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PCB-Dec2015

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78 The PCB Magazine • December 2015 Cherry: I'm very aware of the costs only because I know the PCB fabricators feel they're already getting audited to death, and they already do a lot of testing for their customers. I did a lot of research and talked to many board shops well in advance of designing this program. I used that feedback and plugged that into the model to try to keep the cost low. Goldman: Are you hoping that this replaces some of those other customer audits? Cherry: I don't want to say "replace" or "elimi- nate." I want to use terms like "reduce the fre- quency" of the audits. Goldman: It's an augment, I suppose. Cherry: Right. Another term I've been using instead of customer audits, they turn into cus- tomer business meetings. Where your financial people, your supply chain, your procurement people get involved and the focus is more just on price and delivery and the emphasis pulls back from the technical side of it, because they'll be looking at IPC for that. Let me explain further. When I used to work for Tellabs, I was the process engineer and the auditor for the circuit board shops. When I would go over to China to do audits, it'd be my- self on the technical side and a quality engineer with me, as well as a commodity manager. The commodity manager's only job is price, delivery and lead time. That's all they care about. I'm focused on the technical part, and the quality guy looks at the ISO-type things, documenta- tion, things like that. As you can imagine, it's very expensive for my former company to fly three people overseas. And a lot of OEMs audit every year. Think about that: three people, every year. Goldman: Three people visit one facility? Cherry: To one facility or to a host of facilities when you visit China. If the OEMs get in line and support this program, then they don't need to send that technical person or that quality per- son over to China every year. Maybe it's every two years or every three years. The commod- ity person, that person would still go, but now you're flying over one person instead of three. So there's a huge savings there to the OEM, and like I said, if we can reduce the frequency of the OEM audits, the board shops would be very satisfied with that. It's kind of the chicken and the egg, but it's a situation where the OEMs are looking to see if the board shops are going to participate, and the board shops are looking at whether OEMs are going to put this in their requirement documents; the board shop has to be IPC certified to the standard. Goldman: It's a matter of getting a little critical mass going here. Then do you expect it may snow- ball in both directions? Cherry: Yes, that would be perfect. If we could get that type of momentum. I also have another program that I'd like to talk about, Patty. This is a program in which I'm kind of targeting small companies and compa- nies that are not familiar with IPC's offerings or IPC standards. We came up with a new program called the Standards Gap Analysis program, known as SGA. Once again, I can go into an OEM that does in-house manufacturing or a small EMS com- pany, for example, that doesn't fully know all THE VALUE OF IPC'S VALIDATION SERVICES FeATure inTerview

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