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32 SMT Magazine • December 2015 by Stephen Las marias i-ConnECT007 Founded in 1984, the SMART Group pro- motes advanced manufacturing technologies and helps companies cope with the challenges of surface mount technology. Its committees are made up of senior engineers from OEMs, contract electronics manufacturers, equip- ment makers, material suppliers and renowned consultants—providing a broad spectrum of knowledge and experience in the electronics manufacturing industry. I spoke with Keith Bryant, chairman of SMART Group, about the association, its activi- ties, and how it is supporting the electronics manufacturing and SMT industries. Stephen Las Marias: Keith, could you please tell us about the main goals of smArt Group? Keith Bryant: The main goals of the SMART Group are predominantly education, advice and support. Las Marias: how long ago did it start? SMART GRoup: The Guiding Influence in the Electronics Industry Bryant: It started in 1984, during what I would call the advent of surface mount. There was a lot of history, a lot of knowledge, a lot of expe- rience about through-hole—and almost zero of any of those things about surface mount tech- nology. There were a lot of people looking for a lot of information, and effectively, the early days of SMART Group was almost like a support network where different people were trying to do different things, and they were all sharing the information of what was successful and what was not successful. Las Marias: is there a cost to the membership? Bryant: Yes, we have an individual membership and we have a corporate membership. We have to do that because we need to get funding to organize events and also to run our system, our website and all the other things. Las Marias: regarding events, what are some of the most successful events you've had so far? Bryant: The most recent large event was a two- day European conference, which we held at FeATure inTerview

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