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8 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2018 Another IPC APEX EXPO is history, and while it was a good show, I'm happy to be home. I'm sure my co-workers feel the same way, espe- cially those who had to travel halfway around the world to attend. This was another upbeat show; everyone was optimistic about the industry, and almost everyone was hiring. One company only recently stopped hiring after filling a slew of open positions. That's one of the downsides to nearly full employment: Potential employ- ees can afford to be choosy, so jobs go unfilled for months, and existing employees don yet another hat in the meantime. If I had to pick a theme for this year's IPC APEX EXPO, I would have to say that it was data. It seems that everyone from the PCB designer to the SMT process engineer has the tools they need to do their jobs just fine, but they're deluged with data. The real star of this show was the technology that helps PCB designers, fabricators and assemblers organize, manage, and access tons of data and present it as actionable information. The week started with the Design Forum, which drew a pretty decent crowd. Here again, most of the presentations focused on managing design data, not actual PCB design The Shaughnessy Report by Andy Shaughnessy, I-CONNECT007 IPC APEX EXPO, Tools and Technology Photo credit: IPC

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