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December 2015 • The PCB Magazine 41 Commerce is the U.S. Government. Fabricators have two choices: to submit accurate data and records, or go to jail." Botwin followed up the comment explaining, "It is for this reason they are highly confident in their data and findings." The upside of this study as promised by the De- partment of Commerce and the Navy is that they will have the ability to influence policy or funding to help improve the health of the PCB fabricators, including import tariff reforms and program releases. It is a very intriguing turn of events and it will be interesting to see if it does manage to help our market and the fabricators in the U.S. Regardless of the outcome from the Com- merce Study, or the impasse between IPC and CEA, one thing that we all seem to agree upon regardless of which side of the aisle you sit, is that UL and its "for profit" structure, is an of- ten expensive challenge where standards can be changed with little notice—which fabricators suspect is often in an effort to increase revenues. Kevin Ravo, director of business development on product safety for UL, has indicated that "UL is also looking into its strategies and how they serve the market and [they] are planning to make changes to address the ease of working with UL." The positive impact of this effort will remain to be seen. As the focus on government policy advoca- cy continues to gain momentum and produce tangible results for IPC members, the next chal- lenge for IPC will be to further its mission on education for the next generation of talent in the industry. The North American PCB industry continues to see many of its long-time experts retire and with each retirement a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience leaves the industry. The key to a healthy industry is to bring new talent into the game early on and let them learn from industry veterans and experts who have spent their careers moving the tech- nology needle through standards generation as well as testing and building thousands and thousands of printed circuit boards. Talent, education and collaboration will be necessary to support critical market needs in the next generation data-rate systems for the Internet of Things and Big Data. In order to achieve this, each IPC member company and electronics industry trade organization must set aside historical divisions and work toward an unprecedented era of teamwork. Bare-board fabricators and assembly houses will look to IPC to help usher in the next generation of tech- nologies and facilitate a closer relationship with government entities. If you still have concerns about whether IPC is fulfilling the needs of its members or your company, roll up your sleeves and help out. As John Mitchell says, "Become involved so your voice can be heard. IPC is fostered by the indi- viduals who participate and we want our mem- bers to become active participants in shaping the future of our industry." If you are a bare board fabricator or assem- bly house or materials supplier in North Ameri- ca, IPC is OUR trade organization. The industry isn't so large that you can't make an impact by getting involved with IPC. It is looking increas- ingly like IPC is the future of our industry and is positioning itself to help guide us into a new era of strength in the North American market—and you can be a part of that. PCB References 1. For more information, go to www.ipc.org/ PAC Jason Marsh is vice president of product management at Insulectro. " if you still have concerns about whether ipC is fulfilling the needs of its members or your company, roll up your sleeves and help out. " puTTing iT All TogeTher IS IPC THE PAST OR THE FUTURE OF OUR INDUSTRY?

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