IPC Conferences Set the Tone for Innovation During IPC APEX EXPO 2019


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The show is open and the excitement builds on Monday's docket of sessions at IPC APEX EXPO 2019 as it presented a wide-ranging array of discussions on some of the latest topics facing our industry today. Highlights at the San Diego conference included the Automotive Executive Forum, which brought together electronics manufacturers and key representatives for the automotive industry. Technical editor Pete Starkey will cover this event in more detail in an upcoming article. Simultaneously, the Connected Factory Initiative Workgroup spent Monday morning mapping out the future of CFX. Now that the protocol has been adopted as a standard, the committee moves into a new role as maintainer and promoter of the CFX standard.

Elsewhere, the DFX committee, celebrated the release of the IPC 2231 Guidelines document. The general consensus at the meeting was that the standards work is just beginning, that there's more to do, but that the release was nevertheless a huge accomplishment and worthy of implementation by participants. Much of the remaining meeting agenda was used to identify the gaps in the document and assign authors to write the guidelines that would fill in the gaps.

Simultaneously, the Critical Components Traceability Workgroup addressed the creation of a secure supply chain. While traceability can help stymie counterfeiters, traceability can also be useful for much more mundane administration, like lot code and date code tracking, or a cradle-to-grave product support history. Interestingly, this group’s work could also help implement traceability that could–at least in concept–help identify variations at the machine- or line-level within a manufacturer. Imagine being able to identify that most of the yield issues coming from a fab occurs in product that all were processed on the same key piece of equipment.

Supply chain roles who could find critical components traceability to be valuable include:

  • materials manufacturing
  • material distributors
  • assembly manufacturers
  • blockchain infrastructure suppliers
  • tamper-resistant packaging
  • tamper-resistant identification specialists
  • Implementation of IPC-1782

Of course, the exposition hall saw another day of setup activity. I-Connect007 captured one of our signature time lapse videos of setup day, check it out below.

Tuesday will see a keynote from Jeffrey Brian (J.B.) Straubel, CTO of Tesla, and the ribbon cutting ceremony opening the show floor. We will continue to keep you updated from the show as the week progresses. Don’t forget to check in with Real Time With…IPC APEX EXPO 2019 to see the interviews and updates from the show floor.

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