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30 SMT007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2023 Editor's note: Welcome to our new column, e Knowledge Base, om SMTA. is column will have multiple voices. We are happy to introduce the first contributor, Mike Konrad, vice president of communications for SMTA. ese monthly columns will feature conversations with industry experts and leaders across the electronics man- ufacturing spectrum. Over the years, Mike has oen been asked about how to build reliable elec- tronics in harsh environ- ments. In this first column, h e h a s c o m p i l e d t h o s e queries into a question- and-answer format. T h e e x p l o s i o n o f I n t e r n e t o f T h i n g s (IoT), electric vehicles (EV), wearables, med- ical devices, and other applications have pre- sented substantial chal- lenges for electronics manufacturers. Chances are, anyone who cur- rently owns an electric vehicle is keenly aware of some of these chal- lenges. It has been widely reported that up to 30% of public charging stations are inopera- tive. is fact is also known to the U.S. gov- ernment, which is funding the expansion of high-speed charging stations through the CHIPS Act—with a caveat that the reli- ability of publicly funded high-speed charging stations must be greater than 90%. With the SMTA Electronics in Harsh Envi- ronments Conference scheduled for May 23–25 in Amsterdam, I thought this would be a good opportunity to talk about the chal- lenges and risks associated with building reli- able electronics for use in harsh environments. I will also deliver a keynote address at the con- ference entitled, "e Remarkable Return of Post-Reflow Cleaning as a Mainstream Process to Improve Reliability." What makes harsh environments challenging for electronics? There are several chal- lenges associated with electronics in harsh envi- ronments. These chal- lenges include extreme temperatures and tem- perature cycles, shock and v ibr at ion , electro- static discharge (ESD), electromagnetic inter- f e r e n c e ( E M I ) , a n d moisture, perhaps one of the least understood challenges. What are the challenges and mitigation strategies regarding moisture? Moisture on its own is not particularly harm- ful. e real issue is electrochemical migra- tion (ECM). Moisture serves as a catalyst for ECM. Building Reliable Electronics for Harsh Environments The Knowledge Base by Mike Konrad, SMTA

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