SMT007 Magazine

SMT-Sept2015

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36 SMT Magazine • September 2015 and you're going to have the benefit of the im- proved quality because the handling issues will have been resolved through automation. Patel: Absolutely. Matties: what sort of growth do you see coming in the next year? Patel: This year, it's kind of hard to say right now. I know a lot of people are experiencing a downturn. A lot of shops and fabricators are slow right now. Somehow domestic fabrication took a little dive, maybe because of the summer or whatever. We are seeing our offshore supply chain take a little dip, and our partners have seen this as well. We are seeing some very soft landing right now in this arena, the fabrication of the circuit board. It could just be a matter of the Chinese crises coming into play. Inventory is going to deplete and it's going to get shorter. I think we are probably going to have the same business growth, which is about 2–3%, but I'm not expecting growth to take a spike. In the range of 2–5% is normal for what we have been seeing the last few years. I think we are going to continue to grow that way. Matties: revenue growth is one thing, but you can also increase profit through better systems. are you focused on improving your systems as well, in order to find and eliminate waste? Patel: We talk about two kinds of waste over here. One we call yield; there is waste that comes out of that. We call the waste on the oth- er end EPL waste. Another EPL factor is wheth- er we can recycle the water or retreat the water and find an effective way of getting the water clean so we can put it back into the system. EPL waste is one of the factors or areas we constant- ly watch so we make less waste or chemistry. That adds to the bottom line. Matties: there are two parts to this when i talk about waste. i'm talking more about streamlining your process because, in most manufacturing pro- cesses, we have steps involved that create waste in time, energy or resource. For example, if we're doing an inspection where an inspection isn't re- ally required, that becomes waste. or having to fill out extra forms in redundancy, the second one becomes waste. Patel: Yes, we've reduced our waste in these types of processes and increased our efficiency through our new IT system, for example. We have fully developed IT systems where you don't need to fill out the forms—it's all done through the system. We can check on orders quickly to see what's going on. The most important point of it is that it's real-time information. If my engineers or my sales people meet a customer, at any stage of the process they can see imme- diately where it's at on the screen. Also, when a new change comes in, they see they need to implement it. Our IT system is one of our major strengths and how we differentiate ourselves from other shop floors. It transfers from start to finish all the records and data needed. It is real- time; nobody needs to roam around to find out where a job is currently. They click on it, and boom, it is there. That's how we work currently. You're defi- nitely right, though, in the past our processes were very wasteful. A lot of times somebody would need to find an order only to learn it had already gone through the tank and it was too late. Our IT system has helped streamline that process and reduce waste. Matties: it sounds like you have a good data strategy at your facility. what advice would you bIG strAteGIes FOr suCCess continues interview

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