Join the IPC E-Textiles Standards Group in Europe

By Chris Jorgensen, director, technology transfer

IPC has received interest from several volunteers in Europe to form an e-textiles standards interest group in Europe. Volunteers from this group would meet to influence IPC standards activities, form working groups to develop new IPC standards and to network under the umbrella of developing standards.

If you would like to be added to the roster for this interest group, so you can stay abreast of its activities, e-mail me at ChrisJorgensen@ipc.org. The group is open to anyone and at no cost or obligation.

For more information on the formation of this interest group and potential working groups in Europe, as well as how to participate in other IPC e-textiles standards activities, view the slide deck from the December 13 meeting to the European e-textiles market.

Top Reasons to Attend IPC APEX EXPO 2019

IPC president and CEO John Mitchell invites you to attend IPC APEX EXPO 2019. From the show floor to the class room and all points in between, IPC APEX EXPO 2019 is THE place to be to learn, network, and conduct business.

The Workforce Conundrum: The Gender Question

In Part 10 of IPC President and CEO John Mitchell’s blog series on workforce issue, John covers gender differences in the workplace.

As I mentioned last week, in Part 5: Demographic Differences, we reviewed two primary topics: generational differences and gender differences. In today’s blog, we discuss discoveries around gender as it concerns the workplace and talk about what companies and organizations might do to enhance their success when confronting any challenges.

Differences Expected

Again, let me reiterate the danger of generalizations (some of which we are about to report on) when it comes to gender. Every individual is indeed that – an individual. What we will be sharing below represents trends, not absolutes, so to get the best results you will need to know your people well. Really well. Which leads us to our first point – Communication.

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IPC Subcommittee to Host Open Forum on Weak Microvia Interface During IPC APEX EXPO

The IPC V-TSL-MVIA Weak Interface Microvia Failures Technology Solutions Subcommittee, formed this year, is working to identify the risks, causes, and mitigation of failures due to a weak interface between the plated copper at the bottom of a microvia and the underlying copper surface. The activity grew out of the development of IPC-WP-023, a white paper that cast a light on how a weak microvia interface is a hidden reliability threat.

The subcommittee will hold an open forum for industry to learn about its activities as well as its planned path forward. Attendees will be invited to share their own issues regarding weak microvia interfaces and will learn how to participate on the subcommittee.

IPC Weak Microvia Interface Open Forum
Wednesday, January 30, 2019
10:15 AM to 12:00 PM
San Diego Convention Center
Room 6

Order IPC WP-023, IPC Technology Solutions White Paper on Performance-Based Printed Board OEM Acceptance Via Chain Continuity Reflow Test: The Hidden Reliability Threat – Weak Microvia Interface from the IPC bookstore.

For more information on the IPC V-TSL-MVIA Subcommittee, contact me at ChrisJorgensen@ipc.org.

U.S. Commerce Department Seeks Public Comment on Export Restrictions for Emerging Technologies

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published a notice seeking public comment on how it should define and identify emerging technologies that are not now controlled for export, but should be due to their national security importance.

Representative general categories of emerging technologies on which Commerce seeks comments include: (i) “biotechnology”; (ii) “artificial intelligence”; (iii) “Position, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) technology”; (iv) “microprocessor technology”; (v) “advanced computing technology”; (vi) “data analytics technology”; (vii) “quantum information and sensing technology”; (viii) “logistics technology”; (ix) “additive manufacturing”; (x) “robotics”; (xi) “brain-computer interfaces”; (xii) “hypersonics”; (xiii) “advanced materials”; and (xiv) “advanced surveillance technologies.”

Comments are due on or before December 19, 2018. IPC will be responding. Please contact IPC Vice President of Global Government Relations, Chris Mitchell, at ChrisMitchell@ipc.org with your questions and perspectives on this notice.

U.S. Elections: What Do the Results Mean for You and for IPC?

One of the biggest events to occur in the political and policy world in the last month was, of course, the U.S. midterm elections, in which the Democrats gained almost 40 seats in the House of Representatives while minimizing their losses in the U.S. Senate. The incoming Congress will be younger and more diverse than ever. Several key moderates and senior leaders will be leaving the scene.

The election results are likely to bring even more partisan gridlock to Washington in the months ahead. That said, IPC works with policy makers on a bipartisan basis, and our policy priorities tend to earn support across party lines. Thus, we will continue to educate policymakers on both sides and advance smart policy solutions with a long-term perspective.

IPC-organized webinar on the election results and what they may mean for our industry:

IPC Working to Inform U.S. Defense Electronics Report

Pursuant to Section 845 of the Fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is required to provide an assessment of the defense electronics industrial base to Congress by January 31, 2019. IPC has been the primary champion for this study, which reflects the need for a comprehensive evaluation of the defense electronics supply chain and its future needs.

Mid October, IPC cohosted a day-long discussion of the issue with DoD, WHMA and ECIA, focusing on five segments of the industry: PCB, EMS, cable/wire harness, connectors, and passive components. And in the coming weeks, we will be submitting more information and recommendations to the DoD. Have questions or suggestions? Contact Chris Mitchell, IPC vice president of global government relations.

The Workforce Conundrum: Generations Unite

In Part 9 of IPC President and CEO John Mitchell’s blog series on workforce issue, John covers generational differences in the workplace. 

