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SEPTEMBER 2020 I PCB007 MAGAZINE 9 Nolan Johnson is managing editor of PCB007 Magazine. Nolan brings 30 years of career experience focused almost entirely on electronics design and manufacturing. To contact Johnson, click here. collection in the supply chain, and increas- ing materials recycling content were among the top five high-priority gaps identified in the move toward environmental sustainability. There were so many directions we could have taken with respect to manufacturing technology, but we focused on just one for this issue: inkjet technology. Garrett Harding from MicroCraft talks about advances in ink- jet applications in PCB fabrication. Of course, it struck me that from an equipment suppli- er's point of view, their revenue pillar enabled their customer's technology pillar, expenses pillar, and even their labor pillar. Ultimate- ly, those three changes should and could im- prove the customer's sales numbers as well. Not on its own, which Happy had already reminded me, the equipment needs to be in alignment with an overall business improve- ment roadmap. The ongoing challenge with staffing and labor gets attention in a conversation with Blackfox. Al Dill and the team discuss the ROI equation for training. Employers continue with the struggle to find trained (or trainable) staff for production. Interestingly, it doesn't stop there. I've spoken to more than one senior di- rector or owner who has lamented that experi- enced senior-level technical folks simply can- not be found in the U.S., forcing these employ- ers to look overseas for candidates. That short- age of critical knowledge will have a throttling effect on industry growth. The insight from Blackfox, therefore, is of extreme strategic im- portance to maintaining key staffing skill sets. After all, skilled staff make for efficient opera- tions, lower costs, and increased profitability. This brings us full circle to our conversation with Happy Holden. The roadmap holds all the pillars together. The pillars may stand on their own, but when connected and supported by the foundation of leadership, and stitched to- gether by the capstone of the roadmap, the pil- lars become stronger together than when they are separate. As always, we strive to move the conversa- tion of the industry forward. We welcome your feedback, responses, comments, and submis- sions. We're here to bring together the mean- ingful topics in PCB manufacturing. We wel- come your feedback! Better yet, let us know what you'd like to submit to the conversation. PCB007

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