Printed Circuit Design & Fab Circuits Assembly February 2022 cover
February 2022
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February 2022 • VOL. 39 • NO. 2
Printed Circuit Design and Fab Circuits Assembly logo
First Person
6
What to expect at PCB East.
Mike Buetow
money matters
18
Support the software.
Peter Bigelow
20
Improving customer service.
Greg Papandrew
22
Stress management.
Susan Mucha
Tech Talk
24
Resetting the clocks.
John Burkhert, Jr.
35
Man vs. machine.
Alun Morgan
36
IPC-6013E updates.
Nick Koop
56
Don’t break the rule.
Clive Ashmore
Departments
February 2022 • VOL. 39 • NO. 2
Printed Circuit Design and Fab Circuits Assembly logo
Features
29
SMT PROCESSING
Changing a stencil printing machine’s conveyor configuration makes it more efficient. Multiple tests on two boards confirmed the narrower board had a smaller cycle time during cleaning.
by MIGUEL ARROYO COLOMER
Printed Circuit Design & Fab Circuits Assembly February 2022 cover
38
PCBAA
Last July, a group of PCB fabricators and suppliers established the Printed Circuit Board Association of America to support initiatives to advance US domestic production of PCBs and base materials. Travis Kelly, president and CEO of Isola, spoke to PCD&F/CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY about the consortium in December.
by MIKE BUETOW
43
LCCC
Lorain County Community College in Northeast Ohio broke the mold with its applied bachelor’s degree in electronics manufacturing. Students learn hands-on skills from day one with a goal of direct, employable talent.
by MIKE BUETOW
50
Creation Technologies
Creation Technologies chairman and chief executive Stephen DeFalco lays out the company’s market focus, its acquisition and growth strategy, and its approaches to the biggest issues facing the industry today: supply chain shortages and talent recruitment and retention. The EMS company’s recent moves expand its North American footprint and its penetration in its core aerospace and defense and medical markets.
by MIKE BUETOW
ON PCB CHAT (pcbchat.com)
ECAD Software Trends
with WALLY RHINES
Printed Circuit Board Association of America
with TRAVIS KELLY
College PCB Design Classes
with DR. JAMES LEE
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to
PRINTED CIRCUIT DESIGN & FAB/CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY, PO Box 807, Amesbury, MA 01913
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AMESBURY, MA 01913
PCEA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Stephen Chavez, chairman
Michael Creeden, vice chairman
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MEMBERS
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Scott McCurdy
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COLUMNISTS AND ADVISORS
Clive Ashmore, Peter Bigelow, Robert Boguski, John D. Borneman, John Burkhert, Joseph Fama, Mark Finstad, Bill Hargin, Nick Koop, Alun Morgan, Susan Mucha, Greg Papandrew, Akber Roy, Chrys Shea, Jan Vardaman, Ranko Vujosevic, Gene Weiner

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ART DIRECTOR & PRODUCTION
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Printed Circuit Design & Fab/Circuits Assembly is published monthly by Printed Circuit Engineering Association, Inc., PO Box 807 Amesbury, MA 01913. ISSN 1939-5442. GST 124513185/ Agreement #1419617.

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The Route
A headshot photo of Mike Buetow smiling (Editor-in-Chief at UP Media Group)
mike
buetow
President
Diving into DDR: Highlights of PCB East
I

t took longer than expected, but only by a couple weeks. PCEA is now the owner of a number of publications, websites, educational events and trade shows for printed circuit engineers.

In January, we completed the acquisition of several longtime and popular brands from UP Media Group, including PCD&F/CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY, the PCB2Day webinar series, the Printed Circuit University online education platform, the PCB Chat podcast series, and of course, the leading technical conferences and trade shows for design engineers: PCB West and PCB East. It’s the latter one I’ll look at today.

Last month’s discussion focused on training opportunities. We looked at developments at the college level and new certification programs like the Printed Circuit Engineering Professional course offered by PCE-EDU, the brainchild of a team of veteran design engineers led by Mike Creeden and Rick Hartley.

