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SEPTEMBER 2020 I SMT007 MAGAZINE 71 a package, handing it back to their customer, and their customer is handling fab and assem- bly. No, I wouldn't expect they would. That's one of the neat things with our model of how interconnected both our PMs and designers work together. Right now, everybody's pretty much working from home, but our designers still have a lot more visibility than the typical designer might. It's about emphasizing com- munication and being proactive, as we talked about with the fab stuff. If you're doing some- thing that might be a little out of the ordinary or might be risky, it's pretty easy to just email the assembler in advance and ask, "Do you see any issue with this?" One thing I found assemblers really like is if you will give them the full ODB data, that makes their life so much easier than just giving them pick-and- place files, as well as the outer paste layers or outer copper layers. It really helps them both because ODB data is smart, and you can search through it by part. Often, you can find and answer your own PIN1 and polar- ity questions, but it allows them to have all of the different copper layers so that they can plan their profile better. Only giving them the outer paste layers and not letting them have the outer copper layers makes their life a lot harder because that really impacts the reflow profile. Johnson: Dan, you said you kind of disliked having a mechanical engineer working for you on past projects, but are they worth their money and their trouble? Warren: A good mechanical engineer can make a designer's life so much easier. A bad one can make it so much rougher. I haven't worked with a bad mechanical engineer for a long time. Most of them really seem to know what they're doing. Those that know their product line are invaluable. At another company where I worked, one man had been there for 30 years. He knew the "gotchas" and would let you know upfront. That made my job a lot easier. With the customers we have now, I've worked with some really good mechanical engineers. Some of them have better inputs than oth- ers. The more complete the input, the easier my job is. I don't have to pull the information out of somebody. But I've had stuff drawn on paper where half of it was on a computer, and half was by hand. I had an input drawn on a napkin with a picture taken with a cellphone and sent to me. I will work off that, but I'm not going to guarantee it's going to work as well as a nice mechanical input. Shaughnessy: That's great information. Thank you. SMT007 Editor's Note: Stay tuned for Part 2 of this conversation, wherein Kolar and Warren give details on successful strategies for multiple- board panels.

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