Trade Show Pact Ensures “Building through Resilience”

IPC has bolstered its footprint in Asia, extending an alliance with the Hong Kong Printed Circuit Association (HKPCA). After successfully teaming up to run the International Printed Circuit & APEX South China Fair last year (IPC & HKPCA Show), the two agreed to co-host the event for four more years.

The show will be held in Shenzhen, China, December 3–5, 2014. Last year, IPC and HKPCA partnered to make the exhibition an enormous success.

“The cooperative effort in Hong Kong is now the largest trade show in the world in the PCB industry,” said Philip Carmichael, president of IPC Greater China.

Last year, the show hosted 499 exhibiting companies, 2,000 booths and occupied 300,000 square feet of space. This event attracted 41,831 attendees.

The two associations are being helped by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Guangzhou Sub-council. IPC is also producing a number of smaller trade shows and conferences in Asia, providing training, education and industry standards expertise to help companies and individual attendees.

Carmichael noted that the 2014 theme, “Building through Resilience,” conveys what our industry is seeing in China. “Steady growth, new technology and the resilience to take on new challenges in the competitive global printed board industry are all part of China’s business environment,” he added.

IPC Cooperates with Other Industry Groups on RoHS2 Exemptions

IPC representatives are working closely with their American and European counterparts in the electronics, lighting, and manufacturing industries to pursue renewal of expiring RoHS exemptions. A cross-industry management board meets monthly to coordinate efforts on exemptions.

 The groups are currently discussing renewals of exemptions for Hg (mercury) in lamps (Exemption 4f), Pb (lead) in metal alloys (Exemptions 6a, 6b, 6c), Pb in high melting temperature type solders (Exemption 7a), Pb in ceramics and glass (Exemptions 7c-I -II & –IV, 34 and 37), Cd (cadmium) in electrical contacts (Exemption 8b), Pb in optical and Pb/Cd in filter glass (Exemptions 13a &13b), and Pb  in solder – Flip (Exemption 15). Additionally, Lighting Europe, an industry association representing European lighting manufacturers, may submit a renewal for Pb in glass of fluorescent tubes (5b).

Work on exemption 7a is being coordinated with the renewal request for Exemption 8e under the End of Life Vehicles (ELV) Directive (2000/53/EC).

Some of the renewals applications will be similar to the existing exemptions, while others will have a more narrowed scope to reflect technical progress that has been made.

The groups are currently working to complete information dossiers for internal review this fall, with an eye toward submission of final dossiers to the European Union in January 2015.

IPC members interested in learning more about RoHS2 exemptions can contact Fern Abrams, IPC director of government relations and environmental policy, at FernAbrams@ipc.org.

 

Bipartisan Manufacturing Innovation Legislation Advances in House Just Prior to Congress Adjourning for August Recess

On July 25, 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology passed H.R. 2996, the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation (RAMI) Act.  The bill, with amendments, passed by voice vote. It will now need to be voted on by the full U.S. House of Representatives. The companion bill in the U.S. Senate (S. 1468) was passed out of committee in April, but still needs to be voted on by the full Senate as well.

The RAMI bill is a critical piece of legislation that would authorize the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI). As a public-private partnership, the NNMI would accelerate manufacturing innovation in technologies with commercial applications in several industries by establishing multiple centers throughout the United States, each addressing one technical focus area. Unlike other federally funded programs, which focus on basic research, the NNMI aims to bridge the gap from basic research to product development and commercialization.

The passage of the RAMI bill by the House Science, Space and Technology Committee was a major step forward as the legislation progresses through Congress to become law. IPC was very encouraged that the RAMI bill passed the committee by voice vote, which will hopefully give it the momentum it needs to pass the full House of Representatives before the end of the year. IPC commends Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), chairman of the Science, Space and Technology Committee, for bringing the legislation before the committee for a vote. Furthermore, IPC applauds Representatives Tom Reed (R-NY) and Joseph Kennedy (D-MA) for their leadership as the chief sponsors of the RAMI bill and their efforts to address manufacturing innovation in a bipartisan manner.

More federal investment in manufacturing innovation is critical to growing manufacturing, which is a top policy priority for IPC. IPC strongly urges prompt passage of the RAMI bill after Congress returns in the fall.  IPC will work with Senate and House Leadership and meet key Members of Congress to garner support for final passage of the bill.

