One World, One Industry: Better by Design—Bringing PCB Design Professionals Together

As a member-driven organization, IPC works diligently to help our member OEMs, EMS companies, PCB manufacturers, and suppliers build electronics better. And we all know that you cannot build a great product without a great design.

To focus on the critical role design plays in the development of electronics, we created IPC Design to bring together printed board design professionals to connect with other designers, enjoy education and training opportunities, mentor and encourage the next generation of designer engineers, and above all, help advance the art and science of printed board design.

We welcome all designers to participate in IPC Design by becoming an affiliate—a free, zero-obligation way to expand your professional network. At no cost to you, you will have the opportunity to interact with academia and the next generation of circuit board professionals, while also being the first in line for IPC events, including webinars, competitions, and other opportunities for you to connect with fellow designers. As IPC joins the industry in getting back to “business as usual,” affiliates will be given the chance to voice their needs and help create the next generation of IPC Design activities.

Affiliation in IPC Design is completely free. You can register online.

IPC Design affiliates have already contributed their time to the development of a PCB Design Desk Reference, a table-top guide to designing boards in accordance with IPC design standards, which will be available later this year.

The IPC Design Competition, scheduled for IPC APEX EXPO 2022, will test the design aptitude of professional designers from around the world. The preliminary heat will consist of a full board build-up: starting with a schematic, some mechanical/packaging constraints, and a pre-defined component library, competitors will be required to complete a design task in accordance with relevant IPC standards, culminating in a standard-compliant documentation package and IPC-2581 file. Finalists are chosen from this round and invited to APEX EXPO 2022. The in-person event will consist of a very low-complexity board (blinky-board or similar) with predefined stackup and component library; the best layout wins!

Also, at IPC APEX EXPO 2022, IPC Design will host a “Day of DFX” with panels covering topics such as designing for manufacturing, testability, assembly, and much more.

IPC provides educational opportunities in design, whether you or your team need an introductory course or advanced design knowledge. Designing for smaller, more complex, and more robust electronics devices requires creative thinking and extensive theoretical and applied knowledge. To meet these challenges, IPC Design courses were developed to help designers across different sectors of the industry acquire and sharpen skills required to design and manufacture innovative products that ensure organizational profitability. Currently, IPC offers two introductory, two intermediate, and five advanced design courses.

In addition to design courses, we offer the IPC Designer Certification program at IPC-licensed training centers worldwide. Both certifications, one basic and one advanced, provide objective evaluation of core competencies in PCB design, providing instruction in how to transform an electrical circuit description into a PCB design that can be manufactured, assembled, and tested. 

IPC courses are taught by industry veterans who provide intensive training for learners to deliver effective and reliable design to customers. Information on IPC Design courses and certification can be found by visiting ipc.org.

We hope you’ll participate in all the opportunities offered through IPC Design. As always, please reach out to me with any questions or comments. I look forward to hearing from you.

This column originally appeared in the August 2021 issue of PCB007 Magazine.

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2021

One World, One Industry: Better by Design—Bringing PCB Design Professionals Together

08-29-2021

To focus on the critical role design plays in the development of electronics, we created IPC Design to bring together printed board design professionals to connect with other designers, enjoy education and training opportunities, mentor and encourage the next generation of designer engineers, and above all, help advance the art and science of printed board design.

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One World, One Industry: Responding to Questions about the Future of Electronics Manufacturing

06-16-2021

The questions I receive most frequently depend upon the individual or group asking the questions. For this column, I will focus on the different questions coming from the manufacturing industry and media.

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One World, One Industry: New Thought Leaders Program Brings Industry Insight

05-20-2021

As the electronics industry undergoes dramatic change, it is essential for IPC to obtain advice and counsel from experts throughout the industry that help us navigate these changes. To this end, IPC created the Thought Leaders Program (TLP), a select group of experts who will generate ideas and insights.

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One World, One Industry: How Familiar Are You with ESG?

04-22-2021

ESG is the new approach to corporate social responsibility, based on the notion that companies integrating ESG goals into their business decisions and operations are stronger by having accounted for concerns that create liabilities or risk. The financial services community is increasingly relying on ESG ratings and rankings to steer investments.

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One World, One Industry: Join Us for IPC APEX EXPO—Virtually

02-08-2021

In person or online, our goal is to maintain IPC APEX EXPO’s position as the premier event for the electronics industry by providing far-reaching insights and ideas. The challenge we face to provide a premier networking event is also an opportunity for growth.

