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30 SMT007 MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2020 There are countless ways to optimize equip- ment and material to increase the quality and reliability of electronics. Millions of dollars are spent every year on measurement equipment to look at solder joint quality, part placement, solder paste application, and basically every possible measurable aspect of an assembly. One part of the process that should receive an equal amount of time and attention is staff- ing and training, which is this month's topic. What a coincidence! Operator proficiency in larger contract manufacturers is most often an internal function with certified trainers over- seeing classes of employees on a regular basis. From my experience, the most common type of training is IPC J-STD-001 Requirements for Sol- dered Electrical and Electronic Assemblies and IPC-A-610, Acceptability of Electronic Assem- blies. The J-STD-001 is how you build, and IPC-A-610 is what it should look like after the product has been built. As part of my job, I have been either a CIT or CIS for both J-STD-001 and IPC-A-610 for pretty much the last 15+ years. That is a big require- ment when I am tasked with putting my hands elbow deep in your process for evaluation and optimization. Most often, the teacher is a Cer- tified IPC Trainer (CIT) and, if they pass, the students will be a Certified IPC Specialist (CIS) with the skills to build and inspect electronic assemblies. There are other levels of certification avail- able to include a new certification, Certified Standards Expert (CSE), which is specific to a single standard. This makes you an "expert" on a particular standard and can give you the abil- Put Your Operators in the Driver's Seat Quest for Reliability Feature Column by Eric Camden, FORESITE INC.

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