PCB007 Magazine

PCB007-June2021

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24 PCB007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2021 e opportunity for education on process improvements requires an open mind as to the avenues available and the support of management to offer those opportunitiesto their employees. Sounds simplistic enough, however, the resources need to be sought out for the ap- propriate programs as to whether they are virtu- al, online, self-paced, specific classes, on-site, or attended at various locational training centers. Process improvements come in many forms, whether it's learning about newly acquired equipment, or understanding the soware and hardware operational specifications of the equip- ment. Process improvements also include the introduction of new materials, components, and designs while also working with the engineering staff as to what is needed to provide the ability to manufacture a quality product within a given period of time. At times, the industry identifies these as manufacturability meetings where all aspects of a product and process are discussed. Basically, the goal is to review cost and return on investment on the value of the product, which includes materials, equipment, staff and space to create a process to manufacture the product, be it in-house or subcontracted. Once the design is complete and ready for release to manufacturing, industrial standards are adapted to control the manufacturing tech- nology. Additionally, this includes defining how the contracts and master drawings are to be written to include the manufacturing speci- fications to be used. At this point, PCB assemblers have a variety of options for training their employees in both skills and knowledge-based programs. IPC has many online programs available to introduce the operators to the electronic assembly oper- ations, covering items from component identi- fication to assembly techniques and quality re- quirements. ese documents are adapted for internal usage for skills and knowledge devel- opment and internal training programs. Many of the manufacturers are mandated by contract that the employees building their products are to be certified to various manu- facturing specifications. ey want the em- ployees building their product to know what they are doing prior to initiating the contract. ese certification classes are available through various training centers around the globe and are offered as in-house programs, on- line programs with an instructor, or at a train- ing site with an instructor. ese instructor- based programs are the most efficient methods of imparting the information, as they offer the opportunity to have question and answer peri- ods during the sessions to explain, clarify, and emphasize certain points of importance. Increasing the knowledge base of the em- ployees is mandatory in the ever-changing electronics assembly environment. PCB007 Leo Lambert is vice president of EPTAC Corp. What channels are most PCB assemblers using to educate themselves on the latest process improvements and equipment? A Q

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