SMTAnews



SMTA International 2013 Best Papers Announced

Minneapolis, MN - The SMTA is pleased to announce the Best Papers from SMTA International 2013.  As speakers at SMTA International, individuals make contributions to the industry by sharing their research and findings.  To reward exceptional achievement, $1,000 awards and plaques are given for the Best of Conference Presentation, Best of Proceedings Paper, and the Best International Paper.

The winner from SMTA International 2013 for the Rich Freiberger Best of Conference Award, as selected by the conference attendees, is Matt Kelly, P.Eng., IBM Corporation, for his presentation entitled "Plasma Stencil Treatments: A Statistical Evaluation." 

Babak Arfaei, Ph.D. from Universal Instruments Corporation, won the Best of Proceedings category for the paper "Effect of Sn Grain Morphology on Failure Mechanisms and Reliability of Lead-Free Solder Joints in Thermal Cycling Tests."

You Chye How, Texas Instruments Malaysia Sdn. Bhd., won the Best International Paper category for the paper entitled "Reliability Improvement of Array QFN Package." This award and the Best of Proceedings are selected by the SMTA International Technical Committee.

The authors will formally be presented their awards at the Opening Ceremony during SMTA International on September 30, 2014 in Rosemont, Illinois.  For information on participating in the 2014 SMTA International Conference, visit the Call for Papers page at http://smta.org/smtai/call_for_papers.cfm, or contact SMTA administrator JoAnn Stromberg at 952-920-7682 or joann@smta.org.  Abstracts can be uploaded directly on-line and will be accepted through February 28, 2014.

The papers are available in the conference proceedings available in the SMTA Bookstore at http://www.smta.org/store/book_store.cfm and will be available in the proceedings section of the SMTA Knowledge Base by February at http://www.smta.org/knowledge/knowledge.cfm.





SMTA International 2013 Numbers Are Up

SMTA International Conference and Exhibition, which took place October 13-17, 2013 at the Fort Worth Convention Center in Fort Worth, TX, experienced a 30% increase in registration coming in at over 1,300 and a 45% increase in on-site attendance compared to 2012. The increase in on-site attendance can be attributed to the new co-location of SMTA International with IPC’s Fall Standards Development Committee Meetings. Several onsite attendees echoed the sentiment that the partnership of IPC and SMTA has been a good move for the electronics assembly industry and the numbers certainly confirm that. International attendance was also at a record high, an increase of 17% from 2012, with attendees representing 27 different countries.  

The technical conference continued the tradition of being the strongest in the electronics assembly industry. The Evolving Technologies Summit at the beginning of the week received much praise as it covered key technologies such as Embedded Actives/Passives, 3D/TSV, Printed Electronics, Nanotechnology, Advanced Packaging, and the Status of Lead-Free. A crowd filled the Opening Keynote Session until it was standing-room-only on Tuesday morning to hear Lockheed Martin spokesperson and retired US Air Force Major General Bob D. DuLaney give an impressive overview of the F-35 Lightning II Program.  DuLaney detailed the importance of the aircraft, current progress on the program, and its economic impact. The Lead-Free Soldering Technology Symposium kept the meeting room packed until the very end of the event.

Over 170 exhibiting companies filled the sold-out exhibit hall, a 10% increase over last year.  The show welcomed more equipment than any past SMTA show. The FIRST Tech Challenge, a youth robotics competition, delivered an exciting display of knowledge from some students who will likely become the next generation of engineers. Nihon Superior sponsored the event.

William Beair, Sr Tech Support Engineer at Raytheon Company commented, “There was a great selection of vendors and local technical subject matter experts at the show. It felt more like one-stop-shopping to me.  I liked the mix of consumables, small purchase items and capital equipment.  It was a very productive day meeting with all the vendors.”

Attendees got a true taste of southern hospitality this year during the Party at Billy Bob’s, organized by the SMTA Dallas Chapter.  The party featured tasty Texas barbecue, line dancing, mechanical bull riding, a quick-draw contest, and tons of unforgettable moments.

Next year the SMTA International Conference and Exhibition will be held September 28 - October 2, 2014 at the Donald Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL. The IPC Fall Standards Development Committee Meetings will again be co-located. 

