembling high-value components based on warpage in order to improve reliability. Surface warpage, or flatness, is an established source of reliability issues in surface mount devices, particularly when these surfaces are considered as they warp due to heat generated in production or real-world use. While measuring samples for thermal warpage is a common practice, an experimental concept is presented based on measuring warpage on SMD devices and the PCB landing areas where they would attach in assembly, then deciding which sample to place on which PCB.
    • Managing library and design data.Automating data maintenance and revision control.
    • Copper vs. CuNI for flexible heater elements. Voltage, heater size and material costs all factor into the decision process.

    Read it all here.

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

    Committees

    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.

  • June 2023 Newsletter

    PCEA

    CHAPTER NEWSLETTER – June 2023

    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
    mike@pcea.net

     

    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!

    Committees

    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.

  • April 2023 Newsletter

    PCEA

    CHAPTER NEWSLETTER – April  2023

    Hello members!

    Mentorship is a key reason why PCEA exists, and to that end we are pleased to announce a new partnership with SCORE.org. The full announcement from Phil Marcoux is below.

    Meanwhile, as mentioned last month, we have several upcoming technical webinars and live presentations coming up starting this month.

    Rick Hartley in June will present a special live two-day workshop on “Control of EMI, Noise and Signal Integrity in High-Speed Circuits and PCBs” in the Atlanta area. 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.

    Says Rick: “Knowing proper design of circuits and PCBs to contain E&H fields, as well as knowing how to mitigate the effects of high-speed devices, are the keys to successful design of low noise circuits. This two-day seminar is a crisp focus of the issues PCB designers/engineers must know to prevent EMI, signal integrity, crosstalk, ground bounce and grounding issues in high-speed digital and mixed signal designs.” Visit pcb2day.com or click here for details.

    Coming April 11, “Reverse Engineering PCBs: How to Recreate a Lost Design,” by Ethan Pierce, presents a skillset to technicians, designers, and engineers that leverages assembled PCBs without design data to be recovered and recreated. Using a set of software- and hardware-agnostic processes, this course analyzes a design of unknown origin and recreates that design with a set of commonly available tools. To register: click here.

    And on April 25, “Engineered Reliability: Safeguarding Electrical Components and Devices with Nanocoating Technology” by Richard Weiland, director of nanocoating applications for HZO Inc., focuses on real-world examples where significant product challenges were presented (such as humidity, temperature, or corrosion) and the investment of time and resources focused on device dependability and functional testing. To register: click here.

    Registration is open for PCB East, featuring more than 60 hours of in-depth electronics engineering training. Lee Ritchey, Rick Hartley, Susy Webb and Dan Beeker are among the headliners of this year’s show. The conference will be held May 9 to 12 at the Boxboro Regency Hotel and Conference Center in Boxborough, MA. It features classes for every level of experience, from novice to expert. There is also a full day’s worth of free tech talks on May 10, the same day as the exhibition. (And we have more than 50 companies across the design, fabrication and assembly supply chain exhibiting!) Visit PCBEast.com to register.


    Mike Buetow
    PCEA President
    mike@pcea.net

     

    Local Chapters

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

    ONTARIO, CANADA – We will hold an event in early May with Ata Syed of PFC Flexible Circuits presenting on flex design. Details to come.

    ORANGE COUNTY – We had another successful Lunch ‘n Learn event on Feb. 23 and are planning our next meeting in May.

    SAN DIEGO – We will have a booth at the Del Mar Electronics Show on Apr. 26-27. On April 26, Mike Konrad of Aqueous Technologies will speak on cleaning low-residue solder fluxes and Dave Lackey of American Standard Circuits will speak on flex circuits as part of a PCEA special seminar. Visit manufacturing.show for details.

    SEATTLE – We are looking at getting the Seattle Chapter back up and running. If anyone is interested in assisting with the chapter activities, please contact Tim Mullin at tim_mullin@comcast.net.

