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FEBRUARY 2021 I PCB007 MAGAZINE 97 an operator evolve and find a better way to per- form the task? Or are they cheating and jeopar- dizing the process? is is where adjustments can be made before control is lost. Using a 5S concept, look to see if the task or process can be improved. Look to eliminate waste, such as time, movements, or other factors. If correc- tions are found, go back to Phase 2, make the corrections and continue the loop. is outline gives continuous control of tasks or processes and will not allow out-of-control scenarios to develop. If they do, depending on KPI review frequency, they can be captured and corrected expediently. It also keeps a stan- dardization from operator to operator or shi to shi. Stay safe! PCB007 Todd Kolmodin is VP of quality for Gardien Services USA and an expert in electrical test and reliability issues. To read past columns or contact Kolmodin, click here. two, as it is equally feasible that these survey respon- dents specialize in complex or cutting-edge manu- facturing processes. Standard services, as reported, ranged from one week to three weeks, with the ma- jority of responses in the three-week range. Further- more, longer lead times on standard services did not correlate to either the quick-turn lead times or the scrap rate. We asked about current process bottlenecks. Understandably, some individuals were hesitant to share, but of those who did, bottlenecks were (surprisingly) evenly distrib- uted across the fabrication process: from plating and drill, to coating and sol- der mask printing. We followed up by ask- ing the respondents if they were benchmarking this bottleneck. Sixty percent of respondents said no, they were not benchmarking their cur- rent bottleneck. When asked why they weren't benchmarking, the replies fell into three gen- eral categories: staffing shortages, difficulty in measuring, and process automation. When we asked about ISO 9001 certification, 80% of the surveys indicate that they are certified. While the survey results are not necessarily a strong correlation of cause and effect, there are some general conclusions we can derive. For example, re- spondents identified process improvement opportu- nities throughout their organization, yet knowing of a process bottleneck doesn't mean that the process will automatically be addressed. Staffing shortages, as well as uncertainty in how to measure the process for benchmarking purposes, are key factors. by the I-Connect007 Research Team In a recent survey conducted by I-Connect007's research team, we asked readers about benchmark- ing processes. A critical step to continuous pro- cess improvement is to measure a process to determine if/how it can be improved. Benchmarking, therefore, is a key step to effective continuous im- provement. We summarize the survey results here. We kicked off by asking about the most important things to benchmark. Respons- es were grouped into a number of catego- ries. Among them, process parameters, includ- ing operating windows and implementations, are high on the list. Speed, quality, quantity, and repeatability made up the list of bench- mark-worthy throughputs on the manufactur- ing floor. Equipment selection and line con- figuration were common responses, which also aligned with floor efficiencies. But costs, price, lead times and returns were also men- tioned, reminding us that processes across the com- pany eventually bubble up to the accounting reports in one way or another. Scrap rates, as reported in the survey, ranged from 0.5–15%, with respondents generally bunched to- gether at each end of the range. Likewise, quick-turn delivery times were separated into two groups: three days or less, and 10 days. In our survey data, we did find a correlation between a higher scrap rate and a longer lead time. But this does not necessarily sug- gest a cause-and-effect relationship between the Benchmarking to Make Processes Smarter—Our Survey

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