PCB Chat: Are Designers Lazy, and is Automation All-Important?

“Content is the most important aspect of the design world right now,” says Manny Marcano, president of EMA Design Automation. Over the past nearly three decades, he has grown EMA into the leading Cadence Channel Partner as the exclusive distributor of OrCAD in North America. EMA has also developed a series of its own software products for library management, component supply chain data, and conducts training.

Manny talks about the role of automation and whether designers are keeping up with their profession this week as my guest on PCB Chat.

Talking Government Relations with IPC

In my latest podcast, I speak with John Mitchell, president and CEO of IPC, and Chris Mitchell, IPC vice president of global government relations. They discuss the trade organization’s key government programs and initiatives, its annual member lobbying event coming up in May, and the importance of lobbying by member companies. Listen in at upmg.podbean.com.

Latest Podcasts Look at AS9100D, EMS Innovation

A couple new podcasts to call your attention to.

In one, I speak with my longtime friend Randall Sherman, the EMS/ODM analyst and founder of New Venture Research, on recent developments in the market and how EMS companies are leading innovation by building intelligence into production systems.

In the second, I discuss the ongoing issues faced by the supply chain, and especially fabricators, in the wake of AS9100D.

The podcasts can be found at https://upmg.podbean.com.


Taking the ‘Pulse’ of Productivity

On PCB Chat this week we talk with Mark Hepburn, the new director of product management at Cadence. Some industry veterans may remember Mark from a few years back — he was with Viewlogic, Innoveda and Mentor in the late 1990s and mid 2000s. He spent the past eight years with Perception Software, a developer of collaboration software.

Fittingly, he joined Cadence just in time for its launch of Allegro Pulse, a new web-based platform for collaboration and productivity measurement and analysis.

Take a listen here.

Live, from Productronica!

We will be reporting from the Productronica trade show in Munich next week. For the uninitiated, Productronica is the largest electronics assembly show in the world, filling more than six halls the sizes of aircraft hangers at the Messe Fairgrounds.

Each day, I’ll report what I saw and heard at the show for our new podcast, PCB Chat. Tune in at upmg.podbean.com for the recaps. And for real-time updates, follow me on Twitter (twitter.com/mikebuetow). And if you are headed to the show, feel free to drop me a line at mbuetow@upmediagroup.com or connect with me via LinkedIn.

Safe travels!


The Return of PCB Chat

After a hiatus, we have relaunched PCB Chat as a podcast.

Our first guest is Mike Konrad of Aqueous Technologies, who shares his experience with what happens when a contract manufacturer follows its customer’s instructions to the detriment of the product. The outcome: Product failures, blame, drama, and a really big lawsuit.

We apologize in advance for the imperfect audio; we are still getting up to speed on the editing tools. But we think you’ll enjoy this, the first in what will be a regular series of interviews and conversations.

The Top 50 EMS Companies Chat

The electronics manufacturing services industry in 2012 saw something of a changing of the guard as major European players like Elcoteq, ElectronicNetwork and SRI Radio Systems dropped off the map, and dependable stalwart industries like military and PCs experienced slow growth.

What did we learn from the events of last year, and what will the future of the EMS industry look like? Come chat with me on April 23 over at PCB Chat from 12 noon to 1 pm (Eastern). I will also discuss the annual CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY Top 50, which was released in April.

(Membership in PCB Chat is free, but you do need to register first.)


DfM Chat

Who better than a fabricator to explain design for fabrication?

Join Sunstone Circuits CAD/EDA manager Nolan Johnson this Thursday for a one-hour chat on DfM. Trained as a software engineer, Johnson wrote applications software for Mentor Graphics before transitioning into technical marketing roles. He managed Mentor’s OEM verification development projects, including Dracula and CheckMate. Johnson then concentrated on operating technical training centers for semiconductor manufacturing and telecom analysis equipment at both Electro Scientific Industries and Tektronix.

At Sunstone Circuits, Johnson has assisted in the many successful initiatives of its core product line, including an integral role in the development of the PCB123 design software, including enhancing the software’s schematic functionality and Live BOM (Bill of Materials).

Nolan’s chat takes place May 10, 2 to 3 pm Eastern time at PCB Chat. There is no charge to participate.

The Value of ‘Chat’

Yesterday, EMS sales management and marketing consultant Sue Mucha moderated her first chat over at PCB Chat. Today, she’s asking on her blog whether readers exploit the value of chat, and why or why not? (She makes a great point about the value of the chat being tied to the quality of the questions asked.)

For those who haven’t had a chance to see how PCB Chat works, you may check out Sue’s chat here. I tend to liken it to the last 10 minutes of a paper session, where the audience asks questions directly to the presenter.

MSDS Tracking at PCB Chat Today

Today at PCB Chat, Kal Kawar talks MSDS management and environmental regulations.

Participation is free; just remember to sign in to see the chat.