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70 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JULY 2022 Interview by Nolan Johnson I-CONNECT007 Ron Preston, vice president of supply chain at Green Circuits, outlines the company's spe- cific challenges with high-mix work. While the company excels at turning around boards in just a few days, difficulties in supply chain, materials, and staffing remain ever-present. What is to be done and how is Green Circuits working its way through these issues? e answers might surprise you. Nolan Johnson: Ron, we're investigating the challenges of high density, and while we expected pick-and-place to be one of the chal- lenges, we've heard a lot about unreliable con- sistency for component packaging and feeder technology, especially for the smaller com- ponents in combination with high-density boards. Do those two challenges line up with what you see? Ron Preston: We're dealing with a lot of quick turns and small, short runs. One of our prob- lems is obviously with the supply being a chal- lenge. We're getting broker buys and going wherever we can to find parts. We don't have the normal source of supply that you would expect. A year or two ago we would place orders with franchise distributors, and pack- aging would be very consistent. at's not so much the case now. Johnson: When it gets down to the manufacturing floor, you still have to get the boards put together and the components placed in the proper orien- tation regardless of what they were packaged in or how they're oriented. In a short run environ- ment, that adds to the challenge because there's proportionally more setup that goes on. How do you respond to those challenges? Balancing Talent and Procurement Challenges

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