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PCB-Sept2017

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32 The PCB Magazine • September 2017 NAVIGATING PROCESS CHANGE? TPC IS THE KEY time guarding against changes that could have detrimental effect on the process. Redundant TPCs must also be avoided as there is no need to expend resources on a method that has been proven unsuccessful in the past. Obviously, pro- cess engineering, engineering or whatever func- tion owns the shop's processes, should manage this. Each shop is different; however, my only caveat would be to have a single entity oversee- ing the process. I would also highly recommend making this a stand-alone procedure/work in- struction. There are three main components of a solid system, the temporary pro- cess change form, the temporary pro- cess change log, and the quality assess- ment phase. My position affords me the unique opportunity to evaluate the best and brightest in the PCB world, but on the other hand I also get to observe the opposite end of the evolutionary scale. It continues to amaze me, ISO notwith- standing, how many times I run across controlled procedures that have things crossed off and/or changed, or process- es that only the operator knows has been "unofficially" changed. A few companies have even accounted for this by includ- ing in their document control procedure that handwritten changes are allowed! Although this loophole may satisfy a Bar- ney Fife ISO auditor, that would require banishment to the "not ready for prime time" file in my book. Figure 1 details the process flow for a TPC program. TPC Form A simple form should be devel- oped—either electronic or paper will work fine—that provides the basic infor- mation needed to implement and track the change. It should include sections that describe the change, any chemical changes, the reason for the change, and the results (implemented or denied). A TPC can be defined as "Any process change that deviates from a standard op- erating procedure (SOP) for a short peri- od of time." The change could be pro- cedural, raw material, or supplier/brand- related, and the "short period of time" must be defined. Anyone should be allowed to submit a TPC for review and approval, however utilizing the organization's various Improvement Teams for this activity increases buy-in and can be an effective filter for unworthy ideas. If the change is global for the process, it should be attached to the appropriate procedure (either paper or electronic). If the change is limited to a specific lot(s), it should be attached to the appropriate process travelers. In either case, all appropri - ate operators should be notified of the change, Figure 1: Process flow for a temporary process change program.

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