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


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This week, we’ve covered a variety of topics in our newsletters and websites. In my Top Five picks, we have quite a mixed bag of industry news and articles.

In market reports, there’s good news from the North American PCB side of things, but bad news from the EMS segment, driven by long lead times and material shortages. We also have an article that gets down to the root cause, or causes, of the six-month lead time and price increases.

Cherie Litson has a review of a Siemens webinar on PCB stackup planning. And Judy Warner discusses Altium’s plans for design education and training in this “new normal.”

Summer is wrapping up, and it’s about to get really busy, really quickly. Have a great weekend! 

Reasons and Solutions to PCB Lead Times and Price Increases
Published August 25

In this article, ICAPE Group’s Stanley L. Bentley discusses the “chaos” in PCB lead times and prices, and why, after searching for a root cause, he concluded that there is no one single factor that’s responsible for today’s situation. Of course, this makes it much tougher to find a solution.

North American PCB Industry Sales Up 7.3% in July
Published August 26

North American PCB sales are up 7.3% year-on-year, a “historic high,” according to IPC Chief Economist Shawn DuBravac. And year-to-date bookings in July were up 18.6% over the same period last year. Nice to see numbers moving in the right direction.

North American EMS Industry Down 2.9% in July
Published August 27

On the other hand, IPC reports that the North American EMS industry was down 2.8% year-on-year in July. Long lead times and material shortages are really doing a number on this segment, with July shipments down 26.3% from June.

Review: Siemens PCB Stackup Planning Webinar
Published August 26

Cherie Litson, CID+, of Litson1 Consulting wrote a great review of a Siemens webinar on PCB stackup planning. Presenter Bill Hargin, founder of Z-zero, walks the user through his Z-Planner Enterprise tool, which is integrated with the Siemens PCB design flow. He also explains why he believes the stackup is “the central nervous system of the design.”

Unfolding Altium’s Design Education Platforms
Published August 26

In this conversation, Judy Warner, director of community and industry engagement for Altium, discusses the company’s post-COVID educational and training plans, including AltiumLive 2022. This annual event will be co-located with IPC APEX EXPO at the San Diego Convention Center in January. Last year, the show was entirely virtual, but as Judy explains, there’s nothing quite like rubbing elbows with other designers at a live show.  

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