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18 PCB007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2020 you a chance to plan and staff with the people you need when you need them. At this point, we've discovered that the road- map helps with technology and equipment from the manufacturing floor. We've discussed that the roadmap also helps you drive your staffing and skill set. We've previously dis- cussed that your roadmap becomes a key part of the story that your salespeople tell your cus- tomers about why they want to have a long- term relationship with you. Holden: An important thing for both manage- ment and sales is forming partnerships with customers so that the customers share their product roadmap. You can look at what they think is going to make them successful, and then step back—which is what you'd call qual- ity function deployment. QFD needs to devel- op, which is the voice of the customer. If your sales and management teams are listening to your customers, and they want to grow and be successful, they're going to have new ideas about products. How does the PCB and assem- bly support the need for that technology? Us- ing a technique like QFD, you can take their product and algorithmically turn it into board or assembly performance. HP found nothing better than QFD at interpreting your custom- er's goals into a process, as well as your manu- facturing goals, and how to translate them. Johnson: We touched on this when we dis- cussed yield as a source for increased profit margin, but the one pillar we haven't talked about in great detail yet with regard to the benchmarking and roadmapping process is costs and supply chain. Holden: Companies that recycle chemicals and water have an enormous advantage in terms of cost. Rather than throwing good chemicals away and paying money to have them de- stroyed in waste treatment, consider recycling and regenerating chemicals, as well as recy- cling water. The only other important direct material in PCB fabrication is the laminate. You get the copper for free when you buy the lami- nate because you etch the copper off that, and that's pure copper. If you can take it, recover it, and put it back in the plating bath, you've just gained a lot in cost reduction! Johnson: Regardless of where my technology roadmap takes me in the quest for new capa- bilities, as a manufacturer I should pay atten- tion to the chemical side of my business and ensure it's as efficient as possible. Holden: The fundamentals are about all the things that you buy, and what happens next. Do you have to pay to get rid of them? For ex- ample, you pay to get rid of laminate because it's shipped as your product. But if you buy dry film or photoresist, you put it down and then take it off. You have to buy it, apply it, throw it away, and treat it. Costs and yields are going to jump out at you. The biggest piece of the pie is waste, not just in terms of yield; there is other waste because you have to buy photoresist and then throw it away. One change could be not to throw anything away; instead, you could take a neutral dried effluent cake to the landfill. It's not toxic and it doesn't emit water. You may have to buy wa- ter if you run things at a higher temperature, and there's evaporation, but no more than anything else is consumed. The only thing that would leave the factory would be the product and the dried cake that you don't have to pay for; it would just go to the dump. It's about looking at costs and finding op- portunities. And the less cost you have, if you If your sales and management teams are listening to your customers, and they want to grow and be successful, they're going to have new ideas about products.

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