    National News

    PCEA Partners with SCORE.org to Provide Business Mentoring

    PCEA is more than an international network of engineers, designers, fabricators, assemblers, and anyone related to printed circuit development. It also is a network of the businesses employing all involved in printed circuit development and assembly.

    The mission of PCEA is to promote printed circuit engineering as a profession by encouraging and facilitating the exchange of information and the integration of new design concepts through education, certification, communications, seminars, and workshops. PCEA is also striving to help its member companies thrive and succeed.

    SCORE.org has the mission of fostering vibrant small business communities in the US through mentoring and education. SCORE was created in 1964 and is funded, in part, through a cooperative agreement with the US Small Business Administration. It is committed to help every person succeed in their small business!

    SCORE is composed of over 12,000 volunteer mentors organized across more than 200 chapters. SCORE mentors know what it’s like to be a small business owner since over 80% were involved in starting businesses. I have been a volunteer with the Silicon Valley chapter for the past four years. In 2022, the SV chapter mentored over 1,000 individuals who wanted help starting their own businesses. As of March 2023, we’ve already mentored over 600. Each chapter offers very low-cost classes (in-person and online) and free mentoring.

    To access these classes and services interested US PCEA members only need to register on the SCORE.org website. There you can see what classes are available either on-demand or upcoming at one of the chapters. There are numerous free business templates available to organize your ideas.

    If you want to get specific help immediately you can enter the keywords for the help you’re looking for and you’ll be presented with a list of available qualified mentors across the US. Once you’ve registered as a client you can request a specific mentor or request recommendations for mentors from a local chapter.

    Our community of experienced entrepreneurs, corporate managers, and executives is eager to help you whether you want to start and grow an existing business.


    Phil Marcoux
    Member PCEA Education Committee
    Mentor Score, Silicon Valley Chapter
    Kayaker Extraordinaire

    Conferences task group. We received 75 abstracts for PCB West 2023 technical conference. Twenty-five of the abstracts were submitted by speakers who have never presented at PCB West. A draft schedule is under review by the task group and the final schedule will made available to the public in mid April at pcbwest.com. PCB West takes place Sept. 19-22 at the Santa Clara (CA) Convention Center. There is a four-day technical conference of paid and free classes, with a one-day (Sept. 20) exhibition.

    Eptech tour. PCEA will cosponsor a guided tour of the Eptech trade show in Toronto on May 9 (eptech.ca/location/toronto/). Ata Syed of PFC Flexible Circuits and Nick Koop of TTM Technologies plan to invite students from various institutes and give a tour of the show from an industry point of view. Contact pcea@pcea.net for details.

    Reading Material

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

    • Understanding electroless nickel thickness in ENIG and ENEPIG. Accurate measurement of the electroless nickel layer thickness is possible if a user corrects for density changes caused by the inclusion of phosphorus in the nickel deposit in a specific sample.
    • ‘A solution for anybody in North America’. APCT’s recent acquisition of ACI nearly doubles APCT’s annual revenue to $200 million, and makes the company the third largest among PCB fabricators in North America. APCT head Steve Robinson discusses the acquisition and his vision for the company’s future.
    • Early detection of failures caused by corrosion on components. Corrosion is the most predominant failure mode in electronic products, and corrosion present in solder leads before the soldering process a devastating effect because they become a breeding seed of the corrosion epidemic. A demonstration of how components with corrosion and contamination in the soldering leads can be detected early during production and avoided.
    • Real-time x-ray video imaging of pb-free solders under simulated SMT reflow. Two current baselines and seven next-generation lead-free solder paste alloys are observed using radiographic imaging during SMT reflow to find the best LF alloys for the next phase for production prototypes.

    Read it all here.

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

    Committees

    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.

  • March 2023 Newsletter

    PCEA

    CHAPTER NEWSLETTER – March  2023

    Hello members!

    We are coming off a terrific year for PCEA, with growth in individual membership, our first corporate members, two successful trade shows and the return to live chapter meetings.

