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November 2016 • SMT Magazine 11 In the second part of his column series, Mi- chael Ford of Mentor Graphics covers materi- al management, and how Lean supply-chain lo- gistics are an essential component of a "smart factory." Next, we have Tom Borkes of The Jefferson Project writing about the role of leadership in your company. At the recent SMTA International 2016 event, my colleague Patty Goldman caught up with Joe Russeau, president of the Precision Analytical Laboratory, to discuss a paper he presented at the conference. Co-authored by Mark Northrup and Tim Estes, "Chemical Data vs. Electrical Data: Is One a Better Reliability Predictor?" pres - ents early data comparing the results of two dif- ferent analytical test methods to determine how well they correlate with each other as predictors of PCB cleanliness and reliability. Meanwhile, we bring you an interview I conducted with James Liu, director of Standard- ization and Electronics Manufacturing at the Smart Factory Institute of the China Science and Technology Automation Alliance (CSAA). He discusses how the alliance is helping the small- and medium-sized companies in China make their factories smarter. We also feature China-based editor Edy Yu's interview with Daniel Chan, executive director of the Hong Kong Printed Circuit Association (HKPCA), and Helen Guo, Member Service Di- rector of IPC Greater China. They share some of the new features and highlights of the upcom- ing show, including the popular Hand Solder- ing Competition. The International Printed Cir- cuit & APEX South China Fair will be held De- cember 7–9 in Shenzhen, China. I hope you'll enjoy this month's issue of SMT Magazine. Next month, we will look into the challenges for sales and marketing execu- tives in the PCB assembly industries, highlight the key attributes of a sales person, and provide effective sales strategies to use to be successful in this industry. SMT Stephen Las Marias is managing editor of SMT Magazine. He has been a technology editor for more than 12 years covering electronics, components, and industrial automation systems. THE IMPACT OF VIAS ON PCB ASSEMBLY By Davina McDonnell, Saline Lectronics Most of you have heard of the con- cern about the manufacturing skills gap— how baby boomers will soon start retiring from manufacturing careers with no one to replace their vacancies. Most news sto- ries and studies present this as a major cri- sis—millennials simply aren't interested in manufacturing careers and if we don't do something about it, well, American manufacturing as we know it will disappear. Here's the thing. I'm a millennial in manufactur- ing. I work for an electronics manufacturing com- pany with a workforce that's almost 50% Millennial. Within Saline Lectronics, there's no crisis. As I walk the production floor, I am surrounded by young, ea- ger faces who seem happy and keenly interested in their manufacturing jobs. Based on my observations, millennials are very en- thusiastic about their manufacturing careers, but it wasn't until they were working in manu- facturing that they understood the oppor- tunities available within the industry. Prior to that, their perception of a manufacturing career wasn't very positive. From my perspective, the manufactur- ing industry isn't accurately represented in the media, or in school, as a viable career path; therefore, struggles to connect with younger generations persist. Many initiatives aren't resonating, or even reaching, the intended audience. If we're truly concerned about filling the skills gap, it's time to re-examine how manufacturing is being pre- sented to the younger generations. Instead of hoping these generations will adapt to the industry, it's time for the image of manufacturing to adapt to millennials. Editor's Note: New columnist Davina McDonnell will be writing on the challenges millennials face in the workplace, and the unique dynamic between millennials and the industry veterans who manage them. Millennials in Manufacturing

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