If Congress fails to pass the RAMI bill, IPC expects that the Administration will continue to establish innovation centers through existing funding from Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Energy (DoE) programs as has been done thus far with the first four NNMI centers that were established:

  1. America Makes: National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (3-D printing) in Youngstown, OH
  2. Next Generation Power Electronics Manufacturing Innovation Institute in Raleigh, NC
  3. Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing Innovation Institute in Detroit, MI
  4. Digital Manufacturing & Design Innovation Institute in Chicago, IL

The Administration’s plans to continue to move forward in establishing NNMI centers, with or without Congress passing the RAMI bill, is evident with the recently released DoD Request for Information (RFI) for potential future NNMI center technology focus areas. The purpose of the RFI was to solicit information from industry and academia as the DOD considers technical focus areas for future NNMI centers. IPC submitted two responses to the RFI on two technical focus areas: flexible hybrid electronics and electronic packaging and reliability.

IPC believes that the DoD plans to launch two additional NNMI centers this year. The centers will be decided through a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) solicitation process for consortia to submit proposals for an award. The date when the BAAs will be released for proposal acceptance is unknown at this time, but it is expected to be soon — possibly within the next couple of months. IPC will continue to monitor the DoD and the anticipated BAA(s), and notify IPC’s membership once the BAA(s) is/are released.

More information about the NNMI is available at http://www.manufacturing.gov/nnmi.html.  You can also contact Ken Schramko, director of IPC government relations, for information about IPC’s efforts related to the NNMI and the RAMI bill via Kenschramko@ipc.org or +1 202-661-8094.

Hopes for Court Action on Conflict Minerals Set Back by Recent U.S. Court of Appeals Ruling

The July 29 U.S. Court of Appeals ruling on a food industry challenge to federal meat labeling requirements was being carefully watched by industries affected by U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules on conflict minerals. Industry representatives had previously challenged the SEC’s conflict minerals rules on free-speech grounds.

Legal experts believe that the rationale embraced by the court could apply in other cases in which business interests object to regulations on free speech grounds, such as the SEC requirements that companies disclose whether the conflict minerals in their products could be determined to have financed violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and adjacent countries.

In April, the same appeals court ruled that parts of the SEC’s conflict minerals rule violated free-speech protections, but the SEC asked for a rehearing by the full court.  The appeals court upheld other aspects of the law, such as requiring companies to check their supply chains to see whether minerals from the Republic of the Congo region were being used, and to file reports to the SEC. In their appeal, the SEC cited the potential relevance of the meat labeling case.

The appeals court judges reheard the meat labeling case to interpret a 1985 Supreme Court precedent on what is known as “compelled commercial speech.” The question before the judges was whether the government can only require disclosures when its aim is to prevent deception or whether it has broader authority that would cover other types of speech. Embracing the latter interpretation, the appeals court ruling potentially gives the government more freedom to compel speech in different contexts.

Reflections on Dieter Bergman

By Gene Weiner, Weiner International Associates
IPC Hall of Fame Member

There are so many personal experiences that I’ve had with Dieter from the past four or so decades, and it’s hard to select just a few.

Dieter Bergman15It could start with Dieter leading a gaggle of IPCers (“committee people”) such as Pat Goldman, Bernie Kessler, Gary Ferrari, Ray Prasad, Happy Holden, and others (including me) on the hunt through San Francisco’s Chinatown for the cheapest possible dinner.

Or, it could be the subsequent late-night hunts for an open ice cream parlor to settle the indigestion caused by said “cheap dinner” in the raunchy basement restaurant found by D.

It could be Dieter’s abduction of “yours truly” from a calm poolside setting after a Ft. Lauderdale meeting because Dieter wanted to see if a parasailing ride was worthwhile and safe. I was to be (and actually was) the “guinea pig” who was quickly seated on board a speed boat and launched 300 feet into the air. When Dieter and the others saw my grin (in spite of the lack of a safety belt or harness – they quickly reeled me in and took turns on the ride. Of course, my ride was “free.”

There are more stories and recollections than I, or hundreds of other IPC members, volunteers, or meeting attendees could possibly recant. These include the up-the down-subway
escalator races at the 25th IPC anniversary celebration in Boston … quite a fitting display for such a learned assembly!