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2020

One World, One Industry: Expert Instructors Share Knowledge With the Next Generation

12-18-2020

You may be familiar with the IPC Electronics Workforce Training Initiative—an expanding series of education programs created to help the electronics industry overcome gaps in workforce skills—but do you know anything about the instructors who help develop and provide the training? Dr. John Mitchell details how IPC is fortunate to work with a team of subject-matter experts and instructors who share their significant knowledge and skills with the current and next generation of the electronics manufacturing workforce.

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One World, One Industry: Navigating Around the Future

10-21-2020

Predicting the future is always dangerous. Happily, those predictions are rarely held to much scrutiny—perhaps because we all know that whatever is shared will, at least in some aspect, be wrong. IPC's Dr. John Mitchell dips his toe into the world of prognostication for a little bit, realizing that nothing is certain.

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One World, One Industry: 3 Tools That Should Be in Your Leadership Toolbox

08-24-2020

There can be a lot of weight given to the abilities of the leader of an organization. IPC's Dr. John Mitchell shares three tools that should be in your leadership toolbox and a couple of themes to keep in mind.

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One World, One Industry: A Lasting COVID-19 Lesson—Resilient Regional Manufacturing Networks

07-24-2020

Sophisticated global supply chains are generally efficient in meeting societal demands, but the COVID-19 pandemic illustrates that—in times of crisis—these supply chains can break down. IPC's Dr. John Mitchell emphasizes the need for resilient regional manufacturing networks across North America.

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One World, One Industry: Problem Solving While Innovating

06-15-2020

There is a saying that true character is revealed by the choices we make under pressure, and this is certainly true of this very uncertain time. John Mitchell shares ways those in the electronics manufacturing industry are working together to find solutions.

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One World, One Industry: Separating Hype From Reality—What’s Next for the Future of Electronics?

05-19-2020

Matt Kelly, a familiar face in IPC standards development and widely recognized in the global electronics industry as a thought leader and an innovator, was recently hired as IPC’s chief technologist. Dr. John Mitchell sat down with Matt to ask him about his new role, as well as industry trends.

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One World, One Industry: The Future of the Electronics Industry

03-15-2020

When I speak to experts in the field, what strikes me most about our conversations is the accelerating pace of change and opportunity on so many fronts. This industry knows all about change. We are disruptors, and we are used to being disrupted ourselves. From smart factories to artificial intelligence and additive manufacturing, this industry will see its share of change in the coming years. IPC will be at the forefront of that change.

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One World, One Industry: Three Workforce Lessons From Manufacturing Plants Around the World 

02-15-2020

During Dr. John Mitchell's latest international listening tour of manufacturing plants, he saw how workforce challenges in the U.S. extend globally. The good news is that, through shared experience, we can develop shared insights and solutions. John offers the conclusions he has drawn from meetings with operators and managers across the electronics industry about the current labor environment.

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One World, One Industry: IPC APEX EXPO 2020—A Special Anniversary Year

02-03-2020

This year marks the 20th anniversary of IPC APEX EXPO, and IPC is thrilled to celebrate this event milestone with attendees, exhibitors, and presenters. Their dedication to and involvement in IPC APEX EXPO is directly responsible for its success, and their efforts clearly illustrate how the entire electronics manufacturing industry comes together to “Elevate the Excellence of Electronics”—this year’s theme.

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2019

One World, One Industry: Rising Tariffs Put a Painful Squeeze on Electronics Manufacturers

12-23-2019

IPC recognizes that you are greatly affected by the ongoing tariff dispute between China and the United States. To date, the two countries have imposed tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in imports in a tit for tat that could escalate further if an agreement is not reached soon. Dr. John Mitchell discusses IPC's recent survey of U.S. members and the organization's perspective.

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One World, One Industry: Opportunities Abound for Learning at IPC

11-13-2019

It’s fall, and students are heading back to school. Will you be joining them? IPC offers many opportunities for continuous learning, enabling you to enrich your career and increase your value to your company.

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One World, One Industry: Maintaining a Strong Economy Through Workforce Development

09-25-2019

As members of the electronics industry, we work in a quickly evolving technological field illustrated by continual change and advancement. We must have a workforce that is ready to meet these advancements. We are firmly committed to providing growth and opportunities for American workers as we plan for a future where we don’t know what the jobs will be.

