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8 SMT007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2022 Nolan's Notes by Nolan Johnson, I-CONNECT007 Changing Expectations What are the common challenges to high- density board assembly? For example, while it seems that non-elec- trical components are moving closer to the board assembly process, this skill set requires more expertise than just solder. What a b o u t f l u i d c o o l i ng ? Both applications have strong ties to high-end data cen- ter applications, of course. H e a t m a n a g e - ment, signal integ- rity, and crosstalk issues are other pos- sible challenges, but these aren't really within the scope of the assembly house. Sure, these issues m a y r a i s e t h e i r heads during test- ing, but the solution is an OEM redesign concern. Can we find new efficiencies or higher yields if we break some old rules to make new ones? It's certainly an intrigu- ing question, harken- ing back to contin- uous improvement thinking. Where are the increased efficiencies, the better margins, the faster build times, and the resulting increases in capacity? Can the build steps be reduced? How does or doesn't auto- mation help? Can the machinery keep up with the shrinking component sizes? Pondering these ques- tions led me back to think- ing about my undergrad- uate days. While pursu- ing my computer science degree at Oregon State University, my academic advisor recommended a "so science" course. So, I enrolled in Sociology 201, your typical survey course. "So science" is a term uses for scientific study which is generally understandable without needing the rig- ors of mathematics. Cate- gories include sociology, psychology, political sci- ence, and the like. But is it really science? Is it science if it's the study of, say, inter- personal relationships or societal dynamics, or are the so sciences more closely aligned with philos-

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