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


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Like a bad penny, COVID-19 just keeps coming back and affecting the PCB industry. This week, we saw more industry events going fully virtual—a trend that’s likely to continue. But as Chris Mitchell explains, the COVID-19 outbreak is also forcing lawmakers and organizations to work together for the good of the U.S. electronics supply chain. Sometimes, it takes a crisis to make everyone cooperate, so let’s celebrate these little victories.

There was also news from China, a great column by Mehul Davé on why globalization may be one more victim of COVID-19, and Happy Holden’s ranking of the top fab-producing countries by technology and production levels.

Next week, check the Friday edition of our Daily Newsletter for Nolan Johnson’s picks.

 

The Big Picture: COVID-19 Helps Kill Globalization

Published July 13

Mehul Davé hit a home run with his latest column—a must-read for everyone involved in electronics design and manufacturing. Mehul takes the reader, step by step, through several recent events—caused or at least exacerbated by the COVID-19 outbreak—that he believes signal the end of globalization. While this could lead to more electronics manufacturing staying in the U.S., Mehul outlines a variety of potential downsides that could affect U.S. companies which engage in international trade.

 

Symposium on Counterfeit Parts and Materials Goes Virtual

Published July 13

In a year that’s already one of the craziest on record, counterfeit parts suppliers continue to wreak havoc in our industry. The SMTA and the Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE) announced that their annual Symposium on Counterfeit Parts and Material would be a completely virtual event, scheduled for August 4–6, 2020. The free exhibition will take place August from 4–5. Expect most, if not all, of the trade shows you usually attend to be virtual well into next year.

 

 Just Ask Happy: Ranking the Top Countries by Fab Technology and Production

Published July 13

The “Just Ask Happy” series has drawn questions from technologists around the world, covering everything from HDI design tips to fabrication trends. In one of our most-read articles of the past week, a reader asked Happy Holden to rank the top countries by fabrication production and technology levels—now and in 10 years. Note how Germany and China fare over time in Happy’s outlook. Remember: some organizations would charge you a pretty penny for information like this. If you want to know more, click here to “Just Ask Happy!”

 

SCHMID Group Will Relocate Its Main Chinese Plant

Published July 14

As China continues to fight the stigma of COVID-19, foreign manufacturers must grapple with changes in regulations that can cost them millions. The SCHMID Group is moving its main Chinese factory out of Zhuhai’s free trade zone after the government began focusing more on attracting commercial companies. SCHMID Group’s facility will serve the local China market—a model that’s out of step with the free trade zone, at least for now.

 

The Government Circuit: Renewed Focus on Worldwide Supply Chain Amid COVID-19

Published July 15

COVID-19 just won’t go away, and its effects are being felt at each point in the supply chain. IPC VP of Global Government Affairs Chris Mitchell examines a number of initiatives by IPC and members of Congress to strengthen the supply chain for critical industries in the U.S., such as defense. One bill calls for funding to help increase semiconductor production in the U.S. Is it possible that our industry could see numerous “silver linings” in the wake of COVID-19?

 

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Suggested Items

Top Five Takeaways from IPC APEX EXPO 2021

04/15/2021 | Chris Mitchell, IPC VP, Global Government Relations
IPC APEX EXPO 2021, which went all virtual this year, exemplified how the electronics industry has responded to the COVID-19 global pandemic: with resiliency, agility, and an unwavering commitment to build electronics better. APEX EXPO featured great content and robust discussions on topics of critical importance to the global electronics industry. From my vantage point leading IPC’s government relations programs, here are my top five takeaways from this year’s event.

The Future Is Electric

04/13/2021 | KJ McCann and Brian Zirlin, Aurora Circuits
Worldwide research and development of the automotive industry began as early as the 17th century and since then has taken several different design paths, with each country forging its own innovative trail and hundreds of prototypes emerging into the market. Vehicles—with steam-powered, electric, and combustion engines—began to play a major role, not only in the Industrial Revolution, but in everyday life. Although many believe that electric vehicles (EVs) are relatively new to the market, they have actually been around since 1832.

Technical Conference—Balancing Conventional and Disruptive Technologies

04/08/2021 | Matt Kelly, IPC
I thought the three keynotes given by IPC President and CEO John Mitchell, Industry Week Editor-in-Chief Travis Hessman, and IPC Chief Economist Shawn DuBravac, were spot on. They all spoke to the fact that the way products are conceived, designed, manufactured, and used is changing rapidly. While the keynotes had different focus areas, I noted an important similarity—they all underscored the need for increased industry collaboration to help bring the factory and supply chain of the future to life.



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