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34 SMT Magazine • December 2015 Bryant: Not really as much as the guys like in the IPC. We're more concerned with what I call practical issues, rather than standards. We do work with the IPC and we've had them doing some presentations on some of the standards, but it's more of the imple- mentation and the working to the standards rather than getting involved in committees that are trying to change things. To be hon- est, there are enough people busy doing that already. We tend to focus on what I would call the more hands-on approach. Most of our members are engineers or technologists and they're asking real-life problems about things like when the first QFNs appeared. They were and still are very challenging for everyone to assemble and there were lots of questions about that. We actually held a couple of seminars on assembling and test - ing those products. Recently, another big thing has been clean- ing in contamination because of dendrites and tin whiskers, so we've had a lot of focus on that, not only with seminars but also webi- nars, which we hold monthly.. These are great because we get people from all over the world signing up and paying to listen, and it's only two hours out of your day. You don't have to travel anywhere and there might be a group of ten engineers listening. It's a very successful way of getting information out into the world. And thankfully, because of the technical com- mittee that we have, we have a lot of people who are giving up their time and their expertise to share it with others. Las Marias: Why should companies in the industry join the smArt Group? Bryant: That's a great question. First of all, it w ill help them improve their products because the group has a wealth of information and ex- perience to draw on. Surface mount has been around for a long time now. Some people are still just moving to lead-free because of the regulation and everything else. But when we started in 1985, no one knew anything; and now as we move further and further into lead- free, there're a lot of other companies with ex - perience. the National Physical Laboratory in London. We had speakers from all over Europe and the United States. We covered everything—includ- ing the assembly of very small components, the 01005s and the 0300015, which are even small- er. In fact, the guys from Henkel had a techni- cal paper that they did together with one of our consultants, Bob Willis, on how to assemble these things. At the other end, we had presenta- tions on Industry 4.0. We had everything from the most technical details to the general busi- ness overview level. Las Marias: Apart from seminars and workshops, what other means do you help customers from a technical standpoint? Bryant: In fact, you don't actually need to be a SMART Group member to benefit, but we have something called 'smart-e-link', which is a very large technical forum. There are more than 3,000 people linked to it and it's where any engineer can ask a question. Recent questions we've had have been about regulation, and the new laws for conflict materials and this kind of thing, throughpeople asking, 'This new component that I have doesn't solder.' Another guy who in - quired had a problem with retouching solder re- sist because the resist is now a darker color than it used to be, and he got advised from five differ- ent people that there is a resist pen you can buy, but it's not normally available in the UK, but like all these wonderful things, you can buy it on the Internet. This guy was sent to the place to buy it from, with the part number and everything, and he posted a little note afterwards to say, 'Thank you very much, guys. This is great. It solves my problem com - pletely. My customer is now happy again.' Las Marias: speaking of technical groups, do you have those in place in smArt Group wherein you help in the creation or the di- rection of standards for the industry? SmArT GroUP: THe GUIDInG InFLUence In THe eLecTronIcS InDUSTry FeATure inTerview Keith bryant, chairman of SMART Group.

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