For more information on SMTA International please contact SMTA administrator JoAnn Stromberg: joann@smta.org or 952-920-7682 or visit 
www.smta.org/smtai/





SMTA Launches On-line SMT Processes Re-Certification

Minneapolis, MN - The SMTA launched an online re-certification program for engineers whose 10-year SMT Processes Certification is expiring.  The goal of the re-certification program is to present new materials which have been added to the Certification curriculum since the initial sessions in 2003 and test that engineers have a competent understanding of the updated information. Eligible engineers have up to one year to complete the online program. 

Over 5 hours of recorded instruction from W. James Hall are divided into 11 modules each with slides and a quiz on updated topics including PCB Basics and Surface Finishes like HASL and ENIG; surface finishes like OSP, Immersion Tin, Immersion Silver; paste, stencils, printing and how they are interrelated; component placement with a focus on equipment; performance calculations for pick and place machines; reflow soldering, component damage, profile shapes, vapor phase, and oven calculations; wave soldering, selective soldering, and dispensing; testing, defects, and inspection; and overall design process to balance and optimize an SMT line.

The SMTA Certification program is unique, as it recognizes and certifies the entire SMT assembly process at an engineering level.

For information on re-certification or to register, contact Patti Hvidhyld at 952-920-7682 or patti@smta.org, or visit http://www.smta.org/certification/certification.cfm#re-certification





SMTA Announces Certified Engineers

Congratulations to the individuals who have recently achieved SMTA Certification.  Their companies are also to be congratulated for their support of this program.  

SMT Processes SMTA Certified Engineers:

Alejandro Acosta, Empire Electronics
Carlos Aguilar, Kimball Electronics Group
Harlow Alvarado, Kimball Electronics Group
Sergio Arguello, Empire Electronics
Panya Babwa, Kimball Electronics Group (Thailand)
Kurt Boeglin, Kimball Electronics Group
John Brown, Florida MicroElectronics
Krista Brown, Micro Systems Engineering, Inc.
Nathaniel Brown, Trenton Technology Inc.
Shannon Bub, SMT Corporation
Cesar Castillo, Empire Electronics
Tony Charais, Ducommun LaBarge Technologies, Inc.
Jason Cook, Plexus Corp.
Manuel Cordero, Empire Electronics
Jimmy Crow, Rauland-Borg Corporation
Jamie Curran, Micro Systems Engineering, Inc.
Tim Diamond, Kimball Electronics Group
Oscar Diaz, Empire Electronics
Tatiana Diaz, Empire Electronics
Bryan Erny, Kimball Electronics Group
Wilter Escobar, Empire Electronics
Mohamed Farah, Digi International
Richard Faulkingham, Elscott Manufacturing
Ian Frank, Micro Systems Engineering, Inc.
Yalil Gabrie, Empire Electronics
John Grimes, Kimball Electronics Group
Ariel Guzman Rodriguez, Hamilton Sundstrand
Colin Halladay, JW Speaker Corporation
Mike Halverson, APCON, Inc.
Barry Haskins, Micro Systems Engineering, Inc.
Denise Hilley, Micro Systems Engineering, Inc.
Jeff Hilsmeyer, Kimball Electronics Group
Huang Hui, Kimball Electronics (Nanjing) Co., LTD.
Phillip Hunter, Vanguard EMS Inc.
Sascha Koch, Micro Systems Engineering, Inc.
Ken Kramer, Micro Systems Engineering, Inc.
James Lansford, Kimball Electronics Group
Manuel Leal Moron, Rain Bird
Lester Lewis, Florida MicroElectronics
Chris Madill, Daktronics
Piotr Maik, Kimball Electronics Poland Sp. Z.O.O.
Alexandros Maradiaga, Empire Electronics
Bill Martin, Kimball Electronics Group
Gabriel Mayorga, Empire Electronics
Andy Mehringer, Kimball Electronics Group
Hector Mencia, Empire Electronics
Andrea Mendoza, SMT Corporation
Emerson Moran, Empire Electronics
John Nelson, Kimball Electronics Group
Anh Nguyen, Kimball Electronics Group
Alejandro Nunez, Rainbird
Craig Nuse, Vanguard-EMS
Carlos Orellana, Empire Electronics
Jeff Owens, Ducommun LaBarge Technologies, Inc.
Jerry Peasley, Micro Systems Engineering, Inc.
Kevin Pickup, Micro Systems Engineering, Inc.
Jose Pineda, Empire Electronics
Carlos Recinos, Empire Electronics
Alfredo Rodriguez, UTC Aerospace Systems
Raul Sanchez, Kimball Electronics Mexico
Don Schmid, SMT Corporation
Ryan Scholz, Ducommun LaBarge Technologies, Inc
Travis Schwirtz, Ducommun LaBarge Technologies, Inc.
James Seagle
Luis Soto Guzman, UTC Aerospace Systems
Christopher St. Mars, Pennatronics Corporation
Jose Valdez, Empire Electronics
Carlos Villalobos, Empire Electronics
John Vodrup, Micro Systems Engineering, Inc.
David Wilson, Micro Systems Engineering, Inc.
Richard Wilson, Kimball Electronics Group
Marla Wineinger, Kimball Electronics Group
Greg Woods, Kimball Electronics Group

