SMT007 Magazine

SMT007-Oct2019

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8 SMT007 MAGAZINE I OCTOBER 2019 Nolan's Notes by Nolan Johnson, I-CONNECT007 The Changing Industry Landscape As I write this column, I'm in Chicago, wrapping up our coverage of SMTA Interna- tional 2019 with other members of the I-Con- nect007 team; it was a productive, news-rich show. We'll be bringing you video and writ- ten interviews, articles, and—when the publi- cation moratorium is lifted—some of the most impactful technical papers presented at the SMTAI technical conference sessions. I couldn't help but be continuously reminded at SMTAI of the theme for this issue. Our theme is "Landscape of the Indus- try" with the implication that it's changing, which certainly fits the current state of our market. Factory automation continues to move forward. New developments are being introduced, which are based upon improved AI and data analysis (as opposed to simply capturing the data). And multiple tiers of equipment suppliers are introducing capital equipment and add-ons to enable Industry 4.0 for (nearly) everyone. SMTAI featured two keynote speakers: Adam Steltzner, a NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) engineer who led the Mars Science Lab- oratory's Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) Phase for the Curiosity rover and the chief engineer for the Mars 2020 Project; and Dr. Mike Hawes, Lockheed Martin Vice President for Human Space Exploration and Orion Pro- gram Manager. The energy at both keynotes was palpable. We're returning to extra-orbital space with human crews, and the demands of such missions drive innovation. However, human factors in our industry are changing; as the "gray tsunami" of retire- ments begin to deplete the industry's hard- won wisdom in printed circuit fabrication and assembly, our work will need to be done in a different way. New technology and prod -

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