    We have two special one-hour technical webinars coming up next month that are free for all PCEA members.

    On April 11, Ethan Pierce will explain how to leverage assembled circuit boards without design data to be recovered and recreated. Often, end-of-life or existing systems have design data that are lost, abandoned, or of unknown origin, which is a rising concern among teams building or maintaining these systems. Using a set of software- and hardware- agnostic processes, this course analyzes a design of unknown origin and teaches attendees how to recreate that design with a set of commonly available tools.

    Ethan Pierce is director of hardware engineering at Pierce Design, working with global customers to build and deploy IoT solutions. An electrical engineer by trade, Pierce has spent his career building consumer, medical, and defense connected products at leading hardware companies to leading IoT platform companies. His specialty is maintaining holistic design intent from concept to mass production, producing successful products at scale.

    For details: click here.

    On April 25, Richard Weiland of HZO, Inc., will present on real-world examples where significant product challenges were presented (such as humidity, temperature, or corrosion) and the investment of time and resources focused on device dependability and functional testing. Data analysis from industry standard testing methodologies as well as application-specific approaches will be presented to demonstrate how nanocoating solutions can provide the protection required for such end-use environments.

    Richard Weiland is director of nanocoating applications for HZO, Inc. Weiland has a bachelor’s in chemical engineering from Bucknell University and an MBA from North Carolina State. Prior to joining HZO, he held process development, project engineering, and business development manager roles with Cormetech, a company that specializes in environmental pollution control and services.

    For details: click here.

    Registration is open for PCB East, featuring more than 60 hours of in-depth electronics engineering training. Lee Ritchey, Rick Hartley, Susy Webb and Dan Beeker are among the headliners of this year’s show. The conference will be held May 9 to 12 at the Boxboro Regency Hotel and Conference Center in Boxborough, MA. It features classes for every level of experience, from novice to expert. There is also a full day’s worth of free tech talks on May 10, the same day as the exhibition. Visit PCBEast.com to register.

    And be sure to see us at the Del Mar Electronics Show, where we are sponsoring a special tech session on April 26 on flex circuit design and manufacturing by Dave Lackey of American Standard Circuits, and the SMTA Atlanta Expo & Tech Forum, also on April 26.


    Mike Buetow
    PCEA President
    mike@pcea.net

     

    Local Chapters

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

    ONTARIO, CANADA – PCEA will cosponsor a guided tour of the Eptech trade show in Toronto on May 9 (eptech.ca/location/toronto/). Ata Syed of PFC Flexible Circuits and Nick Koop of TTM Technologies plan to invite students from various institutes and give a tour of the show from an industry point of view. Contact pcea@pcea.net for details.

    National News

    EMC control workshop. . Rick Hartley will present a two-day workshop on high-speed and EMI control for printed circuit board design in the Atlanta area in early June. Visit pcea.net or pcb2day.com for details.

    PCB West. We are in the last few days of accepting abstracts for PCB West 2023 technical conference. We have received about 70 abstracts to date. The Conference Task Group will meet multiple times this month with the goal to have the program finalized by the end of the month. PCB West takes place Sept. 19-22 at the Santa Clara (CA) Convention Center. There is a four-day technical conference of paid and free classes, with a one-day (Sept. 20) exhibition.

    Reading Material

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

    • Permittivity vs. permeability: What’s the difference? Some areas of physics have considerable impact on our designs. Here we look at two physical properties of the dielectrics we work with, and why they are important to understand.
    • How interconnects work: characteristic impedance and reflections. Reflections in an interconnect degrade the transmitted signal, which may cause link failure. How to solve for the reflections caused by transmission line characteristic impedance and termination impedance mismatch.
    • A quick fix for fillet starvation. A typical problem for via-in-pad design is the creation of seemingly “starved” fillets when the via sucks up solder from pads at terminals during reflow. A simple solution to this problem is detailed.
    • Aligning six sigma tools with process reality. Identify the areas of variance in stencil design and adjust SPI programming accordingly.

    Read it all here.

