This month, I share some critical staffing requirements which need to be filled within the PCEA. Our Chairman, Steph Chavez, then expresses his excitement regarding the PCEA’s involvement in recent electronics industry trade shows. I wrap up by providing our readers with a list of upcoming events.
This month’s Design007 Magazine topic examining data formats aligns perfectly with the goals of the PCEA. The three data formats—Gerber, IPC-2581, and ODB++—are similar, yet very different regarding how they are leveraged by the differing stakeholder requirements of the PCB fabricator, assembler, and designer. The topic content is sure to raise as many questions as differing perspectives. Though, in the end, the data formats will never be expected to merge into one common industry standard solution providing all data needs to all stakeholders. A miraculous event such as this, if it ever could happen, might be called collaboration. Unfortunately, though, in our industry it seems as though collaboration rarely occurs without a profit motive.
As a nonprofit, PCEA’s goal is to provide a place for all printed circuit engineering stakeholders to collaborate, educate, and inspire one another. We’ve been at it for over a year now, during some very tough times within our industry, and there has come a time for us to put out a call for help. While the PCEA has representation from some very heavy hitters in many disciplines of the printed circuit engineering industry, we are inherently made up of leadership and membership which stems from the design portion of our industry. A few years ago, we consciously focused on the name of our organization to include the word engineering as opposed to design in order to include all the other important stakeholders—manufacturers, assemblers, test engineers, suppliers and others—along with designers, to collaborate, educate, and inspire each other. We are the Printed Circuit Engineering Association—not a design association—and if you are a stakeholder working on the manufacturing, test, assembly, procurement, or inspection of printed circuits, we need your help.
We have an immediate need for executive level representation from the many complementing stakeholder areas mentioned above. We are asking for your help in stepping up and proactively representing your respective colleagues in our organization. We are looking for individuals who can unite with other representative stakeholders within our organizational chapters. We need your alter-design stakeholder perspective to homogenize our thinking as we move forward to serve this great industry. Are you willing to step in and serve? The pay is non-existent but the rewards of service in the PCEA can change your career trajectory overnight. If you are interested, contact PCEA Chairman Steph Chavez through our website contact page (pce-a.org/contact/) and let him know you believe that the PCEA should be more than design and design education; it needs to collaborate, be educated, and inspired by your alternatively important subject matter expertise.
Message from the Chairman
As we start October, respective workloads and industry events are in full swing. PCEA is coming off its first official booth on a convention hall floor at a major industry “in person” conference. PCEA’s booth at DesignCon 2021 was a great success. The marketing and events team did an amazing job bringing this together and showcasing polished professionals. They sure hit a home run on this one. Kudos to the PCEA team and to the support team of DesignCon for another successful event, especially considering today’s circumstances and resurgence of the pandemic and a new variant. Even with this, PCEA did its part in collaborating with other associations or groups for the betterment of the industry.
We continued that same positive momentum going into another local PCEA chapter (Orange County) event on September 1. Although this was another successful virtual webinar, with great design and manufacturing content, the word on the street, per my follow-up conversation with local chapter Chairman Scott McCurdy, is chapter members can’t wait to get back to their previous in-person meetings. I couldn’t agree with them more. I was very excited to see over 100 attendees sign up and attend; a very strong industry engagement indeed. I love the continued collaboration between PCEA and American Standard Circuits, a PCEA sponsor and host of the event, and I want to personally thank American Standard Circuits for its continued support of PCEA. I thought the two topics presented, “Next Gen Line/Space Capability for PCB Designs” and “An Overview of Via Fill—Choosing the Right Type for Your Design Application,” were on point for today’s complex PWB designs needs. If you were not able to attend this event, no worries. Look for the recording of it soon to be listed on our website.
With DesignCon in our rearview mirror, the next major event is PCB West, October 5–8. As I was not available to attend DesignCon, I will be attending PCB West. It will be my first industry event since the pandemic started. I am so excited to travel and attend this event but would be lying if didn’t say I am a bit cautious and nervous with the travel logistics aspect related to the pandemic. I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling this way, but I am so looking forward to finally getting back into my element of in-person engagement, integration, and collaboration. I hope to see many of you there. I have no doubt that it will be another great industry conference.
After PCB West, there are two more outstanding scheduled conferences to attend here in the U.S.: SMTA International 2021 and PCB Carolina 2021. Both are highly recommended conferences to attend. Productronica is an overseas conference November 16–19 in Munich, Germany and is a great one to attend as well. So, there are lot of industry activities and opportunities taking place in these last remaining months of 2021. I hope you’ll be able to take advantage of at least one of them.
As for PCEA membership and local chapter growth, we’re continuing our positive trend upward. PCEA prides itself being an association for everyone in the industry. This means that we highly value every individual member, not just large corporations. PCEA is a common collective for everyone in the industry. As the saying goes, “There is strength in numbers.” The collective of PCEA is only as good as its individual members. Therefore, as of today, our collective strength is extremely strong, and our positive synergy is very high indeed. We are now up to roughly 17 current local PCEA chapters with about six more in the infancy stage. It’s amazing to see people who have that same knack tend to come together and flourish as a group. Check out our Events page for more.
As always, if you have anything to do with printed circuit engineering, I highly recommend you get involved with and join the PCEA collective, if you have not already. By joining the PCEA collective, your percentage of long-term professional development increases significantly.
Stay up to date with the up-and-coming industry events. There are so many free webinars, so please take advantage of these opportunities. To join the PCEA collective, please visit our website, pce-a.org.
I continue to wish you and your families health and safety. Best of success as 2021 comes into its final months.
Stephen V. Chavez MIT, CPCD, CID+,
As the industry marches on, I plan to interview new recruits to the PCEA from PCB fabrication, assembly, testing, and procurement. We’ll discuss their plans to help attract more diversity into the PCEA and help foster collaboration, education, and inspiration.
Here is our list of upcoming events. Hope to see you there.
PCB West 2021
October 5–8, 2021
Santa Clara Convention Center
Santa Clara, CA
SMTA International 2021
Nov. 1–4, 2021
Nov. 16–19, 2021
PCB Carolina 2021
Nov. 10, 2021
Altium Live 2022
Jan 26–28, 2022
San Diego Convention Center
San Diego, CA
IPC APEX EXPO
Jan 22–27, 2022
San Diego Convention Center
San Diego, CA
PCB East 2022
April 11–13, 2022
Spread the word. If you have a significant electronics industry event that you would like to announce, please send me the details at email@example.com, and we will consider adding it to the list.
It is often said there is strength in diversity. There is power in multiple points of view.
As a newer organization (and like many others), the PCEA has experienced the folly of groupthink and being over-represented by any one industry discipline. Likewise, we’ve also experienced the challenges presented by inviting open expression representing diversity of thought and multiple points of view. As we move forward, we are thankful believers that success in an organization and an industry as a whole is far better off after considering the perspectives of an entire body—not just the arm or leg.
As a nonprofit, we don’t ask for much. But this month we are asking you to help us in our quest for diversity. We look forward to hearing from any “ankles, knees, hips, and heads” out there who wish to make a difference. We love the diverse perspectives shared in Design007 Magazine. We can’t wait to work together within our chapters to pour these perspectives into the collaborative blender of our organization. Hopefully, someday, we can become inspired to shake hands, learn, collaborate, and pour out a smoothie of PCB data—or anything for that matter—which would be healthy for our entire industrial body. We hope you agree and can help us. Press pulse twice, blend, and drink up.
See you next month or sooner!
This column originally appeared in the October 2021 issue of Design007 Magazine.