Reading time ( words)
IPC APEX EXPO 2023 doesn’t officially kick off until Tuesday, but there’s plenty of action going on here at the San Diego Convention Center.
Booths are sprouting up on the show floor, and exhibitors are starting to arrive. Upstairs, committee meetings have been taking place all weekend; the IPC-J-STD-001 and IPC-A-610 Joint Task Group, and IPC-A-600 and IPC-6012 Joint Task Group meetings, were abuzz with activity.
The members of the 001-610 group boasted 168 people, and they really seemed to enjoy what could have been a boring day looking at standards minutiae. The voting process was something to see, with members waving green cards of approval for changes. It was all very democratic. I heard far more laughter than I had expected. If you’d like to get involved with the standards development process, the committee chairs would welcome your help.
The Professional Development classes began on Sunday, covering everything from design through assembly processes, flex and rigid-flex, and technologies of the future. We interviewed some of the committee members and class attendees, including a few first-time attendees, and we’ll have these interviews published soon.
We’re starting to see groups of engineers walking around the Gaslamp District with their show badges, but the real crowds won’t be here until tomorrow. A few people I spoke with said they think this show marks the return to a pre-pandemic state of mind, and very few people are wearing masks here. With no rain in the forecast, the week is looking good.
Britta Schafsteller, Atotech
Immersion tin is well accepted as a high-reliability final finish in the industry. Due to its excellent corrosion resistance, it exhibits major market shares, particularly in the automotive industry. During the soldering process, an intermetallic compound (IMC) is formed between copper and tin. One remaining concern in the industry is the potential impact of the IMC on the solderability of the final finish. In this article, typical failure modes in soldering immersion tin are described and correlated to potential root causes for the defects.
Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
Regardless of the potential distraction of the international football match between England and Wales in the World Cup competition, an enthusiastic crowd of PCB fans gathered in Meriden UK for the Institute of Circuit Technology Christmas Seminar, an eagerly-awaited networking opportunity that included a face-to-face industry welcome event and an outstanding technical programme. Guest speakers highlighted new technology in selective solder nozzles, flexible circuits, industry cooperation, and a greener future by recycling PCBs.
Brendan Hogan, MivaTek
The circuit fabrication industry has always been the unsung hero of the electronics era. SPC, TQM, ISO, and 50 other acronyms have ruled the day to govern quality and process approaches. I’ve been in the industry for 39 years and I feel more like a craftsman than ever before—trying to figure out how to produce the impossible and maintain a profit. With smaller features, exotic materials, endless plating, and press cycles, the industry feels like it is in transition. Soon enough the lines between microelectronics and PCB will be forever blurred.