Interview

IPC Class 2 or 3? The customer should be the only standard

Board quality control is a world in which an incredible number of abbreviations appear. There are standards and certifications such as IPC 1, IPC 2, IPC 3, ISO 9000, ISO 14001, CMI 700 and CMI 900 devices, CoC reports, RoHS, and UL certification. Nevertheless, a human is still the decisive variable in the whole process. Ordinary interpersonal communication that solves possible problems and shortcomings. And, at the same time, the error of the human factor, which is by far the most common cause of possible complications. Jaroslava Sedláčková from Gatema PCB, who has been dealing with the quality of the output of manufactured printed circuit boards for twelve years and is also in charge of communication with customers in the event of any complaints, also knows this well. “Every customer is different. Some are accommodating, others are negative. For some, it is enough that the board meets one of the standards, others insist on a number of details. For us, the only real standard is the customer, or rather his satisfaction”, she says at the beginning of the interview.

Despite the crisis, we keep production deadlines of five to ten days

We have already written about the situation with materials for the production of printed circuit boards on this blog. Today, we look at the whole story once again – through the spectacle of numbers, delivery times and economic prospects. “The situation on the market for materials and their supplies is currently incredibly bad. The “lead time” for basic materials such as prepregs or cores was, by default, fourteen days. From February this year, however, we are actually registering a constant change for the worse. At first the time shifted to four to five weeks, a month later it was six to seven weeks for prepregs and thirteen weeks for basic materials. In May, we were informed that they were forced to extend the delivery time for prepregs to eleven weeks and twenty to twenty-one weeks for basic material. Our standard established practice, when we order material and have it in stock within fourteen days, basically changed to five months. It is common now that the delivery terms are confirmed for November. But, having reacted in March with an increase in the stock minima, we are covering up lead time without major delays”, says Radim Vítek, production manager at Gatema PCB.

Silicon Photonics? A huge trend, which, however, will not beat the PCB price

There is nowhere to grow. Current science in the field of processor development has found itself at the very limit of possibilities. We can hardly produce even smaller or denser parts and components without encountering basic physical limits. That's why companies around the world are focusing a lot on “revolutionary” architectural change. In the field of photonics or “silicon photonics” it is optical data interconnection with integrated lasers. We, Czechs, with a few exceptions in the field of photonics, rather play second fiddle. One of the rare exceptions is the Argotech company located in Trutnov. We talked with Martin Žoldák, the head of its development department, about photonics and printed circuit boards.

Brains from Slušovice. Before and today, they arouse respect far beyond the borders

The beginning of this story will sound a little bit strange especially to the youngest generation. The origin of the MGM Compro company, which today is one of the world-renowned experts in the development and production of special electronics in the field of drive systems, speed controllers or battery systems, can be traced back to the United Agricultural Cooperative in Slušovice. What can an inconspicuous town of 3,000 people east of Zlín have in common with innovative electronics and printed circuit boards? At least the person of Grigorij "Griša" Dvorský who has been there for more than three decades. He remembers the times of the "Slušovice miracle" when leading brains from all over the country met in Slušovice and in addition to specialists in cattle breeding, corn growing or food processing, there was also an elite team of microelectronics developers. At a level that exceeded the boundaries common to the countries east of the "Iron Curtain".

First Electric Formula Racing Car Designed in TU Brno

The great world of Formula One racing is perhaps too exorbitant for Czechs to break into. It's all about big global brands that are behind their racers and their cars. It's not just about driving skills, but about the ability to win big sponsors, build an elite team, and secure a place among less than thirty chosen drivers. Despite this, a new project is being launched in the Czech Republic that is attracting attention. The project, headed by TU Racing team, which operates at the Brno University of Technology, aims to design the very first electric Formula car in the history of the country. We talked to Dominik Klement, the youngest head of the team in its ten-year history and the first ever team head from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, about how Czech students are doing compared with global competition and about electronics and printed circuit boards.