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The following is a statement by Chris Mitchell, vice president of global government relations at IPC, the global electronics manufacturing association, on recent actions by the U.S. Government to bolster the security and resiliency of the U.S. defense electronics supply chain.
Regarding votes this past week in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate to override President Trump’s veto of the Fiscal 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), “We commend the U.S. Congress for keeping this vitally important legislation on track. Among the bill’s policy prescriptions for U.S. military operations are provisions that will require the U.S. Defense Department (DoD) to implement new sourcing requirements and restrictions on bare printed circuit boards (PCBs) and PCB assemblies (PCBAs). Section 841 reflects the recommendations of many experts – including the DoD’s Executive Agent for PCBs – to redouble U.S. Government support for this long-neglected but critically important segment of the electronics manufacturing industry.
“IPC also appreciates that President Trump set aside his veto threat and signed the FY 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act, which includes $10 million for research into the issues surrounding lead-free electronics in mission-critical applications. The migration of the commercial electronics industry to lead-free technology has created supply-chain concerns for the ADHP sectors that can only be overcome through public-private R&D. These funds will support a collaborative research effort that will help ensure that mission-critical systems have full access to cutting-edge electronics from a robust global supply chain.”
Nolan Johnson, I-Connect007
The big news in the industry this week was the new bill introduced to the U.S. Congress in support of the PCB manufacturing industry. The Supporting American Printed Circuit Boards Act of 2022, which was introduced by Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Blake Moore (R-UT), incentivizes “purchases of domestically produced PCBs as well as industry investments in factories, equipment, workforce training, and research and development.” The bill is a PCB-oriented complement to the semiconductor-oriented CHIPS Act of 2021.
Jeff Brandman, Aismalibar North America
Heat has been a significant concern in electronics since the beginning of the electronics age when hot glowing vacuum tubes were first used to receive and transmit data bits. The transistor and integrated circuit effectively solved that basic problem, but increases in integration resulted in increased concentration of heat, exacerbated by relentless increases in operating frequency. While improvements in electronics technology have been able to mitigate many thermal issues at chip level thanks to improved semiconductor designs devised to operate at lower voltages (thus requiring less energy) the thermal management challenge continues to vex electronic product developers.
Andy Shaughnessy, Design007 Magazine
It’s been a crazy week, with lots of bad news coming out of Ukraine. (I’m a news junkie by trade, but I confess that some days I just unplug from the news completely to avoid overdosing on negativity.) And, as you might have guessed, this is all having ill effects on our electronics supply chain, which is already stretched thin. This is reflected in our IPC news item that shows an uptick in PCB sales in February, but a drop in bookings YOY, in part due to the trouble in Eastern Europe. But there’s positive news in this week’s top reads. We have a NextFlex article about an innovative flexible technology called flexible hybrid electronics (FHE) and a great interview by Dan Beaulieu. We also have a column by Travis Kelly, who discusses PCBAA’s efforts to lobby for American manufacturing in Washington. And last but not least, let’s welcome our two newest columnists, Paige Fiet and Hannah Nelson, who discuss their excitement about entering this industry.