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74 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2020 As we approach IPC APEX EXPO 2020 in sunny San Diego, now is the time to look at the schedule to mark down a few of the highlights not to be missed. The first one that caught my eye is a technical conference session that is all about the fundamentals of IPC. This session includes a lot of basic information on a broad range of topics, including soldering, testing, reliability, etc. But the part I think is of most interest is the introduction into IPC and stan- dards basics. I have said it many times before, and will say it again: If you are new to the industry, it is important to understand how IPC stan- dards are structured for each part of the assem- bly process from raw parts to final packaging. The reason this is so important is the num- ber of companies that rely on IPC standards for assembly criteria is already substantial and ever-growing. There is a very real issue with veteran employees retiring and not passing on their tribal knowledge, which impacts new recruits. We have worked with the same companies on the same reliability issues over the years, and the only thing that is different is the engi- neering contact. And whenever a question pops up at a company, and there is no clear answer, you can reach for one of these stan- dards and find the answer, or get you pointed in the right direction, at a minimum. These standards are written and reviewed by some of the most experienced people in our industry who have been there, done that, and use that knowledge to help shape the standards. After you have gained at least a basic under- standing of how the standards work, then you can take the next step and get involved with the task groups. This allows you to get deeper in the weeds of setting the standards, which Sunshine and Circuit Boards Quest for Reliability Feature Column by Eric Camden, FORESITE INC.

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