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86 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2023 was how we managed to pass on our hard- won manufacturing experiences. Our personal scar tissues from trying and failing were how we informed those new to the industry with whom we were working what methods worked and what didn't. ere was little generally available in the way of detailed codified knowl- edge in the days before my entry into the PCB industry. e Institute of Printed Circuits (the legacy name for IPC) created its first industry docu- ment, "How to Design and Specify Printed Circuits," in 1957, but what was lacking was detailed information on how to build them. An early attempt was made by a couple of unsung heroes of the industry, Cledo Brunetti and Roger W. Cur- tis, working for the National Bureau of Standards in the late 1940s. ey surveyed the industry aer WWII to collect and share what novel and useful printed circuit-related developments had been "born in the forage of war." e end product came from the U.S. Government Publishing Office a decade earlier than IPC's first publication in a short book titled "Printed Circuit Tech- niques," 1 followed by another booklet a year later titled "New Advances in Printed Cir- cuits." 2 ese two technical showcases became teaching tools for commercial industries want- ing to build products for a nation looking to enjoy the fruits of victory, especially electronic products such as radios and early televisions. e PCB industry was somewhat spread out, but was largely located on the East Coast and some places in the Midwest. Silicon Val- ley was just being born and Hewlett-Packard was one of its most important early founding companies and the company needed PCBs to make their products. In the late 1960s, Clyde Coombs, with the approval of his managers at Hewlett-Packard, engaged the most knowl- edgeable engineers in the early PCB manufac- turing industry of the nation to write chapters covering their special experts from design to manufacture and Clyde served as editor for what is today still the bible of the PCB indus- try: e Printed Circuit Handbook, now in its seventh edition and co-edited with PCB indus- try icon (and revered I-Connect007 technical editor) Happy Holden. ese valuable books were published and evidently available but not always easy to find. Much knowledge transfer in the industry was accomplished through the diligence and efforts of field engineers of materials and manufactur- ing equipment and process chemistry product developers who served as the all-important "pollinators" of the PCB industry. ey typically visited PCB shops both reg ional ly and nat ional ly, teaching and helping customers succeed w i t h t h e i r p r o d - ucts, while learning from customer shop process engineers what they found worked well. It is arguable that the PCB industry would have developed much slower without them. I would be remiss at this point to not men- tion the importance of competition and the laissez-faire approach to employment at the time where engineers and technicians, in the days before non-compete contracts and NDAs, freely jumped from employer to employer, bringing with them knowledge gained at their last employer, and oen being given a healthy pay raise. at said, there were also the behe- moths of industry, such as IBM and AT&T, who were vertically integrated and insulated from the general industry, solving problems internally with their highly educated engineer- ing staffs. In such facilities, it appeared that tribal knowledge was relied upon to develop and improve processes, but it was the disci- pline of codifying the knowledge into process In my experience, using tribal knowledge was how we managed to pass on our hard-won manufacturing experiences.

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