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Around the World
PCDF People
A headshot picture of Xin Jiang grinning
Bowman named Xin Jiang principal electrical/firmware engineer. He has a master’s in electrical engineering and more than 30 years’ experience in digital circuits, embedded software, and product design.
Eltek named Ron Freund chief financial officer.
Epec Engineered Technologies promoted Keith Araujo to vice president of marketing.
Zuken USA promoted Mark Geise to CIO and vice president of operations.
Around the World
New Webinars from PCEA Focus on DfM, High-Frequency Design
PEACHTREE CITY, GA – The Printed Circuit Engineering Association announced a pair of new webinars for PCB design engineers, RF engineers and digital designers will take place over the next two months.

“Best DfM Practices for Board Engineers,” a new three-hour webinar in the PCB2Day training series, will take place Feb. 22.

Taught by Susy Webb, a certified PCB designer with nearly 40 years’ experience, the webinar is aimed at PCB designers, design engineers, system designers, and hardware engineers. It is designed for all skill levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

Around the World
Nano Dimension Acquires Global Inkjet Systems for $18M
SUNRISE, FL – Nano Dimension acquired Global Inkjet Systems, paying GIS shareholders $18.1 million in cash. In addition, it will pay between $1.3 million and $10.7 million within the next 27 months if GIS achieves certain financial performance over this period.

UK-based GIS develops and supplies high-performance control electronics, software, and ink delivery systems and is known for 2-D and 3-D printing inkjet hardware and operating software. GIS has more than 130 customers globally and had revenues for the 12 months ended Mar. 31 of approximately $10 million.

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Around the World
CA People
A headshot picture of Chris Heesch grinning
BTU annouced Chris Heesch as regional sales manager for the Western US, Mexico and Central America.
A headshot picture of Wolfgang Bloching smilingA headshot picture of David McKee smilingA headshot picture of  Anders Lunden smiling
Indium promoted Wolfgang Bloching (top) and David McKee (middle) to senior regional sales manager in Europe, while Anders Lunden is now regional sales manager. Bloching joined Indium in 2009 and has more than 24 years’ experience in electronics manufacturing. McKee joined Indium in 2000 and has held roles as process specialist, area sales manager, and key account manager. Lunden has been with the company since 2019 and has more than 20 years’ experience in electronics.
A headshot picture of Haley Reid grinning
Hailey Reid, senior research and development chemist at Kyzen, was recognized as one of the Women of Excellence in Metal Forming and Fabricating 2021.
Delphon appointed Jospeh Montano CEO.

Sionyx named Denis Boulanger senior manufacturing engineer.

Southwest Systems Technology named Victor Migri outside account manager, covering the North Texas territory.
SVI Public Co. appointed Verne R. Mundell acting president effective Jan. 5.
A headshot picture of Sal Sparacino smiling
Zestron Americas appointed Sal Sparacino to director of sales. He joined Zestron in 2010 and is also a director of the SMTA.
Around the World
NCAB Acquires German PCB Distributor META
BROMMA, SWEDEN – NCAB Group signed an agreement to acquire 100% of the shares in META Leiterplatten for an undisclosed amount. The transaction is expected to be accretive to earnings in 2022 and close in early January.

Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany-based META was founded in 2000 and serves customers in Germany and expects net sales of about SEK 85 million ($9.4 million) in 2021, with an estimated EBITA of SEK 4.5 million. The company provides customers with PCB solutions in the high-mix, low-volume segment, mainly in the industrial, consumer and medical sectors. Their suppliers are located in China and Taiwan.

The company has 17 employees, all based at its German headquarters.

Around the World
Harima Buys Henkel’s Solder Unit
TOKYO – The board of Harima Chemicals Group has approved a plan to acquire the solder materials business of Henkel for an undisclosed amount.

The deal includes production assets, production technology, trademarks, patents, research equipment, inventory, employees, and commercial rights in Europe, the US and Asia, and factory real estate in Malaysia.

Henkel’s solder business has sales of €28 million ($31.6 million). The acquisition is expected to be negligible to Harima’s consolidated financial results for its fiscal year ending Mar. 31.

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Around the World
CA Briefs
Advanced Precision Distribution changed its name to SMT Supplies, effective Jan. 1.

AIM Solder has acquired its UK distributor BLT Circuit Services, which also manufactures consumable products for the printed circuit and chemical milling industries. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Crestview Partners has acquired Emerald EMS from New Water Capital for an undisclosed amount.

