An independent industry certification organization would first have to understand the physical characteristics related to a unique application. HDI for example has hundreds of material/process combinations that substantially impact the performance. Back drill, a relatively simple mechanical process has taken 6+ years just to build out a reliability test vehicle. I believe PCB's will eventually mature to certify structures instead of attributes. It's just becoming too expensive to characterize all aspects of process applications for all materials and applications. For new technologies like VeCS from NextGin Technologies the strategy is to seek out key structures that are challenging for the OEM's and focus testing on those. IPC type collaborations worked well when the basic application for each technology was similar, but that's not the case today. ----- Joe D.
Nice, but there are some quality controls needs that are possibly outside a “standard” certification process. In Automotive, there are quality processes that require variation to be measured and be within a certain limit. The important thing is to have required specifications, methodology to test to the specs, and methodology to measure variation to the spec allowing for failed parts to be screened out. There are also requirements to incorporate stress testing to simulate changes happening over the lifetime of the product.
Certification is not required, but processes to ensure quality and good self-reporting are. Audits should occur to insure that processes are being followed as specified, but that’s the limit of a certification.
It’s an interesting perspective to state that the amount of business is proof of quality. I’m not sure that is entirely true. It depends on the priority of quality. There are consumer products, which operate at less extreme temperatures, have a shorter lifespan, and where failure will not cause a catastrophic life-threatening accident. In these cases quality is less important than in Automotive electronics. ----- Merril S.
I wonder how the new Presidential Executive Order on Assessing and Strengthening the Manufacturing and Defense Industrial Base and Supply Chain Resiliency of the United States will translate down to the printed circuit board (PCB) fabrication industry. Aren't PCBs (both rigid and flexible) a critical platform and interconnect component for many of the military's electronic devices, control systems, weapon systems? Isn't the supply chain to build these (e.g., copper foil, copper clad laminates) important enough to protect? Or are these just too small for anyone in Washington or the Pentagon to pay attention to the viability of this capability in the United States or with trusted non-American sources? I wonder. Do you? ----- GHW
Gene, you are perfectly right ! I am telling this since many years. One of our customers in Europe, lost the supply of PCBs for an important company making electronic devices for the military ( aiming systems, radars, etc,..) in favour of a Chinese supplier. The order was lost for a ridiculous difference of few tenths of Euros for a device that will cost milllions. Greed and incompetence have no boundaries. ----- Gaetano Dall Ora
Posted June 2017
This is a remarkable report and must reading for our IPC Community.
For the astute executive today, your report is the road map to tomorrow.
Congrats ---- and enjoy. ----- Bernie K.
PCB employee shortages---- let's start dipping into the retired ranks and adjust the mindset of companies so that they can use part time --- ad hoc--- assistance on projects from elder employees with flex schedules.
The IPC once published a capability matrix for consultants. Maybe a similar presentation would be good for retirees wanting to work on a reduced schedule. ----- Bernie K.