Get Involved in Manufacturing Day 2015

MFGDaylogoManufacturing Day℠ (MFG DAY) is a celebration of modern North American manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers. Officially, MFG DAY occurs annually on the first Friday of October – this year is October 2, 2015 – but any day can be a Manufacturing Day!

Supported by a group of industry sponsors and co-producers – including IPC – MFG DAY addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by helping companies open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is and isn’t. By working together before, during and after MFG DAY, manufacturers can address the skilled labor shortage we face, connect with future generations, take charge of our industry’s public image, and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry.

Getting involved in Manufacturing Day is easy, and there are many planning resources online at Some ways to get involved are:

  • Host an event, such as a community open house, plant tour, or education fair, at one of your facilities. Resources, like the Community Planning Guide and Educator Toolkit, are available to help you plan and execute a MFG DAY celebration in your community;
  • Participate in another company’s event in your community (there are over 1,900 events planned across the US, Canada, and Mexico), listed here; and
  • Engage in the social media conversation to share your exciting #MFGDay15 stories and photos! Utilize the Manufacturing Day Social Media Playbook to help you get connected online with MFG DAY. Be sure to follow IPC on social media for updates on the event and posts to share with your audience.

Manufacturing Day is just one of many ways to get involved and make an impact on important issues affecting your company and the manufacturing industry. If you are interested in getting further involved in IPC’s advocacy efforts, do not hesitate to reach out and contact Ken Schramko, IPC director of government relations, at


World PCB Production in 2014 Estimated at $60.2 Billion

The world market for printed circuit boards (PCBs) reached an estimated $60.2 billion in value in 2014, growing just 0.7 percent in real terms, according to IPC’s World PCB Production Report for the Year 2014. Production growth in China, Thailand and Vietnam compensated for declining PCB production in most other regions. Developed by a team of the world’s leading PCB industry analysts, the annual study is the definitive source of PCB production data, indicating the volumes and types of PCBs being made in the world’s major producing countries.

The IPC report contains estimates of 2014 PCB production value by nine product categories and by 30 countries or sub-regions. Four categories of rigid PCBs, three categories of flexible circuits, and IC substrates are covered. The standard multilayer rigid PCB values are further segmented by those having microvia structures and those with non-microvia structures. The report also includes updates on metal-core PCBs, as well as regional trends and historical data on regional shifts in PCB production.

The data show that the worldwide rigid PCB market grew modestly in 2014, while flexible circuit growth was flat. Regional trends are also examined, including China’s slowing production growth and the spectacular growth in the PCB industries of Thailand and Vietnam.

“PCB production is an international business and the landscape continues to change,” says Sharon Starr, IPC director of market research. “Companies based in Taiwan, Japan and South Korea, are responsible for more than two-thirds of world PCB production. These and other companies around the world are powering the impressive growth of PCB production in southeast Asia.”

The team of industry analysts that produced the consensus estimates and contributed content for the report include: Dr. Hayao Nakahara, NTI; Michael Gasch, Data4PCB; Market Hutton, BPA Consulting; Francesca Stern, Francesca Stern Consulting; and Phil Plonski, Prismark Partners.

World PCB Production Report for the Year 2014 is available to IPC members for $475; the price for nonmembers is $950. For more information or to purchase the report, visit For information on IPC market research programs, visit or contact Sharon Starr, at +1 847-597-2817 or

EU Court of Justice Rules on REACH Articles Definition

On September 10, the EU Court of Justice released a ruling on a case about the calculation of levels of substances of very high concern (SVHCs) in articles under the Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH) regulation.  The ruling says that producers must calculate the levels of SVHCs in their products at the level of the “simple” article, rather than at the aggregate level of the “complex” article that is currently being used.

REACH defines an article as “an object which during production is given a special shape, surface or design which determines its function to a greater degree than does its chemical composition.” In its original guidance on reporting SVHCs in articles, the European Commission suggested that the 0.1% threshold should be based on the weight of the entire article as imported or as provided to the customer. However, six countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany and Sweden) disagreed with this guidance. The dissenting countries argued that an SVHC that is above the 0.1% level in any individual article (component) within a product may pose a health or environmental risk and should trigger the reporting and communication obligations for the SVHC. The ruling agrees with the dissenting countries’ opinion that the European Commission’s interpretation, as represented in ECHA’s 2011 Guidance, is wrong.

