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10 SMT Magazine • December 2017 Among the features we have for this edi- tion is a wide-ranging discussion involving AIM Solder, a solder paste provider; Manncorp, an equipment manufacturer; and Lenthor En- gineering, a PCB assembler, to get a picture of what really happens in and the variables in- volved in ensuring the output quality of the sol- der paste printing operation. Tim O'Neill, Ed- ward Stone, Matt Kan, and Dave Moody discuss the key challenges in solder paste printing, and how the industry can move forward and further improve the efficiency and quality of the pro- cess with new equipment technologies and sol- der chemistries. Next, we have an article by Marco Lajoie and Alain Breton of C-MAC Microelectronics, about solder paste printing process inputs that impact the distribution of paste volume. On the issues on stencils, we have a feature article from the Institute for Factory Automa- tion and Production Systems (FAPS), Universi- ty Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), and ASM Assem- bly Systems, discussing the effect of area shape and ratio on solder paste printing performance. Also included article from T ony Lentz of FCT Assembly, and Greg Smith and Bill Kunkle of BlueRing Stencils, about step stencil technolo - gies and their effect on the solder paste print- ing process. Then, we have a joint article from Bench- mark Electronics, Shea Engineering Services, Vi- cor Corp., and Analogic Corp., which evaluates stencil printing technology for the miniaturiza- tion trend in electronics. Finally, Ken Horky of Peterson Manufactur- ing writes about the advantages of generating your own stencil tooling. Also in this month's issue, Dr. Jennie Hwang continues her column series on the role of bis- muth in electronics. In Part 2, she outlines the bismuth effect in 63Sn37Pb solder materials. We also have Chandran Nair, vice president for Asia Pacific at National Instruments, exam- ining how Industry 4.0 will revolutionize elec- tronics manufacturing. Wow, I can't believe it's already Decem- ber. Our team will be in Shenzhen, China, this month to attend the International Printed Cir- cuit and APEX South China Fair, which is being presented by the HKPCA and IPC. That will wrap up our events this year , as we look forward to another year of interesting technology and elec - tronics manufacturing innovations. I hope 2017 has been a good year for all of you. On behalf of my colleagues here at I-Connect007, we wish you happy holidays, and a prosperous year ahead. As always, thank you very much for your continued support, and we look forward to bringing you outstanding content in the year ahead. SMT Stephen Las Marias is managing editor of SMT Magazine. He has been a technology editor for more than 14 years covering electronics, components, and industrial automation systems. IMPROVING SOLDER PASTE PRINTING Our team of editors here at I-Connect007 recently returned from Munich, Germany, to cover this year's productronica trade show. You can see our video coverage of the indus- try's top technologists and managers, as well as the latest technologies in the PCB design, fabrication, and assembly industries. But we also shot a variety of still photos at the event. To see the entire productronica 2017 photo gallery, click here. Check Out Our productronica 2017 Photo Gallery

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