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JULY 2021 I SMT007 MAGAZINE 9 Nolan Johnson is managing editor of SMT007 Magazine. Nolan brings 30 years of career experience focused almost entirely on electronics design and manufacturing. To contact Johnson, click here. climbers sometimes make a fatal mistake set- ting up their rappel, or worse yet, rappel right past the bitter end of the rope and into freefall. No wonder then, that in years past, when my climbing buddies and I would visit the climb- ing gear stores, we'd all eventually gravitate to the case with the rappelling/belaying devices to see if there was anything new to make the descent safer. As you can imagine, reliability is crucial when rock climbing. And I couldn't help but think of this issue as I walked Smith Rock with my friends. Our current supply chains have become that single point of contact—much like rappelling—rather than a resilient, mul- tiple-choice experience like climbing itself. Our line equipment need not be the best, but it needs to function flawlessly, like climbing gear. Likewise, redundancy means resilience. And if you simply cannot include redundancy, then our processes must be repeatable, repro- ducible, and downright automatic. In this issue we look at the key contribut- ing factors that affect reliability challenges on your manufacturing floor. We help you run the gamut from specifications to standards to assembly to testing. And in the process, we bring you a comprehensive pair of discussions with Eric Camden and Muhammad Irfan. We also deliver columns on digital manufacturing, automation, flux cleaning, and process optimi- zation—all facets of improving reliability. And if that weren't enough, we also serve up techni- cal articles on drop shock, benchmarking test- ing processes, the IPC WP-019 standard, CFX, and developing evaluation tests for conformal coatings. It's a full agenda of reliability compo- nents, to be sure. I'm sure I've "belay-bored" my climbing metaphor by now, but reliability and climbing both are an ever-changing set of problems to solve, constraints to overcome, weak points in the process that must be guarded against, but sometimes leaned on with no other safety net than your process. Whatever happens, come back safe. We're always happy to hear from you, our readers, with story ideas, topics, questions, comments and even criticisms of our cover- age. Here at I-Connect007, our mission is to advance conversation within the industry. Let us know what you're thinking; what you have to say is what makes this a conversation. SMT007 Along the Misery Ridge trail, hikers get a good view of the Monkey Face pinnacle, (Smith Rock State Park, Redmond, Oregon).

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