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10 SMT007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2019 Feature Interview by the I-Connect007 Editorial Team Jan Pedersen, senior technical advisor at Elmatica, and Ray Prasad, president of Ray Prasad Consultancy Group, spoke with the I-Connect007 team about the current state of PCB standards and where the process might need improvements, including the many dif- ficulties around transparency, slow updates, limitless numbers of variations, and a variety of other topics. Nolan Johnson: Jan Pedersen and Ray Prasad are two of our columnists, and they are also very well-versed in standards and the stan- dards process. Can you start by talking about why standards are important? Jan Pedersen: Yes, standards are important for the customer and supplier to be able to com- municate requirements and be clear about what they need. You need standards. Instead of all of these corporate requirements that make everything blurry, it's much easier if you have a clear standard and everyone knows what you mean with defined terms. Ray Prasad: I agree with Jan. In addition, when you standardize something, it becomes a lot cheaper. For example, think of different kinds of sockets. If you are traveling around the world, you would need all kinds of sockets. The same thing goes for all of the chargers we have to carry around. When we standardize something, it makes it cheaper and sets expec- tations for the customers and manufacturers about what requirements they have to meet. Barry Matties: Right now, I'm traveling with a bundle of power converters. Are the standards global, or are we also seeing regional standards? Prasad: Yes, that's one of the things IPC can do that other people will have a harder time doing. Anybody can start a standard, but you need followers. Some of what we call "stan- dards" a lot of people think are specifications, which they're not. Many people end up using standards as specifications. Matties: How would you define the difference? Prasad: There's a huge difference. Standards are requirements that IPC sets up for every-

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