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Following its acquisition of ACI, APCT head Steve Robinson is bullish on what's ahead.

APCT in February completed the acquisition of Advanced Circuits Inc. (ACI), a printed circuit board fabricator based in Aurora, CO, and with facilities in Chandler, AZ, and Maple Grove, MN. The acquisition nearly doubles APCT's annual revenue to $200 million, and makes the company the third largest among PCB fabricators in North America behind TTM and Summit Interconnect.

In March, Steve Robinson, president and CEO of APCT, joined PCEA president Mike Buetow on the PCB Chat podcast to discuss the acquisition, the pending integration, and APCT's new responsibilities as one of the largest North American PCB fabricators. This transcript has been lightly edited for grammar and context.

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Exhibitors hope new products will keep the order books filled in 2023.

The good times of 2022 carried over into January as the industry turned out for one of the larger IPC Apex Expo trade shows in some time. The San Diego Convention Center show floor was humming for the better part of the first two days of the three-day event, and most of the more than 300 exhibitors seemed pleased with the attendance.

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CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY in late January announced the 2023 New Product Introduction Award winners for electronics assembly equipment, materials and software.

The 16th annual NPI Awards recognized leading new products during the past 12 months. An independent panel of practicing industry engineers selected the recipients. The awards were presented during a ceremony in San Diego.

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Not leaving enough clearance is a design oversight that can have costly consequences.

As PCB designers, fabricators and assemblers, we wear a lot of hats at Rush PCB. We're always working to design and build PCBAs that are the best they can be. But sometimes we are consigned product to assemble that wasn't designed by our team, and every so often we get boards that tempt us to say, "The designer clearly wasn't thinking about how we are going to build this!"

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Taking the confusion out of determining appropriate data collection parameters.

In 1924, Dr. Walter Shewhart was working at Bell Telephone Laboratories. On May 16 of that year, Dr. Shewhart wrote a memorandum in which he presented and proposed the process control chart to his superiors. Bell Telephone Laboratories believed this memorandum gave it a competitive advantage and held this paper internally. In 1931, Dr. Shewhart published his book Economic Control of Quality of Manufactured Product. In this book, Dr. Shewhart explained in detail the fundamental concepts and benefits of statistical process control. This seminal work laid the foundation for the modern quality control discipline, and the process control chart became the bedrock of quality control systems.

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The connection between flux and reflow ovens is obvious, but are there ties to stills and race cars too?

When my wife and I moved to Raleigh, NC, we soon realized we landed in the center of the universe for NASCAR fans. Richard Petty, Richard Childress, Dale Earnhardt, Junior Johnson, Dale Jarrett, Austin Dillon, J.D. McDuffee, Bobby Isaac and Rick Hendrick are a few of the well-known figures from NC. NASCAR race shops are all over the state. Towns such as Level Cross, Welcome, Kannapolis, Charlotte, Mooresville, Concord and Randleman are on every fan’s destination bucket list. Racetracks such as Bowman Gray, Charlotte, Rockingham, Ashville, Caraway, Fayetteville, North Wilkesboro, Orange County, Hickory, South Boston (VA), etc. are within a couple hours’ drive of our NC home.1

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