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

    Committees

    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.

  • December 2022 Newsletter

    PCEA

    CHAPTER NEWSLETTER – December 2022

    Hello members!

    It’s been a couple months since we’ve last communicated. We hope the usual rush to complete any end-of-year tasks is going well and your holiday season is a safe and happy one.

    There’s a lot to catch up on.

    In October, PCEA celebrated a very successful PCB West in October, its first since acquiring the industry-leading technical conference and trade show from UP Media Group in January. Conference registration was at its highest point in more than 10 years, nearly 2,000 industry professionals registered for the exhibition, and more than 85 exhibitors filled the sold-out show floor. Keynoter Dr. Brian Toleno, manager, Applied Materials at Meta’s Reality Labs, gave a scintillating presentation on the opportunities the metaverses offer not just for users but for developers of computing devices. He looked at the novel innovations in materials and production that will be needed for printed circuit designs to meet the requirements for weight, size and functionality. “Games alone won’t drive AR/VR,” Toleno noted. “The next generation of Zoom will be 3-D avatars.”

    At PCB West, we also held our annual meeting and introduced our 2023-24 board of directors, as elected by the membership: Stephen Chavez, Tomas Chester, Michael Creeden, Doug Dixon, Tara Dunn, Gary Ferrari, Justin Fleming, Richard Hartley, Scott McCurdy, Anaya Vardya, Susy Webb and Eriko Yamato.

    The board then voted on the officers for the term: Chavez, chairman; Dunn, vice chairman; Fleming, secretary. Committee chairs include Chester, Education; and Creeden, Membership.

    Also during the meeting, we recognized Mike Creeden with the first PCEA Leadership Award, for his lifetime service in the pursuit of educating and training PCB design engineers. Mike, who was PCEA’s first vice chairman, was instrumental in the launch of PCEA and the negotiation to acquire the assets of UP Media Group, including PCB West.

    And Scott McCurdy was recipient of the first PCEA Membership Award. Scott was PCEA’s first Membership Committee chairman, and has been president of the Orange County chapter of the PCEA since its inception. Meanwhile, we have begun preparations for PCB East and PCB West. Read more in the National news below.

    We have a new managing editor for PCD&F/Circuits Assembly. In October we welcomed Tyler Hanes to our staff. Tyler has a journalism degree and a experience in regional papers and trade groups. He is based in Alabama and has already attended his first industry event: PCB Carolina.

    Finally, we have a new section on Printed Circuit University dedicated to PCEA members. In addition to its paid content, PCU has added a section with free white papers and videos for any PCEA members. Learn more at PrintedCircuitUniversity.com.


    Mike Buetow

    PCEA President
    mike@pcea.net

     

    Local Chapters

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

    ONTARIO, CANADA – On Nov. 24 we held a virtual Lunch’ n’ Learn featuring Ata Syed, field application engineer at PFC Flexible Circuits. Syed is starting a multipart series on flex circuits. In this first session, he covered the five “W’s” of flex technology:

    • What is flex?
    • Why use flex?
    • Who should know flex?
    • When to use flex
    • Where to use flex

    To view the presentation click here.

    RTP – The RTP Chapter held its annual PCB Carolina in November and by all accounts it was a success. The show floor was sold out and registration was its highest ever, with more than 1,000 professionals registered. Kathy Joseph, host of the Kathy Loves Physics YouTube channel and author of “The Lightning Tamers,” keynoted the event. Her presentation, “The Origins of the World’s Electricity,” chronicled names and stories – some familiar, some less so – to tell the story of the birth of electricity and explain quirks of the world’s electrical systems, such as the reasons why most countries use around 220V and 50Hz for their main voltage while the US and Canada use around 120V and 60Hz.

    NATIONAL NEWS –

    Membership committee. This month Mike Creeden led a leadership session for existing and startup chapters. He gave updates on the association, strategic plan and education committees, and events planned for 2023. Q/A was a big part of the session. The session was recorded for chapter leaders who could not make the live call.