Each SMTA Certification program is a three-day offering consisting of a 1.5-day refresher workshop on topics in SMT Processes or Six Sigma/Greenbelt.  The program concludes on days two and three with an open and closed book examination. SMTA Certification is intended for manufacturing and process engineers, but production, design, test and quality engineering personnel, as well as SMT assembly managers may also consider participating.

 

For information on certification or to register, contact Patti Hvidhyld at 952-920-7682 or patti@smta.org, or visit www.smta.org/certification/certification.cfm





SMTA, IPC Co-location Agreement Finalized for 2013-15

John Mitchell IPC and Bill Barthel SMTAEdina, Minn. - The Surface Mount Technology Association and IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries® with global headquarters in Bannockburn, Ill., announced today the finalized agreement to co-locate the SMTA International Conference and Exhibition (SMTA International) with the IPC Fall Standards Development Committee Meetings for 2013, 2014, and 2015. 

SMTA President Bill Barthel commented, “I am pleased to welcome IPC standards activities to our International Technical Conference and Exhibition.  We see the leading edge technology and the all-important standards development as a great combination for attendees.” 

“We’re delighted to be able to offer SMTAI attendees the opportunity to participate in IPC standards development,” said IPC President & CEO John Mitchell. “In developing the key industry standards and guidelines for the printed board and electronics manufacturing industries around the world, IPC committees provide an important and valuable platform for companies to give input and help shape the future of the industry.”

The SMTA International Conference and Exhibition (SMTA International) will be held October 13-17, 2013 and the IPC Fall Standards Development Committee Meetings will be held October 12-17, 2013 at the Fort Worth Convention Center.

# # #

The SMTA membership is an international network of professionals who build skills, share practical experience and develop solutions in electronic assembly technologies, including microsystems, emerging technologies and related business operations.

IPC (www.IPC.org) is a global industry association serving 3,300 member companies which represent all facets of the electronics industry, including design, printed board manufacturing, electronics assembly and test.  A leading source for industry standards, training, market research and public policy advocacy, IPC supports programs to meet the needs of an estimated 2.17 trillion global electronics industry.  IPC maintains offices in the USA, Sweden, Russia, India, Thailand, and China.





Charles Hutchins Educational Grant Applications Now Being Accepted

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - The SMTA is soliciting applications from full time graduate-level students pursuing a degree and working on thesis research in electronic assembly, electronics packaging, or a related field, for the $5000 Charles Hutchins Educational Grant.  Co-sponsored by the SMTA and CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY magazine, the Hutchins Grant was established in memory of past SMTA president, educator, mentor, and industry colleague, Dr. Charles Hutchins.  The SMTA has awarded $75,000 to Hutchins Grant recipients since 1998!

All required materials are due Monday, April 15, 2013. The Grant Committee reviews all qualified applications and makes their recommendation to the SMTA Board of Directors. The grant will be presented at the SMTA International Conference in Fort Worth, TX, October 13-17, 2013.

