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SEPTEMBER 2022 I PCB007 MAGAZINE 9 role. However, are they doing everything they can to be successful? Alex's important discus- sion will help draw the parallels between PCB fabrication and the coach parts industry even clearer: It's the CTO who charts the course in this evolution. To better understand what's needed in upgrading our brownfield facilities, Michael Carano, part of the IPC ought Leaders Program, shares insights on the industry and why upgrading capabilities are essential, while Dana Korf discusses developments in materials that will influence manufacturing processes. I also want to draw your attention to some of our columnists: John Mitchell, president and CEO of IPC, sends a dispatch from India, and newcomers Paige Fiet and Christopher Bon- sell share critical insights on both the big pic- ture and improving your process. I would especially like to mention our inter- view with Gerry Partida regarding his recent research on stacked microvia behavior and his further insight aer presenting at IPC APEX EXPO 2022. He's preparing a new paper on his findings and gives us a peek. Complement- ing this interview are Happy Holden's column on Nano-Cu paste for microvias, and Michael Carano's long-running column, where this month he discusses plating distribution and throwing power. All these topics touch on the evolution of your existing facility into a new-era manufac- turer of the kinds of components that custom- ers are (or soon will be) demanding. We're not an industry of on-the-fringe buggy whip mak- ers; we're central to the electronics industry. We're more like the metalworkers who shied from carriages to cars—and thrived. PCB007 carriage lamp makers had the opportunity and succeeded. A similar mix of success and failure is unfolding today. Most camera makers, for example, have successfully switched to digi- tal technology—no small feat. ose that don't make it to the other side in the digital transi- tion could reasonably be compared to car- riage makers and carriage parts makers. But the buggy whip makers never had a fighting chance." is bit of history seems quite appropriate for our discussion this month. I've certainly heard the buggy whip analogy used to describe what's happening in the U.S. PCB fabrication industry. However, it's inaccurate. I believe it's more about the thinking of the speaker than the PCB fabrication industry itself. For example, PCB fabrication is thriving on a global scale. Innovations are occurring reg- ularly, mostly in Asia. It's not that the world has moved beyond needing printed circuits; the world is simply evolving its wants and needs from a circuit board fabricator. It makes sense that those who are leaning on the buggy whip analogy may have given up on the indus- try. Truth be told, however, we're more like the carriage parts manufacturers than like the buggy whip makers. ose companies who seize the opportunity to shi their skill set and expertise into the next new thing will survive and thrive. What about upgrading a brownfield facil- ity? At first blush, this theme would suggest a heavy concentration on the manufacturing floor details. Maybe a heavy dose of new capi- tal equipment and line design topics. Well, not so much actually. In our expert interview with Alex Stepinski, he makes the case for a specific set of duties by a chief technology officer (CTO), someone who is focused on more than technical details. e CTO's role is to integrate sales demand, technical capabilities, and finance into a busi- ness case for advancing capabilities that fol- low the market. Don't have a CTO? Some- one on your staff likely is already fulfilling the Nolan Johnson is managing editor of PCB007 Magazine. Nolan brings 30 years of career experience focused almost entire- ly on electronics design and manu- facturing. To read other columns or to contact Johnson, click here.

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