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APRIL 2018 I FLEX007 MAGAZINE 49 generally love to host tours to educate design- ers about the fab process and their own unique capabilities. They host tours in the hope that the designer will become more in touch with the materials, processes and people involved with the process and, well, design better! We ended up spending hours at Streamline. Randy proved to be quite the tour guide. The designers were able to smell, touch and observe flexible circuits as they were being manufac- tured. The class learned that there is much more to flex manufacturing, and therefore flex design, than they could have imagined. The best reason to take a board shop tour: Designers get to use senses that don't usually come into play while working on their CAD systems in their offices. These CID students were able to smell, touch, and see flexible cir- cuits and rigid boards in the process of being built, something which can only happen dur- ing an on-site tour. Later, I asked the class for their thoughts on the CID class, and Dugan Karnazes, a brand- new CID-certified designer, seemed to speak for the group. "Even though I've been designing boards for years, I found the course to be pretty valu- able and informative. I would recommend CID training for anyone looking to gain a bit more knowledge about how PCB manufacturing works," said Karnazes. "There's an incredible amount of perspective that comes with under- standing how upstream design decisions affect the end manufacturability, reliability, and price of a PCB assembly. This certification is not just for designers anymore; engineers need to know these processes as well. PCBs are only getting more complex." It's hard to argue with that! I hope to take more of our CID classes on tours of board shops in the future. Where else can designers smell, touch, and see rigid and flexible circuits being manufactured? FLEX007 Kelly Dack, CID+, is an IPC CID instructor for EPTAC. He has over 30 years of PCB design experience. Figure 2: Lakschmi Chaturbhuj inspects circuitry during the Streamline tour.

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