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8 SMT007 MAGAZINE I AUGUST 2019 Nolan's Notes by Nolan Johnson, I-CONNECT007 Conformal Coatings I've been in this industry for a long time. If I'm honest, though, I never gave much thought to conformal coatings. In my defense, I spent most of my career on design tools and PCB fabrication; conformal coating specifications weren't my bailiwick. I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in that regard, which is all the more rea- son for this issue to exist. In this issue, we look at how the new manufacturing demands are driving change and innovation in conformal coating products, systems, and technologies. It's the voices of those experts who set up this issue best. John Fix from Taiyo America says of the industry, "Of course, technology can change significantly in a short period of time as well, which is not a perception; it's a reality that we see every day." The changes in the designs we build, coupled with the push to put electronics in harsher and harsher environments, contin- ues to raise awareness for increased reliability techniques, including conformal coating. Nordson ASYMTEK's Camille Sybert adds, "As we start to see electronics in a variety of different applications, and as we incorporate some more into things like automobiles, then the need for higher reliability in these elec- tronic products increases significantly." Electrolube's Phil Kinner writes, "As assem- blies become more densely populated, and housing/casing designs become more perme- able to save weight, the use of conformal coat- ings is essential to protect the assembly from its operating environment and ensure accept- able reliability for the application intended, especially when operating in hostile environ- ments." While conformal coatings may have been something of an afterthought at the front of the design process, that can no longer be the case.

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