SMT007 Magazine

SMT-Sept2015

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20 SMT Magazine • September 2015 materials to individual PCBs as well as product manufacturing and test histories are required. Adopting the three key principles of the "new face" of traceability creates a whole new paradigm of technology that is based on the creation of value and benefit to manufacturing. The ability to collect all of the required data for traceability through the use of automation means that there is little cost for the data acqui- sition. The data is also more accurate because there will not have been manual data entry or data manipulation, and it will also be more im- mediate because it is collected from the process- es during the normal course of operation. The data collected can also potentially be far more detailed than when using manual methods be- cause there is very little overhead on how much data can be collected. This all leads to a rich traceability envi- ronment for little cost. The key for automated traceability value is focused on combining all of the different sources and formats of data, piec- ing together every fact and event that happens. Care should be taken for accurate interpre- tation of the data so that traceability is built into a neutral format that is not dependent on any proprietary formats from machines or pro- cesses. Traceability retention for automotive electronics systems can stretch to many years, sometimes over a decade, which means the sheer volume of the data can require the adop- tion of the latest "big data" technologies. Even this requirement for the retention of traceability data can provide more benefit than cost. Apart from the headline-grabbing, market- recall scenarios, bringing the need for immedi- ate help to identify the exact scope of vehicles with a particular issue so as to reduce recall costs, traceability data can serve as a sophisti- cated internal and market-quality tool. Because of the nature of production with traceability, there will be very few issues in the market, but if any issue, even a minor one-off defect should be found, possible root causes can be found with the significant options for analy- sis of the complete build records for those prod- ucts. For example, the defect could be found in a product that was one of a 1,000 unit work-or- der, which were all made at the same time and in the same way. There has to be a reason, however, that one of those products out of the 1,000 had a variance—a slightly different circumstance or combination of circumstances that created this defect. Using the fully detailed traceability build record, covering all processes and materi- FeAture tHe "NeW FACe" OF AutOmOtIve trACeAbILIty continues figure 2: Total traceability pulls data from all three silos of materials, process, and quality.

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