Bristlecone LLC Consulting Services

Training Workshops

These workshops can be modified to fit your specific needs – specifically tailored to your manufacturing environment. In particular, with basic training for new employees, we have found it very beneficial to customize the program around the equipment platform and processes in place at your facility. (This may require up to 2 days of advanced preparation and may or may not have to be done at the client site.)

Hand-out materials may be provided at a minimal cost for reproduction. Soft copy of all workshops are included normally.

“Train the Trainer” services may also be provided.

CID certified trainer. Certified Interconnect Designer (CID) programs are managed by our trade association, the IPC. Richard is a certified trainer and will be pleased to assist you in organizing a class for your employees. Workshop and examination fees are handled by the IPC.

Click on the links below to view workshop details.

Recommended participants:
Anyone interested in the fundamentals of bare PCB technology


This course is an overview of printed circuit board materials and processes. It focuses on the classic multilayer board manufacturing technology and how this relates to HDI, hybrids, flex and rigid flex printed board technology.

What participants will learn:

Classic printed circuit board, high density interconnect (HDI/microvia), hybrid multilayer, flex and rigid flex printed circuit board technology will be explored. Topics include:

  • PCB history
  • Process types
  • Common construction issues
  • Classic MLB fabrication

Recommended participants:
Anyone interested in the fundamentals of bare PCB technology, more detailed than the half day workshop.


This course is an in-depth discussion of printed circuit board fabrication and materials and processes. It builds on the classic multilayer board manufacturing technology and expands into HDI, hybrids, flex and rigid flex materials, processes and manufacturing technology.

What participants will learn:
A clear and solid understanding of PCB technology, building a foundation from classic printed circuit board, high density interconnect (HDI/microvia), hybrid multilayer, to flex and rigid flex printed circuit board technology will be explored. This is an all day and more indepth version of the half day workshop. Topics include:

  • PCB history
  • Process types
  • Common construction issues
  • Front-end engineering
  • Classic MLB fabrication
  • Materials: conventional, advanced high performance, and hybrid

Recommended participants:
Anyone interested in a broad understanding of printed circuit board (PCB) design for manufacturing (DFM)

The ABC's and D workshop is an intense all day program focusing on DFM and the critical elements of PCBs affecting reliability, cost and performance. These elements are:

Aspect Ratio
Balanced Construction

What participants will learn:
The workshop provides a strong foundation for Designers, M&P Engineers, Quality Engineers, Program Manager and anyone else engaged in the PCB technology. The workshop outline follows:

  1. From beginning to end
    The beginning, PCB history
    Process types
    The end – an assembled product
  2. How PCBs are made
    Process flow
    Inner layer fabrication and lamination
    Outer layer fabrication
  3. Dimensional stability and scaling
    Raw material factors
    Construction factors
    Image and hole process tolerances
    Equipment and tooling factors
  4. The ABCs & D overview
    Aspect ratio
    Balance construction
  5. The front end
    Front end engineering (Methods and CAM)
    Specifications and standards
    Tooling and panelization
  6. Equipment platform
  7. Equipment platform
  8. How to control the ABC’s & D, (the most critical issues)
    Aspect ratio
    Balance construction
  9. Conclusion

Anyone interested in embedded passives component technology.

This half-day course is a review of the state-of-the-art of today’s commercially available embedded passive component materials technology. The course starts with passive component functions and performance drivers to embed passives. This leads into an in-depth discussion of today’s commercial material sets; their electrical and physical characteristics; a useable selection rationale; design, test, and trim tools; and DFM guidelines for implementation. The presentation includes discussion of the relative costs of the various technologies and a methodology for cost analysis. The class concludes with a review of industry initiatives on embedded passive components.

What participants will learn:

  • Why and when to embed resistors and capacitors
  • Commercially available material sets
  • Design guidelines and manufacturing processes
  • Embedded passive component industry initiatives.

Anyone responsible for or considering embedding passive components: including program managers, purchasing agents, project engineers, product designers, PCB designers and M&P engineers.

Should PCBs cost more with embedded components? Can spending more on PCBs lower system costs? Can you figure this out without expensive modeling tools? The answer to all of these questions is yes. If you don’t need them and they cost more, don’t use them. How do you determine the cost? Sophisticated cost modeling tools are available, however, in a couple of hours you can learn how to establish a cost basis quickly, reliably, and inexpensively.

What participants will learn:
A relatively simple spread sheet method to determine the cost of embedding passive components in your products.

Engineers, designers, project managers interested in affecting PCB cost reductions.

Technology, volume, and time affect the PCB costs. It is essential that PCB designers understand these relationships and how they affect the cost basis for PCBs they are designing. This course provides a systematic view of PCB cost drivers and how they can be optimized during the design phase.

What participants will learn:

  • Understanding PCB cost adders including:
    • Materials and mixed dielectrics
    • Embedded devices
    • Board size
    • Manufacturing panel size
    • Specificity/coupons
    • Number of layers
    • Copper foil thickness
    • Etched features
    • Impedance control
    • Drill sizes and sequences
    • Blind/buried via structures
    • Sequential lamination
    • Plating thickness
    • Via fill/tent/plug
    • Finishes
    • Final thickness and tolerance
    • Complex profiles
    • Tight tolerances
    • Electrical
    • Packaging
    • Documentation and traceability, inspection reports etc.
    • Techniques to access PCB costs during the design process.

If you are a really good PCB designer, but don’t know much about evaluating PCB manufacturers and are tasked with recommending a manufacturer, you should take this course. You can sit in a conference room and listen to sales presentations. You can be given a guided tour through the shop. But, if you don’t know what’s important to you the customer, you won’t know what to ask, or what to look for. You may not learn what you need to.

After this course you will feel confidant that you can effectively evaluate a PCB manufacturers’ ability to satisfy your requirements and assure a future positive relationship.

Anyone interested in knowing more about evaluating a PCB manufacturing shops

What participants will learn:

  • Ten questions to ask that will clarify the critical issues you need to know for your future satisfaction
  • Ten things to look for and find to assure your future satisfaction
  • Ten insights on how to assure a successful future relationship with your manufacturer

Over the past several years, Richard and the team at the Interconnect Technology Facility at NAVSEA Crane in South Central Indiana have developed a series of two and three day hands-on workshops focusing on all aspects of printed circuit manufacturing including multilayer boards, flex and rigid flex, HDI, and embedded passives. Our ability to execute these workshops are somewhat dependent on available resources. Richard would be pleased to coordinate and assist in the instruction of these classes on behalf of his clients. Depending on budgetary considerations at Crane, costs to domestic clients may be limited to travel and lodging. If Richard were to assist in these programs, his fees will apply. For more information contact Richard at 303.898.9340 or by email



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