My favorite, which I told to Lesley (Dieter’s wife), the first time we met for a breakfast at an IPC function, was as follows. It was during the first joint technical meeting between IPC and Taiwan’s ITRI-ERSO members. It was held at the original Grand Hotel (Madame Chiang Kai-Shek’s [aka Meiling Soong] magnificent “state digs” by the highway between CKS airport and Taipei. I arrived late in the evening the day before the start of the conference. I felt a warm hand on my shoulder as I was checking in (following nearly 26 hours of travel). I turned to see Dieter’s smiling face, and was greeted with, “What are you doing here?” I replied, “Attending the conference and visiting a company or two.” Dieter asked if I could join him for a coffee after checking in and I reluctantly said, “OK.”

A few minutes later we sat in the coffee shop and Dieter said, “Are you going to attend the session on photoimageable solder mask in the morning?” I replied in the affirmative even though it was scheduled to start at 8:00AM. He then handed me a box of clear views and colored markers and said, “Could you give that presentation for us? Our guest speaker will be a ‘No-Show’ and this is a very important new technology!” I replied that I was tired and totally unprepared and not up to giving the attendees their money’s worth. Dieter stood up, put his arm around my shoulder and said, “Come on! I KNOW that you can do it!” as he departed leaving me at the table with a pad of paper, a box of clear view sheets, a box of colored markers, and the bill for the coffee. I was up most of the night drawing charts and tables — free hand – outlining and re-writing a 45-minute presentation, and absorbing far too much caffeine.

I was later told that it was one of my best technical talks.

My stories are but a few of the avalanche tales and “Dieter-isms” swirling out there.

I can honestly say that Dieter was a man of the ages, one with no enemies, a challenge with whom to work at times, but always loved by all and an exemplary example of what a man could or should be.

 

Reminder: Participate in Tulane’s Conflict Minerals Post-filing Survey

tulane-surveyMany of you are aware of, and some of you have participated in, Tulane’s anonymous conflict minerals post-filing survey, which aims to reveal the realities of Dodd-Frank Section 1502 regulatory compliance.

So far, 132 companies have participated, with 75 of those from issuers or issuer and Tier 1 suppliers, ranging from the $50-100 million revenue to $50-100 billion annual revenue thresholds.

We are urging additional companies to participate. We believe the information collected and analyzed by the survey, which only takes a company representative an average of 20 minutes to complete, will be very useful to manufacturers as they plan for reporting in future years. The survey findings could allow you to benchmark and compare yourself to other companies of your size and in your industry, especially with regard to the following:

  • How much are other companies paying for consultants? (new internal vs new external human resources)
  • What IT system/software needs and expenditures are other companies experiencing? (industry type versus IT costs)
  • How many new hires and in which departments are companies engaging? (size/new employee ratio)

Because this research is not sponsored by any stakeholder group, but conducted by an impartial, academic party, the findings will be credible and will be widely disseminated.

Please note that at the end of the survey, you will have a chance to recommend changes to the law or regulation. For example, we’ve been told that some companies have stated that they would like to see a de minimis exemption added. You will also be able to provide an example of a best practice your company has implemented as part of the compliance scheme.

In order for the study’s findings to be meaningful and representative, participation of at least 297 issuers of the roughly 1,308 total affected issuers, and at least one of their Tier 1 suppliers each, is required. The study will remain open for participation until that sample size is reached. The online survey link is here, and the password is: JULY2014.

The survey is anonymous, unless your company would like to reveal its identity.

Dieter Bergman – Our Industry Loses an Icon

By Ray Pritchard
IPC Executive Director Emeritus

Dieter Bergman was the most accomplished, productive, creative and cheerful human being I ever met.  Besides, “he was always fun to be with.”

DieterBergman2That’s saying a lot because for more than 40 years I was involved in organizing and managing a number of trade associations, including 35 years with IPC.  I worked with tens of thousands of interesting and capable people — but as talented and competent as many of them were — none compared to what became my great friend, and in many ways my partner, Dieter Bergman.

Dieter loved everything.   No matter what was going on, in his roles with IPC, or as an individual enjoying his family and friends.

In the IPC news release, John Mitchell, president of IPC said it well, “Dieter was an industry icon, pioneer and friend.”

I first met Dieter in 1962 when he joined IPC as the representative of Philco Ford.

In those days, more than 1,000 talented people would attend and participate in our comprehensive semi-annual technical programs and activities events.  Even as a first timer, Dieter stood out as a contributor and leader.   Within 12 years his leadership was recognized by his peers when he became the chairman of the IPC Technical Activities Executive Committee (TAEC).  This was and continues to be the highest office of all of the many volunteers who have contributed so much to IPC and to the various industries involved with IPC.

