The PCB Design Magazine

PCBD-Aug2015

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August 2015 • The PCB Design Magazine 9 the shaughnessy report Andy Shaughnessy is managing editor of The PCB Design Magazine. He has been covering PCB design for 16 years. He can be reached by clicking here. FIGHTING THE WAR ON FAILURE continues The same holds true for PCB fabrication and assembly providers. The scrap rates of the past would run a company out of business today. Now, manufacturers are adopting processes like Lean and Six Sigma to help eliminate as much waste as humanly possible. Six Sigma's 99.997% rate of perfection is no longer considered an un- attainable dream. What Does Failure Mean to you? That was one of the first questions I posed in our cover story interview, "Kelly Dack and Mark Thompson Unite in the War on Failure." Kelly and Mark come from design and CAM backgrounds, respectively, and they've teamed up in this ongoing battle. In this interview, they discuss their definition of failure, some of the more common failures they see from their perspectives, and a variety of ways to keep fail- ures to a minimum. But as they point out, we'll probably never eliminate failure completely from the PCB industry. Paul Reid's feature column, "Failure Mode: Hole Wall Pullaway," details how stress-reliev- ing and stress-inducing HWPA can cause copper plating in a plated through-hole to be pulled away from the dielectric of the hole wall. As usual, Paul brought along a few of his super cool cross-section animations that show these defects as they happen. In Tim Haag's feature column, "Failure May Not be an Option, But Sometimes it's a Reality," he discusses some of the mistakes, miscues, and missteps that are common among PCB design- ers. Working off the famous line by Ed Harris' character in Apollo 13, "Failure is not an op- tion," Tim explores everything from not using all of your EDA tool's inherent capabilities to using far too much automation. In "Mentor Graphics Helps Bridge Gap be- tween PCB and RF," Barry Matties interviews Per Viklund, director of IC packaging and RF prod- uct lines for Mentor, and Business Development Manager Alex Caravajal. Per and Alex explain how Mentor is helping bring together the RF and PCB design worlds, and their plans to ac- celerate the RF design cycle. We also bring you the latest in columnist Barry Olney's continuing series, "Stackup Plan- ning, Part 3." This month, Barry looks into stackup configurations for high layer-count, high-speed PCBs, with some stackup tricks for eight-layer designs. Columnist John Coonrod offers a "Brief Overview of High-Frequency Laminates," ex- plaining their moisture absorption challenges, thermal properties, and thickness control. He also addresses the use of special fillers to achieve good CTE values and greater stability. DfR Solutions' Tom O'Connor offers an update on the ongoing shortage of engineers graduating in North America in "Training the Next-Generation Engineer: When Does it Begin and End?" Tom focuses on the efforts to attract more smart young students to the STEM disci- plines, and the need to jump-start these efforts right now, before it's too late. This month, our sister magazines The PCB Magazine and SMT Magazine also focus on the war on failure from their perspectives, so don't forget to check them out. I'll see you next month, when we devote the September issue to automotive electronic design. Enjoy the last of your summer—show time is around the corner! PCBDESIGN

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