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86 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I NOVEMBER 2021 I recently reflected upon the notion that this year marks my 50th year in the printed circuit industry. It was a bit of a shock when I looked at the calendar and realized that I have been kicking around this industry for a half-century. I was fortunate enough to find my way into the PCB industry through the analytical lab of a PCB company in Moun- tain View, California in the early days of Silicon Valley. e name of the company was Printex and it was one of the pre- mier PCB fabricators in the United States. Just prior to signing on with Printex, I had been working for Data Lab in Santa Clara, where we served as an offsite analytical lab checking the plating chemistry for many of the dozens of printed circuit fabricators that were operat- ing in the Bay Area at the time. At Printex, my job was to analyze and maintain the numer- ous plating and processing solutions used in the manufacture of printed circuits. I was also tasked with preparing and evaluating micro- sections of the plated through-holes of those printed circuits. I was young, ambi- t i o u s , a n d e n e r g e t i c e n o ugh to c o m p l e te those tasks quickly, leav- ing me time to go into the manufacturing areas of the facility to learn firsthand the details of every area of processing. It was of immeasurable value to me—for the rest of my career I had learned to troubleshoot, diagnose, and correct problems in processing. I also came to appreci- ate that there are few products that draw on such a varied palate of technologies to create them—composite material lamination, com- puter-controlled machining (i.e., drilling and routing), electroless and electrolytic plating A Brief Retrospective of 50 Years in the PCB Industry Flexible Thinking by Joe Fjelstad, VERDANT ELECTRONICS

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