Original Press Release
IPC Efforts To Increase E/CIT Funding Pay Off for U.S. PCB Industry
Press release date: October 16, 2008
BANNOCKBURN, Ill., USA, October 16, 2008 - Through strong lobbying efforts by IPC - Association Connecting Electronics Industries®, the Emerging/Critical Interconnection Technology (E/CIT) program will receive $2 million in federal appropriations for FY 2009, up from $800,000 in FY 2008. The E/CIT program was created in 2002 to strengthen the abilities of both the Department of Defense (DoD) and the U.S. printed circuit board (PCB) industry. "Because of IPC's continuing lobbying efforts, we were able to get E/CIT off the ground and then annually ensure that E/CIT is funded," explained Tony Hilvers, vice president of industry programs for IPC. "The increase in funding is good news for the U.S. PCB industry."
The technology and intelligence harnessed by today's PCBs and assemblies enable the sophisticated operation of military navigation, guidance and control, electronic warfare, missiles, and surveillance and communication equipment. E/CIT, operated by Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC-Crane), assures that the military has the latest technical capabilities, processes and equipment available to support both emerging and existing warfighter requirements. Legacy systems, and older electronics systems, are supported by Crane through the design and manufacture of PCBs, testing of PCBs for integration, and repair of critical equipment when the needs cannot be fulfilled by industry. E/CIT is pivotal to support the military's unique PCB requirements through an integrated program of research, education, and industrial extension. The program facilitates solutions to current military problem areas and evaluates new leading-edge design and manufacturing technologies for future military and commercial requirements.
Dave Torp, IPC vice president of standards and technology, underscores the importance of E/CIT in the changing market, "The suppliers of legacy systems may no longer exist and emerging technologies are increasingly being developed and manufactured offshore and in some cases, not at all. Therefore, the military is increasing its dependence on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) electronic systems for both new and old weapons equipment as opposed to the once larger U.S. military PCB supply chain. Continuing the funding for E/CIT is significant because it assures that the military's legacy systems are supported and maintained.
IPC's message of PCB manufacturing in support of defense systems has reached the highest levels of the DoD and Congress. In a recent report to Congress, the National Research Council (NRC) Committee on Manufacturing Trends in PCB Technology Recommendations announced that the DoD should continue to use the existing manufacturing capabilities at NSWC Crane and Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Georgia, as well as contractors currently providing legacy PCB support, to address the ongoing need for PCBs in legacy defense systems.
For more information on IPC's lobbying activities or the E/CIT program, contact Ron Chamrin, IPC manager of government relations, at RonChamrin@ipc.org or +1 703-522-0225.
IPC (www.IPC.org) is a global trade association based in Bannockburn, Ill., dedicated to the competitive excellence and financial success of its 2,700 member companies which represent all facets of the electronics industry, including design, printed board manufacturing, electronics assembly and test. As a member-driven organization and leading source for industry standards, training, market research and public policy advocacy, IPC supports programs to meet the needs of an estimated $1.5 trillion global electronics industry. IPC maintains additional offices in Taos, N.M.; Arlington, Va.; Garden Grove, Calif.; Stockholm, Sweden; and Shanghai, China.