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32 SMT Magazine • October 2014 assembLY anD the Quest FOr sOLDer aLLOY-Free eLectrOnics (saFe) continues be) to consider alternatives to the conventional approach. For example, who says that an elec- trolytic capacitor could not be flat or that a dry capacitor could not be developed that would provide the same or even better performance? As creative as our species is, we too often get channeled into thinking inside the box rather than outside it. Shakespeare warned his readers against such in Antony and Cleopatra, where he wrote: "Make not your thoughts your prison." The key takeaway for the reader is that our assumptions need and deserve continuous eval- uation in the light of the continuous change that surrounds us and our industry. With the surge of interest in recent years and months on embedding certain devices into PCBs to work in concert with soldered components on their sur- faces, it would seem reasonable to anticipate that at some point, engineers will realize that they do not need solder. The cost savings could run to hundreds of billions of dollars annually and the reliability improvement potential should make for much better customer relations. More discussion of this topic is planned for the future and questions, registration of con- cerns or desire for clarification on the topic are encouraged and invited. Though the lists in Figure 1 are not exhaus- tive (many minor process steps are unaccount- ed for in both lists), they do provide a reason- able approximation of the difference in capital equipment requirements of traditional versus SAFE assembly. smt FEATurE verdant Electronics Founder and president Joseph (Joe) Fjelstad is a four-decade veteran of the electronics industry and an international authority and innovator in the field of electronic interconnection and packaging technologies. Fjelstad has more than 250 u.S. and interna- tional patents issued or pending and is the author of Flexible Circuit Technology. CliCk To View Video Interview Tony Teo, indium's new associate director for sales and marketing responsible for the Asia-pacific division, discusses Indium's future efforts in that region, as indium celebrates its 38 th anniversary. indium: new associate Director, new ideas by Real Time with... NEPCON South China

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