What’s Happening at Aurora Circuits:
PCB 101 Tech Talk: ENIG and ENIPIG Finish
PCBs are constantly evolving, yet fundamentals are still in use from years ago. We are going to start our “PCB 101 Tech Talk” newsletter section each month to discuss best practices and PCB basics. You never know what you may learn! Our upcoming columns will cover PCB finishes. Up first:
ENIG (Electroless Nickel, Immersion Gold)
An excellent surface coating that has been used with success on many PCB’s. It does have a higher cost. However, it features a very flat surface with excellent solderability. One past negative is a condition known as black pad, which has now been solved and the process is currently very much the desired surface finish. It features excellent solderability, extremely coplanar flat surface, excellent shelf life if stored correctly, and can withstand multiple reflows.
ENIPIG (Electroless Nickel, Immersion Palladium, Immersion Gold)
A newer finish that is similar to ENIG with an extra immersion layer of Palladium which decreases gold absorption through the nickel layer into the copper. The very thin immersion layer of Palladium stops the migration of the gold. Although pricier, it does have applications where gold wire is required from the ENIPIG surface to a chip on board.
*Used with permission from Robert Tarzwell
IPC Economic Update
The IPC released it’s March economic update and the banking crises across the globe were front and center. This will, of course, affect lending and risk calculuses made by banks, potentially holding back capital expenditures for PCB fabricators. The fallout it still rippling across the financial landscape and we may not understand the full extent for many more months. There is still debate over the true depth and breadth of a recession; however, most economists agree on a bumpy road ahead for the rest of 2023 and into 2024.
In the employment sector “job growth in the U.S. was strong through February but the total number of hours worked fell 0.1%. Private-sector wages, which are a combination of total hours worked and average hourly earnings, rose just 0.2% in February, the smallest increase in two years. The labor market is a lagging indicator but we are starting to see signs of softness.” So, what does this tell us? The whole idea of a recession has been written off by many economists and new organizations because of the strong labor numbers. If these begin to remain flat or fall, coupled with GDP contraction, can we all agree that we are now in a recession?
GDP rose 0.3% in March, as opposed to a 0.1% drop in January and February–not sparkling numbers but not the “sky is falling” rhetoric some have been espousing since 2021. The next three quarters will start to tell the tale we’ve all been waiting for since the start of the artificial economic shutdown of 2020. Let’s hope our economy has weathered the shocks and will emerge stronger than ever.
A lot has changed over the past 70 years, but what hasn’t changed is Aurora Circuits dedication to remaining 100% American Made. With over 70 years of knowledge and experience to make your project a reality, we stand by our commitment to manufacture the highest quality products founded on expertise and innovation.