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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited
SMART Conference Overview
SMART Conference Overview
Keywords: SMART Group, Conferences
Despite a sad cloud over Brighton, the Fifth European Conference was successful
In a difficult economic climate, the SMART Group held a successful European Conference in Brighton, UK, from November 19th to 21st. However, the event was overshadowed by the sad and untimely death of SMART Group Chairman Alan Jones, less than 48 hours before the event commenced. The fact that the event proceeded and was enjoyed by over 110 delegates was a credit to the Group and it was dedicated to the memory of their hard working and respected leader. On the opening evening the "Great Debate" was changed to a "Question Time" format, with SMART Technical Director Bob Willis in the chair and a panel consisting of Steve Dowds (Indium), Trevor Galbraith (publisher of Global SMT and Packaging) and David Topham (Director of Arts and Science). After brief presentations by each, an interesting debate followed on how the industry should move forward.
On the second day there was a choice from two half-day morning workshops: "Troubleshooting Reflow Soldering" by Ray Chartrand (Chartrand Consulting, USA) and "High Density Interconnect" by Michael Weinhold (European Institute of Printed Circuits, Switzerland). In the afternoon there were four 1hour Master Classes: "Robotic Odd Form Assembly" by Peter Chan (PMJ, UK), "Environment Update" by Martin Goosey (Shipley Europe Ltd), "Benchmarking Your Process" by Bob Willis (EPS, UK), and "Improving Factory Efficiency" by Norbert Heilmann (Siemens Dematic, Germany).
The highlight of the whole event was the keynote address by Walt Custer from Walt Custer Consulting Group USA. Walt held the full attention of a packed audience for an hour, and presented much data on the "Timing and Magnitude of much awaited recovery".
At the evening gala dinner a sensitive and perfect speech was made by Paul Salmon, SMART Membership Director, then a toast was made to the memory of Alan Jones.
Peter Swanson SMART Financial Director, then announced the recipients of SMART Fellow Awards. They were:
Ray Bagley, Alstrom Drives and Controls.
Brian Craig, Indium Corporation.
Donal McDonald, SMART Ireland.
Tom Perrett, Henkel Loctite.
Gordon Pryor, TWI.
Bruce Seaton, Cookson Electronics Equipment.
Nick Jolly from the DTI presented a special award to Bob Willis for his successful SMART PPM Monitoring Project. Supported by the DTI, more than 18 companies were now implementing this defect monitoring project.
Deputy Chairman, Peter Marshall, presented the Chairman's Award to Tim Fryer, Editor of EM&T for his coverage and support of the PPM Monitoring project.
The evening was concluded on just the right note with an after dinner presentation by Jon Barratt, Editor of EMP, on his hobby "Robot Wars". The electronics reliability issues were recently the result of the most traffic on smart- e-link. Jon presented his challenges in building a robot to compete in this TV series, the environment being about the most difficult to withstand. It was an amusing, educational and interesting subject.
Over £750 was raised from a raffle and donated to the Salvation Army in Brighton.
It has to be reported that some delegates had a very short night, with an Irish band playing well into the early hours.
The six half day workshops on the final day were each well supported: "Advanced Technologies" by Gunter Schiebel (Siemens Dematic AG, Germany), "Lead-Free in five steps" by Gerjan Diepstraten (Vitronics-Soltec, Netherlands), "Solder Paste evaluation and qualification" by Phil Zarrow (ITM Inc. USA), "No-flow encapsulants...are they really working?" by Serge Tuerlings (Litton Kester, Belgium), "Final Finishes" by Frando van der Pas (Cookson Electronics, Netherlands), "System in a package" by Finnbar Waldron and Rory Doyle (NMRC, Ireland).
The sold out table top exhibition area was well supported by all attendees over the duration of the conference.
Despite the sadness of the Chairman's death, this event received many accolades and The SMART Group wish to thank everyone for their support in making this event a great success.