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14 SMT007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2021 Feature Interview by Nolan Johnson I-CONNECT007 Nolan Johnson recently spoke with Tuan Tran, director of customer solutions at Green Circuits, about what makes a successful pro- cess engineer. ey also discuss a typical day in the life of a process engineer—from pre- manufacturing through post-DFM, for process improvement. As Tuan points out, there are a variety of paths to becoming a great process engineer. Nolan Johnson: For a process engineer in PCB assembly, what's a typical day in the life? How do you identify areas for continuous improve- ment? Tuan Tran: Process engineering in assembly is very important in the sense of the two different worlds: production and NPI. e NPI, which is the prototype, is more valuable, but even production is valuable. We get a product from a customer that we need to build. A process engineer's job is to make sure we build it prop- erly. In order to build it properly, the process engineer should really engineer the job. Basi- cally, we receive the data from the customer, analyze it, and figure out how we are going to build this job. Because the people on the floor are manufacturing people, they build what you tell them to build. ey look at the print, they look at the draw- ing, and they're going to build exactly what you tell them to build. It is the process engineer's job to look at that data, dissect it, figure out which type of solder we need to use, and how thick of a stencil I should order. What is the process flow the product needs to go through? Do we do the top side first and then the bot- tom side or vice versa, and then what type of solder do we use? No-clean solder or regular solder? Do we use leaded solder or non-leaded solder? e process engineer needs to read the data, then identify and figure out how to build this board. I can write a good, detailed process instruction and when I release it to the floor, the manufacturing people will understand it and build it correctly. In that sense, the process engineering is very important to be able to tell What Makes a Good Process Engineer? Tuan Tran, Green Circuits

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