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JANUARY 2019 I PCB007 MAGAZINE 9 the materials supply pipeline is becoming increasingly unpredictable. Forecasting for materials purchases depends on customer purchasing levels, which are more volatile than ever right now thanks to component supply shortages, raw-metal supply challenges, and the changing inter- national trade land- s c a p e. L a m i n a t e suppliers are work- ing hard to smooth out the flow and hold inventories steady, but that may not last forever. When m a r ke t vo l a t i l i t y finally catches up with materials, your factory's inventory might start to act just like my friend's sticky gas-tank float. Communication and awareness are going to be key to manage the supply chain crisis and keep your fabrication facility running smoothly. In this issue, we bring you a number of timely conversations with industry experts to help position your company's offerings to the greatest effect. To that end, our columnists this month concentrate on the fabrication techniques necessary to build boards to the current supply chain trends we've been discussing in this issue. We lead off with an extended conversation with Stephanie Martin, senior VP of supply chain at Vexos. Stephanie is well positioned to have a wide view of the supply chain dynamics, and she shares her assessment with the I-Connect007 editorial team. Next, we talk with Wayne Antal, a key account manager at NCAB Group. In this first part of a two-part conversation, Wayne and I discuss how NCAB helps their customers weather the storm. In the number-three slot, I dig into SMT market news and analyses on supply chain in "Perspectives on Supply Chain Ripples." A product development R&D manager at MacDermid Alpha Electronics Solutions talks 3D additive processes with Happy Holden in "Roger Bernards on MIDs and Automotive." In Marc Ladle's column, "Ladle on Manufacturing," he discusses "VPC: The Future of Plating." If you haven't read up a l r e a d y o n v i r t u a l continuous plating, Marc's column is a great place to start. Eduardo Benmayor, general m a n a g e r w i t h A i s m a l i b a r, d i s c u s s e s n e w thermal manage- m e n t s u b s t r a t e materials specifically for use in the rapidly growing automotive sectors. Happy Holden, I-Connect007 t e c h n i c a l e d i t o r, p o s t s a n article on "Chemical Recycling as Part of a Zero-effluent Strategy" related to the GreenSource Fabrication facility in New Hampshire. While we don't immediately think of it when discussing supply chain and the digital information that makes it run, John Vaughan's column this month certainly does. John's "The Fourth Pillar of Defense Acquisition: Cybersecurity" is required read ing. Part three of Michael Carano's multi-part column continues this month in, "Trouble in Your Tank: Moving Microvias." In this installment, Carano's thesis is that fabricators misjudge "the scope of HDI and what his manufacturing strategy truly entails. Here are a few common mistakes to avoid." So, strap into your seat, tap on the gas gauge, and let's talk supply chain for 2019. PCB007 Nolan Johnson is managing editor of PCB007 Magazine. Nolan brings 30 years of career experience fo- cused almost entirely on electronics design and manufacturing. To contact Johnson, click here.

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