FEATURES

After two years of implementation, an EMS has virtually eliminated project “callbacks.”

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Thanks to the High Density Packaging Group and the invitation from long-time industry veteran – and friend– Jack Fisher for the invitation to attend one of their open meetings on Sept. 9. One of several annual meetings, this daylong event was held in my “backyard” in Atlanta, and sponsored by Engent. This particular day was “open” to the industry; the second day of the event limited to member companies.

For those not familiar with the group, HDP is a 22-year-old international, project-oriented, nonprofit trade organization/consortium whose stated mission is “to reduce the costs and risks for the electronics industries when employing the use of electronic packaging.” Membership is offered to companies involved in the supply chain of producing products that utilize high-density electronic packages. And lest phrases like “project-oriented,” “consortium” and “trade organization” strike a bit of fear in your heart or bring to mind unwieldy committee meetings, this particular meeting – and all such meetings – according to members in attendance – are characterized by a refreshing lack of bureaucracy. Numerous projects – and updates of – were discussed – and the meeting itself was nicely moved along under the watchful (and firm!) eye of Jack Fisher.

Members suggest projects, then gather a team together, set objectives and deadlines, and then report back to fellow members with regular updates and final data during members-only meetings. It’s a value proposition that’s pretty unbeatable. These activities are run, according to the HDPUG, “ in a domain where members are able to gain much more by joint activities rather than duplicating work in each member company.” Visit hdpug.org to see more information on current, completed and new projects.

It was great to see old – and not so old – friends Tony Senese, Panasonic; Eric Moen, Akrometrix; Paul Houston, Engent; Glen Oliver, DuPont; and Neil Chamberlin, Polar Instruments, along with HDPUG executive director Marshall Andrews. Larry Marcanti, marketing director for HDPUG, reminded me he used to serve on the PC FAB review board, and we reminisced about the days of Continental Circuits and Velie Circuits. And, kudos to Kim Andrews, who organized this event – I know what it takes to move people from point A to point B…well done! I promised Laurence Schultz a personal shout-out (he wins “best radio voice of the day”!) and to Alun Morgan, project facilitator and also Chairman, EIPC, who has offered me a place to hang my hat in the EIPC booth during Productronica!

Selfishly, on behalf of CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY, PCD&F and UP Media, I must claim the “highlight” of the day was the presentation by Mike Buetow, our editor in chief. He was webex’ed in with a presentation “The Changing Electronics Market and Customer” – a provocative and thought-provoking look at the changing roles and opportunities for EMS, OEMs and ODMs. Suppliers were advised now may be the time to “seize the day” – and attendees bemoaned the fact that Mike was unable to attend in person so they could “pick his brain.”

All in all, a day well spent. Many thanks to HDP Users Group for including CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY and PCD&F.

Successful formulation, production and maintenance could provide years of reliable plating.

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The profession is ever more lucrative, but aging, based on our annual survey.

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Why, relatively speaking, wider traces are quicker than narrower ones to reach the fusing temperature.

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The 2014 ranking of the largest board fabricators reveals quiet but steady growth by domestic Chinese companies.

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