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114 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2024 When I learned this issue would be dedicated to optimizing the bare board fab- ricator's experience at IPC APEX EXPO 2024, I thought it would be an easy column to write. With more than 40 of these shows under my belt, I didn't think it would be too difficult to come up with a list of dos and don'ts to make your visit to an exhibitor's booth worthwhile. The whole point of being at the show in the first place is to introduce new products, meet and talk with old cus- tomers, and introduce yourself and your product to potential new customers. We are often so immersed in what we are doing that we don't have time to lift our heads and open our eyes to the possibility of opportu- nity. Why is this a prob- lem? It's because being open to opportunities is crucial for success in sales. The absolute best way is to always have an open mind. You must also be able to con- nect the dots, to see something a company is doing that makes them successful and whether you can apply it to your own business—no mat- ter the industry. In a previous column, the critical process of desmear and its neces- sity to ensure a clean copper surface connection was presented. Now, my discussion will focus on obtaining a void-free and tightly adherent copper plating deposit on these surfaces. After the desmear process, the task is to insure a continuous, conductive, and void-free deposit on the via walls and capture pad. Today, there are several processes that can be utilized to render vias conductive. What PCB Fabricators Should Know About IPC APEX EXPO 2024 In this article, we focus on how bare board fabricators can maximize their time and investment at the show. We visited with Matt Kelly, IPC chief technologist, and Julia Gumminger, IPC professional development and events manager, as well as Udo Welzel and Stanton Rak, the chairs of the technical program committee, to discuss the technical depth and breadth that the 2024 show will bring to fabricators and professionals all along the supply chain. It's Only Common Sense: Seeking the Possibility of Opportunity The Chemical Connection: An Exhibitor's View of IPC APEX Trouble in Your Tank: Processes to Support IC Substrates and Advanced Packaging, Part 4 TOP TEN EDITOR'S PICKS Dan Beaulieu

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