By – Michael Ford, Aegis Software
It has been a couple of years since I was able to attend an IPC APEX show. APEX is unique in the industry, as it is the only show held together with a full technical conference, IPC standards committee meetings, professional training courses and more. There is no better way to be educated and become involved in the latest developments and technologies under discussion, including those behind IPC-2581.
There are many ongoing discussions of new and innovative items to add to the IPC-2581 Standard, including the whole area of true 3D support for non-traditional PCB creation. Instead of multiple layers, think about embedded components, layouts, tracks etc., existing anywhere in the 3D space, at any angle or orientation. With automation already on the market to deliver devices based on such technologies, it is time that design, and design through manufacturing, caught up! Join the discussion and have your say! (2-16: Digital Product Model Exchange (DPMX) Subcommittee – Monday January 23rd, 2023 – 10 AM to Noon)
As well as the IPC-2581 committee meeting, there is also the IPC-2581 DPMX Consortium meeting, where adopters and promoters of the Standard describe and discuss the opportunities and the benefits of IPC-2581 adoption, including those related to DFx in the latest revision C. You have to ask yourself why there are such people in the industry, that are actively helping others in the industry, without direct gain to themselves. (2-16D: IPC-2581 Users Task Group – January 25th, 2023 – 8 AM to 10 AM)
The reality is that standards such as IPC-2581 remove significant barriers set in place by tired, old, legacy practices, data formats, and proprietary solutions. Legacy approaches which constrain needed innovations throughout the industry that are necessary for everyone’s benefit. It may not be immediately obvious that anything needs “fixing”, but most design through manufacturing processes are very much prone to human error and mistakes, which is ridiculous in this digital age. (PD01: Application of IPC Smart & Secure Digital Transformation Standards – Sunday, January 22nd, 2023 – 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM)
Careful consideration, of course, of the security of data, ways of utilizing data in manufacturing without the exposure of the design data itself, ways of transferring design data securely, are all possible today. The consortium is the team through which the upgrade to the use of IPC-2581 can be done quickly, securely, without risk, and with clear justification.
Additionally at APEX 2023, there is a Professional Development Course, entitled “Application of IPC Smart & Secure Digital Transformation Standards”, in which we explore how several IPC standards, including IPC-2581, work together to form a new digital paradigm of manufacturing, underpinning the framework of open digital ecosystems, support our advanced Smart manufacturing futures. This course is a little early for some, including me, on the Sunday morning at the start of APEX, but well worth the wake-up call! I hope to see you there!