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SMT007-Nov2021

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96 SMT007 MAGAZINE I NOVEMBER 2021 lion profit per line. With our plan to get up- time to 40% with the line running during lunch and give the workers a $3 per hour raise, we went to about $5.3 million per line (Table 1). We took a gamble and told everyone, not just the line workers, that we will give them a $3 per hour raise if they can keep the line running during lunch. So, with the uptime at 45% and the $3 raise, the profits went up to over $5.8 million per line." Maggie added, "Having the staff work on the line and offer suggestions was tremendous for bonding and was a great morale booster. In addition, we increased our Christmas bo- nus program and made it strongly dependent on profitability. So, all the workers now look at the company financials, which are post- ed monthly. In addition, lunchtime is still a fulfilling social experience." As the group walked out of the office, Patty's smile disappeared, only to be replaced with a scowl. Epilogue Why is Patty scowling? And what is your process uptime improvement plan? Do you keep your lines up during lunch? Cheers, —Dr. Ron Ronald C. Lasky is an instruc- tional professor of engineering for the Thayer School of Engi- neering at Dartmouth College, and senior technologist at Indium Corporation. To read past columns, or contact Lasky, click here. Dr. Lasky is the author of The Printed Circuit Assembler's Guide to... Solder Defects. Leeds scientists investigating how to better un- derstand human behaviour in traffic say that neuro- scientific theories of how the brain makes decisions can be used in automated vehicle technology to im- prove safety and make them more human-friendly. The researchers set out to determine whether a decision-making model called drift diffusion could predict when pedestrians would cross a road in front of approaching cars, and whether it could be used in scenarios where the car gives way to the pedestrian, either with or without explicit signals. This prediction capability will allow the autonomous vehicle to communicate more effectively with pe- destrians, in terms of its movements in traffic and any external signals such as flashing lights, to maxi- mise traffic flow and decrease uncertainty. Drift diffusion models assume that people reach decisions after accumulation of sensory evidence up to a threshold at which the decision is made. To test their model, the team used virtual reality to place trial participants in different road-crossing scenarios in the University's unique HIKER (Highly Immersive Kinematic Experimental Research) pe- destrian simulator. Study participants' movements were tracked in high detail while walking freely inside a stereoscopic 3D virtual scene, showing a road with oncoming vehicles. The participants' task was to cross the road as soon as they felt safe to do so. (Source: University of Leeds) Making Self-driving Cars Human-friendly Table 1: The profit picture at 40% and 45% uptime.

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