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8 SMT Magazine • August 2016 by Stephen Las Marias I-CONNECT007 The Industry Speaks Every time I get to visit trade shows and ex- hibitions and see the amazing equipment and solutions on display, I think, "Wow, the guys who developed these systems are great." When I talk to the people responsible for creating those technologies, I marvel at how they blend their ideas and creativity with technology to foster innovation in this industry. Most of the time, I am in awe of how easily they could spearhead the next generation of solutions in their respec- tive industries. My job enables me to be at the forefront of these innovations, to know more about them and the people who created them, so that I can tell our readers the story behind these great technologies and how they are helping custom- ers address their everyday manufacturing chal- lenges. Over the past year, my colleagues and I have interviewed numerous engineers, key executives and industry experts. We have dis- cussed their insights, mission, vision, and great ideas to help improve the electronics assembly and manufacturing industry. For those of you who might have missed any of these, in this is- sue we're providing an index of all of the in- terviews we've conducted with the industry's movers and shakers. Meanwhile, we all remember times when co-workers have made personal comments— comments that we would like to keep off the record. Sometimes, they're about customers' ri- diculous demands that often require months of all-nighters. Sometimes, they're about engineer- ing teams that seem to be stuck in a rut doing the same thing over and over, even when the process yields average results. And sometimes, these comments are just related to wishing that tasks and processes could be done more inef- ficiently. And then there are also comments about management seeming to be oblivious of what's really happening at the shop floor. Or they may reference a disconnect between the decision- makers and the engineers and operators. We get many of these off-the-record com- ments during interviews and in our surveys' comments section. These comments are also important because they express the personal thoughts and feelings of the people involved in this great industry—the very same people who make these technology advancements possible. Which is why in this issue of SMT Magazine, we take a pause from covering the latest tech- E DITOR'S NOTE

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