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December 2015 • The PCB Magazine 79 of the benefits that IPC offers. There I can come in, visit for a day, take a walk through their fac- tory, look for gaps, and make recommendations on how they can improve their process, or yet again, how they can bring it up to the IPC stan- dard level, so to speak. I've talked to companies already, and they're all very interested in this program. Obviously the costs are much lower; it's a flat hourly rate based on how many hours I'm there, and it's real easy. There are no IP is- sues or anything like that that you have to deal with. We just come in and walk through the fa- cility. Goldman: You're not really certifying them, just advising. Cherry: Just advising, yes. I'm trying to help these companies have a better understanding of what IPC is trying to offer. Now this may, 12 months down the road, turn into an audit for a possible QML, but there's no pressure. Nothing like that. Goldman: Is that geared towards assembly, or PCB, or both? Cherry: It's directed at both. I'd even do it for wire and cable companies. Anyone who's more interested in learning about who IPC is would be ideal for this program. I say smaller compa- nies, Patty, and let me expand on that. A lot of the smaller companies work on very tight bud- gets. They don't have a lot of money to invest in an audit program, but they also don't have a lot of money to invest in process engineering. They don't have a Randy Cherry, for exam- ple. That's where I can come in and really help these companies out. EMS companies referred to it as the Tier Three, Four and Five compa- nies and things like that. Once again, we just started rolling this program out here in Septem- ber. We've had a couple of successes already and during this show here in Rosemont, I've had three or four companies come up and ask me about the SGA program, wanting to know more about that versus our QML programs for the au- dit certification. I also provide a report showing the gap analysis. Goldman: So you actually come back with a final analysis? Cherry: Yes, exactly. Goldman: Thanks again, Randy, for your time. Cherry: Thank you. To contact Randy Cherry, or to learn more about IPC's SGA program, click here. PCB THE VALUE OF IPC'S VALIDATION SERVICES FeATure inTerview as the world increasingly looks to alternative sources of energy, inexpensive and environmental- ly friendly polymer-based solar cells have attracted significant attention, but they still do not match the power harvest of their more expensive silicon- based counterparts. now, researchers at the rIKen center for emer- gent Matter Science and Kyoto university's de- partment of polymer chemistry have shown that a newly developed polymer can minimize energy loss as well as silicon-based solar cells when con- verting photon energy from sunlight to electricity. Solar cells work because photons from the sun strike electrons and move them into a position where they can create an electric current. photon energy loss was greater in polymer-based solar cells than in silicon-based ones. "In polymer-based plastic solar cells, larger photon energy loss causes lower voltage. this has been one of the largest limiting factors for efficiency," explains hideo Ohkita, one of the au- thors of the study, published in nature commu- nications. the group began working with the new poly- mer, where oxygen rather than sulfur atoms are located at key positions, and found that the new material was able to overcome some of the key ob- stacles to extracting and utilizing greater energy from sunlight. Photon Energy Loss Minimized with New Plastic Solar Cell

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