In this month’s column, we’ll take a first look at the new Printed Circuit Engineering Association (PCEA), including an overview of membership and why we established the organization. We’ll also look at the mission of the PCEA, and how it will unfold to the industry.
The PCEA is an international network of engineers, designers, and specialists related to printed circuit development. In essence, we are a mixed group of individuals that cover the entire product development cycle. There are no limitations or restrictions as to who can become a member. Membership is free and open to all those interested in gaining and sharing their knowledge with others. We will serve the industry as a non-profit organization.
Why We Established the PCEA
There are several well-organized groups that cater to the electronics industry. These organizations tend to feature a specific segment of this industry by hosting highly focused, major conferences for their followers. These conferences tend to be one or two times a year at different locations.
Each of these conferences specifically focuses on a skill segment, such as design, assembly, manufacturing, etc. With technology changing at a rapid pace, it becomes very difficult and expensive for professionals to attend the plethora of major conferences conducted in the course of a year.
In an attempt to address the changing demands, some organizations, in addition to major conferences, have set up local chapters to address our rapidly changing industry. They have found it difficult to fully address the needs of each industry discipline required to produce a workable PCB product. The main theme was to understand each other’s challenges and how to assist each other. Unfortunately, printed circuit engineers were often not understood by other industry segments and these organizations.
Printed circuit engineers are technologists who must understand the needs and requirements of all the disciplines that build the final product. They must have a comprehensive understanding of electrical engineering, design, mechanical engineering, printed board materials, fabrication/assembly processes and limitations, quality assurance testing, and fully populated test requirements at all levels of the product development process. In addition to these disciplines, printed circuit engineers must have an understanding of compliance and field service requirements of each product. The PCEA is structured to meet the challenges we face today and take on the challenges that are coming for printed circuit engineers.
To read this entire column, which appeared in the February 2020 issue of Design007 Magazine, click here.