The Digital Layout: A Grand Announcement

Introduction
This month, I share some special news and changes regarding the PCEA. Next, I will humbly and gracefully hand this column back to its original founder, PCEA Chairman Steph Chavez, who will expound on some very exciting announcements which were made in early October at PCB West in Santa Clara, California.

As always, we’ll provide our readers with a list of events to finish out 2021 and take us into 2022. 

PCEA Updates
Who other than a dynamic organization like the PCEA could decide they want to establish a trade show footprint one month and then muster the creative talents of their executive staff to design a trade show booth to exhibit at DesignCon the next? Oh, and then exhibit at another major trade show such as PCB West 2021 only a short time later? I’ll tell you, the PCEA has a momentum in this industry the likes of which we have not seen. I do not use the word momentum lightly. Because, like the shiny, spherical bob of a pendulum in a Newtonian mechanics experiment, the leadership of this organization seems to be able to swoop down from their rightward (positive) displacement, pass their zero-position goal of achieved success, and still have enough momentum to reach their leftward displacement where they tend to set yet another, even loftier goal. The harmonic motion repeats but—unlike a pendulum—appears to gain energy rather than lose it to physical pseudoforces.  

PCEA_Nov_pendulum_cap.jpgI’m usually bad at metaphors though I’ve (ab)used a few in this column from time to time. As a graphics-minded career professional in an industry which still relies on “artwork” to create PCB hardware, it is sometimes difficult for me to describe things without using this metaphor shtick to make a point. But here I am, exceeding the physical confines of my pendulum metaphor. This metaphor is inaccurate because unlike a pendulum—which will eventually lose its kinetic energy and stop—the PCEA is growing and gaining energy. By now, you might have heard PCEA has signed a letter of intent to purchase certain assets of UP Media Group.

Talk about momentum. Wow! Does this mean that this organization went from an idea hatched between a group of PCB industry friends and colleagues at a trade show to buying a trade show booth, attending two trade shows, and then entering a deal to purchase a major trade show all in the span of less than two years? Even Star Trek’s admirable chief engineer and miracle worker, Montgomery Scott “Scotty,” would be amazed at our PCEA leadership’s ability to seemingly “defy the laws of physics.” I’d better turn it over now to Chairman Steph to fill you in.

steph_chavez300.jpgMessage from the Chairman

by Stephen Chavez, MIT, CID+

I want to personally thank Kelly for his unique flair in capturing the positive PCEA emotions we’ve built over these past two years and putting them into colorful words for the success of this column. I also want to thank him for his professionalism and tireless efforts in taking this column to the heights where it is today. Outstanding job, Kelly! Here is the big news of the day: PCEA is acquiring the assets of UP Media Group, including its publication. Words don’t adequately express how excited we are at this prospect. Let me briefly explain what this means.

PCEA_Nov_Figs1-2_cap.jpgThe PCEA board of directors consists of 12 industry engineers. Just like you, we spend our days designing and building printed circuits. Our roles in the association are voluntary; we do this out of a passion for helping our colleagues by means of collaboration, education, and inspiration (the core mission of PCEA).

The acquisition of these assets, which also includes the PCB West and PCB East trade shows, among other properties, brings with it the first full-time staff for PCEA. The board can henceforth focus on its traditional roles as directors, including reviewing the strategic and operational issues we need to address, and setting the goals for the organization. The board, in short, will set the strategic plan. The staff, for its part, will be responsible for the operations and executing of that plan.

This puts each of the respective board members and the PCEA staff in roles where we can individually (and as a unit) reach optimal effectiveness.

We expect to form a nominating committee for future board members, so if you are interested, please drop me a line.

I will have much more to say on this as we go forward, complete the transaction, and work toward fleshing out the strategic plan. Until then, feel free to reach out to me any time.

As always, if you have anything to do with printed circuit engineering, I highly recommend you get involved with and join the PCEA collective, if you have not already. By joining, your percentage of long-term professional development increases significantly.

Refer to our column and the PCEA website to stay up to date with the up-and-coming industry events. Take advantage of free webinar opportunities and consider joining us. Visit pce-a.org for details.

I wish everyone’s families health and safety. Best of success to all as 2021 wraps up.

