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90 SMT Magazine • November 2017 OPTIMAL ELECTRONICS SETS SIGHT ON GROWTH By Duane Benson, SCREAMING CIRCUITS If you're attempting to cross the median of a busy four-lane highway, it's entirely possible that there's a Jersey Barrier in your way. In that particu- lar setting, having something sturdy blocking your way is probably a good thing. On the other hand, I would bet that for the majority of you reading this, there are some barriers around you that you'd much prefer not run into. Barriers can bring on stress, uncertainty, risk and a general sense of despair. Despair can lead to hopelessness. Hopelessness can lead to you be- ing rolled up in a fetal position under your desk, tangled up in the nest of cables that every good engineer has under their desk. As everyone knows, if you're under your desk tangled in cords and whimpering when your boss walks in the room, you're probably not going to get a Christmas bonus. If you're still not sure how to remove the barri- ers in your way, it might be time to ask yourself if you need PCB assembly services. The answer isn't always yes, nor is it always no. The answer is quite often "it depends." When in doubt, ask yourself: • Does it need to be done right? • Is time a consideration? • Are there too many placements for you to deal with? • Are there more than one or two boards? • Are the parts too small? • Are there any BGA packaged chips? • Will it be monotonous? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you need PCB assembly services. If you aren't in a hurry, the parts are big enough and you're seek- ing a fun, valuable learning experience—build the boards by hand. With the impending advent of desktop pick- and-place machines, there will be a few more op- tions, but the basic question will remain the same in any industry. Which do you have more of, time or money? How to Tell if You Need PCB Assembly Services in most cases. Companies don't like to do trace- ability, but they don't have a choice. They want a smart factory because it will make them more profitable, it's good for their PR and sales and showing to their customers. So, they like smart solutions better than traceability, but they must have traceability. Our goal is to create smart so- lutions that will help our customers, or soon people will lose interest in Industry 4.0. Las Marias: What is your outlook for the elec- tronics assembly industry and your niche in that market this year and the next? Vujosevic: We are focusing on Mexico, Europe and Asia because we have very good references and happy customers and want to extend our customer base. I don't know about the industry as a whole because the world is not innovating. There's nothing new. Now, we are going to have an iPhone 10. That's not new. It's just bigger and has a better camera. Who cares? We need a breakthrough. We need some new technolo- gy to drive our industry forward. They're talk- ing about AI applications and most people have no idea what they're talking about, but they're talking about it because investors need a new thing. They gave them AI, and they're biting. They're investing money. They have to show good marketable solutions, not gimmicks, or the investors will lose interest soon. So we need better ideas and breakthrough solutions, and they're not happening. They haven't happened for a while. So I don't really know. I'm not very optimistic about the future of this industry un- less we come up with some new products. New electronics products that people will buy. There are only so many iPhones we can sell. Las Marias: Dr. Vujosevic, thank you very much for your time. Vujosevic: Thank you. SMT

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