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DECEMBER 2019 I SMT007 MAGAZINE 65 engineering staff, both in terms of recipe trans- fer and real-time production engineering atten- tion. Some companies have an engineering team work on the prototype or first run, and then transfer to another group specializing in volume production engineering. To reduce risk throughout the product lifecycle and real- time build activities, ideally, the same engi- neering team would never leave that product, would understand all the engineering details, and would know exactly how the transition to production should go, and then that same team would do all the tasks involved. Taking it one step further, after the first-run prototype is approved, the manufacturer should ensure a full recipe transfer for the customer com- pany into their next production build in the life cycle. This would allow them to work on their next project and program. Manufacturers that invest the time to get an upfront intake profile to better understand cus- tomer needs can then create a custom program that suits those needs. This will reduce addi- tional time and concerns of customers, and provide a solution that offers both peace of mind and risk mitigation. Speed-on HyperDrive "We need five panels in 24 hours, and we'll need 1,000 pieces in two weeks. Then, we'll move 10,000 pieces in four weeks and do a 100,000-piece product ramp-up after that." Can product concept to market at volume get any faster? Yes. It will. And along with increased speed comes greater risk. How a manufacturer can put into place such a fast-transitioning pro- gram—and what they do to ensure recipe trans- fer, complete Q&A, AQL sampling, and spot-on delivery time—are just a sample of the basics of a risk analysis. Smart companies insist on working with manufacturers who have a signif- icant history of success in ramping in multiple stages, apparently simultaneously. Competitive Risk In other industries, specifically ecommerce, conversations in the PCB industry between buyers and suppliers have shifted to include fostering collaboration that will spur inno- vation. This particular supplier relationship brings tremendous value that fuels a compa- ny's growth. As technologies and DFM innova- tions are skyrocketing, a PCB may play an inte- gral and valued part of a company's success. Who Is Kept Up at Night Worrying About Risk Mitigation? You would think that just one person is con- cerned about risk mitigation: the company CEO. In all practicality, though, within the last year or two, everyone in a company structure seems more than mindful of the risks and "sit- uations" that have impacted their role within their company. A completed PCB is the foundation of the product. If you don't have one, you don't have a product. You won't be able to populate it, put it into your final product, or, ultimately, ship it to your customer. PCB risk mitigation is very important to the CEO, your finance team, your engineers, program managers, your qual- ity and procurement teams, and people in the supply chain. Ultimately, it is the person who's focused on getting the product out the door who must know how to take a deep dive into effective, risk-reducing supplier relationships. When You Only Hear Crickets Then, you have a problem. PCB companies are very aggressive in marketing and reaching out directly. A quick way to rule out providers who may offer you a low price, but will ulti- mately expose you to significant risks that can contribute to real losses, is to follow this pro- cess. When you evaluate a new supplier, ask to schedule a site visit that will help you deter- mine whether they are a fabricator or a broker. A completed PCB is the foundation of the product. If you don't have one, you don't have a product.

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