Warmest regards, Steph 

Next Month
As I mentioned, Steph Chavez will be taking over the column each month. We can look forward to the entire column being an inspiring, direct information feed regarding the plans and activities of the PCEA. If you’ve noticed, Steph often makes a point in his writing to “highly recommend” participating in all things PCEA. I’d like to borrow his gesture here and highly recommend that you tune into this column to keep up with how the PCEA is continuing its momentum to collaborate, educate, and inspire us all in this organization and this industry.

Upcoming Events
Hope to see you at any or all of these.

productronica
Nov. 16–19, 2021
Munich, Germany

IPC APEX EXPO
Jan 22–27, 2022
San Diego Convention Center
San Diego, California

Altium Live 2022
Jan 26–28, 2022
San Diego Convention Center
San Diego, California

PCB East 2022
April 11–13, 2022
Marlborough, Massachusetts

Spread the word. If you have a significant electronics industry event that you would like to announce, please send details to stephen.chavez.pcea@gmail.com, and we will consider adding it to the list.

Conclusion
Back in September, I posed a question: “Could we be looking forward to any big announcements?” Like you, I could not have imagined such an opportunity would materialize so quickly for the PCEA. Whether it has to do with the laws of physics, karma, or both, the PCEA is metamorphosing before our very eyes. Let us not only watch as a new PCEA begins to emerge, but jump in and find ways to connect, engage, learn, and grow with the membership which will certainly benefit because of all this.

It has been an honor to keep in touch with you by way of this monthly column. But for now, I’ll stop typing, and look forward to putting on my glasses to start reading about all the great things to come by way of the PCEA—of which I am a proud and grateful member.

So long for now!

This column originally appeared in the November 2021 issue of Design007 Magazine.

Back

2021

The Digital Layout: A Grand Announcement

11-11-2021

Who other than a dynamic organization like the PCEA could decide they want to establish a trade show footprint one month and then muster the creative talents of their executive staff to design a trade show booth to exhibit at DesignCon the next? Oh, and then exhibit at another major trade show such as PCB West 2021 only a short time later? I’ll tell you, the PCEA has a momentum in this industry the likes of which we have not seen. I do not use the word momentum lightly. Because, like the shiny, spherical bob of a pendulum in a Newtonian mechanics experiment, the leadership of this organization seems to be able to swoop down from their rightward (positive) displacement, pass their zero-position goal of achieved success, and still have enough momentum to reach their leftward displacement where they tend to set yet another, even loftier goal.

View Story

The Digital Layout: Electronics Data Format Collaboration—Help Wanted

10-19-2021

In this month’s column, I share some critical staffing requirements which need to be filled within the PCEA. As always, we’ll hear from our Chairman, Steph Chavez, as he expresses his excitement regarding the PCEA’s involvement in recent electronics industry trade shows. Then I’m happy to close out by providing our readers with a list of upcoming events.

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The Digital Layout: Interaction—The Cure for Industry Contraction

10-04-2021

In this month’s column, I share reports from our PCEA leadership on a flurry of activity over the past month. Next, I highlight some inspiring words which our Chairman Steph Chavez recently delivered to our executive staff. Again, I am happy to provide our readers with a list of events which are coming up in 2021 and 2022.

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The Digital Layout: Educational Accolades for Our Chapter Liaison

09-02-2021

In this month’s column, I will give kudos to our PCEA Chapter Liaison who has been capturing the efforts of the PCEA to educate our members and our industry as a whole and then pass the mic to our PCEA Chairman, Steph Chavez to provide some thoughts on the matter.

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The Digital Layout: Say What You Do—Do What You Say

07-28-2021

In this month’s column, Kelly Dack provides answers to some common questions about joining an electronics industry organization. PCEA Chairman Steph Chavez conveys his excitement and anticipation of events to come and how the PCEA will be involved.

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The Digital Layout: PCB Engineering on the Move

06-15-2021

In this month’s column, Kelly Dack examines the PCB engineering job outlook and evaluate the career moves we are making, while PCEA Chairman Steph Chavez lists some important attributes in our personal development that will keep our edges sharp.

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The Digital Layout: Test for Design—How Do You Measure Up?

05-25-2021

In this month’s column, Kelly Dack conveys the value of honing a skill set and the importance of being able to measure that skill set. Next, I hand it off to our PCEA Chairman Steph Chavez, who offers a positive outlook on PCEA activities over the summer months. Again, I am happy to provide our readers with a growing list of events which are coming up in 2021.

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The Digital Layout: Back to Back Chapter Meetings and More

04-15-2021

In this month’s column, Kelly Dack extends an overview of two recent PCEA chapter meetings and gives a nod to two very interesting presenters, and PCEA Chairman Stephen Chavez relates a recent, personal career “crossroads” experience.

