Reflections on my 500th column

This is it Column 500! Representing 10 years and nearly half a million words opinions, comments, complaints and aggravations I have reached this milestone which to be honest I am not sure all of you are going to think is good thing. In fact some of you probably think it’s been a less than rewarding experience to have to put up with my two cents for so long. But for the rest of you let me say a heartfelt thanks for letting me try to entertain you all these Mondays. I would also like to thank the people at I-Connect for providing me with this platform and then allows me to say pretty much anything I like…except for that lone time with that Sanmina column…but that’s another story for another day. Special thanks to Barry who convinced me to write for his publication and Barb for her intro to the column and Holly who edited so many of them and thanks to Andy, my current editor who much to his chagrin once had to fire me from another magazine which was especially tough for both of us because like Cosmo Kramer I didn’t really work there. But thanks anyway Andy for all your support, I’m glad that you’re now on our team. And thanks to Bryson who makes sure my audio version works and to Patty who makes sure that we all do our job and on time to boot and to my friend Marty who sends the column out to my data base on Tuesdays and to Bruce who makes sure it hits my social media as well.

I started in this business in February of 1973 which means this is my 43rd year in the PCB industry so I guess it has worked out pretty well for someone who was supposed to be an English teacher, sure I can hear you laughing at that Andy! For the first 20 or so years had a real jobs with three companies Maine Electronics, General Circuits and Automated Systems all of which are now out of business as are over a 1000 other North American shops that once were the backbone of the global PCB industry. Exactly twenty years ago I started D.B. Management Group with my good friend Don Dawson who I have to thank for pushing me in this direction and yes to the late great Mike Pierce who truth be known funded our beginning. During these past twenty years I have worked with over 150 companies proving once again that I just can’t keep a job. We’ve won some and yes we’ve lost some but I always have done my best along the way. I heartfelt thanks to those companies who allowed me to work with them.

Yikes this is starting to sound like a swan song isn’t it? But lest you think that let me assure you that I’m not going anywhere. I am in for the long haul. And until there is only one board shop left in America I will be here.

Just to prove that I have not lost by bite here are some of the things we’ll be talking about starting Next week with column 501:

  • Why was the CPCA and APEX held during the same week? Whats up with that? Do you mean to tell me that IPC has lost its’ clout with the Chinese market? Do you mean to tell me that the government funds they used to translate their specs into Mandarin have been wasted?
  • How about the fact that there is only one seat on the IPC board held by a genuine PCB fabricator and that seat is being given to someone from TTM? Really? When is IPC going to stop catering to the giants and stand up for the normal board shops?
  • And oh yes why don’t the IPC reps take a tour of the APEX floor and thank those people and their companies who are spending thousands of dollars exhibiting at that money trap of an exhibition? I did not talk to one person who even saw and IPC person.

See what I mean? You’re not getting rid of me yet.

And finally to state my position let me take liberties with the words of the great American writer John Steinbeck

Wherever there’s a CM screwing a shop

Wherever an owner’s about to give up

Where there’s a fight against unfair specs

Look for me, cause I’ll be there

Wherever there’s a company trying to survive

Or just trying to find their way to make ends meet

Wherever a PCB shop is struggling against offshore

Look in their eyes and you’ll see me

So no, I’m not going anywhere. I am here to stay and say the things you can’t. I’ve got your back. I’ve got you covered.

And so for the 500th time I say it again its only common sense

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