SMT007 Magazine

SMT-Jun2017

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66 SMT Magazine • June 2017 communications to proactively deal with mate- rial, equipment and other process variation the- oretically without human intervention. However, these complex systems require a workforce with high engineering skill levels. A workforce that not only can write code, but also understands the science involved in the elec- tronic product assembly process. This will be the principal issue facing high tech manufac- turing and production in the upcoming decade. So, all roads lead to education. I submit that it's not automation technol- ogy eliminating people's jobs that is the root source of the social angst and unrest that is surely around the corner. Then, what is it? It's an educational system that is not responding to the needs of the new industries that the auto- mation technology is creating. But, the fault does not solely reside in the secondary and post-secondary branches of the educational system. The primary (elementary) schools have allowed an erosion of the most ba- sic skills needed for earning a living: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Teaching the fundamental skills needed to successfully compete both in post-secondary education (college) and the real world (indus- try) must be restored. Social promotion in our primary and sec- ondary educational system must end. In many cases, and high-tech electronic prod- uct assembly is a good example, all roads lead to an ineffective system that is administered by an adult population that is detached from the real world. The social promotion of students and a fixation on school ratings has become a school's objective. Success in the real world is built on a foundation of reading, writing, lis- tening and speaking. There are high schools in Connecticut that are graduating students who read at a 5th grade level and below. And, they represent 50% of the graduating population! What chance do these young adults have in the real world? So, what does this have to do with the cost of materials for high-tech electronic products? People generally make decisions based on self- interest. Does this mean that they are selfish and do this at the expense of the general good? It could, but it doesn't have to. It really comes back to an issue we have discussed several times over the months in this column. Is it better to have 330 million equal pieces of the economic pie, or promote policies that increase the size of the pie? The choice is to have a population that is unequally rich, or a population that is equal- ly poor. In 1620, the pilgrims tried the "equal size slice" approach and failed miserably. The peo- ple of Harmony, Indiana tried to create a uto- pian town where people worked according to their ability and were compensated according to their need—again, failure. Today in Venezu- ela, a country rich in oil, people are starving to death 3 . All centralized authoritarian government schemes are confronted with the same chal- lenge: trying to force all public policy through a narrow government funnel. History proves it never ends well. Never! The excuse always is that "centrally controlled economies will work and that failed attempts in the past are due to the leaders not knowing the best way to do it— we know the way!" They always lead to tyran- ny, corruption and public misery. As we mentioned in our last column, there are four elements that need to be addressed when trying to compete against product assem- bly in low labor rate environments 4 : 1. High assembly yield loss causing labor costs in high labor rate operations to READING, WRITING, LISTENING, SPEAKING AND ANALYZING MATERIAL COST, PART 1 " A workforce that not only can write code, but also understands the science involved electronic product assembly process. This will be the principal issue facing high tech manufacturing and production in the upcoming decade. So, all roads lead to education. "

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