Judy Warner
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Judy Warner

Judy Warner is the western regional and RF/microwave market director of business development for Zentech Manufacturing, a contract manufacturer that offers fully integrated supply chain solutions for mil/aero, RF/microwave and medical markets. Zentech is based in Baltimore, MD near the high technology corridor of the Mid-Atlantic/Pentagon region. Judy has over 20 years of experience in the electronics industry, and has spent the past four years focused exclusively on RF and Microwave technology solutions. Judy also sits on the advisory board of eSurface technologies and contributes articles to a variety of microwave and electronic industry trade publications, including 3 years as a contributing guest blogger for Microwave Journal.

“Making the Impossible Possible” at IMS2015

April 27, 2015

For the better part of the last year, I have been watching, with great interest, a company and PCB technology that may be a real game-changer. In fact, I became such an enthusiastic fan of eSurface that they invited me to join their advisory board last summer. eSurface Technologieshas developed a chemistry that enables PCB manufacturers to deposit metal directly to an unclad substrate, as opposed to subtractive print and etch processing. Why I have been so intrigued with this technology is because I suspect the greatest benefactors may very well be RF/Microwave engineers that are always in want of repeatable and consistent trace and space geometries that yield the high performance they need. While this technology is still “young” it is enjoying rapid and early success at Murrietta Circuits in Anaheim, CA which boasts the first fully-functional eSurface line in North America.

CEO, Andy Murrietta, and I are friends and share our enthusiasm for the eSurface Technology. In fact, I interviewed Andy at the IPC Apex show, earlier this year, to discuss the possible implications of this emerging technology. Andy and I have had many animated conversations about the impact eSurface could have for RF/MW and High Frequency applications. Therefore, when I told him about IMS, he and the Murrietta Circuits team quickly decided to exhibit at IMS 2015 and roll out this technology at this year’s exhibition.

After they booked their booth, I asked Andy about being a first time exhibitor at IMS, and what he hopes to off the RF/MW engineers who attend the exhibition:


Q: Andy, I am thrilled to know you and Murrietta Circuits will be making your “debut” at the MTT International Microwave Symposium, which will be held in Phoenix in late May. Since you are a brand new exhibitor to this show. Can you tell us what compelled you to exhibit at IMS? (Besides me prodding you!)

We are very excited to be exhibiting this year at IMS, as we view the RF and Microwave market as one of the core markets we want to serve, particularly since IMS 2015 is relatively close in Phoenix, Arizona.  We believe we have much to offer this market with all of our design, manufacturing, assembly and testing capabilities.  Specifically, we believe our role in the new eSurface technology should offer the RF & Microwave markets some ground breaking new capabilities that the industry will be very excited to learn about.

Q. Can you give us a brief history of Murrietta Circuits and describe you capabilities and the markets you serve?

Murrietta Circuits has been in business since 1980 when it was founded as a PCB Design service bureau.  We later expanded into circuit board manufacturing in 1989 and board assembly in the late 1990’s.  Today we have a modern 50,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Anaheim, California.  We serve the high reliability markets of aerospace, military and medical.  We have increasingly concentrated on providing services to the RF, microwave and hi-speed electronics markets within these industry segments.

We design, manufacture and assembly both rigid and rigid-flex circuit boards with a variety of materials, from FR4, Rogers, Megtron and various manufacturers of Polyimides.  We can manufacture and assemble boards from 2 layers to 30 layers, both in prototype and production volumes. 

Q. What does the eSurface Technology bring to the table for the RF and Microwave engineers and their applications?

Now with eSurface we can provide boards with trace & space geometries down to .002 and less, with trace tolerances down to ¼ mil.  Through greater circuit definition and tolerances, we can boost performance and signal integrity for these core markets.  This also allows us to hold much tighter impedance tolerances, all while maintaining high yields and keeping costs under control.  For those individuals pushing the technology edge this is definitely worth exploring. 

Q. We understand this is a developing technology, and has not yet been qualified for all materials. Can you tell us—realistically—what you can offer right now consistently and reliably and what materials have been qualified to date

We have seen great results with all varieties of Rogers materials, from the 3000 series, to the 4000 series to the 6000 series.  The bond strength between the copper and the laminate has been excellent.  For the Rogers 6000 series we recently measured a peel strength between 17-23 to 1, which is nearly double that of standard processing.  eSurface also works very well with Isola 370hr and other FR4 materials.  We will begin our polyimide testing next.

Q. With this “disclaimer” having been said, what types of things do you hope to achieve as the technology matures, tests are run, and data is measured and verified?

We expect to be “dialed in” with eSurface on the majority of the major material types by the end of summer.  We will be working with eSurface to push the circuit trace geometries down to .001 trace / space throughout the year as well as continuing our efforts to boost signal integrity through greater circuit definition.

Q. Can you tell us what your booth number is so we can easily find you at IMS, please? Also, give us your website, if you would.

Our booth number is #1542 and our website is www.murrietta.com

So, make sure you stop by the Murrietta Circuits booth at IMS 2015 and see, firsthand, what eSurface and Murrietta have to offer!

See you in Phoenix!

Please stop by and say “hello”
I will be with my team at:
Zentech Manufacturing
Booth #633

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