Interested applicants should visit the Hutchins Grant page to review the eligibility criteria and the award program, and to complete an application:

http://www.smta.org/hutchins/hutchins.cfm

For more information about the Charles Hutchins Educational Grant, contact Karen Bergseth at 952-920-7682 or karen@smta.org





SMTA International 2012 Best Papers Announced

Minneapolis, MN -The SMTA is pleased to announce the Best Papers from SMTA International 2012.  As speakers at SMTA International, individuals make contributions to the industry by sharing their research and findings.  To reward exceptional achievement, $1,000 awards and plaques are given for the Best of Conference Presentation, Best of Proceedings Paper, and the Best International Paper.

The winner from SMTA International 2012 for the Rich Freiberger Best of Conference Award is Mike Bixenman, Kyzen Corporation, for his presentation entitled "High Speed Cleaning in a Reduced Manufacturing Footprint." 

Paul Vianco, Ph.D., Sandia National Laboratories, won the Best of Proceedings category for the paper "Ag-Au-Ge Alloys for High Temperature Geothermal and Oil Well Electronics Applications."

Lars Boettcher, Fraunhofer IZM, won the Best International Paper category for the paper entitled "Development of Embedded Power Electronics Modules for Automotive Applications."

The authors will formally be presented their awards at the Opening Ceremony during SMTA International on October 15, 2013 in Fort Worth, Texas.  For information on participating in the 2013 SMTA International Conference, visit the Call for Papers page at http://smta.org/smtai/call_for_papers.cfm, or contact SMTA administrator JoAnn Stromberg at 952-920-7682 or joann@smta.org.  Abstracts can be uploaded directly on-line and will be accepted through February 28, 2013.

The papers are available in the conference proceedings available in the SMTA Bookstore at http://www.smta.org/store/book_store.cfm and will be available in the proceedings section of the SMTA Knowledge Base by February at http://www.smta.org/knowledge/knowledge.cfm.

For more information on SMTA International please contact SMTA administrator JoAnn Stromberg: joann@smta.org or 952-920-7682 or visit http://www.smta.org/smtai/.





SMTA Recognizes and Certifies SMT Assembly Process

The SMTA proudly announces upcoming offerings of SMT Certification.  The SMTA Certification program is unique as it recognizes and certifies the entire SMT assembly process at an engineering level. 

Each SMTA Certification program is a three-day offering consisting of a 1.5-day refresher workshop on topics in SMT Processes or Six Sigma/Greenbelt.  The program concludes on days two and three with an open and closed book examination.

2013 SMT Certification Dates and Locations:

 

  • March 19 - 21, 2013 (SMT Processes) - Philadelphia, PA (ACI Technologies)
  • April 30 - May 2, 2013 (SMT Processes) - Lake Oswego, OR (Micro Systems Engineering)
  • June 4 - 6, 2013 (SMT Processes) - Appleton, WI (Ducommun LaBarge Technologies, Inc.)
  • October 15 - 17, 2013 (SMT Processes and Six Sigma/Green Belt) - Fort Worth, TX (In conjunction with SMTAI)
  • November 5 - 7, 2013 (SMT Processes) - San Jose, CA (In conjunction with IWLPC)
  • SMTA Certification is intended for manufacturing and process engineers. Additionally, production, design, test and quality engineering personnel, as well as SMT assembly managers who want to confirm their current competence at a fundamental level of overall process technology should also consider participating.

    For information on certification or to register, contact Patti Hvidhyld at 952-920-7682 or patti@smta.org, or visit www.smta.org/certification/certification.cfm

     

     





    SMTA 'Members of Distinction' Award Winners Announced

    During the 2012 Annual Meeting at SMTA International, the SMTA honored members who have shown exceptional service to the association and the electronics assembly industry. 

    The FOUNDER'S AWARD honoring members who have made exceptional contributions to the industry as well as support and service to the SMTA, was presented to Vern Solberg, STC Madison.

    The MEMBER OF TECHNICAL DISTINCTION AWARD recognizes individuals who have made significant and continuing contributions to the SMTA. This year the Awards Committee selected Chrys Shea, Shea Engineering Services and Dr. Polina Snugovsky from Celestica Inc. as the recipients of this prestigious award.

    The EXCELLENCE IN LEADERSHIP AWARD honors SMTA members who stand out as strong leaders in the Association. The 2012 recipients of this award are Frances Stewart from UP Media Group and Jack Reinke from Kyzen Corporation.

