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24 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I AUGUST 2019 Feature Interview by Andy Shaughnessy I-CONNECT007 I interviewed Gary Ferrari, director of FTG Circuits, at the IPC High-Reliability Forum and Microvia Summit in Baltimore. Gary is a co- founder of the IPC Designers Council and a longtime advocate for PCB design and PCB de- signers. We discussed the crucial role that PCB designers play in the entire electronics devel- opment process, and how IPC and the Design- ers Council are helping to educate and inform the next generation of designers. Andy Shaughnessy: Gary, how are you doing? It's good to see you. Gary Ferrari: I'm doing well. The industry is moving ahead, and I just keep on plugging away. Shaughnessy: It's a good time to be in this in- dustry. It seems as if more people, especially at IPC, are starting to get the idea that design is a pretty important part of the process, and, in some ways, that everything starts with design. Ferrari: I recently had a conversation with Dr. John Mitchell, president and CEO of IPC. We were discussing things, and he told me, "Gary, you're going to like what I have to say. I got my staff together and asked them, 'What's the most important thing that we should be focus- ing on?'" Surprisingly, he said that design was mentioned because everything starts with de- sign. That's a message I have been sending for many years. The designer is responsible for understanding electronic engineering—in some cases, even more information about en- gineering than maybe the engineers—mechan- ical engineering, board fabrication, materials, signal integrity, and it goes on and on. There is much more that PCB designers need to know now. First, they must fully under- stand the fabrication processes used for var- ious types of materials. What materials will work for a specific design, both mechanically and electrically (signal integrity)? They need to know the assembly processes, which include the types of soldering processes used for tech- nologies, such as through-hole, SMT, buried components, etc. Then, how to create a layout that addresses the optimum component orien- tation, so that everything is soldered properly. They need to know when they are pushing the envelope, which affects performance and cost. Finally, they also need to know something PCB Design Training: More Critical Than Ever Gary Ferrari

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