    Education committee. The abstracts deadline for PCB East 2023 has ended and we have received more than 50 abstracts. The Conferences task group is led again by Rick Hartley. A PCEA Conference Abstract Selection Process will be used for the first time for this event. The target date for releasing the three-day technical program is Jan. 3, and PCB East takes place May 9-11 in Boxborough, MA.

    Reading Material

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

    • Updating an existing design. Not all designs start from scratch. Some files come from the client. And sometimes, the schematic and PCB layout get out of sync.
    • Clocking a PCB design. Aligning signals to attain perfect synchronicity.
    • Basics of polymers for thermal management of electronic devices. A comprehensive thermal management approach not only includes using the right TIM materials in combination with heat sinks, heat pipes, fans and heat spreaders, but also includes a good thermal management strategy that starts during the design phase.
    • Addressing low-temperature rework concerns. The inherent brittleness of bismuth inhibits the manufacturing of fluxed cored wire. One solution involves use of a high-bismuth solid wire solder with an external flux. Another approach is to use traditional SAC-flux cored wire solder to rework low-temperature solder joints.

    Read it all here.

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

    Committees

    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.

  • September 2022 Newsletter

    PCEA

    CHAPTER NEWSLETTER – September 2022

    Hello members!

    The PCEA Annual Meeting will take place Oct. 4 at the Santa Clara Convention Center, in conjunction with PCB West. All PCEA members in good standing are invited to attend. The 2023-24 board will be formally introduced at the meeting.

    Scott McCurdy in August stepped down as Membership committee chairman. Mike Creeden takes over as Membership chair and will continue as vice chairman until board elections are finalized.

    “Please join me in thanking Scott for all his past and current actions and dedication to service in getting PCEA chapters kickstarted over these past two years,” said board chairman Stephen Chavez. “Scott will continue his involvement with chapter activities as chairman of the PCEA Orange County chapter, and on the executive board.”

    And a reminder that the technical program for PCB West 2022 features nearly 50 presentations, including nine free ones. Free sessions include:

    • Understanding High Frequency Materials Test Methods for Dk and Df
    • Dynamic Guidelines for Design with SAP (Semi-Additive Processes)
    • How Heterogenous Integration Affects the PCB Industry
    • Evaluating Emerging PCB Technologies Through Industry Collaboration
    • The 21 Most Common Design Errors Caught by Fabrication (and How to Prevent Them)
    • Leveraging CFX-QPL to Integrate Equipment and Create a Smart Factory
    • IPC-2581’s Bi-directional Electronically Executable DFx Exchange Accelerates NPI
    • The A+ PCB Outline Drawing

    Plus our keynote, Augmented and Virtual Reality, the Next Computer Revolution, featuring Dr. Brian Toleno of Meta.

    The free exhibition is on October 5 from 10 am to 6 pm, and includes free lunch on the show floor from 12 to 1 pm and an end-of-day reception from 5 to 6 pm.

    Registration is now open at pcbwest.com. Don’t wait: registration is free through Oct. 4, but $25 on the day of show.


    Mike Buetow

    PCEA President
    mike@pcea.net

     

    Local Chapters

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

    ORANGE COUNTY, CA – Steph Chavez and Gerry Partida are putting together a presentation on “Best Practices” focusing on do’s and don’ts, which will be a dialog between a designer and fabricator. We’ve reserved a venue on October 19 to hold this live Lunch ‘n Learn.

    SILICON VALLEY – We held an in-person meeting on August 4 at Siemens EDA in Fremont, CA, fearuting a good presentation by Carl Schattke. (Carl will also be presenting at PCB West next month.) No immediate plans available for next meeting.

    OCTOBER ELECTIONS – Last call to vote for the next board of directors. 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.