    The SMTA+ CORPORATE PARTNERSHIP AWARD was presented to Kyzen Corporation. Kyzen Corporation joined the SMTA as a Corporate Member in 1993 and has shown years of support to the SMTA.

    The CHAPTER OF THE YEAR AWARD recognizes an SMTA chapter that has shown exemplary commitment to the SMTA objective of "Sharing the Knowledge."  The 2012 Chapter of the Year Award was presented to the Oregon SMTA Chapter. The 2nd Place Runner Up was the Upper Midwest Chapter and 3rd Place Runner Up went to the Dallas Chapter.

    SMTA has recognized exceptional individual and corporate members for their immeasurable contributions to the Association since 1994. Next year's winners will be recognized at the Annual Meeting during the 2013 SMTA International Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

    View details at the website: http://smta.org/awards/awards.cfm.  Please contact JoAnn Stromberg, joann@smta.org or 952-920-7682, with questions.





    SMTA Welcomes New Board Members

    Minneapolis, MN - The SMTA is pleased to announce its election results for the Board of Directors for the term that began at SMTA International (October 14-18, 2012).

    Bill Barthel, Plexus Corp. was elected as new President. Randy Schueller, Ph.D., DfR Solutions was elected as new Treasurer. Scott Nelson, Harris Corporation was elected to the Planning Committee.

    Those remaining on the SMTA Board of Directors include: VP Technical Programs, Marie Cole, IBM Corporation; VP Communications, Michelle Ogihara, Seika Machinery, Inc.; VP Membership, Roy Starks, Libra Industries; VP Expos, Hal Hendrickson, Nordson DAGE; and Secretary, David Steele, DA-TECH Corporation. Planning Committee members include: Chair, Jeff Kennedy, Celestica, Inc.; Raiyomand Aspandiar, Ph.D., Intel Corporation; Scott Priore, Cisco Systems, Inc.; and Brian Toleno, Ph.D., Henkel Corporation.

    The SMTA bids a fond farewell to departing president Dan Baldwin, Engent Inc., VP Communications, Tom Forsythe, Kyzen Corporation, and planning committee member Denis Barbini, Universal Instruments. They are congratulated for a job well done and given thanks for the years of dedication to the SMTA.

    For more information on the SMTA Board of Directors election results, contact SMTA administrator JoAnn Stromberg: joann@smta.org or 952-920-7682.





    Interview with Bill Barthel, New SMTA President

    Bill Barthel, President of SMTA
    Bill Barthel, SMTA President

    [Special thanks to Jenny Popp, Meg Wendling Associates, for conducting this interview.]

    Established 27 years ago, the SMTA membership is an international network of professionals who build skills, share practical experience and develop solutions in electronic assembly technologies, including microsystems, emerging technologies, and related business operations. Here we catch up with newly elected President Bill Barthel to find out what new plans he has in store for the SMTA.

     

    Congratulations, Bill, on your recent election as president of the SMTA. How long have you been a member of the SMTA and what previous positions have you held? Over the years, how have you seen the organization change and grow?

    I joined the SMTA in 1986 and, as we all know, the electronics industry has changed dramatically over that time frame. I did not become very involved in SMTA until the early 1990s when a colleague of mine at Plexus, Les Hymes, took the lead to form a chapter in Wisconsin where I served as Chapter VP Technical Programs. Since that time I attended as many events as possible starting with SMI in San Jose. I was elected to the Board of Directors in 2005 and during my six years on the Board, I served as Chair of the Planning Committee and Vice President of Technical Programs.

    As an electronics assembly professional, I have come to appreciate how the SMTA has evolved over the years. There are a number of things that are unique about the association, each changing in their own way with time. Local chapters grow and shift as the membership changes in that region. Technical conferences have become larger, more focused and part of a regular calendar for people who need to stay abreast of the industry’s latest and greatest developments. More technical content is available via the Internet. Networking opportunities continue to grow and, in my opinion, this is one of the greatest values of being a member.

    In retrospect, I think what surprises me most is what has not changed. Even in the digital communications age, the value of face-to-face meetings has not diminished. Be it a local chapter, a focused technical symposium, or the SMTA International Conference, the opportunities that SMTA offers provide a vast number of contacts and a great deal of knowledge. What is even better is the collegial manner in which members treat one another within this Association. This cannot be replaced with a Web meeting or PowerPoint presentation.

