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86 PCB007 MAGAZINE I FEBRUARY 2021 Article by Patrick Valentine TECHNICAL AND LEAN SIX SIGMA MANAGER, UYEMURA USA Introduction Quality and continuous improvement are an integral part of the electronics industry. Poor quality is costly. Remediation costs of poor quality can cost a company 25% of its annual sales. Poor quality and the need for high reli- ability are the catalysts driving continuous im- provement today. An in-depth review of qual- ity and continuous improvement is presented. The History of Quality e concern for quality control and reduced product variation can be traced back centuries. Archaic quality control methods were used by the Xia Dynasty in 2100 BC in ancient China [1] . During the late 1290s in medieval Europe, guilds—the pre-cursor to unions—were re- sponsible for product and service quality [2] . From 1700 to 1900, product quality was de- termined by the individual crasman's ef- forts [3] . At the close of the 19th century, Eli Whitney introduced standardized, inter- changeable parts to simplify assembly [3] . In 1875, Frederick W. Taylor introduced the sci- entific management principles, which divided work into smaller, more easily accomplished tasks [3] . Taylor believed the key to productivity and improved quality was knowledge, organiza- tion, and leadership. In 1903, Karol Adamiecki developed the harmonograph, a chart depicting workers' movements and actions indicating the causes of low productivity and potential qual- ity issues [4] . Quality principles were accelerat- ing at the beginning of the 20th century as man- ufacturers began to shi from purely focusing on their production economy to balancing the number of products produced while meeting in- creased consumer demands for quality. In 1901, the Engineering Standards Com- mittee was formed in Great Britain to estab- lish imperial standards in all fields [3] . In 1906, the International Electro-Technical Commit- tee was created to prepare and publish inter- national standards for all electrical, electron- ic, and related technologies. By 1930, most in- dustrialized countries had established national standards organizations. Most of these nation- al standards organizations were linked to the International Federation of the National Stan- Quality and Continuous Improvement

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