Executive Forum on Advancing Automotive Electronics


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Presented by IPC Hall of Fame Council, the Executive Form on Advancing Automotive Electronics proved to be a jam-packed day, which started with a call to order by the forum chairman, Gene Weiner of Weiner International Associates. What followed were 10 presentations on all facets of automotive electronics from materials, fabrication, and reliability testing to market information and future needs.

According to Weiner, the objective of the forum was “to provide information on the complete supply chain for automotive electronics including materials, process, product development, Tier 1 requirements, global sourcing, reliability, and the use of analytics for cost control and troubleshooting. The idea was to provide an international global outlook with speakers from Europe, Asia, as well as the U.S., and provide something of value and use to every attendee.”

IPC President and CEO Dr. John Mitchell started with an overview of the past, present, and future of electronics for automobiles including the first headlamps and radios, today’s sophisticated controls, and a peek at what we can expect in the upcoming years. He outlined IPC’s growing role in automotive electronics via various committees and specifications.

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The fabrication of PCBs—the foundation of all electronics—was amply covered by Alex Stepinski, VP of GreenSource Fabrication. Stepinski focused on recent innovations at GreenSource that enabled the construction of circuit production lines with the capability for single-piece flow, autonomous work cells, and extreme traceability capabilities, which can yield higher quality levels and shorter cycle times than ever before while also eliminating the traditional environmental footprint of a PCB factory. He illustrated how these key innovations relate to the future of the automotive industry supply chain and the need for high reliability in increasingly complex circuitry.

The next presentation was “The Global Outlook for Specialty Chemicals and Materials in Automotive Electronic Packaging” by Joe D’Ambrisi, global VP of electronics marketing and technology, and Don Cullen, director of marketing, both of MacDermid Alpha Electronics Solutions. They gave an illustration of the future that combines printed electronics on a flexible substrate and molded into a final assembly resulting in a new 3D package.

Dr. Udo Welzel, team leader for engineering assembly and interconnect technology, is responsible for the integration for high-performance logic automotive electronic control units at Robert Bosch GmbH. His presentation “Enabling Connected, Electrified and Automated Mobility: Challenges for Assembly and Interconnect Technology” provided the view from a leading Tier 1 automotive electronics supplier. He began with three global trends in automotive electronics: electrified mobility, connected mobility, and automated mobility. The three challenges for assembly and interconnect technology can be summed up as mission critical, harsh environment, and high-volume production (perhaps 0.5 million parts per day). Mission critical referred to the very high reliability necessary for all electronic components in autonomous vehicles. The harsh environment meant not just the external conditions but also those generated within the electronics themselves, most notably heat and high voltage. Dr. Welzel finished with the importance of automotive specifications and standards within the industry.

To read the full article, which appeared in the Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO 2019 Show & Tell magazine, click here.

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