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36 SMT007 MAGAZINE I NOVEMBER 2020 Feature Interview by Nolan Johnson I-CONNECT007 Historically, test and inspection has been a pass/fail point part of the overall process. Now, it's in a place to feed information back to the rest of the factory and even help con- tribute to process optimization. That requires some more sophisticated integration with soft- ware tools and databases, which is where Bert Horner of The Test Connection and William Webb of Aster fit into the conversation. Nolan Johnson: Let's start with a quick intro- duction to you both. William Webb: I'm the technical director at Aster Technologies in the U.S. The company is based in France, and I'm head of the U.S. operation. I come from a test engineering background. I worked as an ICT development engineer and then in managing development and deployment overseas with previous companies. About five and a half years ago, I moved to Aster. My pre- vious company bought the Aster TestWay tool, so we used the tool and liked it. That's how that connection was made in going to Aster. Bert Horner: I'm the president of The Test Connection, an applications group in Mary- land. Our services include in-circuit, bound- ary scan, flying probe, functional, and DFT. At our location, our engineers work on develop- ment as well as testing, so we can do contract testing for folks who do not have their own equipment. Our main business started out as only ICT and test development, but we've expanded our services and moved into flying probe, boundary scan test, and other applica- tions. We have been in business since 1980 and are proud to say we are the oldest test develop- ment house in the world. We are 100% fam- ily-owned—one group. We're also an Aster customer and partner. We bought the TestWay software after evaluating a couple other CAD transition tools. We've been working with Will for about two years, and our partnership is growing stronger. Johnson: Will, how does your software solu- tion fit into a test environment? And does it differ whether it's a company specializing in test, like Test Connection, or in a traditional contract manufacturing house? Test and Inspection With Industry 4.0

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