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One World, One Industry: CFX and Hermes—Plug-and-Play IPC Standards Building Momentum for Industry 4.0

09-13-2019

IPC is removing barriers that hamper executives' ability to align their companies with Industry 4.0 by providing the building blocks for seamless machine-to-machine and machine-to-ERP communications. Released earlier this year. Two standards are released recently: the IPC-2591 (CFX), and the surface-mount equipment communication standard IPC-HERMES-9852, The Global Standard for Machine-to-Machine Communication in SMT Assembly.

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Emerging Engineer Program: A Unique Opportunity Offered by IPC

07-05-2019

One of the most rewarding parts of my job is being able to offer new engineers a leg up early in their career, and I am especially thrilled when I can do it personally. Often, this can be as simple as connecting them with an industry leader. Wonderfully, this was something I was able to do IPC APEX EXPO this past January.

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2018

One World, One Industry: IPC Legislative Victories Reached with Outstanding Member and Industry Support

11-27-2018

After months of working with legislators in the United States to ensure our industry is well represented, I am pleased to say that we have been successful in our efforts—particularly concerning defense electronics and workforce education.

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One World, One Industry: Back to School with IPC EDGE 2.0

11-05-2018

IPC spent the summer gearing up for new education and certification platforms, and has announced that IPC EDGE 2.0 is ready for all certification users. John Mitchell talked with David Hernandez, senior director of learning and professional development, and Kris Roberson, director of certification programs, to talk about what’s new in education and certification.

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One World, One Industry: Meet Nicolas Robin, IPC’s New Senior Director in Europe

11-02-2018

In May, IPC Europe welcomed new Senior Director Nicolas Robin. Based in Brussels, Nicolas will represent IPC and the electronics manufacturing industry in Europe. I recently sat down with Nicolas for a one-to-one conversation to get to know him better and introduce him to fellow electronics industry members.

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One World, One Industry: Automotive Electronics—Past / Present / Future

08-17-2018

As electronics play an increasingly important role in automotive manufacturing, tremendous change and great progress have been made worldwide. We are at the crossroads of incredible technological advancements, and it’s been exhilarating to watch. I am eager to see what happens next.

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IMPACT 2018: We Need Your Voice in Washington, D.C.!

07-23-2018

It’s that time of year again: IPC’s IMPACT Washington, D.C. 2018 is on the horizon. As a global, industry-driven organization, IPC exists to help its member companies innovate, compete, and succeed in the electronics industry.

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IPC Addresses Skills Gap

07-04-2018

A recent IPC global survey found that while the skills gap may vary depending on the job role and geographic location surveyed, many companies in the industry are struggling to find the talent they need, and the problem is expected to continue over the next decade.

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One World, One Industry: IPC’s Job Task Analysis Committee Needs Your Expertise and Experience to Address the Skills Gap

06-25-2018

IPC is investing in the future by supporting our members’ workforce and training needs to meet the demands of a continually changing and advancing industry. With the creation of our Job Task Analysis Committee (JTA), we are collaborating with a group of industry subject matter experts tasked with the responsibility of defining a competency model for the electronics industry.

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One World, One Industry: Meet IPC’s Vice President of Global Government Relations, Chris Mitchell

05-29-2018

In this new role, Chris will work closely with IPC’s Government Relations Steering Committee and its government relations team based in Washington, D.C. Chris will represent IPC and the electronics manufacturing industry before key policymakers globally and identify issues and other opportunities where IPC can demonstrate its leadership in government relations and public policy.

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One World, One Industry: Skilled Talent—Can We Meet Rising Demand?

04-02-2018

In 2018, the U.S. GDP is expected to continue its rise, while unemployment rates are expected to drop further. Experts agree that the global economy is also showing signs of strengthening.

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One World, One Industry: Electronics Industry Advocacy More Important than Ever

02-23-2018

From the Americas to Europe, Asia and beyond, the future of the electronics manufacturing industry is shaped in many ways by government policies. This will be true like never before in 2018, as legislators and regulators the world over are eyeing policy decisions on issues such as technology research and development, taxes, workforce skills, and the environment.

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2017

One World, One Industry: Connecting the Dots Between Manufacturing and Community

11-24-2017

Across the United States, the first Friday in October represents the annual celebration of Manufacturing Day. On this date, manufacturers and supporters come together to celebrate the longevity and success of our industry. Since 2012, Manufacturing Day has served as a chance to learn about the businesses that thrive in our communities and contribute greatly to the economy.