     

    In addition to leading the SMTA, we understand that you are the Manager, Manufacturing Technology Development at Plexus. Can you provide our readers with a brief background of your career experiences and explain how your qualifications make you the best fit for advancing the SMTA?

    Armed with a Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Wisconsin, I began my career in printed circuit fabrication. It turned out to be a great match – a chemical background in the electronics industry! After working at two PCB companies, I joined Plexus and now have been in EMS for more than20 years (some people have heard me say this is equivalent to over 140 human years!). My time with Plexus has been both exciting and rewarding because I get to work with a wide variety of products and OEMs. Since Plexus focuses on high-mix, high complexity, and high-reliability products, I have spent most of my time on process engineering for printed circuit assembly and branched out into related technologies. I was involved with the definition of our equipment, materials, and methods for these processes and I have an intimate understanding of the surface mount process. My MBA gives me an added perspective of the financial drivers of our industry as well.

    As SMTA members know, technologies are constantly changing. In order to better work these changes into Plexus capabilities, I have been involved with consortia like the International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI) where I co-chaired Board Assembly road mapping efforts and still participate on the Technical Committee. I began to appreciate the breadth of knowledge that consortia, professional, and industry associations offer in trying to understand the vast electronics industry. I also have been a member of IPC Committees, IMAPS, ASQ, and the Universal AREA Consortium.

    It is through my years of involvement with many fine organizations that I have developed a vision that better coordination of our cumulative “industry assets” would be in the best interest of all, including my company, Plexus. I believe the industry benefits from many organizations and all have an opportunity to provide something different to its members. The success of one organization does not have to come at the loss of another. Market consolidation always tests this; however, innovative, member-focused organizations like the SMTA are evolving continuously to provide more value and everyone benefits!

     

    As the industry continues rebounding and companies begin reinvesting in new products and technologies, how do you see the SMTA meeting these needs? What is your growth strategy for the global organization, both in terms of membership and technology focus?

    This is an exciting time for the SMTA, and the recent SMTA International Conference was a great illustration of the breadth of involvement SMTA has concerning new technologies as well as the growth of the industry. Technical sessions covered the gamut of challenges facing the industry from emerging technologies, lead-free soldering, and harsh environment applications to sessions dealing with business strategies and supply chain issues. The Association also supports these needs with an expanding portfolio of focused conferences like the International Wafer-Level Packaging Conference (IWLPC) and the High Reliability Cleaning & Conformal Coating Conferences. We are constantly on the lookout for new opportunities and industry professionals like SMTA’s VP of Technical Programs Marie Cole of IBM and our Technical Committees are working to expand.

    Exhibitors offering the latest solutions to new technologies reached a record number at SMTAI 2012, further illustrating that the SMTA is at the focal point for electronics assembly. The SMTA Board of Directors recognizes that the supplier side of the industry also is an important part of the knowledge sharing objectives on which the Association is founded. To provide added focus on this area, the Board approved a new officer position, VP of Exhibitions, to which industry veteran Hal Hendrickson of Nordson DAGE was appointed. We recognize the importance that a strong supplier base provides to SMTA and I am confident that a leader like Hal will help our supplier membership grow as they see the value SMTA has to offer.

    Local chapters are sponsoring more Technology Forums and Expos than ever before and we are working to develop better tools to help them grow these events and be more efficient in organizing and executing. Thanks to efforts by many as well as our VP of Membership Roy Starks of Libra Industries, we are experiencing acceleration in our growth rate. The international community also has embraced the SMTA and we have seen expansion in Central and South America, and our Asia chapters’ and events continue to get stronger. In summary, it is our strong chapter base that gives SMTA a unique ability to have a pulse on the industry and to quickly share knowledge.

     

    We were pleased to read about the coming together of two industry-leading organizations – the SMTA and the IPC — Association Connecting Industries to co-locate the IPC fall committee meetings with SMTA International. Can you tell us what led to this decision? How has it been received by the industry? Besides the obvious, “one-stop location,” what other benefits will this relationship bring to association members?

