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18 PCB007 MAGAZINE I APRIL 2020 Before today, the last unforeseen national crisis the U.S. endured was the 2008 financial crash. It shocked all of us, and many suffered; millions of Americans lost their jobs, homes, and businesses. Twelve years later, we are experiencing another unpredictable crisis with COVID-19. The virus out- break has caused fac- tories to shut down and people to quar- antine, which will result in signifi- cant economic damage. Accord- ing to the Center for Strategic & In- ternational Stud- ies (CSIS) [1] , the global GDP growth rate is expected to be around 2%—the l owe s t i n 30 ye a rs. Analysts also predict it will take China—the largest trading partner of the U.S.—up to six months to recover. The electronics industry will also feel the impacts of the coronavirus. In an IPC survey, "The Impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Epidemic on Electronics Manufacturers," most manufacturers expect sales to decline in the first and second quarters of this year and, over- all, for the calendar year [2] . To manage the situation, most in the industry are identify- ing alternative sources of inputs, and 30% of firms are encouraging remote work- ing, where possible, to prevent community spread and continue business opera- tions. In the U.S. and across the world, w e a r e f a c i n g economic head- winds and short- term hardships. However, things could be worse if we didn't have factory automa- tion, standards, and telework to keep manufacturing resilient. Automation Automation has picked up over the last decade or two, pro- viding products at a lower cost, and produc- ing them more consistently. Factories are far from the dirty sweatshops of 70+ years ago. These facilities are using robotics, 3D printing, and machine learning to deliver the products Electronics Industry Advancements Have Prepared Us for COVID-19 One World, One Industry by Dr. John Mitchell, IPC—ASSOCIATION CONNECTING ELECTRONICS INDUSTRIES

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