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IPC Push to Increase E/CIT Funding Pays Off for PCBIndustry
Thursday, October 16, 2008 | IPC

Throughstronglobbying efforts by IPC - AssociationConnectingElectronicsIndustries®, the Emerging/CriticalInterconnectionTechnology(E/CIT) program will receive $2 million infederalappropriationsfor FY 2009, up from $800,000 in FY2008. TheE/CIT programwas created in 2002 to strengthen theabilities ofboth theDepartment of Defense (DoD) and theU.S.PCBindustry.

"BecauseofIPC'scontinuing lobbying efforts, we were able to get E/CITofftheground and then annually ensure that E/CIT isfunded,"explainedTony Hilvers, vice president of industryprogramsforIPC. "The increase in funding is good news for theU.S.PCBindustry."

Thetechnologyandintelligence harnessed by today's PCBs and assembliesenablethesophisticated operation of military navigation,guidanceandcontrol, electronic warfare, missiles andsurveillanceandcommunication equipment. E/CIT, operated by NavalSurfaceWarfareCenter, Crane Division (NSWC-Crane), assures thatthemilitary hasthe latest technical capabilities, processesandequipmentavailable to support both emerging andexistingwarfighterrequirements. Legacy systems, and olderelectronicssystems,are supported by Crane through the design andmanufactureof PCBs,testing of PCBs for integration and repair ofcriticalequipmentwhen the needs cannot be fulfilled byindustry. E/CIT ispivotal to support the military's unique PCBrequirementsthroughan integrated program of research, education,andindustrialextension. The program facilitates solutions tocurrentmilitaryproblem areas and evaluates new leading-edgedesignandmanufacturing technologies for future militaryandcommercialrequirements.   

Dave Torp,IPCvicepresident of standards and technology, underscorestheimportance ofE/CIT in the changing market, "The suppliersoflegacy systems mayno longer exist and emerging technologiesareincreasingly beingdeveloped and manufactured offshore and insomecases, not atall. Therefore, the military is increasingitsdependence oncommercial off-the-shelf (COTS) electronicsystemsfor both new andold weapons equipment as opposed to theoncelarger U.S. militaryPCB supply chain. Continuing thefundingfor E/CIT issignificant because it assures that themilitary'slegacy systemsare supported andmaintained."

IPC's messageofPCBmanufacturing in support of defense systems has reachedthehighestlevels of the DoD and Congress. In a recent reporttoCongress, theNational Research Council (NRC) CommitteeonManufacturing Trends inPCB Technology Recommendationsannouncedthat the DoD should continueto use the existingmanufacturingcapabilities at NSWC Crane andWarner Robins AirLogistics Centerin Georgia, as well as contractorscurrentlyproviding legacy PCBsupport, to address the ongoing needfor PCBsin legacy defensesystems.

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