PCB007 Magazine

PCB007-Mar2021

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8 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2021 Nolan's Notes by Nolan Johnson, I-CONNECT007 Mapping the Future of PCBs in Transportation Supply chain and automotive continue to be two of the hottest topics in electronics manufacturing (all of manufacturing, actual- ly) in 2021. As I write this column, IPC APEX EXPO 2021 is just around the corner and au- tomotive applications and requirements are woven throughout the technical program. e news has been active as well. Not just industry news, but the mainstream news is regularly discussing these same topics. Here are some examples: e Washington Post, February 24, 2021: "e Biden administration will order a 100-day review of possible vulnerabili- ties in the U.S. supply chains." e arti- cle specifically calls out products central to our business: computer chips, medi- cal gear, electric vehicle batteries and spe- cialized minerals. e reporting attributes these shortages directly to recent automo- tive manufacturer shutdowns tied to these critical parts shortages. e Post wrote, "A review is just a review—no immediate consequences. It depends on what comes out of it,' said William Reinsch, who was a Commerce Department official during the Clinton administration." [1] is review is strictly investigative, but the urgency is clear. e automotive industry is in- deed experiencing "rolling brownouts" in pro- duction due to a lack of available semiconduc- tor and electronics components. In December 2020 and continuing through February 2021, the news reported assembly plant furloughs at Tesla, Ford, and Volkswagen. ese shut- downs were specifically blamed on the lack of chips in the supply chain. And yet, vehicle development trends are only increasing transportation's appetite for semiconductors, components, connectors, boards, and conductive metals. NASA, February 24, 2021: In a recent press release from NASA, the U.S. space agency announced it is seeking pro- posals for "ground and flight demonstrations

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