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28 PCB007 MAGAZINE I NOVEMBER 2019 Kuretich: Everyone has a voice, shares their concerns, and the information is located in one spot where management reviews them, as- sesses them, ranks them, and decides what to focus on first. It's powerful that we can share what we're most worried about. As far as be- ing heard, at least they know what keeps me awake at night now; I'm not the only one go- ing home with this concern. Now, everyone knows, and leadership is going to help us de- cide what we're going to focus on first. Johnson: Do you see automation as something that is valuable on the shop floor at Sunstone? Viter: I do. We were very excited recently to get a laser direct imaging (LDI) machine and take that risk off the table, for instance. All of a sud- den, we have an image that is going directly onto the panel, which removes the need for several manual processes, reducing sources of error and headcount. So, we're looking for the type of automation that is a real benefit to our overall business. Right now, we are researching drilling equip- ment, partly to address the industry trend to- ward smaller holes to add capacity and some automation. One of the drill machines that we're looking at right now has automated loaders, so you can put several different orders together, and it will load them as they go. That is an outstanding way for us to reduce some of the manual work of things and let folks focus on some of the more critical things that only humans can do. For every piece of equipment, we look at how we can best utilize automation. Back in the old days, you didn't want anything that had auto- loaders because they worked so terribly that you ended up spending half of your day fix- ing the alignment. But the industry has come a long way since then, and so has robotics. What used to be a big problem has been sorted out, and we have to take advantage of that where it makes sense and build that into the ROI. Johnson: How important is data interchange to Sunstone's process? And by that, I'm referring to data formats such as CFX. Viter: We have not even pursued that yet. That doesn't mean it's not a route that we want to analyze, because it has some tremendous op- portunities, but it's not on the roadmap yet. Johnson: When does it become something to pursue over where you are right now? Viter: It's about having the appropriate resources and customer demand. In my perfect world, we would bring somebody into the shop with oth- er industry experience, who has already gone through that piece and can help us be success- ful with that, but it's more about bandwidth. If we go back to the management review process, it's not yet at the top of the pile because there are bigger resource issues identified with labor being the biggest piece of our spend; we have more pressing projects around that. What type of things can we do that can help? Because it's continually getting more and more out of con- trol, and whatever we decide to do, there has to be a great benefit for that aspect. Johnson: I know that Sunstone completely re- built its enterprise resource planning tool to grow and move forward. And, within 24 months of completing that, you've implemented and passed an ISO 9000 certification audit. That's a lot of fundamental change in five years. Viter: The extremes of data from one process to the next are terrifying. There's so much risk in losing data. There's a whole world that could stop us, which brings up fear. We need to make sure our infrastructure can do those functions seamlessly. With our quick turnaround, we still have the ability to do things the way we did 30 years ago if we have to (laughs), like running around the shop with a paper traveler and all of the information on a disc to go from one place to the next. Johnson: So, you're saying CFX and data inter- change is not a strong fix for a prototype shop. Viter: Not at this time. Jamin Wilson was huge in our ISO endeavor, and I love speaking with him because he looks at things and says, "How

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