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PCB-Dec2016

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72 The PCB Magazine • December 2016 information but also commonly link the partic- ular material/product to a part number and/or lot number. Also, the CoCs might also include information related to when the material/prod- uct was tested and when it might expire, or no longer be suitable for use. Both the product data sheet and the CoC, and even your own drawing or specification re- garding exactly what it is that you want, are im- portant documents when performing supplier surveillance as it gives you the specific details about what your material/product is and is not, or should and should not be. Test plans can be developed around these documents to pro- vide some reassurance that you're getting what you've paid for. The tests performed as part of your supplier surveillance plan are obviously important, but just as important as the testing is the plan that you've developed to assess the risk involved. Knowing your final product, what it is that you deliver to your customer, will allow you to optimize your supplier surveillance strategy to focus on those materials or products that are most critical to your end product's success. You should understand the factors that most affect the quality of your materials/products. Maybe it's a raw material in which product data sheets and/or CoCs are the most important pieces of documentation? Maybe it's a product in which design factors should be scrutinized and inves- tigated? Maybe you've purchased from a non- OEM, and the widget could be counterfeit? These are just some of the questions that you might need to investigate to ensure that your final product is exactly what you've told your customer it will be. If you're not performing supplier surveil- lance, what happens when your customer does and discovers that they're not getting what they've asked for? Whatever does happen in this case, it probably won't be something good and if their investigation finds that the culprit of the issue(s) was something that you would have found doing your own due diligence, it's likely the outcome will be bad for you and/ or your company. They say a penny saved is a penny earned…in the world of supplier surveil- lance, a few pennies spent testing a couple of samples on the front end, could easily save mil- lions of pennies on the back end. PCB Keith M. Sellers is operations manager with NTS in Baltimore, Maryland. To read past columns or to contact Sellers, click here. ARE YOU GETTING WHAT YOU'VE ASKED FOR? Military operations are dynamic and complex—in- fantry squads carry out their missions simultaneously in the 3D physical world, the cyber domain, and across the electromagnetic spectrum. As artificial intelligence becomes more advanced, the future of kinetic, cyber, and electronic warfare envisions humans and intel- ligent machines working together. A challenge, however, is determining how best to meld human cognitive strengths and the unique capabilities of smart machines to create intelligent teams adap- tive to rapidly changing circumstances. To address this challenge, DARPA today announced the Agile Teams (A-Teams) pro- gram, which sets out to dis- cover, test, and demonstrate predictive and generalizable mathematical methods to enable optimized design of agile hybrid teams. A-Teams seeks to fundamen- tally challenge the current paradigm of human-in- telligent machine systems design by changing the focus from simply using machines for automation and substitution of human capacity to an inte- grated fabric enabling superior collective problem solving. Designing Agile Human-Machine Teams

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