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40 PCB007 MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2021 Feature Interview by Nolan Johnson I-CONNECT007 Nolan Johnson speaks with Leo Lambert of EPTAC about training the next generation com- ing out of high school and vocational schools, and how his company continues to improve processes, grow, and adapt to changing re- quirements while fulfilling its mission to deliv- er technical certification training. Nolan Johnson: Leo, what's happening in the training space lately? Have our recent pandem- ic-driven restrictions changed how you deliv- er your product? Have your instructors found success in this environment? Leo Lambert: They must all have the same in- terpretations from our end, so to speak. But to get our teachers involved in the new technol- ogies, most of that happens in conversations with our customers. What's going on? Well, the technology itself from assembling compo- nents on printed circuit boards and soldering those components in place is one thing, but the technology has improved relative to den- sity of the product, such as cellphones, for ex- ample, and all that is packed into that product. Then of course, there's the technology of the components themselves. We did an SMTA tour at one of the major military contractors in the area. Their boards were very low technology, but the technology of their product was based in their componen- try. So, while this customer may not need new technology for board circuit design and assem- bly, we still try to bring them up to date, rel- ative to the new processes being used in fab- ricating boards, new soldering technologies, and new metals to replace the high temp al- loys with the new lower temperature ones that are starting to come out. There are a lot of new soldering irons to- day that are much better than the previous ones, so we cover the use of those new tools. We've changed all our soldering irons, simply because it shows the students what they can do with the new equipment, and specifically since the components are getting smaller. Ad- ditionally, there's a lot of new information that comes from the component manufacturers as to how to secure their componentry on printed Finding Process Improvement Opportunities in Training

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