I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week


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The USMCA trade agreement was just the tip of the iceberg in news affecting our industry this week. As H. Ross Perot predicted when I was a few years out of college, the U.S. lived to regret signing the North American Free Trade Agreement, and the new USMCA is designed to right NAFTA’s wrongs.

We also saw more young people getting involved in the industry, an HDP User Group webinar on automotive thermal issues, and more questions for our own Happy Holden—this time, on stacked microvia reliability, or the lack thereof.

With all of the craziness around—some states opening up and others clamping down again due to rising COVID-19 numbers—the innovation in PCB design and manufacturing continues. Next week, check the Friday edition of our Daily Newsletter for Nolan Johnson’s picks.

IPC: Shawn DuBravac and Chris Mitchell on USMCA
Published July 2

On July 1, the USMCA trade act was phased in, and that same day, Nolan Johnson interviewed two IPC experts in that field: Chief Economist Shawn DuBravac and VP of Global Government Affairs Chris Mitchell. This is a can’t-miss interview for everyone involved in the electronics industry.

Foundations of the Future: Student Representative on the IPC Board of Directors
Published June 30

For years, IPC has been spearheading the drive to attract more young people into electronics manufacturing. As Charlene Gunter du Plessis explains, IPC has elected Paige Fiet, president of an IPC Student Chapter at Michigan Technological University, as its first Board of Directors Student Member Liaison. We have to reach more young people, and the best way to reach them is with other young people who are already involved in the industry. Smart move by IPC.

Materials for Automotive Applications: Thermal Management Issues
Published July 2

It’s summertime, and it’s getting hot! Technical Editor Pete Starkey attended the recent HDP User Group Automotive Technology Webinar, and he was particularly impressed with a presentation on thermal management given by Ventec International Group’s Alun Morgan. As Pete comments, thermal challenges are becoming part of even mainstream automotive applications, and insulated metal substrates provide cost-effective options.

June Issue of SMT007: A Snapshot of a Resilient Industry 
Published June 30

We recently asked Tamara Jovanovic, a young hardware engineer with smart baby-bed maker Happiest Baby, to review the June issue of SMT007 Magazine. Tamara discusses the articles on leadership in these COVID-19 times and weaves in personal stories, such as roommates who dubbed her a “ghostbuster” when she brought her oscilloscope home to work remotely. Don’t miss this.

Just Ask Happy: Stacked Microvia Reliability Issues
Published July 1

Our “Just Ask Happy” series is the gift that keeps on giving. Happy Holden enjoys answering your questions, and, as befits someone known as “Mr. HDI,” he gets plenty of questions on microvias. In this article, Happy addresses the ongoing reliability challenges related to stacking vias and a few workarounds to use until this problem is solved. If you have a question for Happy, click here.

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Top Five Takeaways from IPC APEX EXPO 2021

04/15/2021 | Chris Mitchell, IPC VP, Global Government Relations
IPC APEX EXPO 2021, which went all virtual this year, exemplified how the electronics industry has responded to the COVID-19 global pandemic: with resiliency, agility, and an unwavering commitment to build electronics better. APEX EXPO featured great content and robust discussions on topics of critical importance to the global electronics industry. From my vantage point leading IPC’s government relations programs, here are my top five takeaways from this year’s event.

Highlights on a Rousing Virtual IPC APEX EXPO 2021

04/14/2021 | Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
What a week that was! I didn’t get to endure the 11-hour flight each way, neither did I need my comfy old shoes, but it certainly was a marathon event. And real-time-plus-six-hours gave me a few late nights, but it was such a meaningful experience, and well worth the effort!

My Thoughts From the Virtual Show

04/11/2021 | Patty Goldman, I-Connect007
Gosh, I sure missed the live event! I listened in on several technical sessions, the awards ceremony, the keynotes, and the Hall of Fame management session. I tried a couple of professional development courses but got the frownie face on my screen and didn’t go back in. I have almost 90 days(!) to browse them to my heart’s content, so what the heck. There were good points and a few not so good things about this first ever virtual conference. You probably experienced some yourself.



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