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PCB-July2017

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July 2017 • The PCB Magazine 49 facturing. I think that a lot of the people that we met today represent not only new faces, but a new approach as well. The tone is much dif- ferent, from what I understand, from previous eras. And we're very much looking forward to the support and the commitments that were made here today to create positive change in our industry. Goldman: I'm going to put you on the spot a little bit. This morning, a couple of people, in- cluding Kim Ford and Robert Irie from the De- partment of Defense said, "Get back to us with information—with your needs." Are you going to act on anything? Whiteside: I think Kim Ford's challenge was to get back to her department with what sort of educational needs we can articulate to IPC and their membership can support, or she can sup- port. I think IPC has increased their focus on members' training needs and is in the best posi- tion to respond to Ms. Ford, we will continue to work with IPC in this area. And with the DoD's request, they've spent a lot of time assessing the electronics supply chain in the U.S. and they have a very pragmatic assessment of where the risks are in the supply chain. Where I am con- cerned about the supply chain is in bare printed circuit board manufacturing, and unfortunate- ly the government's assessment is still "TBD." This is due to a 2016 Department of Commerce study that will take until November 2017 to get the results for and allow anyone to really devel- op an opinion on how to go forward. Goldman: They presented some preliminary in- formation in February at IPC's Executive Forum. Whiteside: Yes, I saw that at the IPC APEX EXPO Executive Forum, but it was very preliminary and nobody could really tell us, "What does this mean? What are you going to do with this?" My message that I was able to communicate to some of the people we met today was that some of the most advanced printed circuit board tech- nology being produced in the world today is not produced in the United States, whether from a circuit density HDI standpoint, or materials— a lot of the expertise that exists in the world to create the world's most advanced printed cir- cuit boards resides in China. It doesn't reside in the U.S. If the amount of technology that exists in today's smartphone needs to be immediate- ly employed in the next generation of weapon systems, communication systems for defense, etc., you would need to take the most advanced pitch BGA device and pin that out on a cir- cuit board in today's world, and build that cir- cuit board in the United States. Currently, you can't build that here. We don't have the capital equipment set, we don't have the expertise, and we don't have the materials know-how, because for the past 15 years it's all been completely in- vested in outside of the United States. I've con- veyed that message a few times here today, and I hope that that message has been received. Goldman: Several people today said that things don't happen quickly. But as we know, in our industry things happen awfully fast. Much fast- er than they do in this town. Whiteside: From my experience, that's usually due to changes in commercial business, wheth- er some fall-down somewhere or something un- anticipated happens. I don't know if anything is going to happen quickly inside the Defense Industrial Base that is part of the normal course IMPACT Interviews Shane Whiteside and Phil Titterton (TTM).

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