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42 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2021 foot view; but now, building the product and being able to backtrack, I can take those expe- riences of, for instance, connectors that need to be select-soldered with passives that are too close to surface mount components. You end up soldering the connector and losing the passives around it, things like that. ere are nuances with spacing requirements, sorts of press-fit, tolerance differences. Right now, we have the benefit of having the ser- vice bureau under the same roof as the Fred- erick (Maryland) operation so we can walk a product literally from inception through de- sign. Obviously, we go to a third party to get the PCB fabricated and then I can bring a de- signer onto the floor with their data package and watch the product being built so they can get a good understanding. You get the perfect marriage. Johnson: Was this in the company culture already, or have you helped to cultivate this? Vaughan: It already existed, but I have helped to accelerate it. When we are more knowl- Operational Excellence from a Design Services Manager Feature Interview by Nolan Johnson I-CONNECT007 Jesse Vaughan discusses the key aspects of continuous improvement he sees in his role as manager of design services at ACDi, and the importance of carving out communication channels—both internally and externally to help build operational excellence. Nolan Johnson: Jesse, you are a manager of de- sign services for ACDi, but let's start with your manufacturing and process experience. How much of that knowledge transferred into your first year as a design services manager? Were you able to bring what you learned from oper- ations into the design team? Jesse Vaughan: Yes, absolutely. My manufac- turing role was on the assembly side, and I was the lead manufacturing engineer for our largest internal customer—a military prime contrac- tor—where I ran over 100 NPIs for a complex product. I would oen find issues on the assem- bly floor, and then be able to troubleshoot that back to design. But I didn't connect the dots at that point because I didn't have the design ex- perience. I only understood it from a 10,000- Jesse Vaughan

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