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46 The PCB Design Magazine • September 2015 PCB007 Highlights front of strategic planning for many manufactur- ers. Having a supply chain that provides a compet- itive advantage will be the differentiator in today's business environment. Taiwan: The Barometer for Consumer Electronics The Tankan Survey is a popular economic survey of Japanese businesses issued by the central bank of Japan. The survey focuses on companies with a specified minimum amount of capital and is a valuable tool to determine market trends. A Well-Designed Laminate Supply Chain has to Own It! Designing a supply chain for the provision of lami- nates and pre-pregs to the PCB fabricator shouldn't be that complicated, should it? The laminate is sim- ply manufactured and then shipped...what could possibly go wrong? It turns out it is more compli- cated, partly because the supply chain is not fully owned by one supplier, and hence cannot be fully customized to the needs of each customer. Start-up Identifies Market Potential for Flexible Printed Electronics EU funding has enabled Portuguese printed elec- tronics start-up Ynvisible to fully assess the po- tential of applying flexible printed electronics to consumer objects. The six-month feasibility study completed at the beginning of August 2015 in- volved carrying out tests on the new platform – called PRINTOO – which enabled the company to better understand the needs of various end users. It's Only Common Sense: Marketing Makes Selling Superfluous From Peter Drucker: The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous. The aim of market- ing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits her and sells itself. Ideally marketing should result in a cus- tomer who is ready to buy….the right motto for business management should increasingly be "from selling to marketing." i3 Electronics Wins Medical Opportunity i3 Electronics, Inc. (i3) announced that it has earned the opportunity from an industry leading medical OEM for the development and manufac- ture of advanced, flexible, circuitized substrates. The product is a flexible, LCP substrate that will be used in the neurostimulation market. IPC Releases White Paper on Conflict Minerals Due Diligence The Dodd-Frank Act continues to be burdensome for companies required to report on the usage of conflict minerals. In order to address industry con- cerns, IPC – Association Connecting Electronics In- dustries has released IPC-1081, Conflict Minerals Due Diligence White Paper (IPC WP-1081), a docu- ment designed to help with some reporting woes. Keeping on Top of Laser Safety With consumer electronics continuing to get thin- ner and packed with more functionality, laser pro- cessing systems have become a permanent part of the manufacturing landscape. Lasers are used to produce ever-smaller microvias in increasingly deli- cate flexible and rigid-flex circuits. New Battlegrounds Emerge for Conductive Inks and Pastes Core applications of PV and touch panels continue to grow demand, but new opportunities emerge in the form of wearable technology, circuit boards and structural electronics. Is Wearable Technology Just a Fad? It wasn't too long ago when every techno blogger was writing about the newest wearable technology, perhaps predicting the next technology avalanche that would rival smart phones. The granddaddy of wearable technology was Google Glasses, which apparently was leading the revolution. Analysts were predicting a mega industry upheaval. Then Google Glasses crashed and burned. Supply Chain in the 21 st Century The shift away from vertical integration has pushed the topic of supply chain management to the fore- 46 The PCB Design Magazine • September 2015

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