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32 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2021 The outlook appears promising in 2021 for electronics OEMs to bring some or most of their manufacturing back to the U.S. In partic- ular, medical electronics OEMs may be able to move forward with their prototypes into pilot, medium, and high runs right here on Ameri- can soil. And it may be sooner than later due in large part to the advances in PCB microelec- tronics assembly and perhaps a helping hand from the U. S. Government. Let's take a look at what is driving those advances in microelectronics and what is now possible. There is an abundance of news reporting on such advanced medical devices as wearables, portables, and insertable and ingestible products in the planning and devel- opment stages. Those types of new products require technologies associated with PCB microelectronics assembly, such as wire bond- ing, chip on board (CoB), flip chip, and die attach, among others. Therefore, the stage is now set for prototype quantities as proof of concept to move on to pilot, medium, and high runs so that the intel- lectual property (IP) of these state-of-the-art medical devices is safe and staying here in the U.S. Pilot runs deal with a few hundred to a few thousand units; depending on the product, medium runs could be a few thousand to tens of thousands of units; and high runs involve hundreds of thousands in quantity. Let's go through these assembly and manu- facturing stages and check out PCB microelec- tronics assembly challenges and what is pos- sible (may lay in store) for medical OEMs. Or put another way, what is involved in transi- tioning medical electronics PCBs from small prototype quantities into volume production? Is U.S. Production Ready for Advanced Medical Devices? Zulki's PCB Nuggets by Zulki Khan, NEXLOGIC TECHNOLOGIES

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