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JULY 2023 I SMT007 MAGAZINE 43 en you can then see the right technology— whether it's AI, or whether it's just better train- ing, or moving something closer that used to be far away. at's almost Industry 1.0. I love that concept of trying to see what needs to be mechanized, what needs information, and how you do that in the most effective way to fit the needs of your business and then apply Industry 4.0 technology into it. Matties: We often hear fabricators say, "We're small volume, quick turn, with many part numbers. Automation is not for us." My argument is that it's exactly what's needed most. Right. Consider the cobots in our lab, where you're able to quickly roll one up to the task, use free mode to train it quickly, and suddenly the cobot reports that it might be able to auto- mate that step. I never realized that possibility before because it didn't have an ROI. But I can use AI for a better understanding about varia- tions in processes. e same thing is true with the digital twin and asking whether I could do that more effectively. Matties: Thank you so much. Glad to share, talk to you later. SMT007 In a recent conversation with IPC senior leader- ship, Chris Mitchell, VP, global government rela- tions, spent a few moments outlining the evolv- ing role of market research within the association. In the interview, Nolan Johnson asked Chris about IPC's approach to market research. Chris Mitchell: Market research has been a core mission of IPC since the organization's founding, but the nature of the research program has evolved over the years to reflect industry changes and interests. When I joined IPC a decade ago, we had a market research program that was heavily oriented toward statistical programs and survey-based reports. We've made a commitment to continue and grow these statistical and survey-based reports, but we also knew that we needed to deepen our author- ity on a broader set of research topics. To sup- port this goal, we brought on experts, including our chief technology officer Matt Kelly, chief economist Shawn DuBravac, and lead sustainability strategist Kelly Scanlon. These IPC authorities are leveraging their expertise to communicate new insights and data-driven conclusions. These individuals aren't just supporting research; they are helping to direct it. And the result has been exciting because the scope of IPC research is broadening to new areas of industry interest. This is consistent with our goal to better serve the industry. IPC has outlined four areas that we are focused on: 1. Economic analysis and market research 2. Workforce and education 3. Environment, health, and safety 4. Technology trends and solutions Almost all our research falls into one of these four categories. We're still very much in a building phase. We want to make sure that we have the right peo- ple on staff to support the research and you'll see increasingly that we are looking within the associ- ation to better integrate industry intelligence into every major IPC area of activity. Our greatest sources of industry intelligence, however, are the thousands of volunteers who power IPC programs. We want to make sure that we are utilizing the incredible expertise of our mem- bers. We've taken a first step in this direction by cre- ating our Thought Leaders Program, which is com- prised of industry leaders. This is just the first step. There will be more opportunities for everyone to get involved in our research, so please communi- cate your interests and needs so we can design our programs accordingly. IPC's Approach to Research Strategies

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