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24 SMT007 MAGAZINE I FEBRUARY 2023 well prepared, your trade show investment will be nothing more than a sugar high. To my point about generic or mass emails, I just received the following email from a com- pany that I have never done business with— even though they say I am their customer: Dear Barry, Looking back on the past year, we realize we have a lot of reasons to be grateful for. You are one of them. We would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for the business you have given us throughout the year. We hope you will continue being one of our valued customers in 2023. All the best for the holiday season and see you in 2023! Best wishes, (I have removed their name, as there is no rea- son to embarrass them further.) Generic messages are transparent, and the above email tells me that this company does not understand their selling process. I appre- ciate the well wishes, but this email feels less than sincere. Don't leave your own prospects feeling like this—take the time to do your research and fol- low up with personalized communications that make them feel valued and understood. SMT007 Chapter 4: Optimizing Stencil Design and the Inspection Phase Typical inspection methodologies used during PCB manufacturing are solder paste inspection (SPI), automated optical inspection (AOI), and auto- mated X-ray inspection (AXI). These have tradition- ally been performed manually, but as we're discuss- ing improving the efficiency of NPI, we will focus on automated methods. SPI is traditionally performed with the Gerber file of the stencil. Here, we have two areas that can be optimized for a comprehensive and improved NPI flow. The stencil data is usually created by a sten- cil vendor based on the rules provided to them by the PCB assembler. Because it can be difficult to cover every eventuality, there will be some amount of back and forth between the two groups until the final stencil is complete. This takes time and impacts the overall production and release schedule. Once complete, the final stencil data forms the foundation of the SPI program. When using Gerber data, the connection to com- ponent names and pin names is lost and only x,y locations are available. So, to address this issue, a component placement list (CPL) file is imported along with the Gerber file. Then, any pads in prox- imity to the paste pads can be associated with each component or pin reference. Because there is no guarantee that the Gerber paste file and the CPL data were created based on the same origin, this process adds time and extra work that could be eliminated by using a single unified and standard- ized product model. To continue reading this chapter, download your free book today! BOOK EXCERPT: The Electronics Industry's Guide to… The Evolving PCB NPI, Chapter 4

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