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18 SMT007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2019 If you are not a millennial or Generation X, Y, or Z, you probably know that there was a print version of this magazine for decades. I was one of the columnists for the print ver- sion for over two decades, starting in the mid- 1980s. However, this is my first column in the globally popular technical SMT007 Maga- zine. In my future monthly columns, in addi- tion to covering various aspects of SMT design and manufacturing processes and issues and IPC standards, I will also answer your ques- tions. So, to keep it interactive and interesting for both you and me, please let me know your questions or comments not just about my col- umns but any questions related to the afore- mentioned topics that you may have. The theme of this month's issue of this mag- azine is how assemblers can help their custom- ers. While others are focusing on addressing various aspects of this question in this issue, I thought I would address how assemblers can help their customers reduce cost by reducing defects and improving yield. It is commonly assumed that the level of defects is primarily dependent on how the assemblers control their manufacturing pro- cesses. This sort of mistaken belief will cause you to never find the root cause of the prob- lem. Hence, the problem will persist forever. Let me explain. Just because defects are discovered in manu- facturing does not mean that they were created in manufacturing. If you take a 50,000-foot view of the major causes of defects in an elec- tronics assembly, you can put them in three buckets: (1) design for manufacturing (DFM), (2) quality of incoming materials, and (3) the manufacturing processes. As we all know, the design of the board is done by the customer (OEM). The customer also makes all of the decisions about major incoming materials, such as PCBs and compo- nents; thus, they have control over two of the major sources of defects in electronics assem- blies. Meanwhile, the assembler controls only their manufacturing processes and equipment How Assemblers Can Help Their Customers Reduce Cost and Improve Reliability SMT Solver Feature Column by Ray Prasad, RAY PRASAD CONSULTANCY GROUP

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