Reading time ( words)
A few weeks ago in Irvine, California, I attended a meeting of the Orange County chapter of the IPC Designers Council. Once again, the room was packed with over 70 PCB designers and electronics professionals.
This “lunch-and-learn” meeting featured a presentation by Julie Ellis of TTM. Ellis is a field applications engineer, or as her LinkedIn profile simply states, “PCB Problem Solver.” She boasts creds that include a BSEE and an IPC Master Trainer certificate, not to mention being a survivor of the ViaSystems/TTM merger and the other ups and downs our industry has experienced since she began her career as a student-engineer at Hughes Aircraft in 1982.
Attendees at the meeting were treated to an in-depth look at Ellis’ topic, “Printed Circuit Board Cost Adders.” She covered all the usual suspects, such as microvias and sequential lamination, but she also addressed issues that were less obvious and extended beyond fabrication to the assembly process. By doing so, she gave a much broader view than is usually offered in the treatment of this subject. Ellis clearly touched on a highly relevant topic, which was evidenced by the long line of designers waiting to talk with her post-meeting.
Scott McCurdy of Freedom CAD is the president of the Orange County Chapter, and he has successfully created the largest IPC Designers Council in the country. With the support of Terri Kleekamp of Mentor Graphics, Kathy Palumbo of PALS, and Marty Grasso of TTM, the meeting is always full, the attendees well fed, and the topic consistently engaging. To top it off, the raffle prizes offered by sponsors are always a welcome treat. The whole format and package keeps electronic professionals coming back every time!
For more information about future meetings, visit the OC IPC Designers website.
Andy Shaughnessy, Design007 Magazine
Not long ago, I caught up with Carl Schattke, CEO of PCB Product Development LLC and a longtime PCB designer, for his thoughts on “designing in a vacuum.” As Carl points out, if you follow PCB design best practices, knowing the identity of your fabricator is not a “must-have.” He also offers some communication tips for discovering the information you do need, including one old-fashioned technique—just asking for it.
Andy Shaughnessy, Design007 Magazine
Spring has definitely sprung, and the trade show season continues to roll right along. Managing Editor Nolan Johnson just returned from DesignCon 2022, and as he says in his review, the attendance was up from last year’s event, which had been at the McEnery Convention Center in the waning days of the pandemic. I hope we’re getting back to normal, whatever that means. This week, we have a few articles about Industry 4.0, as well as a column on setting your priorities. We have a cool article about methods for measuring the breakdown of resins during multiple thermal laminations, and a conversation with an EMS company president who realized that he was actually running a data collection firm that happened to make circuit boards. Can you say the same about your own company?
I-Connect007 Editorial Team
In this interview with the I-Connect007 Editorial Team, TTM’s Julie Ellis and Richard Dang drill down into stackup design, detailing some of the common stackup challenges that their customers face when designing for both prototype and volume levels, and offering advice to designers or engineers who are struggling with stackup issues. They also discuss why having too many different prepregs in a stackup can be asking for trouble, and how proper stackup design can optimize both the fabrication and assembly processes.