IPC Study reports growth in military/aerospace market
Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) for military and aerospace applications remain the largest vertical market segment for PCB manufacturers in North America, representing about one-third of the market. And it is the only vertical market segment expected to grow in 2016 as a share of the North American market, according to IPC’s 2016 Analysis and Forecast for the North American PCB Industry.
Other key findings include segmented market data showing that flexible circuit market growth has continued to outpace rigid PCB growth by a wide margin, but the negative growth rates seen in recent years in the rigid PCB market steadily diminished and growth turned positive in 2015. Estimated PCB production in North America declined 4.3 percent from 2014 to 2015, while estimated market growth was virtually flat, increasing just 0.4 percent.
The annual survey-based study provides a comprehensive overview of the market and business of PCB manufacturing in North America. It contains current data and analysis covering rigid PCBs and flexible circuits separately, including market and production growth, production and sales by product categories, prototype production, vertical markets and use of special technologies such as RF and embedded components. It also reports key financial and operational metrics including revenue per employee, capacity utilization, inventory turns and lead times.
Forecasts of PCB production in the Americas and the world through 2017 from Dr. Hayao Nakahara, a leading industry analyst and consultant to the PCB industry, are included in the report. The findings within the report result from data contributed by the companies that participated in IPC’s North American PCB Statistical Program in 2015 and year-end survey. Statistical program participants represent an estimated 51 percent of the North American PCB market.
The 57-page, downloadable report is available to IPC members for $450 and to nonmembers for $900. Participants in the year-end survey received a complimentary copy of the report. For more information or to purchase the 2016 Analysis and Forecast for the North American PCB Industry:
Hutchins Grant award winner announced
During the 2016 Annual Meeting at SMTA International, the SMTA announced that Kate Reeve, a graduate student at Purdue University, has been selected as the recipient of the 2016 Charles Hutchins Educational Grant. The SMTA Grant Committee selected her project entitled “Heterogeneous Nucleation of ß-Tin in Lead-Free, Tin-Based Solder Alloys.”
Kate expects to graduate from Purdue University with her Ph.D. in May of 2018, after which she plans to pursue a career in academics, conducting research and teaching within topics of materials science. Kate graduated from Iowa State University in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Materials Engineering and dual minors in Nuclear Engineering and Economics.
The Charles Hutchins Educational Grant, co-sponsored by the SMTA and Circuits Assembly magazine, was established in memory of past SMTA president, educator, mentor, and industry colleague, Dr. Charles Hutchins. The $5000 grant has been presented annually since 1998 to a full time graduate-level student pursuing a degree and working on thesis research in electronics assembly, electronics packaging, or a related field.
Connected Factory Initiative Subcommittee Makes Progress
Representatives of industry’s leading manufacturers, machine, device, sensor and software companies that comprise IPC’s 2-17 Connected Factory Initiative Subcommittee have made significant strides in developing a machine data interface standard, “Connected Factory Exchange or CFX” that would enable manufacturers, equipment, device and software suppliers to achieve Industry 4.0 benefits.
The subcommittee’s charter states that the standard will support the goal of true “plug and play interoperability” of devices, systems and machines in the factory. The standard would provide for a “baseline required” transport mechanism to support plug-and-play, but also allow for optional transport methods. However, to achieve the goal of plug and play interoperability when one purchases a machine or system compliant with the standard, a baseline transport would be necessary.
The subcommittee formed a task group that created the “Machine Communications Functional Requirements” survey to gather feedback from equipment, device, software, and product manufacturers and suppliers on the data sets and functional capabilities CFX should support. Survey data was reviewed by task group leaders, Dan Gamota, director of hardware innovation group at Jabil Circuit and Ranjan Chatterjee, vice president, emerging business and technology office at Cimetrix Inc. The survey responses are being used to prepare the draft standard that will reflect the necessary functionality to fulfill the consensus based requirements to realize Industry 4.0 benefits.
“2-17 Subcomittee Co-chair Mahi Duggirala and director of enterprise solutions at flex offered to share the data integration work flex is doing with their ecosystem of equipment suppliers and system integrators,” said Jason Spera, 2-17 subcommittee co-chair and CEO of Aegis Software. “Through this work, the plurality of machine vendors in the industry have already worked to create machine data and control interfaces using open standards to easily integrate with OT/IT systems in support of Industry 4.0 for their equipment.”