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One World, One Industry: Pursuing New Solutions to the Electronics Sectors’ Skills Gap

11-15-2017

In a recent survey of our U.S. member companies[1], most said they have a hard time finding local talent to run their businesses. Respondents cited many essential skills that are in short supply, but the most common ones are soldering for production jobs, and engineers with industry experience, especially in process, test, and quality control. Making matters even more challenging, as new innovations emerge, new skills requirements emerge as well.

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One World, One Industry: The Future of Electronics in the Automotive Industry

09-15-2017

Automotive electronics is not a new topic. While there is a trend for both performance and luxury electronics, many of the recent conversations tend to focus on self-driving/autonomous vehicles. While the technology is exciting, it is just the tip of the iceberg.

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One World, One Industry: India Makes Manufacturing Gains to Participate in a Global Economy

08-18-2017

The manufacturing industry is truly a global one. While the past few decades have seen the rise of manufacturing in China and countries throughout Europe and South America, the last 10 years have been marked by significant progress in India. While the greater Asian area has flourished, India has been hampered by many factors including a struggling infrastructure.

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One World, One Industry: Three Ways to Close the Skills Gap in U.S. Manufacturing

07-12-2017

The skills gap is a chronic problem in the manufacturing sector. Most manufacturing companies have a hard time aligning the talent needed to run their businesses with the talent that is available to work locally. And as new innovations emerge, new skills requirements emerge as well.

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One World, One Industry: Having an Impact from the Shop Floor to the Halls of Government

07-07-2017

When you have concerns about government regulations and policies that impact your business, what can you do? Among several options, a direct approach is one of the best: Reach out to your elected officials and share your concerns. The odds are good that they will be responsive and look into ways of helping out a hometown business.

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China—A Critical Partner for Trade

06-09-2017

Count me among those business leaders who thought the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was on the right track last year and would have brought significant benefits to all nations, including the United States. Before President Trump withdrew the United States from the TPP trade negotiations, I had argued it would have unified the world’s most dynamic economic region—bringing together developed and developing countries that collectively represent 825 million consumers and 40% of the world’s economic output.

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One World, One Industry: 100 Days In—President Trump and a Better Manufacturing Policy

04-19-2017

To truly increase the number of American manufacturing jobs, President Trump should support increased investment in research and development for advanced manufacturing, promote and fund STEM education in primary and secondary schools, and build stronger apprenticeship programs. It is this type of investment—in human capital and technology—that will truly help make American manufacturing great again.

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One World, One Industry: IPC’s Global Policy Framework for 2017—Smart Advocacy for the Industry

04-10-2017

As President Trump was being sworn in several weeks ago, and as the new Congress was getting down to work, IPC released its Global Policy Framework for 2017. As we work to represent more than 3,800 member facilities across the electronics industry’s global supply chain, IPC will adhere to this framework to guide our policy work in the coming months. All of our advocacy efforts are aimed at fostering an environment in which electronics manufacturers and their suppliers can thrive and grow.

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One World, One Industry: Emerging Technology, Training for the Future, and the Next Industrial Revolution

02-13-2017

Technology isn’t just a tangible entity. It moves beyond what we can see, feel, and touch. It is ideas and theories. It includes philosophy and risks. In a way, technology itself is like the stock market. Different industries hedge their bets on emerging trends. These trends develop into useful products that change our world.

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2016

One World, One Industry: Strengthening Your Value Proposition to Boost Organization Success

12-16-2016

John Mitchell's new column's title says it all: One World, One Industry. In the coming columns, the IPC president will be covering issues affecting the entire global electronics industry supply chain with specific expertise on global standards, education, advocacy and solutions.

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One World, One Industry: Six Leadership Lessons from 20 Years in the Electronics Industry

11-07-2016

The orchestra conductor is an apt metaphor for the successful leader. Effective leadership often boils down to the ability to inspire others (the symphony) to their best work, while keeping and driving the overall vision of the organization (the musical score).

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One World, One Industry: Voting — A Civic Duty and Industry Opportunity

10-17-2016

On Tuesday, November 8, more than 240 million people in the United States will have the opportunity to go to the polls and vote, make their voices heard in government, and influence the direction of public policy for years to come. Much of the world is closely watching with interest in this major U.S. election.

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