Compal Electronics in January halted production at its factory in Northern Taiwan for a week after several employees tested positive for Covid-19.

Dixon Technologies has formed a joint venture with Rexxam to manufacture PCBs for air conditioners for the global market.

EMD Electronics, the North American Electronics business of Merck, announced a new factory in the greater Phoenix area for the manufacture of equipment for its Delivery Systems & Services (DS&S) business.

Around the World
Kitron Completes Acquisition of BB Electronics
ASKER, NORWAY – Kitron in January completed the acquisition of 100% of the shares of BB Electronics for approximately DKK 600 million (US$91 million). The pending deal was announced in late December.

“This transaction fits perfectly with Kitron’s growth strategy,” said Peter Nilsson, president and CEO, Kitron. “BB Electronics is a profitable company, which adds attractive geographies to the Kitron group and is expected to create significant value for Kitron shareholders. Its well-run operations will continue with little change, but we will immediately identify potential cost savings from coordinating purchases.”

The acquisition took place in accordance with the transaction agreement. BB Electronics will be consolidated into Kitron’s financial reporting as of January.

BB Electronics has some 750 employees in Denmark, the Czech Republic and China and had revenues of about DKK 1 billion (US$152.2 million) in 2021. (CD)

Around the World
inTEST Completes Acquisition of Acculogic
MT. LAUREL, NJ – inTEST in January completed its previously announced acquisition of Acculogic and its affiliates. The company on Dec. 9 announced it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Acculogic for approximately $9 million.

“We have been making great progress with our five-point growth strategy since its launch at the beginning of the year, and this acquisition further demonstrates our ability to execute on our plan to grow the business at a greater rate than the market by expanding its global reach and enhancing its product portfolio,” said Nick Grant, president and CEO, inTEST. “I would like to personally welcome the entire Acculogic organization into the inTEST family as we are excited to add their leading technologies and automation services into our electronic test portfolio.”

Acculogic designs and manufactures test systems and provides engineering services for electronic devices, PCBs and EV batteries. Acculogic has engineering and sales support facilities in Maple Grove, MN, Lake Forest, CA, and Hamburg, Germany. The company has approximately 50 employees and generates approximately 75% of its revenue in the defense/aerospace, automotive and life science markets.

inTEST supplies test and process solutions for use in manufacturing and testing across automotive, defense/aerospace, industrial, life science, semiconductor and telecommunications markets. (CD)

Around the World
East West Manufacturing Acquires Compass’ EMS Assets in Mexico, TX
ATLANTA – East West Manufacturing has acquired certain operations of Compass Electronics Solutions, a provider of electronics manufacturing services, including advanced printed circuit board assemblies, box-build assemblies, wire and cable harness assemblies, and new product introduction services. Terms weren’t disclosed.

The acquisition enhances the growth of East West by adding established operations in Juarez, Mexico, and El Paso, TX, and advances the company’s strategic focus on growing its North American design, manufacturing and distribution capabilities, East-West said in a press release.

The deal does not include Compass’ cable and wire harness operations in Dayton, OH.

“We are extremely excited to expand our integrated design, engineering, manufacturing and distribution services into Juarez and El Paso,” said Scott Ellyson, cofounder and CEO, East West. “Compass has a strong reputation for putting customers first and has an established presence for innovation in a variety of high-growth sectors such as medical and life sciences, commercial and industrial and aerospace and defense. The joint operations in Mexico and Texas allow us to offer our customers even greater nearshore, higher mix, lower volume, quickturn integrated manufacturing services as the international manufacturing landscape continues to diversify. This initiative fits perfectly with our collective design, manufacturing and supply chain capabilities, allowing us to support customers from product inception to full-scale production on a global basis.” (MB)

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Around the World
Rising Material and Labor Costs Continue to Plague Global EMS Supply Chain
BANNOCKBURN, IL – Materials and labor costs continue to be the largest issue facing the electronics supply chain, with nine in 10 electronics manufacturers reporting rising materials costs and more than three-fourths reporting rising labor costs.

That’s according to IPC’s January 2022 global electronics manufacturing supply chain sentiment report, which also found that although order flows continue to be strong, and capacity utilization and shipments are expanding, survey respondents reported growing backlogs and shrinking profit margins.

