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Caveat Lector

Mike BuetowAs we come to the end of our run of articles excerpted from the 2017 iNEMI Roadmap, it gives us time to reflect on the nature of roadmaps in general and their value to the industry.

I’ve always been a fan of them. My history with the document dates to the earliest interconnect roadmap, developed by IPC in 1994. As a cub reporter, I covered the series of meetings that led to the first PWB roadmap. The energy was palpable. We really felt like we were saving the industry.

Subject experts acted as chairs for the respective working groups, each tasked with developing a chapter. Each chapter reflected the biases of those who developed it. That first tome ran a scant 172 pages and reviewed nine technology areas, primarily bare boards, assembly, packaging, and components. The development process hasn’t changed dramatically since then, even as the sheer volume of what is described has exploded.

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Mike BuetowWhat’s in a name?

We probably ask that question about 10,000 times over the course of our lives. It often starts with our own. How many times did you complain – loudly or under your breath – about your own name? “Mine’s too common/uncommon/plain/weird,” etc. A name is just a name, but for many juveniles, it’s their introduction to branding.

I attended a parochial school for eight years. At one time, no fewer than five of the 20 or so boys in my class were named Michael. And “it wasn’t me, it was the other Mike” could only fool the nuns for so long. At one point, probably around third grade, in the faintest of hopes to distinguish myself, I remember telling classmates and teachers to call me by my middle name: John.

That didn’t take either. And so went my early attempts to raise my “personal brand.”

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Mike BuetowLast month, a California jury awarded a resident $289 million, finding he had developed cancer from exposure to a popular brand of herbicide.

What, you may ask, does a guy who used Roundup to kill weeds around school buildings in the San Francisco Bay area have to do with me in the printed circuit board industry?

A lot, potentially.

I had the pleasure in August of interviewing Brenda Baney for our PCB Chat podcast. As some readers may remember, Baney previously was a regular in these pages. She was an excellent columnist: knowledgeable, opinionated and articulate. After two decades at Delco, she now runs B Cubed Consulting, where she provides expert guidance on conflict minerals, RoHS and REACH product stewardship, and the International Material Data System.

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