    Reading Material

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

    • ECAD industry wages are rising. (Tell me something I didn’t know.) Results of our annual PCB designer/design engineer salary survey.
    • Why I4.0 and reshoring go hand in hand. According to research firm IDTechEx, it’s only a matter of time before an array of sensors and cobots spur far greater automation and flexibility.
    • Tacking material for power module assembly. A no-flux reflow process can mitigate residue issues in vacuum soldering and avoid additional cleaning steps that add process time and cost.
    • Ensuring proper alignment of layers and components on a PCB. Why a tooling hole remains the answer for an end-to-end process.

    Read it all here.

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

    Committees

    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.

    The Orange County Chapter meeting in July marked a return to in-person peer networking and instruction.
  • August 2022 Newsletter

    PCEA

    CHAPTER NEWSLETTER – August 2022

    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 pcbwest.com.


Mike Buetow

PCEA President
mike@pcea.net

 

Local Chapters

Just a few updates this month. Please forward your chapter news to pcea@pcea.net 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 pcea@pcea.net 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 pcea@pcea.net. 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.

 

Committees

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.

The Orange County Chapter meeting in July marked a return to in-person peer networking and instruction.
  • July 2022 Newsletter

    PCEA

    CHAPTER NEWSLETTER – July 2022

    Hello members!

    It’s summer here in North America and Europe, and as we move into the hot summer months, we hope you are finding ways to stay cool and enjoy yourselves.

    We want to call attention this month to a couple items ahead of us:

    • The annual PCB designer/design engineer salary survey will be open for a few more days. Please take a moment to complete it. This year we offer two forms: 1) our classic comprehensive version that encompasses all aspects of the field, from compensation to technology, and 2) an abridged, 13-question version that focuses only on compensation and can be completed in fewer than two minutes. Take your pick! https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/N989JS3
    • PCEA will host a free 90-minute webinar on EMI/EMC by Harry Kennedy Jr. on July 27. 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. Among the industry experts on tap for this year’s show are Rick Hartley, Susy Webb, Thomas Chester and Dan Beeker. The conference will be held 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 pcbwest.com.


    Mike Buetow

    PCEA President
    mike@pcea.net

     

     

    Local Chapters

    ALBUQUERQUE – There is interest in forming a local PCEA chapter here. Please contact pcea@pcea.net if you are interested in helping the launch.

    DALLAS – Harry Kennedy is looking for individuals within the DFW Metroplex to help build and develop the Dallas Chapter. If you’re interested in helping, or just want to stay informed, please fill out the form here.

    DENVER – There is interest in forming a local PCEA chapter here. Please contact pcea@pcea.net if you are interested in helping the launch.

    NEW ENGLAND – There is interest in forming a local PCEA chapter here. Please contact pcea@pcea.net if you are interested in helping the launch.

    ONTARIO (CANADA) – The Ontario chapter had 25 attendees for its Lunch and Learn on June 8.

    ORANGE COUNTY, CA – The Orange County chapter is hoping to hold an in-person meeting this month.

    NATIONAL – We held a free 90-minute webinar by Kunal Shah on surface finish selection on June 28. You may register to view the recorded presentation here.

    OCTOBER ELECTIONS – A ballot for the October election of the board of directors will be circulated shortly. Please look for it and be sure to respond. Directors are nominated by the nominating task group and voted on by the general membership, with ballots circulated a minimum 60 days prior to the annual meeting (currently scheduled for October 4, 2022, at PCB West).

    Please forward your chapter news to Chelsey Drysdale (chelsey@pcea.net) for inclusion on our website and in future newsletters.

     

    Other Educational Opportunities

    EMI/EMC – Join Harry Kennedy Jr. on July 27 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!

    PCB WEST – The metaverses offer myriad opportunities not just for users but for developers of computing devices. As that market takes off, what novel innovations in materials and production will be needed for printed circuit designs to meet the requirements for weight, size, and functionality?

    Those are the questions Dr. Brian Toleno, manager, Applied Materials at Meta’s Reality Labs, will tackle when he keynotes this year’s PCB West conference. His talk, Augmented and Virtual Reality, the Next Computer Revolution, will describe the current market, use cases, and the technology all around AR/VR, with a focus on the printed circuit board aspects.

