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56 SMT007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2019 are not a standards organization. They do, how- ever, work closely with many electronics stan- dards organizations and provide input to help create standards. Nolan Johnson: How does iNEMI view stan- dards, and what's strategically important? Marc Benowitz: To be clear and avoid any mis- interpretation, iNEMI is not a standards orga- nization. We don't publish standards, though our projects and activities connect to stan- dards in a number of ways. We complement and have a good partnership with standards organizations and often get involved on the front end of standards development. Johnson: I am intrigued by how iNEMI func- tions in the support role. Benowitz: That's probably the way we most often act in standards. iNEMI operates through our membership and the industry at large to identify some of the key gaps and needs that are candidates for collaborative work. We do this partly through our roadmap, which looks out 10 years in the electronics manufacturing arena across multiple technologies, ranging from board assembly to electronics packaging, sustainability, etc. The roadmap then identi - fies gaps, which often lead to iNEMI projects. Again, the members determine which projects we will pursue, and some of them end up hav- ing a standards component. As an example, go back a few years to the implementation of RoHS. There was a lot of angst over the issue of tin whiskers. iNEMI had a tin whiskers task force that developed mitigation techniques that were eventually integrated into stan- dards related to tin whiskers. Right now, there's a project in the early stages of develop- ment that's getting a good amount of indus- try support around back-end packaging. If you look at electronics manufacturing processes, you have wafer fabrication upfront, packaging, board assembly, system-level assembly, etc. The front-end is a structured, well-aligned process. Moving to back-end packaging, there's a lot more uniqueness in what's done. But do we need all that uniqueness? Is there a level of com - monality that would benefit everyone? We have about eight participants who are developing the initial project proposal and planning a call for participation in the next couple of weeks to a broader range of participants, looking specifi - cally at back-end packaging commonality. The intent here is to take the project outputs to the relevant standards organization(s). That gives you a sense of where we come in. Primarily, we do initial technical work that supports the argument that something is fea- sible, demonstrated, and works. It's feasible. Then, the standards teams—whether at IPC, SEMI, JEDEC, etc.—create the standard. Johnson: What sorts of standards work does iNEMI see as strategically important for the industry? Benowitz: I'll try to answer that in terms of some examples from the perspective of our cur- rent activities. Recall, iNEMI exists through our membership. The question is, "Where does membership want to put their resources and time on projects?" Smart manufacturing is clearly one. We're seeing a lot of interest in terms of demonstrating the interconnection and bene - fits of smart manufacturing, such as closed-loop inspection, working with the existing standards and helping to identify where further work may iNEMI operates through our membership and the industry at large to identify some of the key gaps and needs that are candi - dates for collaborative work. Marc Benowitz

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