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JULY 2018 I SMT007 MAGAZINE 79 ators are now cross-trained to assemble both a subas- sembly component and their portion of the final assembly which enhances efficiency and better balances work- flow on the project. Work- flow is visual so produc- tion status and engineering change order (ECO) impact is easily verifiable. "Wait state" work-in-process (WIP) is minimized since produc- tion operators are preparing the material they need for the day's production quota. Basic cable/harness assem- bly and PCBAs are built in their respective production areas and stocked on the line at the point of use. From an employee qual- ity-of-life and safety stand- point there are significant benefits to this approach. The finished product is large and heavy. The conveyor arrangement places the prod- uct to be worked on at a level where a standing production operator can easily complete assembly tasks with no need to kneel or bend. A pneu- matic platform at the end of the line lowers finished units for wheeled transport to test so no operator lifting is required. The shifting between subassem- bly build and final assembly build enlarges each operator's areas of responsibility, adding variety to the assigned tasks performed. The standing assembly element enables operators to have a wider range of motion during their daily activities which helps minimize the risk of repetitive stress injuries. While regional EMS providers are often thought of as companies primarily focused on PCBA assembly and cellular box builds, this example illustrates that an EMS provider skilled in mechanical assembly can easily shift to higher-volume work. The redesigned line help simplify a complex electromechanical assem- bly project and facilitated daily shipments on a project with growing volumes. SMT007 Mike Baldwin is vice president at Spectrum Assembly Inc. He can be reached at Figure 3: Preassembled subassemblies are pulled from feeder stations adjacent to the line.

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