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Design007-Apr2020

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34 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I APRIL 2020 wellness information must be reliable and easy to use during our workout. It also needs to be available to review and analyze later to see if we are reaching our goals. From the safety lights on the bicycle you ride to GPS tracking, sophisticated fitness moni- tors, and small-rugged video cameras that re- cord fitness adventures, electronic devices are capturing more and more information even as they become smaller and lighter, as well as more durable and affordable. PCB manufacturers are responding to the de- mand for increased board complexity by up- ping our game. Thanks to new equipment and enhanced process controls, we now have the capability to miniaturize circuits with smaller footprints and reduced weight. Using laser di- rect imaging, we can produce boards with trace and space narrower than a human hair. Advanced drills put holes in panels visible to the human eye only with help from a loupe magnifier. In addition to deploying more advanced equipment, we are improving production effi- ciency to reduce the number of steps needed for a produc- tion run. Continuous process improvement like this is a pri- mary focus in our industry be- cause wellness technology is about more than consumer wearables. Medical technology also repre- sents an emerging opportunity for the PCB industry. Small, seeming- ly simple devices capable of com- plex functionality such as real-time health monitors, smart prosthetics, and intelligent surgical equipment are all part of this innovation trend. Manufacturers serving this vertical need not only International Orga- nization for Standardization (ISO) 9001 certification, but also ISO 13485—a medical device-specific quality management system (QMS) certification that sets a high stan- dard for production documentation and trace- ability. Investment in QMS and ISO certification can run into the six figures for PCB manufactur- ers, but we believe the return on investment is there. Improved quality, increased production capability, and reduced waste are just some of the benefits of implementing QMS and main- taining ISO certifications. Doing so also sends a message to the marketplace that we are com- mitted to delivering a quality product and top- notch service. New equipment and better processes can't deliver quality by themselves. Quality prod- ucts are made by skilled personnel who take pride in their work. Quality of life depends on our health, so we do our best to inspire the

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