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PCBD-May2014

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8 The PCB Design Magazine • May 2014 by Andy Shaughnessy i-ConneCT007 THE SHAuGHNESSY REPORT Couch Time at SMTA Atlanta column Every spring, a few months after DesignCon and IPC APEX EXPO have wrapped, I trek across town to the Gwinnett Civic Center for SMTA Atlanta. These regional tabletop trade shows are a great alternative (or a supplement) to the megashows; exhibitors almost can't afford not to attend. How else can you get your company in front of customers and potential customers for less than $400? And in Atlanta, we offer that famous Southern hospitality, even for visitors who "talk funny." The exhibitors at SMTA Atlanta just about filled up the room. Everyone I spoke with was in good spirits. Some companies were in hir- ing mode, and a few had just experienced great quarters, but no one was predicting wild revenue growth this year. Like the electronics industry in general, they were planning for steady, incremen- tal growth. That's better than no growth at all. But my main mission was to moderate the Designers' Roundtable. This annual event draws designers from all over Atlanta, particularly those who were part of the "Great Scientific At- lanta Diaspora" and scattered to the four cor- ners of metro Atlanta after SA was acquired by Cisco in 2005. Local designer Albert Gaines has dubbed the Designers' Roundtable "couch time" for PCB designers, because all designers are borderline crazy and could use a trip to the psychiatrist every so often. Maybe we could get some real couches next year! This year's roundtable drew about a dozen attendees. It was good to see UP Media Group President Pete Waddell looking good after his health scare last year. He joked about how he quit smoking eight months ago: "All it took was a heart attack!" This year's attendees represented Cisco, Sie- mens and a few other smaller companies, in- cluding some small (one-man) design bureaus. We also welcomed two fabricators: Rick Kincaid, owner of K&F Electronics, and Paul Handler, North American sales manager for Schoeller Electronics. Someone asked Rick why he was at a designer session, and he said, "I'm here to yell at all of you!" But it wound up being the other way around, though without the yelling.

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