IPC Designers Council San Diego Chapter Meeting: Flex Focus Fills the House


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I recently attended the January meeting of the San Diego chapter of the IPC Designers Council. The meeting was hosted by the PCB design bureau San Diego PCB, and featured guest speaker John Stine, VP of Operations for Summit Interconnect, Anaheim.

Stine’s presentation focused on flex and rigid-flex DFM, and he offered a variety of helpful design tips to the full house of 30-40 designers in attendance. Stine encouraged designers to always keep in mind the common pitfalls of flex design that arise out of dealing with these types of malleable circuits.

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Prior to the talk, San Diego PCB founder Mike Creeden encouraged designers to take advantage of the upcoming CID and CID+ courses that will be offered during IPC APEX EXPO in February. Creeden, a veteran IPC-certified trainer and Designer Council Executive Board member, has opened the doors of the facility as a training location during IPC APEX EXPO. San Diego PCB recently merged with the EMS company Milwaukee Electronics.

After the meeting concluded, I had the chance to interview San Diego Chapter President Bob Griffith and discuss the chapter’s history.

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Judy Warner: Bob, will you tell us about the San Diego IPC Designers council and how you got involved and eventually became president?

Bob Griffith: Our official name is San Diego IPC Designer’s Council, or SDDC for short. I had been a member of SDDC off and on over the early years of the chapter, mainly to get my book discount from IPC back then. In 2004, I left San Diego to work for Intel and after three years I got homesick and returned to San Diego. 

After my return, I got involved with SDDC, but it was different this time. The president was an old friend of mine, Leslie Gomez, who had saved my rear once on a design back in my distant past.  Leslie and I started helping each other again with designs, and after I got my CID+ Leslie talked me into running for president. She had been the president for over eight years and was ready pass the gavel.  I have held the office since October 2008.  Leslie has remained with the board as Past President ever since.

The San Diego IPC Designer’s Council has been around for a while now, and we have had a lot of members come and go over the time. But, the chapter has held its own and I’m happy to say it is doing well. Back when IPC started the Designers Certification program, SDDC members came out in force to be the first ones certified and the chapter grew quickly. For the past few years, however, attendance has subsided, but attendance has remained steady. We set a calendar for the year and the current board of directors are the ones who make it all happen by providing topics that designers want to hear about and enable them to succeed in their jobs.

Warner: How often and where do you hold meetings?

Griffith: We hold a meeting about five or six times a year. We try to have one every other month or two until October and then we start again in late January. Our biggest meeting is always in May during the Del Mar Electronics Show, when we hold a two-hour symposium on opening day.

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