Volume 1, Issue No. 3 Wednesday, August 18, 1999
Featured Article

Book Review
by Brian Ellis

Title: A Comprehensive Guide to the Design and Manufacture of Printed Board Assemblies Vol. 1 & 2
Editor: William Macleod Ross
Publisher: Electrochemical Publications Limited, GB

This two-volume work can possibly be considered the definitive work on all aspects from the design through to the finished product, at least for the next several years. The editor has collected the opinions of world experts in each field of activity and each has written a chapter (or sometimes two chapters). Never, in the history of our industry, has so much useful information been collected into one source. The first volume (744 pp)is devoted essentially to the design, assembly, soldering and testing of the finished assemblies. The second (1108 pp) is consecrated to the fabrication of the bare boards, quality assurance, the environment and the administrative sides. This order seems to lack coherence but as the engineering should be concurrent, it is difficult to divide the subject matter logically. My main complaint is that the two volumes are really independent books, each with its own chapter and page numbering, table of contents and indexing, with no cross-referencing between them. It would have been more logical, in my opinion, to have one index covering both volumes, so that - if searching for a subject - one could see straight away where it was to be found. On the other hand, the indexing is excellent, with a separate name index, into the bargain. Most of the chapters have both references and a general bibliography if a subject should need to be researched in more detail.

These books were about eight years in the making. Nevertheless, they are up-to-date, with such subjects as High Density Interconnection Structures, microvia ablation and the new brominated solvents discussed in detail, as well as the latest laminates. Having been involved myself in writing two chapters (which I shall not comment on!), I know my latest modifications to them are no more than about 8 months old. The depth of treatment is probably greater than in any other general work on PCB technology yet published. Of course, it is not possible to put into a single chapter all that can be found in a whole specialised book. However, there is more than sufficient to, for example, inform a designer about all he needs to know concerning bare board fabrication, assembly and so on or to inform the assembler about the implications his processes must impose on the designer and to ensure an adequate reliability for the final product. This work is therefore, in my opinion, a must for anyone in a technical branch of our industry, despite the apparently high price ($176 and $236, respectively). However, it is very good value for the money and this can be confirmed by a glance at the tables of contents, which may be found at

Vol. 1: http://www.elchempub.com/epfiles/ep30(2).htm
Vol. 2 : http://www.elchempub.com/epfiles/ep30.htm
respectively, if not logically.


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