    At Meta, Dr. Toleno leads a multi-disciplinary team that works on the material challenges in Meta’s consumer electronics hardware. These devices include VR headsets (Quest 2), smart glasses (Ray-Ban Stories), Portal smart screens and other exciting devices that help bring people together.

    Dr. Toleno is a leading expert in materials science for electronics applications. Prior to Meta, Dr. Toleno was director of new technology at Microsoft, working on the Hololens and director of global product management for underfills and encapsulants at Henkel. He was also a director of SMTA. He has a doctorate in chemistry from Penn State University and a bachelor’s of science in chemistry from Ursinus College.

    His talk takes place Oct. 5 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Santa Clara (CA) Convention Center as part of “Free Wednesday.” It’s free to attend but registration is required: pcbwest.com.

     

    Reading Material

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

    • THERMAL MANAGEMENT – Companies should perform their own testing or develop their own thermal models to determine conductor current carrying capacity in any given technology. An explanation of IPC-2152 and the information it provides to get started. (Mike Jouppi)
    • OSP MYTHS – After many years of debate, a specification for organic solderability preservatives is finally here. IPC-4555 sets the record straight: OSPs are not all the same, and they have regained their leadership role as a final finish. (Michael Carano)
    • SUPPLY CHAIN – In May, Summit Interconnect announced its acquisition of Royal Circuit Solutions, expanding the fabricator’s capacity of rigid and flex PCBs. But it was the behind-the-scenes technologies and assembly capacity that convinced Summit president and CEO Shane Whiteside to make the deal.
    • IMPEDANCE –  Determining your optimum geometry, plus two methods for providing data to the fabricator. (John Burkhert Jr.)
    • INSPECTION – Correlating inspection trending with test data to fine-tune accept/reject parameters. (Filemon Sagrero)

    Read it all here.

     

    Committees

    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.

  • June 2022 Newsletter

    PCEA

    CHAPTER NEWSLETTER – June 2022

    Hello members!

    PCEA local chapters are made up of engineers, designers, software vendors, resellers, students, manufacturing and material professionals … basically, anyone who is involved in the electronics industry. They exist to help fulfill our mission of facilitating the sharing of design concepts concerning printed boards and related technologies all the way through engineering, fabrication, assembly, and test.

    Design engineers need a way to access information on existing and design methods, materials, packages, manufacturing processes, etc., that will enable next-generation products (or more functional/higher yielding current generation products). And then they need to push those designs downstream in a way that ensures the design intent is met.

    Standards alone aren’t enough. CAD tools aren’t enough. As product development gets more spread out geographically and split up by specialty, access to experts outside one’s company is crucial to progress, both from a product and a career development standpoint. Through the PCEA chapters, industry professionals can access that network.

    Also, there are plenty of opportunities to get more involved, whether it be on subcommittees, developing white papers, or preparing presentations.

    This is your chance to step up into a bigger arena. The possibilities that go with advancing your own career or mentoring others are endless. Contact me today to learn more.

    Mike Buetow
    PCEA President
    mike@pcea.net

    Local Chapters

    ALBUQUERQUE – There is interest in forming a local PCEA chapter here. Please contact pcea@pcea.net if you are interested in helping the launch.

    DALLAS – Harry Kennedy of Altair says: Howdy! Are you looking to help build our Texas Chapter? We’re looking for individuals within the DFW Metroplex to help build and develop our Dallas Chapter. If you’re interested in helping, or just want to stay informed, please fill out the form here.

    ONTARIO (CANADA) – Holding a Lunch and Learn about the PCEA on June 8. Learn more here.

    ORANGE COUNTY, CA – The Orange County chapter held a virtual meeting on April 20 and is hoping to plan a meeting for mid-July, which we’re going to try to do IN-PERSON for the first time in 2.5 years. This pandemic definitely slowed down our chapter activities, so I am really hoping our members are ready to emerge from their caves and attend.

