I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week

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It’s that time again…the weekend. Fin de semana. Zhōumò. Wochenende. Didn’t this seem like a long week?

In this week’s roundup, we have news about a new DFM environment from Siemens EDA, a 2D field solver from Avishtech, and a milestone for the IPC-CFX-2591 QPL. We also have a great article by Calumet’s Audra Thurston, who points out the many advantages of a virtual trade show. And in his latest column, Denny Fritz explains why the DoD is now thinking like many U.S. OEMs—worrying about single-source components, for instance—but the stakes are much higher.

Spring is here, and I’m hoping to attend a live trade show soon. PCB East is set for June 15-17 in Marlborough, Massachusetts, but DesignCon has been moved back to August 16-18 in San Jose. What’s the Vegas spread on live conferences in 2021? But if enough people are vaccinated in the next few months, live events might become the norm again.   

Siemens Introduces PCBflow
Published April 5

The integration of the Mentor tools into the Siemens hierarchy continues with the launch of PCBflow, which could be a real gamechanger for DFM. The Valor DFM platform powers the Siemens Xcelerator, creating an environment that allows designers to locate fabricators whose processes are better optimized for each OEM. DFM violations can be addressed during the design process, cutting DFM review time down to minutes. And there seems to be no learning curve here, with PCBflow primarily operating in the background.    

Emerging Engineers: Audra Thurston
Published April 2

During the recent virtual trade shows in our industry, I’ve spoken with a few salty veterans (i.e., older than I am) who are hoping that all this virtual hooey is over with pretty soon so we can get back to traveling to shows and conferences. But what do the younger engineers think about the virtual format? In this article from our Show & Tell Magazine, Emerging Engineer Audra Thurston of Calumet Electronics explains why she’s a big fan of the virtual model, and why she hopes that our industry’s shows will adopt a hybrid plan—part live event, part virtual. People Audra’s age will be running the industry before you know it; will the virtual format become a permanent part of the trade show of the future?

Avishtech Introduces Latest Generation of Its Revolutionary Gauss 2D Field Solver Tool
Published April 6

Avishtech hasn’t been around very long, but the Silicon Valley company is already establishing itself as a player in the signal integrity tool arena. Avishtech recently introduced its Gauss Stack stackup tool, and now the company, founded by Keshav Amla, has launched the Gauss 2D field solver, which can predict resin starvation and provide board-level thermomechanical properties. This might be a company to watch in the future.

IPC-CFX-2591 Qualified Product Listing Achieves Major Milestone
Published April 5

IPC has reached a milestone in its efforts to provide an IPC-CFX-qualified equipment shopping list for companies seeking to become Smart Factories. The IPC-CFX-2591 QPL (qualified product listing) now contains 10 products from five companies; each product has passed a third-party virtual audit. The move to the Smart Factory continues.

Defense Speak Interpreted: Industrial Base Evaluation
Published April 6

In his latest column, Denny Fritz explains why the Department of Defense recently released an industrial strategy and not a battle plan. As Denny points out, every single DoD program of the future is affected by Defense’s ability to source PCBs—from trusted suppliers. And the U.S. is lacking in several areas—such as production of organic IC substrates—that are vital to the missions of tomorrow’s warfighters. It’s great having a columnist like Denny who can translate DoD documents into real-life information.



Suggested Items

2020: A Year of Learning, Innovation for Taiyo America

03/01/2021 | Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
Pete Starkey has a virtual visit with John Fix, director of Sales and Marketing at Taiyo America, where they discuss the changes taking place because of COVID-19 restrictions, and some of the new products Taiyo will be presenting at this year’s IPC APEX EXPO.

Finding Process Improvement Opportunities in Training

02/25/2021 | Nolan Johnson, PCB007
Nolan Johnson speaks with Leo Lambert of EPTAC about training the next generation out of high school and vocational schools, and how his company continues to improve processes, grow and adapt to changing requirements while fulfilling its mission to deliver technical certification training.

Quality and Continuous Improvement

02/24/2021 | Patrick Valentine, UYEMURA USA
The concern for quality control and reduced product variation can be traced back centuries. Archaic quality control methods were used by the Xia Dynasty in 2100 BC in ancient China. During the late 1290s in medieval Europe, guilds—the pre-cursor to unions—were responsible for product and service quality. From 1700 to 1900, product quality was determined by the individual craftsman’s efforts. At the close of the 19th century, Eli Whitney introduced standardized, interchangeable parts to simplify assembly.

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