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PCB007-Aug2019

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74 PCB007 MAGAZINE I AUGUST 2019 er. It took about three years for MIL-PRF-31032 to be understood in the industry and be used. PCB Fabrication Sites Certified to MIL-PRF-31032 In August 2003, there were only 19 com- pany sites (17 in the U.S. and two in Canada) qualified to the new MIL-PRF-31032, and 111 certified to the MIL-PRF-55110 (legacy stan- dard for rigid boards). These 130 public com- pany locations produced 100% of the boards that were required to meet one of these two standards. Fast forward 15 years to 2018 and we have 52 company locations certified to the 31032 Quali- fied Manufacturers List (QML) plus 120 com- panies still on the 55110 Qualified Products List (QPL). Comparing the total in 2 018 (52 + 120 = 172) versus 2003 (19 + 111 = 130), there appears to be a 32% increase in the total (Figure 1). A closer look at the 2018 data tells a differ- ent story. Of the 120 companies on the MIL- PRF- 55110 QPL, only 13 of those companies are true legacy sites. The remaining 106 are al- so on the 2018 MIL-PRF- 31032 QML, and are, therefore, counted twice. That puts the total number of company locations capable of deliv- ering rigid military products in 2018 at 65 (52 + 13). Comparing 2018 to 2003, the reduction in military-qualified company locations drops from 130 to 65—a 50% reduction—which is significant. The analysis for 2003 did not include any statistics of companies certified to build mili- tary flex and rigid-flex. Most likely, there were several companies qualified to 31032 in 2003 that built both rigid and flexible PCBs but I did not make any attempt to quantify them. In 2018, there are 21 companies that build flex- ible circuits of the 52 certified to 31032. Nine- teen build rigid as well as flex and two build only flex. Four additional companies are certi- fied to only MIL-PRF-50884 making the total present capability for military flex 25 company locations, of which 21 are accounted for in this analysis. Looking back to 2003, I am not sure how many of the 19 companies certified to MIL- PRF-31032 in 2003 that were also on the MIL- PRF-55110 QPL. Assuming 80% (16) were on both, the total companies in 2003 would have been 3 + 111 = 114 instead of 130. If that is the case, the decline from 2003 to 2018 is from 114 to 65—a 43% decline. Whatever the exact number, the data indicates the decline is likely between 43 and 50% (Figure 1). Distribution of Certified Companies 2003 Vs. 2018 Let's begin the 15-year Delta Analysis with the present 65 certified company locations and compare them to the original 2003 total of 130 (Figure 2). The U.S. percentage of PWB manu- facturers vs. other countries is about the same during this 15-year period increased slightly from 78% to 85%. Looking at countries out- Figure 1: Distribution of worldwide PCB fabrication sites certified to MIL-PRF-31032 and MIL-PRF-55110 (2003 vs. 2018). Figure 2: U.S.-certified site distribution (2018).

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