For the past several years, we have taken a few moments at year-end to look back at the best-read articles of 2015.

The list includes features that were published for the first time in calendar 2015. Rankings are based on web site hits, and do not include — for obvious reasons — the number of reads in the print version of the magazine.

We’ll start today with the top 10 from CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY. Tomorrow we will list the best-read articles from PCD&F.

1. “How Clean is Clean Enough?” by Terry Munson, Paco Solis, Nick Munson, Steve Ring and Evan Briscoe

2. “01005: Size Does Matter,” by Arbel Nissan.

3. “Designing Flex Circuits For Wearable Electronics,” by Mark Finstad.

4. “Depaneling of Circuit Boards,” by Ahne Oosterhof and Thomas Nether.

5. “What You Cannot See Can Be Hand Soldered,” by Paul Wood and Bob Wettermann.

6. “A New SPI Tool for Defect Prevention,” by Chrys Shea.

7. “Zooming in on Digital Microscopes,” by Chrys Shea and Kristoffer Tømmergaard.

8. “China in Charge, by Dr. Hayao Nakahara.

9. “US or Mexico: Which Option Makes Most Sense for Your Project?” by Joe Villanueva.

10. “Cost/Benefit Tradeoffs of Capacitor Part Size vs. Manufacturing Efficiency,” by Chris Reynolds.

As you can see, a mix of technical and business-related pieces made up the top 10 this year. Interest was high in cutting-edge technology (multiple pieces on 01005s, wearable flex circuitry), but tutorial-type pieces on conventional technology held its own as well (cleaning, circuit board depaneling).

As always, we are grateful for our loyal readers and the many authors who contribute their expertise each month.

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About Mike

Mike Buetow is president of the Printed Circuit Engineering Association ( He previously was editor-in-chief of Circuits Assembly magazine, the leading publication for electronics manufacturing, and PCD&F, the leading publication for printed circuit design and fabrication. He spent 21 years as vice president and editorial director of UP Media Group, for which he oversaw all editorial and production aspects. He has more than 30 years' experience in the electronics industry, including six years at IPC, an electronics trade association, at which he was a technical projects manager and communications director. He has also held editorial positions at SMT Magazine, community newspapers and in book publishing. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Follow Mike on Twitter: @mikebuetow