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40 SMT007 MAGAZINE I FEBRUARY 2018 Feature Article by Stephen Las Marias I-CONNECT007 Industry veteran and expert Chrys Shea is in a unique position when it comes to her work for the electronics assembly industry. As pres- ident of consulting firm Shea Engineering Services, she helps suppliers test and bring new products to the market, and helps assemblers bring new processes or skills to their assembly lines. "Most of my projects are joint efforts with suppliers and users or other suppliers," says Shea. "By working in partner- ship, everyone benefits from the expanded resource base and lower research costs. It's great to gather a group of subject matter experts who all bring their expertise to the table to solve nagging problems or develop the next generation process." According to Shea, some of these challenges include the adoption of new solutions and technologies, scarcer engineering resources, and the skills gap in the manufacturing engi- neering community. "On the supplier side, they have developed some exciting and innovative new products, but the market seems slow to try new technologies. There- fore, some of the new prod- uct volumes aren't growing at as fast a pace as they would have in the past," she explains. "On the user side, engineering resources are scarcer than ever. Business is coming back, and a lot of shops are running near capacity, but the staffing levels are not commensurate with the production volumes. I think Working with Customers: A Consultant's Perspective Chrys Shea, Shea Engineering Services

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