Among other conclusions, the survey results found material costs are currently rising at a higher rate in North America than APAC: 96% of North American manufacturers report rising material costs; a significantly lower 74% report material costs are up in APAC.

Around the World
Cicor in Talks to Acquire SMT Elektronik’s EMS Unit
BRONSCHHOFEN, SWITZERLAND – Cicor Group on Jan. 17 revealed discussions are underway with the owners of SMT Elektronik with the target of acquiring the German company’s electronic manufacturing services activities.

SMT Elektronik employs 145 staff in Dresden and had sales of €22.4 million with a net profit of €1.2 million in financial year 2020. The company’s EMS activities, which Cicor intends to acquire, are a major contributor to these key figures.
The closing of the transaction is subject to usual conditions and regulatory approval procedures.

In the event the deal goes through, SMT Elektronik will collaborate with Cicor-owned RHe Microsystems in nearby Radeberg. Cicor intends to expand its EMS and microelectronic assembly capabilities and to significantly increase its position in the German high-end electronics market.

Cicor Group is also considering additional investments at the location in Saxony to strengthen its presence in one of the most important microelectronics and IT clusters in Europe. (MB)

Market Watch
EDITED by CHELSEY DRYSDALE
Hot Takes
  • The overall electronic component sales sentiment for December was 114.4, up 19.2 points compared to the outlook projected for December during a November survey. (ECIA)
  • Materials and labor costs continue to be the largest issue facing the electronics supply chain, with nine in 10 electronics manufacturers reporting rising materials costs and more than three-fourths reporting rising labor costs. Material costs are currently rising at a higher rate in North America than APAC: 96% of North American manufacturers report rising material costs; a significantly lower 74% report material costs are up in APAC. (IPC)
  • November shipments among North American electronics manufacturing services companies rose 2.5% year-over-year and 4% sequentially. (IPC)
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ROI
In Support of Capital Equipment, Don’t Forget the Software
To best help customers, suppliers must invest in dedicated software experts.
“Value add” is a term bandied about, especially when a business is in the process of selling its products or services to another one. Likewise, in manufacturing the term “capital investment” describes the process of a business selling its products to another. All too often, much less “value” is derived by the “investment.”

Over the years – decades, in fact – most of the equipment and services I’ve purchased have been of dubious value and less an investment than a needed cost. A significant portion of any capital budget is spent either replacing legacy equipment or on substantial repairs to keep old equipment functioning. While there are times a new technology is truly a game-breaking investment and provides real value for the future, the majority of capital spent is for the same-old, same-old.

Historically, capital equipment used in the fabrication of printed circuit boards has relied heavily on electromechanical/PLC controls to operate. Mechanics in most companies’ maintenance departments can troubleshoot and service or fix this technology reasonably well. Many a scrubber, etcher or drill that may be decades old can be found still chugging along in most established fabrication facilities. Technology and events, however, are impacting the same-old and offering an opportunity for some that, to date, have not been embraced.

BOARD BUYING
Government Incentives Won’t Fix Domestic PCB Industry
The source of domestic manufacturing woes is customer service, not offshoring.
I’ve sold PCBs for over 30 years, sourcing boards both domestically and internationally, and I find it much harder to source boards from American manufacturers, not so much because of pricing but because of poor customer service.

Of course, many US-based PCB fabricators meet or exceed customer expectations, but unfortunately, even more American shops struggle to deliver printed circuit boards on time and communicate promptly and effectively with customers. That directly affects their sales performance.

Many domestic manufacturing companies point to offshore manufacturing – with its lower pricing – as the cause of their sales woes. They call for government involvement to level the playing field. While I applaud efforts by PCB industry trade groups to bolster business for US-based PCB manufacturers, government intervention is not a guarantee for growth. No matter how hard the government tries to control business – be it with incentives (rewards) or tariffs (punishment) – board buyers aren’t motivated to do business with firms that lack good service.

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FOCUS ON BUSINESS
Alleviating Stress and Avoiding the Cult of Mediocrity
Tips to avoid burnout while applying resources to mitigate the impact of two years of Covid.

By the time this is published, we will have been working in “Covid new normal mode” for nearly two years, which means EMS program teams have been working under extreme stress for longer than most physical bodies can handle. This is creating two big dangers: physical damage caused by exposure to long-term stress and disappointing customers becoming acceptable because so many variables are outside of the program team’s control.

