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16 SMT007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2021 the people in manufacturing how to build this board. Now, the second part of the job for process engineering is aer they have engineered this job we released on the floor. Does that mean it's going to be 100% perfect? Not necessarily, especially on product that we're building for the first time. It goes onto the floor and then we're building it, and sometimes there's a lot of catch-up or a lot of issues that come up and the manufacturing people say, "Wait a minute, this part doesn't fit." Or "How come I'm not getting the good results that I want? I'm see- ing issues." e process engineer's job is now to dive in while it's on the floor, look at it and say, "I see a problem here. Let's figure out this problem." Either a) I go back to the customer and discuss this issue with whoever designed the product, or b) is is the problem I need to fix. I need to change the profile. e process engineer needs to get involved in that. And then sometimes they need to get involved because the operator or the manu- facturing people don't quite understand what needs to be done. e process engineer needs to explain it to them in manufacturing terms they understand so they can build it. Pre-engi- neering concentrates on DFM, design for man- ufacturing. Later, during the finished-product part of the process engineering, we call that post-DFM. We finished a product, it's done, but we found a lot of issues when we built it, so it's process engineering's job now to write up a post-DFM report for the customer. ere are two things that we're looking at for post-DFM. We're looking for the issues we've found, such as: you need to fix this to make this more manufacturable next time, or here are some improvements; or, it looks good, but here's the stuff you can do to make this product easier to manufacture or to reduce costs. e other thing we're looking for is to reduce cost. We had to put this part on by hand. If you turn it this way, we can do it by the machine and that will save you a lot of time, a lot of cost in production. ose are the three key things that a process engineer should do: use pre-DFM design rules and write it up so the manufacturing people know how to build it; support in-process manufacturing to figure out any issues and resolve those, and the post-DFM, how to make the product better; and identify the issue so the customer, when they redesign this thing, knows what to fix for the future. Johnson: As you're doing this analysis in assem- bly, you're measuring, identifying, and mak- ing incremental changes to optimize and then measure the results of those changes. Are you constantly looking at each one of those jobs to see if you can find a way to improve it? Tran: Yes, until you get to the point where stuff is being mass-produced. Like a cellphone, you can't build at that quantity for the first time in production, not prototype, and then say, "I fig- ured it out the first time, now we can just pro- duce 100,000 every week with no issues." Once you get to that 100,000, I can guarantee you that three months later you're thinking, "You know what? We've been cranking out 100,000 every

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