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New technology from Safi-Tech means cold solder joints might no longer mean defects.

I’ve been covering the soldering industry for more than 30 years. During that time, I’ve seen lots of innovations come and go. I remember when an engineer from Hughes was using citric acid from oranges as a flux. And when Bell Labs introduced its first water-soluble flux. I recall when nitrogen was first used in convection reflow environments and when no-clean pastes were rolled out and dismissed as lab curiosities.

Last July, Indium Corporation announced a partnership with Safi-Tech, Iowa-based startup that is creating no-heat and low-heat soldering and metallic joining products.

They call these supercooled molten metal products, and they have direct application to electronic soldering.

Dr. Ian Tevis, president and cofounder of Safi-Tech (safi-tech.com), and Dr. Andy Mackie of Indium Corp. (indium.com) discussed this supercooling platform with PCD&F/CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY in September.

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A study of nearly 300 companies reveals shifting approaches to hardware and software.

How are companies addressing digital transformation, ever-increasing design complexity and the effects of a post-pandemic world on tech companies amid the so-called “Great Resignation?” This year, our technology-led analyst firm, Lifecycle Insights, conducted an in-depth independent study to learn more about and better understand what the coming years hold for engineering. The survey collected responses from 274 companies that design products across all major industries, with revenues ranging from $1 million to over $5 billion.

To say the Covid-19 pandemic is having lingering effects on how companies are operating in the “new normal” of a post-pandemic world is a tremendous understatement. Technology continues to advance rapidly in a time of historic levels of digital transformation. Evolving markets for electric vehicles, IoT devices, 6G, miniaturization, and more are increasing the need for systems and product design flows and tool capabilities without pause. Digital twins, artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) are terms we use daily, and product and systems design flows developed to accelerate first-pass design success are continually evolving.

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The annual Women’s Leadership Program offers hands-on mentoring for the next generation of engineers.

 

What is the most recent skill you have added to your toolbox?

As I was sharing recent accomplishments with one of my mentors, she suggested I think of my new skills as new tools in my toolbox. That conversation gave me a different perspective to reflect on the skills I have collected so far and encouraged me to strategically plan the next steps in my career.

I started gravitating toward the idea of this imaginary toolbox and collected skills, which adhered to my core values of creating a sustainable and purpose-driven career. While planning the theme for the 2022 Women’s Leadership Program (WLP), which takes place Nov. 1 at SMTA International, I discussed this idea with the organizing committee, and it was very well-received. We brainstormed on how to bring this idea to reality and enable women colleagues to advance their careers. Taking the time to reflect on the skills in your toolbox makes you self-aware and cognizant of your self-worth. Knowing what you bring to the table helps you build the confidence you need to navigate your career. Hence the concept of a toolbox seemed appropriate for the WLP, as the goal of this session is to empower women to explore technology innovations and career progression in the electronics industry. Now are you ready to think about the skills in your toolbox that could help your career advancement?

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