In the ’80s, one of the management associations I belonged to had a stress management seminar built around the movie Twelve O’Clock High. The movie is set in England in WWII and follows a new squadron commander from his optimistic arrival through his total burnout. The seminar focused on behavior changes related to command stress in situations where the odds were against most crews surviving, including a rise in irritability, an increase in alcohol consumption, insomnia and a breakdown in decision-making. The commander in the movie experienced a physical and mental breakdown.

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designer’s notebook
External Oscillators: Placement and Routing Tradeoffs
Does changing the clock make any difference to the PCB layout?

Every six months, it becomes apparent not enough of my household items are part of the “Internet of Things.” (Cue ominous violin squeals.) Can we talk about my spouse’s wall-clock fetish? At least the one in the bedroom doesn’t tick! And, of course, if a battery is near its end, an adjustment will probably put it out of business for good. It’s always something getting me back up on that step ladder.

Setting and resetting clocks is also a thing in PCB design.

Keep the working circuits intact. The engineers on the analog side of the coin get very attached to a circuit that works. If something is working with sufficient margin, then don’t even get near it with “arbitrary and capricious” revisions. Tread lightly in those situations, as there are many ways for things to go haywire. Consider the crystal as a hostile device from the start. That way, if it must grow, the other geometry already leans away from the danger zone.

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SMT Processing
Improving SMT Stencil Printer Cycle Time
Changing a stencil printing machine’s conveyor configuration helps make it more efficient. by Miguel Arroyo Colomer
A well-balanced surface mount line takes into consideration all the equipment comprising it and any indirect factors that affect it. Here we examine stencil printer cycle time (CT).

Internal factors considered for a CT study include conveying time in and out of the machine, stencil and board fiducial recognition, cleaning time, solder paste measurement time, dispensing time, and printing time.

Not all solder pastes have the same rheology, and paste rheology determines a stencil printer’s process parameters. These parameters include squeegee speed, force, attack angle, separation speed (detaching), squeegee material, stencil design, solder paste roll diameter, and stencil cleaning profile, which includes frequency, speed, number of passes, dry, vacuum, wet, and other parameters.

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material gains
Man vs. Machine: AI Will Soon Win the Imitation Game
Is it possible to achieve robot ethics when humans providing the framework are inherently flawed?
It has been over 80 years since Jorge Luis Borges published his short story “The Library of Babel,” and now the virtual library is open to visit. Borges described a theoretical library of books that, together, contain all possible combinations of letters in the alphabet, with a few provisos and limited punctuation. The idea was this library would contain every book, every article, song, play, etc., that has been – or ever could be – written, among an overwhelming quantity of apparently meaningless material.

It’s a mind-boggling concept, used to explore ideas of time, meaning, the human condition – behavior, frailties, the shortness of life – and our place in the universe. It’s clear this library was imaginary. Borges never expected it to exist. Now, leveraging the computing power available to us today, the website libraryofbabel.info has brought the literary concept to life as a virtual “universe.”

Seven years from now, the era of artificial general intelligence (AGI) will begin, according to Ray Kurzweil. AIs trained for specific tasks such as image, pattern or speech recognition are already in the world and routinely assisting with demanding tasks in industry, medicine, financial analysis, photography and more. Kurzweil said by 2029 a machine will be able to pass the Turing test, the so-called imitation game, in which a human interrogator questioning a machine and a human should be unable to distinguish between the two based on their responses.

the Flexperts
What’s New in IPC-6013E?
The updated rigid-flex specification overhauls copper thickness requirements.
As we start a new year, it’s a good time to review what changed in 2021. In the flex world, the IPC Flexible Circuits Performance Subcommittee worked through the pandemic and released a new revision to IPC-6013. Revision E was released in September, replacing an amended Revision D from April 2018. Some updates and changes are subtle, while others are significant. Many changes attempt to increase clarity.

Let’s start at the finish – final finish, that is. Tin, silver, and ENIG/ENEPIG will not have minimum thicknesses in IPC-6013. Instead, we are defaulting to the new IPC-4552/4553/4554/4556 specs for thickness and sampling frequency. This avoids unintended differences or conflicts as the finish specs are updated.

