The Most-Read CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY Articles of 2014

People often ask what our most popular topics are. There are many ways to slice and dice that, but what we’ve done the past few years is announced the Top 10 most-read articles of each year.

Number one in 2014 was “Advances in Fine-Pitch Printing Process Technology,” by Isaiah Smith of Speedline. It narrowly beat out “Circuits Disassembly: Materials Characterization and Failure Analysis,” by a quartet of Raytheon authors led by  John Wolfgong.

Coming in third was “Solder Joint Integrity Test for Finding Latent Defects in PCBs,” by Hiroshi Yamazaki of Hioki E.E. Corp.

The next four continued the technical bent:

4. “Shielding Effectiveness of Polyimide Tape during Rework,” by Adam Gaynor and Bob Wettermann of BEST.

5. “Advances in Concentration Monitoring and Closed-Loop Control,”by Umut Tosun and Axel Vargas of Zestron and Dr. Bryan Kim of Pressure Products.

6. “Automated Dispensing of 2 Component Materials in Electronics Assembly,” by Per Orla-Jensen of Nordson Asymtek.

7. “Printing Miniaturized Devices for the Automotive and Industrial Manufacturing Sectors,” by Clive Ashmore and Mark Whitmore of DEK (now ASM).

Rounding out the Top 10, coincidentally enough, the final three most-read articles were staff-written.

8. “Libra Industries Finds Its Balance,” Mike Buetow’s profile of the Ohio EMS company.

9. “ASM Takes Root in SMT,” in which Chelsey Drysdale detailed her visit to ASM’s European headquarters in Munich.

10. “A Muddled Recovery,” by Mike Buetow, our annual list of the Top 50 EMS Companies.

Interestingly enough, Nos. 5, 7 and 10 were cover stories in the print edition, while Nos. 3 and 6 were web-only. Given that more than 30,000 people see the print edition each month, it would be neat to know how the numbers would have changed if we were truly measuring apples to apples.

I will note that the data might also be skewed this year because of changes to our website. We launched the new site late last spring, and in doing so reset the hit counters, not to mention introduced more splashy graphics that highlight the latest articles, so there’s a bias toward features that were published later in the year.

Tomorrow we will list the Top 10 most-read articles at

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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