May 11, 2022
In early May the Printed Circuit Board Association of America held its first annual meeting, at which they shared progress on their overarching goal, which is to advance US domestic production of PCBs and base materials.
Coinciding with that meeting came an announcement from a pair of US legislators that they had introduced a bill to incentivize purchases of domestically produced PCBs as well as industry investments in factories, equipment, workforce training, and research and development.
The bill, known as the Supporting American Printed Circuit Boards Act of 2022, is aimed at helping to level the playing field for US-based electronics companies by incentivizing investment in capabilities and training.
Travis Kelly, president and chief executive of Isola and chairman of the PCBAA, joins PCB Chat host Mike Buetow to discuss the new bill and the highlights of the annual meeting.
May 9, 2022
Mike Konrad speaks with Dr. Ron Lasky and Jim Hall, authors of the SMTA SMT Certification Courses (along with Phil Zarrow) about the content of these courses. He also speaks with course students, Claire Hotvedt of Indium Corp. and Tom Watson of Kimball Electronics about their experience taking the courses and the value they received.
SMTA offers two certification courses:
• SMT Processes
• Lean Six Sigma Green Belt
Each SMTA Certification program is a three-day offering consisting of a 1.5-day workshop on topics in SMT Processes or Lean Six Sigma Green Belt. The program concludes on days two and three with an open and closed book examination (SMT Processes) and open book examination (Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.)
This is not an entry-level program. Basic algebra will be used in the workshop and examination. This challenging examination requires both written answers and calculations with the intent to enable the attendee to establish competitive credentials as "Certified" by the SMTA in SMT Processes or Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.
More information on the SMTA certification courses is available here:
April 28, 2022
Dr. Ron Lasky talks about the many books he has authored on SMT processes and production efficiencies.
Dr. Ron Lasky is a Senior Technologist at Indium Corporation, as well as a Professor of Engineering at Dartmouth College, where I have twice had the privilege of speaking on the Dartmouth campus to his students. If you're like some people who view the next generation of young adults skeptically and pessimistically, I can assure you your view would quickly change after spending time with his students. Dr. Lasky has more than 30 years of experience in electronics and optoelectronics packaging at IBM, Universal Instruments, and Cookson Electronics. Additionally, he has served as an adjunct professor at several colleges, teaching more than 20 different courses on topics ranging from electronics packaging, materials science, physics, mechanical engineering and science, and religion.
Dr. Lasky holds numerous patent disclosures and is the developer of several SMT processing software products relating to cost estimating, line balancing, and process optimization, all subjects of paramount importance in today's hyper-competitive environment. He is the co-creator of engineering certification exams that set standards in the electronics assembly industry worldwide. Dr. Lasky was awarded the Surface Mount Technology Association’s (SMTA) Technical Distinction Award in 2021 for his "significant and continuing technical contributions to the SMTA." He was also awarded SMTA's Founder’s Award in 2003.
Dr. Lasky holds four degrees, including a Ph.D. from Cornell University in materials science, and is a licensed professional engineer.
He has authored six books, and contributed to nine more, on science, electronics, and optoelectronics,
April 19, 2022
Kunal Shah, Ph.D., is president and chief scientist at Lilotree, a manufacturer of novel surface finishes for circuit boards. He explains the advantages of surface finishes utilizing the thinnest thickness of gold as well as Ni-Less ENIG surface finishes to Mike Konrad.
April 12, 2022
Jack Fisher is project facilitator of the High Density Packaging User Group, also known as HDP, and Madan Jagernauth is marketing director and project facilitator.
They discuss HDP's new technology direction initiative, which focuses on projects to support enabling technologies, and share details of some of those new programs.
They also invite nonmembers to their first face-to-face meeting in two years, taking place May 18-19 in Austin, TX. Nonmembers may attend the May 18 session and the facilities tour of Novacentrix.
April 4, 2022
On this episode of PCB Chat we discuss the fourth quarter 2021 market numbers from the ESD Alliance, which were released the week of April 4, 2022.
Our guests are Wally Rhines, who spent more than 45 years in in semiconductor and PCB design as an executive with Mentor Graphics and before that, TI; and Merlyn Brunken, whose is the longtime market intelligence director with Siemens Digital Industries, formerly Mentor.
This podcast is brought to you by PCB East, the original conference for the #electronics #design, #manufacturing and #assembly industry on the East Coast. Coming to Marlboro, MA, on April 11-13, with the one-day exhibition and a day's worth of free technical sessions on April 12. Visit pcbeast.com for details.
March 23, 2022
Recorded at IPC Apex Expo in San Diego, Mike Konrad has conversations with two guests.
Marco Sanchez from SMT North America talks about thermal control of reflow ovens. firstname.lastname@example.org
Colin Harper of BPM talks about automatic device programming.
March 17, 2022
Mike Konrad talks with four guests:
Jesper Lykke from Viscom talks about inspection systems.
Greg Papandrew from Direct PCB talks about PCB buying and his new book "PCB Basics for Buyers": email@example.com
Kevin Huo from EM Solutions talks about fast-turn contract assembly.
And Michelle Ogihara from Seika USA talks about the advantages of joining trade associations.
March 10, 2022
Michael Kirschner is president of Design Chain Associates, where he helps manufacturers understand and ensure that their products comply with health and environmental regulatory, customer and market requirements.
He has broad expertise in areas including semiconductor quality and reliability, software design and development, hardware design, development, and manufacturing as well as manufacturing processes and supplier/supply base management.
The background enables him to help manufacturers assess and improve supply chain risk, readiness and performance, and achieve (and go beyond) compliance with product-related health, environmental and social regulations like REACH, RoHS, Circular Economy and EcoDesign, WEEE, Conflict Minerals, California's Proposition 65 and Safer Consumer Products, as well as performance standards like IEEE-1680.n (EPEAT), and customer demands around the world.
He speaks with PCEA chief content officer Chelsey Drysdale on the open comment period for RoHS 3, the circular economy, and why environmental and sustainability standards have yet to achieve their goals.
February 24, 2022
While it may seem like an untimely topic given the current supply chain shortages, storage systems for electronic components are an important part of the electronic assembly industry. While we are still in the midst of a supply chain crisis, sooner or later this will be solved and the question of where to put all of our components will be waiting for us to answer. It's often said we don't have time to work on the important because we're so busy working on the urgent.
Mike Konrad's guest is Mike Adamson, product manager for Inovaxe, a provider of material handling products and services for the electronics assembly industry. In today's hyper-competitive electronics assembly industry, efficiency and optimization are key to maintaining competitiveness.
Mike received a bachelor's in physics from the University of Wisconsin LaCrosse as well as bachelor's in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. In addition, he earned an MBA in marketing from Lynn University.