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18 PCB007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2019 Some people will say, "Standards are so bor- ing!" To that, I might respond, "Well, that's kind of the point." When you're in produc- tion manufacturing, a "boring" day (i.e., ev- erything works smoothly with no disruptions, and everybody shares clear expectations) can be a welcome relief from your usual. But what should we do with all of these standards any- way? Standards bring everybody to the same un- derstanding without having to re-negotiate ev- erything with each new transaction. One book excerpt [1] states, "By using mutually accepted preexisting standards, two parties to a contract need not recreate every technical definition or requirement for every transaction, greatly fa- cilitating commerce." You can think of inter- Using Industry Standards as Another PWB Manufacturing Tool national consensus standards as the industrial equivalent of the "Babel Fish." Historically, standards came about to facili- tate and enhance commerce. "I will buy 50 feet of your 0.5-inch rope if it holds up 200 pounds" is pretty meaningless if there's no agreed mea- sure of "foot," "inch," or "pound." The earli- est standards were based on what leaders set (i.e., the size of the king's foot or the width of his thumb], but these only worked within that kingdom while that king lived. Once you left that kingdom, most trading time was spent es- tablishing "goodness" and "worth" (i.e., bar- tering). It doesn't matter what the industry is; quick, efficient repetitive trade across distances most- ly depends on voluntary, consensus-based Better to Light a Candle Feature Column by Marc Carter, AEROMARC LLC

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