The Digital Layout: The New Printed Circuit Engineering Association

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.

Membership
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.

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2020

The Digital Layout: The New Printed Circuit Engineering Association

03-23-2020

Stephen Chavez takes a first look at the new Printed Circuit Engineering Association (PCEA), including an overview of members and membership and why we established the organization. He also looks at the mission of the PCEA, and how it will unfold to the industry.

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The Digital Layout: A New Beginning

01-10-2020

In this column, Stephen Chavez shares a letter from the Legacy Officers and Board Members of the IPC Designers Council, introduces the formation of the Printed Circuit Engineering Association (PCEA), and invites readers to consider future professional development and event opportunities.

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2019

The Digital Layout: Fall 2019 Recap

12-29-2019

As the second half of the year is quickly passing by, the IPC Designers Council has seen lots of continued activities within our industry regarding PCB design. PCB West was held in mid-September in Santa Clara, California, and as usual, the show exceeded expectations. Stephen Chavez provides a brief breakdown of fall activities within local chapters.

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The Digital Layout: Recent IPC DC Chapter Activities

10-23-2019

We’re onto the second half of the year now, and we’ve seen lots of activities within our local Designers Council (DC) Chapters, including a few international chapters as well. Here's a snapshot of what has taken place so far from several of our active chapters.

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The Digital Layout: New and Thriving Chapters in Mexico

08-01-2019

This month’s column highlights the Monterrey Designers Council Chapter located in Monterrey, Mexico. The chapter was established November 23, 2017, which makes it a younger chapter compared to several other global chapters currently in existence today. I also share news about a new chapter forming in Nogales, Mexico.

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The Digital Layout: Spotlight on the Orange County Chapter

06-13-2019

So, what’s so special about the Orange County Chapter? For starters, we’re fortunate that a large number of electronics companies are located in Southern California, so there are many PCB designers in our area who are thirsty for knowledge. We are also lucky to have many local PCB fabrication and assembly companies from which we draw attendees and speakers. All of the major CAE vendors have offices and technical field personnel here and have been very supportive of our chapter in hosting lunches to help us keep our costs down.

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The Digital Layout: San Diego Chapter Updates and More

05-20-2019

This month’s column is packed with recent activities, including a spotlight on the San Diego Chapter and an interview with Luke Hausherr, the new chapter president. You’ll also find an update from the IPC Designers Council Executive Board as collaboration with the new IPC Education Foundation continues to evolve and recommended reading featuring an interview with a young designer.

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The Digital Layout: Designer Highlights From IPC APEX EXPO 2019

04-15-2019

The IPC Designers Council Executive Board meeting took place on January 29. Executive Board members in attendance included Gary Ferrari, Mike Creeden, Cherie Litson, Kelly Dack, Thomas Romont, and me. We also had Michael Schleicher, a guest representative from Germany, in attendance. Further, Dr. John Mitchell, Dave Hernandez, Colette Buscemi, Teresa Rowe, Aaron Birney, and Charlene Gunter du Plessis represented IPC.

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The Digital Layout: Greater Phoenix Chapter Revived

03-21-2019

The Greater Phoenix chapter was revived in late 2018 after being largely dormant over the past few years. It has also undergone some leadership changes. As the former president, I have taken on a more active global role at the executive level of the IPC Executive DC Board as the communications officer at large. I will stay on the leadership committee for the Greater Phoenix Chapter as the VP at the request of the newly elected president, Randy Kumagai. Randy and I have already started to brainstorm with ways to kickstart the chapter’s activity in 2019.

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The Digital Layout: Cascade Designers Council Chapter and 2019 Activities

02-28-2019

Our CID+ class had four people enrolled who came from around the area. All who attended learned about how board materials affected their designs, including EMI, EMC, impedance control, power distribution techniques, board stackups, and placement strategies in more detail than what was in the CID. Further, participants took the exam first thing Friday morning. This allowed us time to attend the Designers Council “lunch-and-learn” meeting, and the Altium user group met afterward in the same location.

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The Digital Layout: Chapter Highlights and Certification Successes

01-24-2019

This month’s column highlights the San Diego chapter, which is also where IPC APEX EXPO 2019 will be held at the end of January. You will also find updates on recent CID and CID+ certification success stories, a recap of the PCB Carolina event from the Research Triangle Park (RTP) North Carolina chapter, and upcoming events, so mark your calendars for next year.

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2018

The Digital Layout: Chapter Roundup and CID+ Certification

12-12-2018

This month’s spotlight is the Silicon Valley Chapter. We held our fall quarterly meeting on October 25, 2018, at none other than Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California—yes, the site of Super Bowl 50 and the soon-to-be 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship game. This was made possible by our host, Sierra Circuits, and sponsor, Altium. We thank them both graciously. Out of 33 total RSVPs, 24 were able to attend the lunchtime meeting. Fun fact: of the members who RSVPed, six of them were CID certified and 10 were CID+ certified, with Faisal Ahmed being the most recent (hear more from him later).

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The Digital Layout: Designers Council Update and PCB Carolina 2018

10-24-2018

Welcome to the first edition of "The Digital Layout." As a current IPC Designers Council (DC) Executive Board member and a long-time active IPC member, I was nominated to be the chairman of the newly created communications subcommittee. In this role, I will be the main point of contact for global chapter communications and will work with local IPC chapter leaders to publish content in this new column. We want to utilize this column to help spread the IPC DC Executive Board’s goals like a virus.

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