Often questions arise related to the rigid-to-flex transition – and what is delamination versus non-lamination? In paragraph 3.3.1.3, we added an explanation about what’s happening at the transition and a new Figure 3-1B to provide a more visual explanation of what is acceptable and rejectable.

PCBAA
Building a Resilient US Supply Chain
“Chips don’t float,” the saying goes, but it’s up to the PCB industry to push its message to Washington. by Mike Buetow
Travis Kelly
Travis Kelly,
PCBAA Chairman

It’s hard to believe now, but veterans of the printed circuit board industry will remember when the US was neck and neck with Japan as the largest PCB manufacturing market. It peaked in 2000-2001 with sales north of $10 billion each year and close to a 30% share of the overall market.

How things change.

Today, US domestic PCB manufacturing output is around $3 billion, and its share of the global market is in the mid-single digits. Meanwhile, China has surged ahead of the pack, as more than half the bare boards produced each year are built on the mainland. Moreover, nations like Vietnam that didn’t even register a decade ago are now larger than the US market.

Last July, in response to two decades of a falling tide, a group of printed circuit board fabricators and suppliers established the Printed Circuit Board Association of America (PCBAA). This new consortium of US-based companies supports initiatives to advance US domestic production of PCBs and base materials.

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IPC Report Outlines Steps US Gov.,
Industry Must Take for PCBs to Survive in US
IPC Report Outlines Steps US Gov., Industry Must Take for PCBs to Survive in US
BANNOCKBURN, IL – The US has lost its historic dominance in a foundational area of electronics technology – printed circuit boards – and the lack of any significant US government support for the sector is leaving the nation’s economy and national security dangerously reliant on foreign suppliers, according to a new report by IPC.

Joe O’Neil’s report outlines steps the US government and industry must take if it is to survive in the US.

O’Neil writes that for any such measures to achieve stated goals, Congress must ensure printed circuit boards and related technologies are covered by it. Otherwise, the US will become increasingly unable to manufacture the cutting-edge electronics systems it designs.

LCCC
Why Don’t Colleges Graduate Skilled Workers? (They Do.)
An Ohio community college breaks the mold with an applied bachelor’s degree in electronics manufacturing. by Mike Buetow
In my three decades in electronics engineering, perhaps the only thing that never changes is the need for more skilled workers. No matter the state of the economy or the geography, having knowledgeable and competent engineers and operators is always critical, and there are never enough of either.

But while the tension is notable between industry and academia over who is responsible for preparing the next generation of workers for specific tasks, some schools are quietly taking the lead by putting in place programs that include true hands-on training in printed circuit board manufacturing.

I’m talking specifically about Lorain County Community College. Lorain is in Northeast Ohio, about 30 miles west of Cleveland.

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CREATION TECHNOLOGIES
Creation Technologies: Born to Soar
Under the radar, the newest addition to the $1B EMS club is flying high on A&D.
by Mike Buetow
In 2021, with pandemics and parts shortages still grabbing all the headlines, Creation Technologies quietly joined an exclusive club: the $1 billion electronics manufacturing services companies. Fewer than 30 companies in the world are members of such rank, and of those, only two others are privately held.

That Creation attained such lofty revenue heights on the downlow is keeping with its unsung nature, however. Despite accumulating several CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY Service Excellence Awards over the years, the EMS company has historically remained in the background, ceding the limelight to the latest Wall Street darling of the week.

It will be tough to keep the proverbial lid on, now that its private equity owners have acquired not only Creation, which is nearing, if not now in, the top five EMS companies based on North American revenues, but also Summit Interconnect, which is a top three board fabricator in the same geography.

Why does Electronic Systems Inc.
enter the CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY
Service Excellence Awards?
"
We get customer scorecards all year long. We work hard to continuously improve.

When we win the CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY Service Excellence Awards, it means we’ve done everything right.”

Gary Larson
CEO, Electronic Systems Inc.
Gary Larson and team
Register today!

Deadline is April 5, 2022.