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The Digital Layout: Messages from the Chairmen

03-24-2021

In this month’s column, Kelly Dack interviews the chairman and chairman emeritus for the PCEA, who provide their shared viewpoints on the importance of organizing.

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The Digital Layout: Footprints—Small Steps with a Giant Impact

02-11-2021

Kelly Dack celebrates the importance of the humble PCB component footprint, and PCEA Chairman Stephen Chazev provides some inspiring words as we tread into the new year.

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2020

The Digital Layout: PCEA 2020—Small Rearview Mirror, Big Windshield

12-10-2020

In this month’s forward-driving column, Kelly Dack glances back at PCEA’s year in “rearview," and PCEA Chairman Stephen Chavez focuses on what lies ahead. Dack also points out some interesting events for you to consider attending.

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The Digital Layout: PCEA and Industry Leaders Who Happen to Be Women

11-20-2020

In this month’s column, Kelly Dack introduces a few of our inspiring PCEA leaders who happen to be women and teases some upcoming coverage we’ll be doing on one of the PCEA’s educational networking events. PCEA Chairman Stephen Chavez also offers his take on the importance of diversity in a collective organization.

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The Digital Layout: Local Chapters—You Can Distance This Body But Not These Senses

10-23-2020

Kelly Dack shares a few thoughts on the formation of PCEA chapters as far as where they’re at and where they need to go, and PCEA Chairman Stephen Chavez offers some encouraging words for these extended times of COVID-19.

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The Digital Layout: Education Unlocks the Golden Door to Freedom

10-09-2020

Kelly Dack speaks with the PCEA Educational Committee regarding the team’s take on the PCEA’s role in education. What do they have in store? PCEA Chairman Steph Chavez also weighs in on the strength of our education committee and why it is crucial to the PCEA’s mission.

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The Digital Layout: It’s Official—1,000+ PCEA Members Worldwide

08-27-2020

Kelly Dack reviews the virtual PCEA grand opening, which took place on July 14, 2020 and featured guest presenter and PCEA educational committee member Rick Hartley. He also checks in with the PCEA education committee, and PCEA Chairman Steph Chavez also shares his satisfaction with the PCEA's recent open house.

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The Digital Layout: The PCEA’s Grand Opening

07-15-2020

Kelly Dack interviews Rick Hartley about the presentation he has prepared for the PCEA’s grand opening on July 14, and PCEA Chairman Steph Chavez shares a timely message on how our time working from home is a serious matter, and how letting our guard down could be a mistake.

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The Digital Layout: An Expectation of Collaboration

06-15-2020

Kelly Dack shares updates on the PCEA website and reports on some inspiring communication on collaboration taking place between the PCEA and a well-known industry organization. Kelly also includes a "Message From the Chairman," Steph Chavez, as well as professional development opportunities and events.

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The Digital Layout: Life During COVID-19 ‘Wartime’

05-15-2020

This month, Kelly Dack shares updates on the progress the PCEA staff is making toward establishing a web presence and reports on what the PCEA is preparing in support of the PCB engineering community. Though PCEA chapter activities, as well as professional development and event opportunities, have been limited because of restrictions due to COVID-19, PCEA Chairman Steph Chavez also offers his perspective on the challenges of staying connected without using traditional means.

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The Digital Layout: Onward!

04-30-2020

In Kelly Dack's debut as the new author of this column, he provides updates on the direction and leadership of the PCEA and upcoming professional development and event opportunities, and Stephen Chavez shares his first "message from the chairman." In addition, Bob McCreight, president of the Silicon Valley Chapter, discusses their most recent “lunch and learn” event held in February.

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The Digital Layout: The Foundation of the PCEA Is Being Laid

03-17-2020

Stephen Chavez highlights the Orange County Chapter’s recent meeting and their transition from IPC to PCEA affiliation, recent PCEA activities, and the evolution of this column, including introducing Kelly Dack, CID+, PCEA's new communication officer.

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2019

The Digital Layout: Fall 2019 Recap

12-29-2019

As the second half of the year is quickly passing by, the IPC Designers Council has seen lots of continued activities within our industry regarding PCB design. PCB West was held in mid-September in Santa Clara, California, and as usual, the show exceeded expectations. Stephen Chavez provides a brief breakdown of fall activities within local chapters.