    NATIONAL – We have agreed to cosponsor (with Vac Consulting) a free webinar by Dan Beeker on designing for successful EMC compliance on June 14 at 2 pm Central European Summer Time (CET) / 8 am Eastern Time. More info here.

    A free 90-minute webinar by Kunal Shah on surface finish selection is set for June 28. Following Dr. Shah’s presentation, we will have an additional 30 minutes for Q/A on any topic related to PCEA. Register here.

    We would also like to announce the addition of Doug Dixon and Anaya Vardya to our board of directors.

    Anaya is chief executive of American Standard Circuits, a Chicago-based printed circuit board fabricator. Prior to that, he held top operations positions at Coretec and Merix and was also an engineering manager at IBM for nearly a decade. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering. 

    Doug is chief marketing officer at 360 BC Group, Inc., a full-service B2B marketing firm focused on technology clients. He has more than 30 years in product and marketing management with leading SMT assembly companies such as Speedline, Universal Instruments, and most recently, Henkel, where he was global marketing director. He has a bachelor’s in engineering and started his career in manufacturing at Raytheon. They plan to focus first on our finance committee and strategic plan.

    OCTOBER ELECTIONS – In accordance with the PCEA bylaws, any PCEA member in good standing is eligible to be nominated for the board of directors. Board members are nominated by the nominating task group and voted on by the general membership, with ballots circulated a minimum of 60 days prior to the annual meeting (currently scheduled for October 4, 2022, at PCB West). Any members interested in joining the board should contact Steph Chavez or Mike Buetow at pcea@pcea.net no later than June 10.

    Please forward your chapter news to Chelsey Drysdale (chelsey@pcea.net) for inclusion on our website and in future newsletters.

    Other Educational Opportunities

    DDR LAYOUT WEBINAR – Join noise control expert Rick Hartley on June 7 for a two-hour webinar on PCB layout of DDR bus structures. Hartley’s presentation will focus on identifying reasonable rules and guidelines, as well as proper PCB layout concepts to ensure DDR structures function as intended without adding extra time or cost to the project. ($175) Thanks to Siemens EDA for sponsoring.

    PCB WEST – The PCEA Conferences Task Group announced the technical program for PCB West 2022, featuring nearly 50 presentations and more than 110 hours of in-depth electronics engineering training.

    Among the industry experts on tap for this year’s show are Rick Hartley, Susy Webb, Thomas Chester, and Dan Beeker. The conference will be held from 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 pcbwest.com.

    Reading Material

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

    • SIMULATION – Reflections, even from a single discontinuity, can destroy a signal, but the effect of the major discontinuities can be predicted with validated models before the board is designed. (Yuriy Shlepnev, Ph.D.)
    • SIGNAL INTEGRITY – Managing propagation delay and relative time delay mismatches is a challenge. We need to know how to calculate trace length from time delay value to implement the PCB trace routing accordingly. (Lance Wang)
    • SUPPLY CHAIN – Fresh off its inaugural meeting, the Printed Circuit Board Association of America gets legislative good news. What’s next for the organization that wants to rebuild US production? (Travis Kelly)
    • PROCUREMENT – Working with a contract manufacturer can be daunting, particularly if it lacks experience sourcing challenging parts in a challenging market. (Brian Laney)
    • IC CLEANING – A case study showed a well-balanced aqueous cleaning agent removed lead-free, water-soluble tack flux residues better than straight deionized water. (Ravi Parthasarathy and Umut Tosun)

    Read it all here.

    Committees

    The Education Committee met on May 16 to review the panel discussions for PCB West. The committee also reviewed the PCEA mentor program. We receive 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.

    Salary Survey

    Please take a moment to complete the annual PCD&F salary survey (link here) for designers and design engineers. This year we offer two forms: 1) our classic comprehensive version that encompasses all aspects of the field, from compensation to technology, and 2) an abridged, 13-question version that focuses only on compensation and can be completed in fewer than two minutes.