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8 The PCB Magazine • September 2016 Walt Custer is on a photo safari in Africa and suggested I take a look at some of his slides regarding the military/aerospace market and then give a little report on it. Well, I am no Walt Custer, so while I can tell you a bit about where things are, far be it from me to make predic- tions. In 2015, the military market represented 8.4% of the world market for electronic equip- ment production. As a comparison, the com- munication and automotive markets were 22.2% and 8.6%, respectively. Monthly defense equipment orders have been between $3–3.5B for 2015, ris- ing slightly in 2016, while inventories have remained stable at around $6 billion. For 2015, worldwide production of mili- tary and aerospace PCBs was 5.1% of the total $59.2 billion market. Note that all of these numbers and percentages are in dollars, which no doubt means the total percent of square footage produced for the mil/aero industry was consid- erably lower. See the charts on the next page. Aircraft deliveries have seen a steady rise; predictions are for a slow, steady rise from ap- proximately 1430 units in 2016 to approximate- ly 1750 by 2032. In the aircraft end of things, non-military represents roughly two-thirds of the shipments (including parts). According to Walt (and others, of course) the best opportunities for North American and Eu- ropean PCB manufacturers are military, security and medical electronics; PCBs with intellectual property/sensitive content issues; quick-turn, prototype and novel PCBs; and those requiring close collaboration and local support. Most ev- eryone has figured out the need for a high mix/ low volume operation and often look to global (read Asia) partnerships for high-volume work. We all know that building for the military and aerospace industries is not for the faint of heart, nor for those lacking persistence and/or looking for the quick project or sale. We hope that our authors and columnists below provide some additional insight on this important mar- ket and what is required to participate. First up, John Vaughan (Zentech Manufac- turing) fills us in on recent market devel- opments that should be of particular inter- est to both PCB and EMS manufacturers. He covers the F-35 and F-16 programs in detail, then discusses foreign military sales (FMS) and efforts to speed up the approval process. Next, Dan Fein- berg (Feinline Asso- ciates) explores dis- ruptive technologies, in particular virtual and augmented reality. While we often think of VR/AR as sophisticated toys, in reality many applications are already in use involving the mil/aero industry, including training, treatment and more—a lot more. Regular columnist Dave Becker (All Flex Flexible Circuits) discusses mil/aero specifica- tions from the flex circuit manufacturer's point of view. He first gives us a little history on flex specs including Mil-P-50884, Mil-PRF-31032 and IPC 6013, explaining the differences along the way. Omni PCB's Tara Dunn, in her column, complements this nicely with a discussion on troubleshooting some mil/aero flex projects. by Patty Goldman I-CONNECT007 Are We Flying Yet? PATTY'S PERSPECTIVE

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