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The Digital Layout: Recent IPC DC Chapter Activities

10-23-2019

We’re onto the second half of the year now, and we’ve seen lots of activities within our local Designers Council (DC) Chapters, including a few international chapters as well. Here's a snapshot of what has taken place so far from several of our active chapters.

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The Digital Layout: New and Thriving Chapters in Mexico

08-01-2019

This month’s column highlights the Monterrey Designers Council Chapter located in Monterrey, Mexico. The chapter was established November 23, 2017, which makes it a younger chapter compared to several other global chapters currently in existence today. I also share news about a new chapter forming in Nogales, Mexico.

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The Digital Layout: Spotlight on the Orange County Chapter

06-13-2019

So, what’s so special about the Orange County Chapter? For starters, we’re fortunate that a large number of electronics companies are located in Southern California, so there are many PCB designers in our area who are thirsty for knowledge. We are also lucky to have many local PCB fabrication and assembly companies from which we draw attendees and speakers. All of the major CAE vendors have offices and technical field personnel here and have been very supportive of our chapter in hosting lunches to help us keep our costs down.

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The Digital Layout: San Diego Chapter Updates and More

05-20-2019

This month’s column is packed with recent activities, including a spotlight on the San Diego Chapter and an interview with Luke Hausherr, the new chapter president. You’ll also find an update from the IPC Designers Council Executive Board as collaboration with the new IPC Education Foundation continues to evolve and recommended reading featuring an interview with a young designer.

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The Digital Layout: Greater Phoenix Chapter Revived

03-21-2019

The Greater Phoenix chapter was revived in late 2018 after being largely dormant over the past few years. It has also undergone some leadership changes. As the former president, I have taken on a more active global role at the executive level of the IPC Executive DC Board as the communications officer at large. I will stay on the leadership committee for the Greater Phoenix Chapter as the VP at the request of the newly elected president, Randy Kumagai. Randy and I have already started to brainstorm with ways to kickstart the chapter’s activity in 2019.

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The Digital Layout: Designer Highlights From IPC APEX EXPO 2019

03-15-2019

The IPC Designers Council Executive Board meeting took place on January 29. Executive Board members in attendance included Gary Ferrari, Mike Creeden, Cherie Litson, Kelly Dack, Thomas Romont, and me. We also had Michael Schleicher, a guest representative from Germany, in attendance. Further, Dr. John Mitchell, Dave Hernandez, Colette Buscemi, Teresa Rowe, Aaron Birney, and Charlene Gunter du Plessis represented IPC.

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The Digital Layout: Cascade Designers Council Chapter and 2019 Activities

02-28-2019

Our CID+ class had four people enrolled who came from around the area. All who attended learned about how board materials affected their designs, including EMI, EMC, impedance control, power distribution techniques, board stackups, and placement strategies in more detail than what was in the CID. Further, participants took the exam first thing Friday morning. This allowed us time to attend the Designers Council “lunch-and-learn” meeting, and the Altium user group met afterward in the same location.

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The Digital Layout: Chapter Highlights and Certification Successes

01-24-2019

This month’s column highlights the San Diego chapter, which is also where IPC APEX EXPO 2019 will be held at the end of January. You will also find updates on recent CID and CID+ certification success stories, a recap of the PCB Carolina event from the Research Triangle Park (RTP) North Carolina chapter, and upcoming events, so mark your calendars for next year.

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2018

The Digital Layout: Chapter Roundup and CID+ Certification

12-12-2018

This month’s spotlight is the Silicon Valley Chapter. We held our fall quarterly meeting on October 25, 2018, at none other than Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California—yes, the site of Super Bowl 50 and the soon-to-be 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship game. This was made possible by our host, Sierra Circuits, and sponsor, Altium. We thank them both graciously. Out of 33 total RSVPs, 24 were able to attend the lunchtime meeting. Fun fact: of the members who RSVPed, six of them were CID certified and 10 were CID+ certified, with Faisal Ahmed being the most recent (hear more from him later).

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The Digital Layout: Designers Council Update and PCB Carolina 2018

10-24-2018

Welcome to the first edition of "The Digital Layout." As a current IPC Designers Council (DC) Executive Board member and a long-time active IPC member, I was nominated to be the chairman of the newly created communications subcommittee. In this role, I will be the main point of contact for global chapter communications and will work with local IPC chapter leaders to publish content in this new column. We want to utilize this column to help spread the IPC DC Executive Board’s goals like a virus.

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