The court ruling directly affects the disclosures required under REACH Article 33 requirements:

Article 33 of Regulation No 1907/2006, as amended, must be interpreted as meaning that, for the purposes of application of that provision, it is for the supplier of a product one or more constituent articles of which contain(s) a substance of very high concern identified in accordance with Article 59(1) of that regulation in a concentration above 0.1% weight by weight of that article, to inform the recipient and, on request, the consumer, of the presence of that substance by providing them, as a minimum, with the name of the substance in question.

This means that manufacturers must understand and report the presence of candidate list SVHCs (current count is 163) at a much lower level in their products than they generally currently do, which means far more work and effort. So rather than disclosing only if the level of an SVHC is above 0.1% by weight of your entire product, you must disclose its presence for each wire, cable, plastic casing, etc. that contains it above 0.1% by weight.

For more information on the REACH Directive, Teresa Bernheim, Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin), will provide an update including the recent decision by the EU Court of Justice ruling on articles definition at IPC Conference on Government Regulation on October 13, 2015 in Essen, Germany. For more information, Visit to view agenda, learn more about conference or register.


IPC Releases Annual Electronics Industry Quality Benchmark Study

IPC Study of Quality Benchmarks for Electronics Assembly 2015 is now available. The annual study provides data to electronics assembly companies interested in comparing their quality measurements to those of other assembly companies by company size, region and type of product.

The survey-based study addresses five major groups of manufacturing and service measurements: production, quality control, customer satisfaction, supplier performance and certification status. The survey sample includes 65 OEMs and EMS companies from the Americas, Europe and Asia with annual sales ranging from under $10 million to more than $500 million.

Respondents reported on their use of various electronics assembly test and inspection methods, including in-circuit testing (ICT), manufacturing defects analyzer (MDA), flying probe, boundary scan, automated optical inspection (AOI), X-ray inspection and final functional tests. They also reported their average test and inspection results, such as first-pass yield, defect rate in defects per million opportunities (DPMO) and yield at final inspection. Internal yields were reported for key processes, including surface mounting, wave soldering and selective soldering. Data on average cost of poor quality (COPQ) was reported for rework and scrap.

The study also reports industry production data, including median numbers of printed board assemblies and components placed, as well as the proportion of surface-mount and plated-through-hole components placed. The status of the industry’s major quality certifications received is covered. Customer satisfaction metrics such as returns and on-time delivery are also provided, in addition to supplier performance metrics for PCB and component on-time deliveries and lot rejection rate.

The data, including averages, medians and percentiles, are segmented by company size tier, by region, and by type of production including rigid PCBs, flexible circuits, rigid back planes, mechanical assembly, end products, cable and harness, and discrete wiring terminals and connectors.

New in this year’s report are demographic data on the participating companies’ production by end-use applications and IPC usage classes.

The 133-page report is free to companies that participated in the survey. It is available for sale to IPC members for $675 and to nonmembers for $1,350. For more information or to purchase the report, visit or contact IPC’s market research department at

For information on all of IPC’s market research programs, visit

Conflict Minerals Study Finds Only 25 Percent of Filers Fully Met Dodd-Frank Section 1502 Requirements in 2014

free webinarA recent, independent evaluation of the public company “conflict mineral” filings submitted to the SEC for reporting year 2014 under Dodd-Frank Section 1502 found that of the 1,262 companies evaluated, 312 scored a perfect 100% and 245 scored below 75% in meeting the requirements of the SEC rule.

The most noticeable shortcoming was that more than half of the filers did not disclose country or countries of origin of the conflict minerals in their products. Almost half of the filers did not disclose the facilities used to process the necessary 3TG.

