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36 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I FEBRUARY 2020 In this month's column, we'll take a first look at the new Printed Circuit Engineering Association (PCEA), including an overview of membership and why we established the orga- nization. We'll also look at the mission of the PCEA, and how it will unfold to the industry. Membership The PCEA is an international network of en- gineers, designers, and specialists related to printed circuit development. In essence, we are a mixed group of individuals that cover the en- tire product development cycle. There are no limitations or restrictions as to who can be- come a member. Membership is free and open to all those interested in gaining and sharing their knowledge with others. We will serve the industry as a non-profit organization. Why We Established the PCEA There are several well-organized groups that cater to the electronics industry. These orga- nizations tend to feature a specific segment of this industry by hosting highly focused, major conferences for their followers. These confer- ences tend to be one or two times a year at dif- ferent locations. Each of these conferences specifically fo- cuses on a skill segment, such as design, as- sembly, manufacturing, etc. With technology changing at a rapid pace, it becomes very dif- ficult and expensive for professionals to attend the plethora of major conferences conducted in the course of a year. In an attempt to address the changing de- mands, some organizations, in addition to ma- jor conferences, have set up local chapters to ad- dress our rapidly changing industry. They have found it difficult to fully address the needs of each industry discipline required to produce a workable PCB product. The main theme was to understand each other's challenges and how to assist each other. Unfortunately, printed circuit engineers were often not understood by other industry segments and these organizations. Printed circuit engineers are technologists who must understand the needs and require- ments of all the disciplines that build the fi- nal product. They must have a comprehensive understanding of electrical engineering, de- sign, mechanical engineering, printed board materials, fabrication/assembly processes and limitations, quality assurance testing, and ful- ly populated test requirements at all levels of The Digital Layout by Stephen V. Chavez, MIT, CID+, PCEA The New Printed Circuit Engineering Association

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