January 19, 2022
Wally Rhines, ex chairman of Mentor and spokesperson for the ESD Alliance, joins PCB Chat host Mike Buetow to discuss the latest data for the printed circuit board and semiconductor design software market. Led by big gains in analysis and physical design, PCB tools turned in another solid quarter. Rhines shares the data, along with observations on key end-markets and why electric vehicle designs are sometimes misunderstood.
January 13, 2022
In July 2021, in response to two decades of a declining US market, a group of printed circuit board fabricators and suppliers established the Printed Circuit Board Association of America, or PCBAA.
The organization seeks market fairness and a level playing field on which US PCB manufacturers can compete against competitors subsidized by foreign governments.
Travis Kelly, president and chief executive of Isola, the materials developer, and chairman of the PCBAA, joins PCB Chat host Mike Buetow to discuss the new consortium's outlook and strategy.
December 16, 2021
Today, we discuss Fit for Use solder paste inspection. As we've repeated several times on this show, it is said most reliability problems begin at the printer. Our industry utilizes a lot of materials in order to produce a circuit assembly. If the materials, specifically the solder paste is out of spec, that can affect reliability. Unfortunately, in most cases, one cannot simply open a jar of solder paste and easily determine visually if the solder paste their applying to the stencil is fit for use, or if it has gone bad, or is out of spec.
Mike Konrad's guest will discuss what solder paste fit for use means, and how we can provide methods for determining its fit for use right on the production floor. On a completely unrelated topic, but maybe even more interesting, he also has experience in wearable electronics in temporary tattoos. You bet we ask him about that!
December 10, 2021
Lorain County Community College, located in northeast Ohio, about 30 miles west of Cleveland, became in 2018 the first community college to offer an applied bachelor’s in microelectronic manufacturing. And a year ago, it formed the Manufacturing Electronics & Rework Institute for Training, or MERIT, which the hands-on training lab. Last spring, the program graduated its first students.
Johnny Vanderford, the director of MERIT and an assistant professor of MEMS at LCCC, and Courtney Tenhover, program developer, Engineering, Business, and Information Technologies, join Mike Buetow to discuss how industry companies shape the program curriculum and its potential for adoption by other colleges.
December 1, 2021
Larry Marcanti, executive director of the High Density Packaging User Group (HDP), and Madan Jagernauth, marketing director and project facilitator, talk with Mike Buetow about the trade consortium's recent semiannual meeting and its recently finished projects, including one for SIR.
HDP (hdpusergroup.org) is a consortium of more than 50 global companies that conceives and runs projects on electronics packaging and reliability. It has completed more than 50 such projects over the course of its 25 years.
December 1, 2021
Larry Welk is co-owner of Smart Splice. Larry is a business owner with a history of working in the electrical and electronic manufacturing industry. Skilled in sales, business management, business development, business process improvement, and sales management, Larry says he obtained a Master's degree from the school of hard knocks. After getting knocked down, he says he always focused on learning and getting back up again, a valuable lesson we can all learn from!
Mike Konrad talks to Larry about his “up and down” journey and learn what knocked him down and, more importantly, what his inspiration and techniques were to get back up again.
November 24, 2021
Miles Moreau, KIC’s general manager, has been with KIC for nearly three decades. He draws his deep and rich expertise from managing multiple business units across four continents spanning operations, field service, and sales and marketing channels. His expertise is in thermal management and that’s exactly what we’re going to talk about today.
We’ve discussed how to profile a board on this show. Today, we’re going to talk about profiling an oven and a wave soldering machine, and how, when done correctly, may reduce the number of times one has to attach thermocouples to a circuit board and run it through an oven or wave soldering machine.
November 12, 2021
Jorge Cardona is CEO of Invertronica Group, the parent company of a trio of firms in Colombia. Those companies include Tecrea, an electronics design and engineering unit; LosComponentes.com.co, a parts distributor, and Colcircuitos, the largest EMS company in Colombia.
He speaks with Mike Buetow on markets and manufacturing in Central America, and why Colombia is a nearshore possibility for US OEMs and EMS companies looking for low-cost partners.
November 11, 2021
Paul Salerno holds an MBA with specialization in finance and marketing from Rutgers Graduate School of Business. He is global portfolio manager at MacDermid Alpha Electronic Solutions with expertise in product lifecycle management and development of strategic technology roadmaps for the global surface mount technology business.
Paul works with customers in both Europe and Asia with customers in automotive, computing, communications and consumer electronic markets. Paul and Mike Konrad discuss soldering materials including "high reliability" solder paste, low and ultra-low solder pastes, and design-for-use solder paste selection processes.
Paul may be reached here:
Portfolio Manager, SMT Assembly Solutions
October 28, 2021
The second quarter was "dynamite" for PCB design software sales, explains Wally Rhines, referring to the 16% year-over-year increase in ECAD sales. Rhines, the longtime Mentor CEO and spokesperson for the ESD Alliance, joins market research guru Merlyn Brunken of Siemens to review the latest market data and discuss the history of semiconductor trade wars and relationships between PCB and IC design starts with PCB Chat host Mike Buetow.