The study evaluated the filers’ conflict minerals disclosures against two sets of criteria: those established by the SEC rule and a non-binding “good practice” metric developed by the Responsible Sourcing Network (RSN), a human rights organization and Sustainalytics, a research firm specializing in environmental, social and governance analysis. While the majority of filers met most of the regulatory requirements, most scored significantly lower on the “good practice” measures.

The study was designed and executed by Chris N. Bayer, Ph.D., with the assistance of a broad advisory panel comprised of Fern Abrams of IPC, Lawrence Heim of Elm Sustainability Partners, Michael Littenberg of Schulte, Roth & Zabel, Charles Riepenhoff, Jr. of KPMG and Jonathan Hughes of Assent Compliance.

IPC members interested in learning more about the study are invited to attend a free webinar by Dr. Bayer on September 15.

Take Action to Oppose Burdensome Changes in Overtime Pay Regulations

The U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) has proposed changes to the white collar exemptions to federal overtime pay requirements. In the proposal, DoL is considering raising the minimum salary threshold to $970 per week ($50,440 annually); an increase of more than 100 percent. DoL also proposed increasing this minimum salary on an annual basis by pegging it to the 40th percentile or by indexing it to inflation for urban goods and services. DoL proposes publishing these annual increases to the minimum salary only 60 days before they become effective—providing employers and employees with far too little notice.

Comments on the proposal are due September 4, 2015. Sample comments are available on the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity (PPWO) web portal.

IPC is working with the PPWO to urge the administration to reconsider its rulemaking and proposed minimum salary threshold. The Partnership is also urging the department to neither index the salary threshold nor make changes to the primary duties test until the public is able to comment on specific proposed changes. Please use the coalition’s to reach out to DOL tell them the proposed rulemaking will only hurt the employees the administration is looking to help.

Currently, an employee must satisfy three criteria to qualify as “exempt”: first, they must make a salary; second, that salary must be more than $455/week ($23,660 annually); and third, their “primary duties” must be consistent with managerial, professional or administrative positions as defined by DoL. While DoL did not offer a specific proposal to modify the primary duties tests, the department suggested it is considering making some rather extreme changes.

The magnitude of the increase to the salary level proposed by DoL and almost any changes to the duties test will hurt small businesses, schools, municipalities, nonprofits and other employers, as well as workers and the economy as a whole. Many employees would lose the flexibility they currently enjoy, employers would be faced with crushing increases in labor and administrative costs, businesses would suffer with low employee morale, and the American people would experience jumps in prices for goods and services as well as diminished customer service. In an already stagnant economy, these consequences will be devastating.

Please click here to contact both DoL and your members of Congress about this important issue.


IPC Publishes Conflict Minerals Due Diligence White Paper

Despite two years of reporting under the Dodd-Frank Act, conflict minerals reporting is still burdensome for a number of companies.

While it won’t solve all reporting problems, the recently published IPC-1081, Conflict Minerals Due Diligence White Paper can help. Developed and published by IPC’s E-30 Conflict Minerals Due Diligence Committee, the White Paper provides the electronics industry with practical examples for developing a conflict minerals compliance program within a company.

The IPC White Paper includes information on where tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold are used in electronics and also includes conflict minerals policy statements and goes into detail on engaging suppliers by providing tools and techniques. These tools and techniques will help companies establish and sustain a working relationship with suppliers resulting in an effective conflict minerals program.

Though IPC WP-1081 does not establish mandatory practices, it was developed to be consistent with the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Due Diligence Guidance, which is referenced in Dodd-Frank and the draft European Union conflict minerals regulations.

IPC WP-1081 is available for download at For additional information, contact Fern Abrams, IPC director of regulatory affairs and government relations, at

Court Backs Companies’ Free Speech Over Conflict Minerals

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit declared on August 18 that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) cannot force public companies to declare whether their products may contain “conflict minerals.”

The 2-1 ruling by the Court of Appeals upheld their April 2014 finding that stayed part of the reporting requirements because they violate free speech.  The ruling still largely upholds the majority of the SEC’s conflict minerals rules, which went into effect last year. Companies still must conduct due diligence to try and track the origins of minerals including tantalum, tin, gold or tungsten and file reports to the SEC with their findings, but they are not required to state whether or not the products are deemed “conflict free.”

