Welcome to the first edition of "The Digital Layout." As a current IPC Designers Council (DC) Executive Board member and a long-time active IPC member, I was nominated by members who attended the board meeting held at PCB West 2018 to be the chairman of the newly created communications subcommittee. In this role, I will be the main point of contact for global chapter communications and will work with local IPC chapter leaders to publish content in this new column. As a PCB designer with 28 years of industry experience and 15 years of active IPC DC activity, my goal in this new role is to continue to foster professional development and education, promote participation within IPC, and encourage positive synergy for designers.
The Designers Council is an international network of designers. Its mission is to promote printed circuit board design as a profession and to encourage, facilitate, and promote the exchange of information and integration of new design concepts through communications, seminars, workshops, and professional certification through a network of local chapters.
This column aims to enable more communication and sharing of industry knowledge for designers, electrical engineers, or any individuals who have direct involvement in creating PWBs or PWAs. We will present upcoming activities for all active IPC DC chapters and the Executive Board, as well as industry news, guest contributors, and chapter spotlights.
If you don’t have a local IPC chapter in your area, this will give you an opportunity to stay up to date with other active chapters. You might also consider joining their mailing lists to receive available content being shared with members. We will also support individuals who want to start their own local IPC chapter and serve as a resource in their effort.
Overall, we want to utilize this column to help spread the IPC DC Executive Board’s goals like a virus.
This month’s spotlight is the Research Triangle Park (RTP) North Carolina Chapter. The Research Triangle Park North Carolina Chapter started in January 2000 and has taken the IPC DC mission to heart by maintaining an active designer’s community.
The chapter currently has five elected officers and a technology committee. Officers include Tony Cosentino (president), Randy Faucette (VP), Ian Jackson (secretary), Steve Trasatto (treasurer), and Lance Olive (membership). The technology committee includes the following members: Nick Mescia (chairman), Dave Seymour, Mark Boucher, Robin Dupree, TJ May, Peter Cerbone, and Gary Koven.
The chapter’s goals are to bring the PCB design community together by holding quarterly meetings, sharing ideas over meals, discussing chapter business, reviewing the current health of the job market, and fostering continuing education by holding technical presentations by guest speakers. The RTP chapter takes the summer months off to allow their community to enjoy the weather, then reassembles in the fall.
Meeting attendance ranges from 25–40 people depending on the time of the year and the speaker topic, and the meeting fee is $5 per person. The last two topics were “EMC Problems from Common Mode Noise on High-Speed Differential Signals” by Dr. Bruce Archambeault and “PCB Design for High Reliability” by Paul Cooke. Meetings occur in the evening from 5–7 p.m. as follows:
- 5:00-5:15 Check-in
- 5:15-5:45 Networking and food
- 5:45-6:00 Chapter business and jobs outlook
- 6:00-7:00 Speaker
- 7:00 Adjourn
The RTP Chapter’s big annual event, PCB Carolina, happens each fall and always draws a large crowd. This year’s event will be on November 7, 2018. This premier electronics tradeshow offers attendee access to the showroom floor, keynote address, and all technical sessions. Vendors can pay to exhibit at a table and purchase other promotional perks ad hoc or via a sponsorship. This event revenue is the major contributor to the chapter’s annual budget.
The RTP chapter also offers two half-day hands-on soldering workshops as a fee-based service through Circuit Technology. In conjunction with this show, IPC offers a fee-based full-day course on “Designing Boards with HDI Technology” by Susy Webb (IPC), and EPTAC Corporation is offering fee-based IPC Designer certification programs (CID/CID+) taught by Dave Seymour and Gary Ferrari on the days following this event.
This year’s event will be held at North Carolina State University’s McKimmon Center for Continuing Education. In addition to features previously mentioned, this year will include:
- 75 vendors
- Keynote speaker (Rick Hartley)
- 16 technical sessions
- Breakfast, lunch, and an evening reception
- Door prizes
- Free tote, t-shirt, and show guide
- 900–1,000 attendees (expected registrations)
The chapter maintains open communications with area engineering and technical schools, including North Carolina State University, Wake Technical Community College, and Coastal Carolina Community College. Since PCB Carolina is held at North Carolina State University, the chapter occasionally invites professors to speak at the trade show and often get volunteer support from the schools to help set up, tear down, and fulfill duties during the event. Involving local colleges and universities gives students access to trade show experience, industry vendors, job scouting, technical training, and the ability to network with people they might have never met otherwise.
The RTP chapter community is fortunate to have access to such a fulfilling trade show with a wide selection of training opportunities. It would not be possible without the endless volunteer hours donated by members of the chapter and the IPC Designers Council.
This year’s show will also be awesome. Don’t miss it! Visit pcbcarolina.com for more information or contact the following:
- Tony Cosentino: RTP chapter president (director of technology and quality at Better Boards Inc.)
- Randy Faucette: RTP chapter VP (president & director of engineering at Better Boards Inc.)
Upcoming Activities at a Glance
PCB two-day seminars: Rick Hartley
- October 25–26, 2018
- Chicago, Illinois
- Control of Noise, EMI, and Signal Integrity in High-Speed Circuits and PCBs
IPC CID and CID+ certifications in the U.S.
- October 30, 2018: Anaheim, California
- November 11, 2018: Raleigh, North Carolina
- Contact EPTAC for details: eptac.com
One-day course: Susy Webb
Two-day hands-on power integrity workshop: Steve Sandler
In next month’s issue, we’ll highlight all the active local area IPC chapters, their points of contact, and their activities.
Stephen Chavez is a member of the IPC Designers Council Executive Board and chairman of the communications subcommittee.