PCB Chat
RIT PCB Design Curriculum

RIT PCB Design Curriculum

June 20, 2022

The Rochester Institute of Technology in January launched its first course on printed circuit board design.

Instruction was performed by Dr. Kirsch Mackey, an electrical engineer and head of hardware training at HaSofu.

On this episode of PCB Chat, we speak with Dr. Mackey and Dr. James Lee, acting chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology department at RIT, about the new course, what was taught, the students’ response, and the next steps for the program.

 

RM 97: Best Practices for Purchasing X-Ray Equipment

RM 97: Best Practices for Purchasing X-Ray Equipment

June 16, 2022

Mike Konrad speaks with four experts, not about brands or models of x-ray equipment, rather about best practices for purchasing x-ray equipment.

There are numerous manufacturers of x-ray equipment, each with multiple models with varying capabilities. Which type of x-ray equipment is right for your application (2D, 2.5D, 3D, etc)? What are the price ranges? What are the capabilities? What questions should I ask when speaking with manufacturers of x-ray equipment? How do I define my needs? How do I avoid buying too little or too much?

These and other questions are answered by our expert panel.

Our expert panel includes:

  • Keith Bryant of Keith Bryant Consultancy. Keith has more than 30 years in the electronics industry and has worked for and with x-ray equipment manufacturers. 
    keith@smta.org
  • Dr. David Bernard of David Bernard Consultancy. David has more than 20 years of experience in the x-ray industry and has worked for and with x-ray equipment manufacturers. 
    dbc@bernard.abel.co.uk
  • David Kruidhof, sales manager for Creative Electron, a manufacturer of x-ray equipment. dkruidhof@creativeelectron.com
  • Robert Boguski, president of Datest, an analytical laboratory specializing in failure analysis. Rob is a user of x-ray equipment. rboguski@datest.com
RM 96: Phil Zarrow and Jim Hall on Their New Book

RM 96: Phil Zarrow and Jim Hall on Their New Book

May 27, 2022

A couple episodes ago, Reliability Matters host Mike Konrad spoke with Dr. Ron Lasky about a couple of books he wrote. He also recommended one he didn't write: "Troubleshooting Electronic Assembly: Wisdom from the BoardTalk Crypt" by industry gurus Phil Zarrow and Jim Hall, available on Amazon (both were prior guests on this show). This episode, we’ll have a conversation with Zarrow and Hall about their book.

If you’ve been in the electronic assembly industry for some time, there’s little doubt that you have heard of Phil Zarrow and Jim Hall. Zarrow has been involved with PCB fabrication and assembly for more than 35 years. He is president and principal consultant of ITM Consulting.

Hall has been involved in the electronic assembly industry for the past 26 years. He’s a principal consultant and resident Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt with ITM Consulting. He’s also an instructor in the Lean Six Sigma programs offered at Dartmouth College. Together with Dr. Lasky, Zarrow and Hall designed the SMTA SMT Processes Certification Course.

PCB Chat 98: The Cadence Allegro/ Dassault Systèmes 3DExperience Integration

PCB Chat 98: The Cadence Allegro/ Dassault Systèmes 3DExperience Integration

May 18, 2022

Cadence and Dassault Systèmes in late February announced the combining of the former's  Allegro platform with the latter's 3DExperience platform in a joint solution that enables  customers to perform multidiscipline modeling, simulation and optimization of complex, connected electronic systems. The firms say this new multidisciplinary approach can accelerate customers’ end-to-end system development process while optimizing their design for performance, reliability, manufacturability, supply resilience, compliance and cost.

Today’s guests are Stéphane Declée, CEO of the Dassault Systèmes ENOVIA brand, and Michael Jackson, corporate vice president of R&D at Cadence's System, Package, Board Group.

They address a range of topics related to the integration, including how this could help users working in both environments, the manufacturing elements that can now be simulated, the functionality updates, and how other partnerships with ECAD and MCAD providers will be affected. 

PCB Chat 97: Travis Kelly on the Printed Circuit Board Association of America

PCB Chat 97: Travis Kelly on the Printed Circuit Board Association of America

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. 

RM 95:  SMTA SMT Certification Course Authors Dr. Ron Lasky and Jim Hall

RM 95: SMTA SMT Certification Course Authors Dr. Ron Lasky and Jim Hall

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:
https://smta.org/page/certification

RM 94: Dr. Ron Lasky on His Many Books

RM 94: Dr. Ron Lasky on His Many Books

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, 

RM 93: Dr. Kunal Shah on Ni-Less ENIG

RM 93: Dr. Kunal Shah on Ni-Less ENIG

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.

PCB Chat 96: The Latest HDP Initiatives with Jack Fisher and Madan Jagernauth

PCB Chat 96: The Latest HDP Initiatives with Jack Fisher and Madan Jagernauth

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.

 

PCB Chat 95: Latest PCB ECAD Market Data with Wally Rhines

PCB Chat 95: Latest PCB ECAD Market Data with Wally Rhines

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.

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