By 1974 with a small staff, IPC had grown significantly.  IPC was involved not only in comprehensive standards and technical programs, but also in market research and statistical programs, membership promotion, planning semi-annual meetings, communication and meetings with the IPC Board of Directors and communication with all members with a monthly IPC Technical Review.  IPC was also involved in interfacing with many government agencies including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

It was clear … IPC needed more staff.

Jim Swiggett who was then president of IPC invited me to meet with him at Photocircuits Corporation in Glen Cove Long Island, to talk about future programming.  In discussing our need for additional staff, we were concerned about the talent and attitude required to fit into the IPC Staff.  Jim said maybe we should look to our large and involved membership to see if such a person might be there.  He asked me if I could hire anyone from our IPC membership, who would it be.  I was a little surprised because I truly hadn’t thought about that specific question.   However, I didn’t hesitate; I said “Dieter Bergman.”

Jim said, “Call him,” and handed me the telephone.  The rest is history.

To sum up his contributions to IPC: By 1985 he was named the fourth member of the IPC Hall of Fame.

Dieter never felt that an objective could not be accomplished.  Once it was decided we had a good idea for a new program, there was very little that could hold him back.  The history of IPC is replete with new ideas and programs that Dieter provided his leadership, knowledge and charm to “make it happen.”  His history of accomplishments and awards would fill books.

Dieter traveled the world, and wherever he went, he made friends.  As mentioned above, Dieter loved everything.  As a world traveler he dined with a wide variety of IPC members in their various countries, with a wide assortment of esoteric foods.   There was nothing that Dieter would not eat…and relish.  (One of his favorites was fish eyeball soup).

As an indication of his unbelievable persistency, I recall a trip he had organized to present a workshop to IPC members in India.  Fortunately, Dieter showed up at O’Hare Airport many hours before flight time.  He presented his passport and tickets, but was told he needed a Visa.  He was dumbstruck, he had not been aware of that need.  Did this stop him….no!  He asked for the manager and was told no exception could be made.  He then asked how to get a Visa, and was told where to go, but he would need to bring his passport and a photo.  Dieter ran outside and went to the taxi stand at O’Hare.  He asked the driver to take him to a bus station downtown where he knew there was an automatic photo machine.  He told the driver to wait, got his photo, and then drove to the appropriate office that issued Visas.  Somehow, he convinced the people there that he absolutely had to have a Visa, got one, and taxied back to O’Hare in time to get on the plane.

But the story didn’t end there.  When he got to India, he had a problem with their local authorities, and was told that his paperwork was not sufficient and was instructed to return to the U.S. on the next flight.  Dieter refused to go.  He stayed the entire day continuing to pester their authorities, explaining that his trip was designed to enhance the technical knowledge of the Indian people.  They finally looked the other way and Dieter was on his way to make his presentation.

I and his thousands of friends are deeply shocked that Dieter is no longer with us.  IPC will miss the many new contributions that Dieter might have created and inspired.  But, mostly, Dieter will be missed as a personal friend to people throughout the world.

As John Mitchell said, we have lost an ICON.

Godspeed, Dieter Bergman

Dieter BergmanI first met Dieter Bergman in the early 1980s, in a small IPC office in Evanston. It had tons of boxes of booklets jammed in between huge copiers and desks so old they could have been updated by slapping an “I Like Ike” sticker on the grey metal.

I had just moved to Illinois from California, where I wrote mainly about minicomputers and the emerging role of electronics in aeronautics. Dieter took the time to explain IPC’s role in the industry, trying to figure out how to explain the role of FR-4 to a journalist who could talk about system architectures and control techniques but hadn’t given solder a thought since shop class in high school.

IPC has undergone significant changes in the four decades since, moving from that dingy facility to a number of newer and better buildings, with a corresponding upgrade in professionalism. During those many transitions, Dieter remained a constant.

Whenever he was the point man for an IPC effort that fit the systems approach of the magazines I wrote for, he was willing to sit down to explain it. IPC technologies typically weren’t in my mainstream areas back then, so he’d have to explain even more background than normal. Often, the interviews took a while.

Even though I’m sure he sometimes would have preferred talking with IPC people, he always made me feel like I was the most important person around during our interviews. Over time, as I got more closely involved in packaging and other areas that were more intertwined with IPC’s programs, we often chatted about more personal stuff, so I got to know him much better.

