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PCBD-July2017

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18 The PCB Design Magazine • July 2017 a lot to do with the business model you put in place. For four or five years, we've been what I call politically agnostic and bipartisan at the same time. The administration changes are go- ing to be beneficial, but what's more important is to look behind the curtain at the programs and focus on pursuing and obtaining a seat at the table on programs that are funded. There are 40+ programs that we're active with for now, all funded through 2022. Regarding the changes in the administration, and you just kind of peel through it, it starts with Trump, the China issue, North Korea, and the stated objec- tive to pivot to the Pacific and increase our na- val assets. Then you've got the CIA with Mike Pompeo, the new director, and that's highly focused on signals intelligence, which trans- lates into a lot of higher technology, RF circuit builds and data collection. And General Mattis, Secretary of Defense, is a former commander in Iraq and at some point, with increased troops on the ground, that drives the IED defeat-and- detect market. Commander Kelly is the former commander of SOCOM (Special Operations Command). The administration is pro-military through and through and that certainly bodes well for those of us focused on the mil/aero/ defense segments of the market. Then you roll all that together, coupled with a request in the DoD budget to increase it by 10%. That would take us back pre-sequestration levels and the appropriations dialogue should be complete by the end of this month. We should have a pret- ty clear picture of where the dollars are flow- ing soon. Again, from our viewpoint, it's been proactive planning and striving to pick the pro- grams and pick the technologies that are going to be required to support whatever effort the ad- ministration decides to lean toward." Towards Successful Partnership When it comes to key criteria that OEMs should consider when evaluating an EMS part- ner for their next mil/aero project, here's what Turpin has to say: "First and foremost, many of the mil/aero companies lack the funding and the time, and sometimes the expertise to properly qualify EMS companies. They have commodity buy- ers, and certifications are important. In our world, on the EMS side, obviously, the IPC has recently rolled out what they call a Vali- dation Services QML (qualified manufacturers list) trusted source, which helps companies re- ally understand that, not only does a company have a good quality management system, but they're able to produce good products. Zentech is one of maybe 10 companies in the U.S. with a trusted source process. Additionally, if you're a mil/aero company, you must make sure that the EMS company you deal with is ISO 9100 certi- fied. Most EMS companies are not," he added. "I would say, separately, NIST 800-171 is also important, and I think it's going to be increas- ingly more important with all the cyber sen- sitivities out there. I'd say that would be one. Companies tend to focus on equipment, but any idiot with a dollar can buy equipment. It takes more than money to produce good prod- ucts. What kind of processes and procedures do you have to operate equipment, solve problems for the customer and get it right." PCBDESIGN References 1. IRAD: Independent Research and Devel- opment. Government subcontractors use this term to identify when they are spending their own money on a project vs. fulfilling a govern- ment contract. 2. "Protecting Controlled Unclassified In- formation in Nonfederal Systems and Organi- zations, NIST Special Publication SP.800-171 Rev1.pdf. 3. Environmental stress screening test. 4. MRL: Manufacturing Readiness Level. NEW CHALLENGES FACING MIL/AERO SEGMENT " The administration changes are going to be beneficial, but what's more important is to look behind the curtain at the programs and focus on pursuing and obtaining a seat at the table on programs that are funded. "

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