    It has been a great experience working with John Mitchell and the IPC to offer this combined event. We are pleased with the level of cooperation we have with IPC but this is not necessarily a new approach. The SMTA has a long-standing policy of working with other organizations where it makes sense and coordination with IPC actually started more than six years ago with the development of our Cleaning and Conformal coating event. We are pleased with the expansion of our relationship with IPC but should point out that we work with many other groups like MEPTEC (Medical Electronics Conference), Chip Scale Review (IWLPC), CALCE (Counterfeit Electronics) and have co-located events with iNEMI for years.

    Specifically regarding the co-location of IPC Committee meetings with the SMTA International Conference and Exhibition, there were many things that lead to this decision but on a whole it was pretty obvious that it was a win for each organization and the industry as a whole. It was nice to have John Mitchell, IPC President and CEO, present at SMTAI for the announcement, and both he and I have gotten nothing but kudos for the move. With the agreement to move forward, the real work is in high gear. Both events offer numerous meetings and we want to do our best so that similar topics do not result in a schedule conflict. Additionally, we want to create opportunities for the two groups to interact and I believe the combined networking will help SMTA International be seen as an even greater event than it already is.

     

    In your opinion, could this be a sign of things to come? Do you foresee more combined efforts between the SMTA and the IPC? If so, how would it benefit the industry?

    As previously mentioned, through my years of involvement with many fine organizations I have developed a vision that better coordination of our cumulative “industry assets” would be in the best interest of all. With that said, we are hopeful other opportunities with IPC will present themselves but, to be honest, we currently are focused on ensuring that the SMTAI Conference and Exhibition co-locating with the IPC Committee meetings is a rousing success in 2013. I am confident other opportunities as obvious as this coordination will be apparent in the future.

     

    How big a role did economics and the trend of corporations being as lean as possible play in the coming together of the two associations?

    As a conference attendee for many years, it is an easy and obvious benefit. One trip - one time out of office - to cover an agenda that previously required nearly double the time and expense. From a personal perspective, this is a great move. Potential attendees today are faced with more options and less travel time. This was an easy decision.

     

    Speaking of being lean, what do you think the industry will take from this last downturn? Do you think it has changed the way we will do business moving forward?

    In some ways I believe current constraints will be lasting and form the “new normal.” Products that benefit from being built in a certain region will be more likely to stay there and transition costs from one region to another will diminish. This will mean more products will be developed and introduced in their destination regions. The “overhead” of “intellectual capital” for companies in electronic assembly will continue to be stretched thin. This is one reason that both my company and I support organizations like SMTA. They can bolster our ability to make the right technical decisions while dealing with fewer resources. Companies that learn that being lean does not mean reducing capabilities but that value proposition will continue to flourish will continue to succeed.

     

    In today’s economy, successful companies have had to change their traditional ways of doing business. The same must hold true for industry associations. What are some examples of how the SMTA has had to think smarter to continue being a useful resource to the electronics industry?

    There is no doubt that the SMTA is growing in this time of economic uncertainty for two main reasons:

    Volunteers. I personally have met hundreds of people during my time with SMTA who have the same experience as that which prompted me to get more involved. We all feel we get far more from the Association than what we put into it. An engaged and growing number of volunteers not only helps the SMTA achieve more at less cost but it also helps to keep us focused on what is important to our Association and the industry.

    Staff. JoAnn Stromberg, Executive Administrator for the SMTA, and her team are always working behind the scenes to keep the gears of this dynamic organization running. Their tireless efforts and innovations provide a great foundation for our members and the continuation of our mission. Additionally, I think it is the flexibility demonstrated by JoAnn and the staff that allow us to deal with changes quickly, efficiently, and effectively.

     

    Under your leadership, what is one goal that you want the SMTA to accomplish by the beginning of 2013?

    You can see a number of these cited in earlier points — growth of our events through partnerships like we have with IPC and our SMTA International Conference, a greater focus on our supplier member needs, and greater support and growth in our chapters around the world.

    As I prepared to take the role of president, I reached out to a number of members including past presidents because I knew there was so much going on with the SMTA and I was worried I might not be focused enough to complete some objectives that I thought were critical for success. Now that I have assumed the position, I am pleasantly surprised with the progress and support that many of these key objectives have from our members. At this point, I personally do not feel the need to make them happen. The mission of the SMTA (beginning of the article) is being supported in so many ways that I can only hope to add to all the good things my predecessors and our wonderful volunteers have built. What a great time to be involved with the SMTA!





