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The competition was fierce as 34 competitors participated in the IPC’s Hand Soldering Competition at SMT Hybrid Packaging 2017 in Nuremberg, Germany. Taking first place and a cash prize of €300 was Elaine Chesnais, Thales International, who earned 433 points out of a possible 437. Chesnais was the second-place winner at SMT in 2016.
Second place and a cash prize of €200 this year went to Aurelie Buret, Thales International. Ekatarina Stahlmann, Grundig Business Systems, took third place and a cash prize of €100. Ekatarina Stahlman is not new to the IPC Hand Soldering Competition at SMT Hybrid Packaging Exhibition as she was the first-place winner in 2015 and 2016.
Participants in the hand soldering competition were tasked with building a functional electronics assembly, a new design this year, within a 60-minute time limit. Master Instructor Trainers Rob and Stefan Walls, PIEK, and Hubert Huffschmitt, IFTEC, served as independent judges and evaluated each assembly based on workmanship, overall functionality, compliance with IPC-A-610 Class 3 criteria and speed to complete the PCB.
"The best-of-the-best hand soldering talent in Europe came to compete at this event," said David Bergman, IPC vice president of international relations. "The competition was tough, but each competitor rose to the challenge. We look forward to hosting more hand soldering competition across the globe."
Bergman added, "IPC would like to thank hand soldering competition gold sponsors: JBC, Kurtz Ersa, and Weller; silver sponsors: Almit, Balver Zinn, and NCAB Group; bronze sponsor: Piek; IFTEC and ULT and contest contributors: Mircosolder for their support."
IPC is planning to hold additional hand soldering competitions in Europe, later this year in October and November. Watch for announcements from IPC with locations and times.