As you may recall from Part 5: Demographic Differences, we reviewed two primary topics: generational differences and gender differences. In today’s blog, I want to take what we discovered and talk about what companies and organizations might do to enhance their success when confronting these differences. As these are broad in implication, I expect this blog will be broken into two parts: this week’s blog will cover generational differences while next week’s will cover differences in gender.

What Are the Generational Differences?

There are now up to five generations in the work place. Business life was complicated enough when there were just two generations in the work place, so this adds several degrees of difficulty to the manager or business owner. As most of the workforce is dominated by Boomers, Generation X, and the Millennials at this time, our “What’s” will focus here, but we will also touch on Generation Z. The reason for attention to Gen Z – even though there are not many in the workforce at this point – is that if you are going to make a change, you also need to focus on your future employees. Done correctly, a well-designed workplace will be able to accommodate future generations, and you can avoid making major cultural shifts when the next generation becomes dominant in the workforce.

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IPC to Host Web Meeting on Forming IPC E-Textiles Committee Europe Working Groups

By Chris Jorgensen, director, technology transfer

IPC will host an open-invitation web meeting for European organizations involved in e-textiles technologies to form a working group or groups under the IPC D-70 E-Textiles Committee. As the D-70 Committee expands its standards development activities, IPC has received interest from committee members in Europe to form a local standards group or groups. IPC will host this web meeting to generate additional interest in forming local standards groups in the region.

These groups in Europe would serve as originating working groups for new standards, develop consensus comments on draft standards and provide a local forum for idea exchange and networking. Group members would able to hold meetings on local European time and in locations in Europe.

IPC Web Meeting — Formation of IPC E-Textiles Committee Europe
Thursday, December 13, 2018
3:00 PM to 4:30 PM CET

Topics to be discussed:
• Review of the standards being developed by the IPC D-70 E-Textiles Committee
• Overview of the IPC standards development process
• Discussion on how to form a European group or groups under the IPC D-70 Committee
• How IPC staff will support the formation and management of these groups

This meeting is open to anyone from the European market and is free of charge. Please e-mail me at ChrisJorgensen@ipc.org to confirm your attendance and receive meeting access information.

IPC Workforce Pledge Draws White House Praise, Points the Way to Jobs of the Future

by John Mitchell, IPC president and CEO

It’s not every day one is invited to attend an event at the White House in Washington, D.C.

However, last week, I had the opportunity to do just that on behalf of IPC. During that event, White House Senior Adviser Ivanka Trump praised IPC, among others, for joining in a nationwide, private-sector pledge to create new high-skilled workforce opportunities for more than 6 million Americans over the next five years.

President Trump kicked off the workforce challenge to U.S. businesses in July. As a longtime leader in education and training within the electronics industry, IPC took it as an opportunity to review our existing programs and identify ways to grow and innovate. The result? IPC joined the Pledge to America’s Workers by promising to create new career opportunities for at least 1 million Americans in the electronics industry. IPC’s pledge is backed by millions of dollars in current and planned investments and the support of our 2,500 U.S. member organizations.

We’re doing this because the chronic shortage of skilled workers is the top business challenge facing the U.S. electronics industry. We estimate that there are more than 10,000 unfilled positions in our industry today. Our workforce is aging and retiring faster than we can hire replacements. More than two-thirds of our members report that their inability to find skilled workers is limiting their growth. Too often, today’s workers lack essential knowledge and skills including math, basic technology skills, and problem-solving.

The pledge is based on the simple premise that employers—individually and collectively—have the primary obligation to understand and address their own workforce needs. They need not take up the task alone, but they cannot wait for others to lead.

There are many steps that companies and associations in the private sector can take. At IPC, we are expanding our education, training and certification programs for both existing workers and younger adults and students, providing valuable credentials that will lead to new career opportunities. We’re also working to create more than 1,000 new “earn-and-learn” opportunities through a network of electronics companies, universities, and community colleges. We’re spreading the word that many noble, “cool,” and lucrative careers can be had by those who gain technical knowledge and experience in the electronics field.

While no one has a crystal ball, we do know that the jobs of the future will be very different from the jobs of today. We can choose to fear this change, as many do, or we can embrace it by leading and investing in innovation and education.

It’s important to remember that advanced manufacturing, which relies heavily on robotics and precision automation, is revitalizing the U.S. industrial base. The workers in these cutting-edge facilities have less hands-on interaction with manual tools and greater reliance on computer-managed machinery. That makes manufacturing cleaner and safer than it was in the past, but it also places new skills requirements on workers.

In that vein, IPC has convened a team of electronics industry experts that is currently working to identify the skills and competencies needed to perform every role in the electronics industry over the next 10 years. We are redesigning our credentialing programs to align with these findings and to empower individuals at every educational level to enter our industry and upskill.

Just as other high-tech sectors have expanded their worker credentialing, so too will we. In this environment, credentials become the key to employment and career advancement. Our task as an industry is to make our credentialing programs accessible, stackable, and scalable to ensure the most robust talent pipeline possible.

Overcoming the skilled workforce shortage is a collaborative effort that will require stronger relationships among companies, associations, schools, and technical training programs. That collaboration, however, is already on the rise, and together we can develop the workforce needed to compete in the global economy.