For more information, visit:
www.circuitsassembly.com/ca/editorial/service-excellence-award.html

Award
Circuits Assembly's Service Excellence Awards
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Circuits Assembly's Service Excellence Awards
2022
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SCREEN printing
Reaffirming the Relevance of the Area Ratio Rule
How using a thinner stencil corrected transfer efficiency.
SMT specialists are intimately familiar with the guiding rule of stencil printing: the area ratio. The correlation between stencil aperture dimensions and the predictability of solder paste transfer efficiency is well understood, and IPC has standardized design guidelines outlining ideal conditions. The accepted area ratio for maximum transfer efficiency is approximately 0.60, which is a function of the aperture open area and aperture wall area (stencil thickness). When the area ratio falls below the recommendation, challenges arise.

Reaffirmation of the relevance of the area ratio rule occurred recently when our company was asked to analyze a customer assembly where bridging was observed. The printing dimensions of the PCB’s bridging area were tight. The 01005 apertures measured 200µm x 200µm, the stencil thickness 80µm and the interspace about 150µm. So, while not at the bleeding edge like some newer-generation designs, the board was nevertheless challenging. With these aperture dimensions, the area ratio was an acceptable 0.63. The volume of paste on pad was 2.08 nanoliters (NL), and the standard deviation was less than 10%, but SPI analysis revealed bridging.

Off The Shelf typography
Off The Shelf typography
Machines Materials Tools Systems Software
Global Specialties PB-503A, PB-505A Circuit Design Trainers
Global Specialties PB-503A, PB-505A Circuit Design Trainers
PB-503A and PB-505A feature function generator with digital display for accurate settings. Can dial in frequency to nearest 0.1Hz. Generator provides 100kHz signal in two ranges. Outputs 10Vp-p into 600Ω load (20Vp-p into open circuit). Choose from sine, square, triangle, and TTL waveforms. Reportedly ideal for classroom use. Combine elements of benchtop lab, including power supply, function generator, and breadboard. Both are equipped with triple output DC power supplies; removable breadboard for multiple users; two digital pulsers; high- and low-buffered logic indicators; 8 channel logic switches; 2 SPDT switches; 16 LEDs for logic indicators; 2 BNC connectors; 2 poten­tiometers (1kΩ and 10Ω); speaker. Have switchable input to work in 120 VAC and 240 VAC environments. Additional features on PB-505A: AC power supply (12.6 VAC center-tapped); logic probe; BCD to 7-segment displays.
Global Specialties
Polar Speedstack 2022 Design Stackup Tool
Speedstack 2022 incorporates “snap-to” dimensioning for impedance trace dimensions. This feature in Si8000m and Si9000e is now implemented in Speedstack PCB and Speedstack Si. When installing new version, previous version auto-uninstalls. Testing impedance on fine lines will be simplified with release of 2022 CITS880s impedance test software.
Polar Instruments
Polar Instruments
Ventec Aerolam Laminate
Aerolam laminate and prepreg material is curated for requirements of aerospace and defense applications. For equipment intended to operate in command-and-control center to high-performance fielded systems that must withstand tough conditions, including extreme temp., high vibration and G-forces, salt spray, and humidity.
Ventec
Tanaka Sintering Nano-Silver Paste
Tanaka Sintering Nano-Silver Paste
Low-temp. sintering nano-silver paste enables miniaturization and improved bending resistance of wiring for use in screen printing. Is for smartphones and wearable devices that need bending resistance, improving transparency in window defoggers, and transparent antennas for 5G applications. Suited to printing fine wires directly onto glass of 30µm or less. When sintered at heating temp. of around 90°C, wires have resistance value below 10µΩcm. Consists of nano and submicron silver particles.
Tanaka Precious Metals
Technical Abstracts
In Case You Missed It
Additive Manufacturing
“Charge Transport Mechanisms in Inkjet-Printed Thin-Film Transistors Based on Two-Dimensional Materials”

Authors: Erik Piatti, et al.

Abstract: Printed electronics using inks based on graphene and other 2-D materials can be used to create large-scale, flexible, wearable devices. However, the complexity of ink formulations and the polycrystalline nature of the resulting thin films have made it difficult to examine charge transport in such devices. Here the authors report the charge transport mechanisms of surfactant- and solvent-free inkjet-printed thin-film devices based on few-layer graphene (semimetal), molybdenum disulfide (MoS2, semiconductor) and titanium carbide MXene (Ti3C2, metal) by investigating the temperature, gate and magnetic-field dependencies of their electrical conductivity. (Nature Electronics, December 2021, https://www.nature.com/articles/s41928-021-00684-9)

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