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44 The PCB Design Magazine • November 2015 PCB007 Highlights N.A. PCB Book-to-Bill Ratio Reaches Five-year High in August Total North American PCB shipments increased 1.5% in August 2015 compared to August 2014. Year-to-date shipment growth stood at -0.1, re- flecting the negative sales growth rates seen ear- lier this year. Compared to the previous month, PCB shipments were up 3.6%. Final Surface Finishes for Automotive: No One-Size-Fits-All Solution Regardless of whether your application is automotive, medical or military, there are many factors to consid- er when selecting a final surface finish. Cost, lead or lead-free requirements, end environment, shelf life, fine-pitch components, RF applications, probe-abili- ty, thermal resistance and shock and drop resistance, to name a few. There is not a one-size-fits-all finish. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each surface finish allows the designer to select the finish that best fits each particular application. Becoming an Automotive Supplier— Proceed with Caution Possibly further fueling a growing desire in our industry towards participating in the automotive electronics sector have been further technology advancements in automobiles, as well as a tear in Tesla's stock price and headlines. All Flex Now Offers High Temp Flexible Circuits & Heaters All Flex, manufacturer of flexible printed circuits and heaters, has developed a polyimide-based ma- terial set specifically targeting the market for high temperature flexible circuits and flexible heaters. Increasing demands for high temperature applica- tions have driven the development process at All Flex over the past 18 months. Testing Flexible Circuits, Part 2: Raw Materials and Components Even though the raw materials may individually meet certain specifications, it is important to de- termine if the final product configuration meets those specs, which means that testing done at the finished circuit level is also needed. TTM Technologies Consolidates Manufacturing Operations TTM Technologies Inc., a major global printed cir- cuit board manufacturer, today announced that it plans to close three facilities in order to improve to- tal plant utilization, operational performance and customer focus. The Re-industrialisation of Europe With an inquisitive mind and a head for challenges, besides the ability to think outside the box and the courage to dare to be different and strive to be first, Spirit Circuits MD Steve Driver can be relied upon to grab the attention of an audience of PCB professionals. As keynote speaker at the Institute of Circuit Technology Hayling Island Seminar, he lived up to his reputation with a motivational presenta- tion, the two themes of which exemplified his lat- est entrepreneurial venture. Inaugural Boards, Chips and Packaging IMPACT Conference Adds 15 Industry Experts to Presentation List Isola Group and Semico Research announced to- day that the inaugural event, "Board, Chips and Packaging: Designing to Maximize Results Confer- ence" is garnering significant interest from the em- bedded design community with the addition of 15 industry experts added to the agenda. World PCB Production in 2014 Estimated at $60.2B The world market for PCBs reached an estimated $60.2 billion in value in 2014, growing just 0.7% in real terms, according to IPC's World PCB Produc- tion Report for the Year 2014. Production growth in China, Thailand and Vietnam compensated for declining PCB production in most other regions. AT&S Highlights the Future of PCB Industry Miniaturisation and performance enhancement are leading trends not only for mobile devices such as smartphones; applications in the automo- tive sector and in medical technology are also get- ting progressively smaller, more efficient and more powerful. 44 The PCB Design Magazine • November 2015

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