The decision on Tuesday was the second time that the three-judge panel has reviewed the regulator’s conflict minerals rule. The panel issued the same findings In April 2014, but the SEC asked for a re-hearing, after the U.S. appeals court later upheld another federal regulation requiring companies to label the origins of meat. In Tuesday’s ruling, the court found that the meat labeling case is distinct from the conflict minerals rule. The court also questioned whether the SEC’s rule would truly help diminish the humanitarian crisis, saying such an impact is “entirely unproven and rests on pure speculation.”

An SEC spokeswoman said the agency is reviewing the decision. The agency still has the right to appeal yesterday’s ruling.


IPC-4101D-WAM1 Brings Significant Changes and Clarifications

If you need the most current specifications for PCB materials used in rigid or multilayered printed boards, then it is time to upgrade to IPC-4101D-WAM1. This newly revised standard brings critical updates to the already valuable IPC-4101D, Specification for Base Materials for Rigid and Multilayer Printed Boards.

Why wait? Upgrade to the IPC-4101D-WAM1 today!

IPC-4101D-WAM1 delivers key updates for board designers, specifiers of board materials, and OEM’s who use and keep boards current with base materials used in PCBs. This revision:

  • covers requirements for laminate or prepreg base materials used primarily for rigid and multilayer printed boards for electrical and electronic circuits
  • contains 64 individual, keyword searchable specification sheets, including a brand new sheet that expands offerings for commercially available laminates and prepregs
  • clarifies what is stated in the original release of IPC-4101D for the FR-4.0 materials as “None” for inorganic filler content, now states “<5%” is allowed
  • adds table 3-10, Permissible Laminate Substitutions for Specification Sheets /21, /24, /26 and /30

This revision brings significant changes and clarifications. Learn more about how these updates can benefit you.

Upgrade to IPC-4101D-WAM1 today!

Congressman Sam Johnson Tours Creation Technologies in Texas

Visit Co-Hosted by IPC as Part of Effort to Connect Electronics Manufacturers with Policymakers

Congressman Sam Johnson (R-TX-3) met with executives and employees of IPC-member company Creation Technologies at the company’s manufacturing facility in Plano, Texas on August 13. Coordinated by IPC, the world’s leading association for electronics manufacturing companies, this visit is part of a nationwide effort to educate policymakers about legislative and regulatory issues that affect the electronics manufacturing industry.

“I am grateful to Creation Technologies and IPC for hosting me at today’s tour,” said Rep. Johnson. “It is great to get the opportunity to see, firsthand, the contributions of the high-tech manufacturing industry to Texas’s economy. Plano is lucky to have such a great company in our own backyard – and with Texas being ranked the #1 state to do business, it’s easy to see why they came here! Washington should take a cue from Texas and Creation Technologies!”

With facilities across the United States, Canada, Mexico, and China, Creation Technologies has decades of experience designing, manufacturing, and providing customized supply chain solutions to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) around the world. The company’s Plano facility General Manager, Scott D. Hitt, hosted the site visit and led discussions on issues including fostering innovation, emerging markets, and regulatory compliance.

“On behalf of both Creation Technologies and IPC, I want to thank Congressman Johnson for taking the time to visit our manufacturing facilities today,” said Hitt. “We appreciate his interest in learning directly from people on the front lines of our industry to learn how we make our customers successful. We are eager to keep working with him, and with IPC, to find new and exciting ways to stimulate economic growth and innovation in North Texas.”

Rep. Johnson’s visit was part of IPC’s “Meet the Policymakers” program, through which IPC government relations staff arrange opportunities for IPC member-companies to host elected officials at company locations. This is the second visit in 2015 by a Member of Congress to Creation Technologies’ facilities. On April 8, U.S. Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN-1) visited Creation Technologies’ facility in St. Peter, Minnesota.

IPC member companies interested in hosting a legislator should contact IPC Vice President of Government Relations John Hasselmann at


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