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34 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I AUGUST 2019 CA Design of Santa Rosa, California, is one of the country's leading—and the most inter- esting—independent design service bureaus that I know. Owners Bob Chandler and his partner Robin Reynolds have worked together for many years, preaching the "gospel of Bob," which is based on the theory that all PCB de- signers need to be properly trained. Part of that training has to include a complete understand- ing of the process of creating PCBs. I caught up with CTO Bob Chandler about design, training, and what we have to do to improve the design- er/fabricator relationship. Dan Beaulieu: Thanks for spending the time with me today. First, can you tell me a little about yourself and your background? Bob Chandler: My pleasure. I have an MBA in op- erations management, and I started in 1980 with a contract manufacturing company. I became in- terested in mechanical design and went from there to design, layout, and PCBs, of course. Beaulieu: Why PCBs and de- sign in particular? Chandler: I was working in the drafting room of a large military contractor, which ex- posed to me to PCB design. Someone I know suggested that I start doing design full time and join him and his company, so that's what I did. Beaulieu: After working in that for a while, you started your own company—CA Design. What drove you to go into business for yourself? Chandler: My Dad died at a relatively young age, and that was an eye-opener for me. It made me reflect on my own life and I realized that it was better to call my own shots than to work for someone else. So, I hung my shingle, which is the nice thing about being a designer; it's very easy to start your own business—es- pecially today—because you don't need all of the equipment we used to need to do designs and layout. Beaulieu: Back in the day, you needed an IBM mainframe to do designs; now, you just need a good laptop. Chandler: A couple of large monitors help, but that's pretty much right. Beaulieu: Where were you located when you started the company? Chandler: I was in Silicon Val- ley, and luckily, so much of the PC business was there. A few years ago, we moved to Santa Rosa in the wine coun- try north of San Francisco. With the internet and screen- sharing software, I can and have worked with clients all over the world from India CA Design's Bob Chandler on Training PCB Designers It's Only Common Sense Feature Column by Dan Beaulieu, DB MANAGEMENT GROUP Bob Chandler

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