PCB007 Magazine

PCB-Apr2015

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48 The PCB Magazine • April 2015 by Steve Williams STeVe wIllIaMS ConSulTInG llC poiNt of View Best Practices 101: Part 6 Column Penny Wise and Dollar Foolish One roadblock to achieving the true ben- efits of best practices is that traditional im- provement efforts have always focused on re- ducing the time of value-added steps; in other words, reducing the amount of time it takes to do something to a product, or touch time. Let's take a look at a drilling operation for example, where the run time of this operation is 19½ minutes per part. Much effort is placed on fix- turing, training, spindle feed and speed, etc., to reduce the run time. While this is obviously an important activity, we fail to attack the great- est opportunity for improvement: eliminating waste from this process. For example, zero ef- fort has been expended to reduce the average two days of queue time this product waits be- fore it can be drilled, the 25 minutes of trans- portation time to move this order to the next department located at the opposite end of the building, the two weeks added to the product's lead-time waiting for raw material to arrive, or the four days of various inspections throughout the process due to inferior quality and/or pro- cess control. Contrast this to Figure 1, which graphically represents the results of a recent best practices project done by Calumet Electronics Corpora- tion, a company that really gets it. Calumet is a printed circuit manufacturer that could have literally 100 process steps, so travel and motion is a big deal. By focusing on motion waste, this company was able to reduce one department's functional motion by 45%, taking it from 162' down to 88'. Saving seconds at the expense of minutes, hours, days or even weeks is saving a penny where you could be saving a dollar, and as I have said a thousand times before, "It's al- ways about the dollars." Where Do you Spend your Money? Now, let's take a macro look at where com- panies spend their money in terms of the cost of quality. The cost of quality refers to costs re-

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