Looking Back: Here’s What Topped PCB Assembly Content in 2022


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With the shutdowns of the pandemic a bit of a distant memory, industry activity really picked up in 2022. I thought it would be interesting to look back and see what captured the most interest in assembly news over the past year. Here are the top five most-read news articles and columns amongst our readers interested in printed circuit assembly this year, ranging from lowest to highest reads.

The Government Circuit: Time to Advocate for Critical PCB Legislation 
Published July 20, 2022

In this July column, Chris Mitchell looks forward on the legislative calendar. With the primaries wrapping up, and the general election coming into focus, Mitchell’s mind was clearly on what could be accomplished by the end of the current Congressional session. He shares six key updates on U.S. and EU legislative activities, along with recession predictions and environmental and health concerns. Looking back, much of what Mitchell had to discuss has followed the predictions in his column. Give a read back and see if you agree.

ESCATEC Names New CEO to Accelerate the Group’s Expansion 
Published April 10, 2022

At No. 4, Ernest “Ernie” Sebak’s appointment as ESCATEC’s CEO back in April drew a lot of interest from SMT007 readership. Ernie moved to ESCATEC from Jabil and was tasked with delivering the group’s ambitious growth plans and enhancing its reputation as a highly customer-centric and trustworthy organization. It’s important to recognize who’s at the head of the leading SMT provider companies and how they’re making the most of their skills in this challenging industry.

Lean Digital Thread: The Manufacturing Metaverse Revisited 
Published August 17, 2022

In his August column, Zac Elliott introduced his topic:

“In my May column, I talked about the hype around the metaverse and looked at how the technology may be leveraged by manufacturers in the future. Because the metaverse is only starting to be built, the topic was a bit abstract, but the recent announcement of a partnership between Siemens and NVIDIA brings the industrial metaverse one big step closer to (virtual) reality. In this column, I will discuss the new partnership, the technology each party brings to the table, and how manufacturers can benefit from the collaboration.”

Zac fingers “continuous, AI-driven optimization” as the killer app for the industrial metaverse. And, you make ask, what is that? He starts an explanation here; no wonder this column drew so many reads.

Electronics Industry Welcomes Bipartisan Congressional Proposal to Boost U.S. PCB Sector 
Published May 9, 2022

This announcement—the second most-read news in 2022—was news about the Supporting American Printed Circuit Boards Act of 2022 (HR 7677). As legislative sessions go, this bill saw some movement but ultimately lost traction as other “more pressing” bills got the attention of legislators. However, we feel confident that the bill is awaiting the start of the next Congressional session and, with the passage of the U.S. CHIPS and Science Act, combined with the advocacy efforts of PCB-centric organizations, should be able to move forward.

LITEON Technology Reports Consolidated July Sales of NT$14.8 Billion
Published August 8, 2022

Coming in as the number one most-read story on our SMT007 website was this positive financial report from LITEON. The company reported that they achieved this result by ongoing demand in cloud computing and automotive and that it hit a record high of the same period in three years. After some troubling years in 2020 and 2021, and a looming recession ahead, this type of news was well worth the attention it received.

Honorable Mentions
It really was a busy news year, especially with respect to standards and legislation. As I looked back on the news in 2022, it’s clear that content sourced from IPC ranked high in readership, so here are two honorable mentions that I just had to throw in. 

Three Long-time IPC Volunteers Receive Dieter Bergman IPC Fellowship Award 
Published February 7, 2022

In February, we announced that the 2022 Dieter Bergman Awards were presented to Bev Christian, Doug Pauls, and Jose Servin. These three individuals were certainly worthy of the recognition from IPC and their contributions that led to the IPC award were worth noting, both back in February and today. In our Real Time with … Show and Tell Magazine 2023 we will profile the next round of award winners, so be sure to look for that.

IPC: High Material, Labor Costs Continue to Challenge the Electronics Manufacturing Industry 
Published January 27, 2022

At the start of the year, supply chain challenges continued to be “acute,” as this news item characterized it, and that high material and labor costs could be expected for at least six more months. Looking back, we see that the forecast was mostly accurate; supply chain challenges have begun to ease in general, and within many portions of the electronics manufacturing industry specifically. 

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