Whether it was work or finding a great food cart in a Taiwan market, Dieter was always a lion who threw himself into whatever he was involved in. It’s been great working with someone who was a mainstay in building a strong infrastructure for the industry, as well as helping set IPC on a course that will serve it and the industry well in coming years. I’ll certainly miss those conversations, as will all who knew him. Farewell, Dieter.

Feel free to share your comments/reflections about Dieter.

IPC Mourns Loss of Industry Icon, Pioneer and Friend

It is with great sadness that IPC announces the passing of Dieter Bergman, IPC staff member for more than 40 years.

DieterBergmanDecorated with countless awards over his lifetime, Bergman’s name will forever be synonymous with IPC and he leaves a legacy of friendships, lasting memories, and what is affectionately treasured by IPC staff and close friends as “Dieter-isms” — such as a 45-minute answer to a 10-second question.

Bergman began his career in 1956 as a designer for Philco Ford in Philadelphia, Pa. He assumed the position of supervisor of the printed circuit design group in 1967, and joined the company’s advanced technology group where he specialized in printed circuit computer-aided design. In 1962, while at Philco Ford, he became the company’s official representative to IPC; and received the IPC President’s Award in 1968, the same year he assumed chairmanship of the IPC Design Committee.

Bergman was elected Chairman of the IPC Technical Activities Executive Committee in 1974, and later that year joined the IPC staff as Technical Director. In that role, he was responsible for the coordination of standards, specifications and guidelines development; round robin test programs; establishment of workshops and seminars; serving as a government and inter-society liaison; and initiating IPC activities in Europe and Asia.

In 1984, he became Director of Technology Transfer to help foster the interchange between design and manufacturing, and to continue to serve as a leader in the identification of future technologies and industry needs.

While Bergman had a special place in his heart for the design community, his contributions to the industry as a whole earned him the IPC Hall of Fame Award, IPC’s highest honor, in 1985.

Most recently, Bergman chaired the IPC Ambassador Council, a group of IPC Hall of Famers who provide advice and guidance to IPC, and encourage active participation in IPC activities by all of its members to enhance the electronics industry.

“The staff and I feel very fortunate to have known Dieter, and have benefited from his knowledge and his passion for the industry,” said IPC President and CEO John Mitchell. “He will be missed, but always remembered as an icon, pioneer and friend.”

 

IPC Provides Feedback to DoD on Flexible Hybrid Electronics and Electronic Packaging and Reliability

In an effort to accelerate development and adoption of cutting-edge manufacturing technologies for making new, globally competitive products with commercial and defense applications, the Department of Defense (DoD) issued a Request for Information (RFI) on future advanced manufacturing centers called Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation or IMIs. On July 14, IPC submitted two separate responses to the RFI in areas of particular importance to its members: flexible hybrid electronics and electronic packaging and reliability.

The DoD RFI solicited information on six technical focus areas that the agency is considering for future IMIs. These technical focus areas are:

  • Flexible Hybrid Electronics
  • Photonics
  • Engineered Nanomaterials
  • Fiber and Textiles
  • Electronic Packaging and Reliability
  • Aerospace Composites

Four IMIs currently exist and the DoD is expected to establish two more this year, each concentrating on a different technical focus area.  The date when the DoD will release a solicitation for proposals of a future IMI is unknown at this time, but it is expected to be soon — possibly within the next couple of months.

IPC supports the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2013 (S. 1468 & H.R. 2996) to authorize a new public-private partnership called the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI). A top priority policy area for the association, this network of public and private partners would draw on the resources of the federal government, local governments, universities, research institutes and industry to fund the IMIs. Unlike other federally funded programs, which focus on basic research, the NNMI aims to bridge the gap from basic research to product development and commercialization. The four IMIs that have been established are:

  1. America Makes: National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (3-D Printing) in Youngstown, Ohio
  2. Next Generation Power Electronics Manufacturing Innovation Institute in Raleigh, N.C.
  3. Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing Innovation Institute in Detroit, Mich.
  4. Digital Manufacturing & Design Innovation Institute in Chicago, Ill.

More information about the NNMI is available at http://www.manufacturing.gov/nnmi.html. For information on IPC’s efforts related to the NNMI, contact, Ken Schramko, IPC director of government relations at KenSchramko@ipc.org or +1 202-661-8094.

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