PCB007 Magazine

PCB-Feb2014

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70 The PCB Magazine • February 2014 I think that where I was at the time was crucial in the development of what we call netlist test- ing today. Dan: when did the test service bureaus come into being? Todd: That's an interesting question. The fact of the matter is that we have always been here, at least as far as I have been in the indus- try. Really, in that timeframe, the service bu- reaus were the solution for the manufacturers. The manufacturers really didn't have the capital or the expertise to handle testing of their prod- uct. So back in that era the service bureaus re- ally had the advantage. Dan: what was the first one? Todd: You might have me there. That's a hard one for me. In the '80s there were quite a few bureaus competing. I really don't know who the first was. We had a lot of new equip- ment hitting the market back in that era. Trace, Everett Charles, TTI, Mania/Testerion. They were all players in that time frame. Dan: what do we have today? Tell us a little bit about what is available in testing today. Todd: Now you're talking! Today every- thing is new and excit- ing. There are amazing things available to the PCB manufacturers— things we could not even have imagined even a few years ago. There are super-fast fly- ing probe machines and stronger and faster grid machines that can ac- commodate the new designs that our OEMs are producing. The gap is closing between the OEM developer and the test solution engineer. I was recently in China and was able to see the technology being produced there. For the U.S. and North America we still have a bit of a bell curve to get over to be able to test these new designs. We need to be sure we are diligent and moving forward with our Asia colleagues to break this barrier. Dan: Thanks, Todd. It's been a pleasure talking to you. Todd: Thank you, Dan. Let me know what you think of my column next month! Do you have any questions about electrical test? Is there anything that you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask? E-mail Kolmo- din at todd.kolmodin@gardien.com. PCB CONvERSATIONS wITH...GARDIEN'S TODD KOLMODIN continues dan beaulieu is a Pcb industry veteran, and sales and mar- keting expert and writer who has contributed to numerous industry publications, on top- ics ranging from sales and marketing, to board shop per- formance. beaulieu has more than 30 years of experience in the Pcb industry. to read past columns, or to contact beaulieu, click here.

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