PCB007 Magazine

PCB007-Sep2022

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36 PCB007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2022 Sometimes I imagine I could have learned about PCBs by tinkering with a double-sided board in my garage. Although it may seem silly, I'm intrigued by wave-soldering machines and through-hole components. Within each of these elements lies innovation and pioneer- ing—a blast to a not so long ago past. Electron- ics have evolved over the past 50 years more than any other industry ever has. Whereas my parents' generation grew up with simply- designed video games, my generation grew up with apps that teach toddlers how to code. If hardware was the past, soware is the future. It's trendy, complex, and neatly packaged in a work-from-home environment. Computer science has become the new "cool." Today's students were groomed to want jobs in tech at big companies with happy hours, big paychecks, and high status. ey were taught that they could design anything their heart desired from behind a computer screen without a second thought for the person who had to manufacture it. Let's face it, manufac- turing just isn't sexy. It's dirty, manual, and— for electronics—has a history of low margins. e pipeline into the field is broken. What was once a self-sufficient stream has dropped to a pitiful trickle. e first step in rebuilding the pipeline into electronics is awareness. Prior to my first internship on an SMT line in my hometown, I didn't think twice about what made my cell- phone work or how my computer was pow- ered. During my first week, my mentor gave me a handful of spare components from the scrap bin. ey were so different from the through- hole components I had been working with. I had no idea this was how most circuit boards were made today, nor had I given thought to the companies that assembled them. e next summer I applied to a circuit board manufacturer under the pretense that they were also in assembly because they had "electronics" in their name. What a shock during the inter- view when they showed me that the PCBs they made were the ones I had assembled just the summer prior. (Funny enough, I interviewed a potential intern this summer and he had applied under the same pretense.) at sum- mer, I learned so much about the electronics Let's Make Manufacturing 'Cool' Again The New Chapter Feature Column by Paige Fiet, TTM-LOGAN

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