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36 PCB007 MAGAZINE I AUGUST 2018 I had the pleasure of attending IPC's High- Reliability Forum (HRF) in Baltimore in May. As the IPC scripted it, it was a "Technical Con- ference with a Focus on Electronics Subjected to Harsh-Use Environments." HRF included a half-day tutorial on "Achiev- ing Improved Reliability with Failure Analysis" taught by Bhanu Sood, commodity risk assess- ment engineer, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Michael Carano, the fo- rum moderator, opened HRF at 9 am. Attendance topped 80, with pre-reg- istration at over 90. Mi- chael introduced the key- note speaker for the fo- rum, American Standard Circuits CEO Anaya Vardya, whose keynote highlighted the North American overview of the PCB industry's challenges. Specific points included: • Pricing erosion • Higher technology • Cost of doing business • Demanding customers • Competition • Hiring the right people The growth of China as a PCB manufacturing center has eroded North America's PCB facilities from a high of over 1,000 in 2000 to the most cur- rent (2016) count of 255. Of those, only six had rev- enues of over $50M USD and most were under $6M (~150). The total of $5.4B worth of ship- ments were distributed into seven major mar- kets (Table 1). Anaya used his own company's philosophy and milestones to highlight their approach to people, equipment, software, product capa- bilities, demanding customers and competi- The IPC High-Reliability Forum for Mil-Aero and Automotive Sectors Table 1: The seven major markets that U.S. PCB manufacturers supplied into. (Source: WECC) Feature by Happy Holden I-CONNECT007 Anaya Vardya Michael Carano

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