    SMTA Elects 11th President: Bill Barthel to Lead the Association into the Future

    EDINA, MN - October 2012 - The Surface Mount Technology Association (SMTA) announces that its membership recently elected Bill Barthel as president.
     
    Bill’s involvement in the SMTA spans more than 25 years and includes numerous achievements, including formation of the Wisconsin Chapter, Vice President Technical Programs; SMTA International & Local Chapter Speaker, Panel Participant; SMTA Workshops Presenter; SMTA Committee Member - Medical, Cleaning, PanPac, Counterfeit Electronics; Chair, SMTA Certification Committee; SMTA Board of Directors; Chair, SMTA Planning Committee; Vice President, SMTA Technical Programs; SMTA International Leadership Award, and more.
     
    Bill has been active in the industry and has played an integral role in coordinating activities between SMTA and other organizations, most recently the co-location of fall IPC committee meetings with SMTA International in 2013 and beyond. 
     
    During his two-year term, Bill plans to focus on making stronger chapters by providing more tools and support. Leveraging and refining the chapter model to support growth ensures that members’ voices are heard and involved with solutions development. Additionally, he plans to brand the SMTA as the industry leader in circuit assembly technology with strong technical programs. One way he will accomplish this is to work with like-minded organizations to the mutual benefit of all members. Finally, Bill feels that educational solutions based on the broad, cumulative knowledge base represented by the association’s members is key. For example, further advancing the certification program, which can be promoted and complimented by supporting training programs. SMTA has a reputation for unbiased information and Bill believes this can make the SMTA the industry’s premier development resource.
     
    “I am honored to have been elected president of the SMTA. Even after more than 25 years of involvement in the organization, I continue to meet great people and constantly learn more about our industry,” said Bill. “I have spent many years developing technology roadmaps and strategies and have a deep appreciation of how SMTA and other industry groups help guide the success of individual companies and the entire industry. I know that finding new ways to share the knowledge of the SMTA will bring even more value to our members. I am thankful to have my company’s support and look forward to bringing energy and commitment to growing this vital organization.”
     
    Based in Wisconsin, Bill is the Manager, Manufacturing Technology Development at Plexus Manufacturing Solutions and has been involved in the electronics manufacturing industry since 1985 with both printed circuit fabrication and printed circuit assembly (PCA). He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering, a Masters of Business Administration degree, and has been an American Society for Quality Certified Quality Engineer. At Plexus, Bill has been involved with many aspects of PCA and his involvement with Manufacturing Technology has allowed him to work on the latest technologies across numerous industries. In his corporate management role, Bill regularly coordinates global issues for Plexus and has a solid understanding of the industry’s business needs.





    SMTA, IPC to Co-locate Fall Events

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL. USA, October 15, 2012. The Surface Mount Technology Association of Edina, MN and IPC - Association Connecting Electronics Industries® announced today the co-location of the SMTA International Conference and Exhibition (SMTA International) and the IPC fall standards development committee meetings in Fort Worth, Texas, October 12 - 18, 2013 and beyond. 

    “SMTA is pleased to have the IPC committee meetings on-site at SMTA International 2013 in Fort Worth, Texas,” said Bill Barthel SMTA President, “this expands the range of technical discussions available to all attendees conveniently under one roof.” 

    While visiting SMTA International 2012 today, IPC President & CEO John Mitchell commented, ”Collocating the IPC committee meetings with SMTA International brings the best minds in the industry together to share solutions to emerging technical challenges and to document those solutions with industry standards to ensure efficient, quality operations in our industry.”

    The SMTA International Conference and Exhibition (SMTA International) and the IPC fall committee meetings will meet at the Fort Worth Texas Convention Center, October 12-18, 2013. 

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    The SMTA membership is an international network of professionals who build skills, share practical experience and develop solutions in electronic assembly technologies, including microsystems, emerging technologies and related business operations.

    IPC (www.IPC.org) is a global industry association based in Bannockburn, Ill., USA, dedicated to the competitive excellence and financial success of its 3,300 member companies which represent all facets of the electronics industry, including design, printed board manufacturing, electronics assembly and test.