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APRIL 2021 I PCB007 MAGAZINE 63 ing optimization to capture increasing market shares. As an example of how this benchmark- ing allowed scrap reduction, when faced with concerns regarding relatively low yields on initial mass production radar products at our Kunshan plant, the team was able to confident- ly state we would solve this within the coming months before full mass production scale-up occurred. We not only hit our yield targets, we continued to progress to far better yields than was originally thought possible. Another cooperative relationship is with Rayben, a Zhuhai-based technology partner that has specialization in thermal management technologies. Wus purchased a license to their ceramic inlay technology and we have ongo- ing benchmarking activities aligning process- es, inspection, and test (key to Rayben's tech- nology), including participating together with key customer audits at both our plants. is has allowed both manufacturing locations to dramatically reduce scrap related to suppliers, processes, and handling while ensuring quality and reliability to customers. Q: Do you have any final thoughts about benchmarking? A: Oen, benchmarking is defined as com- paring yourself to your competitors and in- dustry standards. I'd say that is a narrow view. When considered as a tool and applied intel- ligently as part of a holistic approach to the management and development of your orga- nization, it can help your company from indi- vidual effectiveness to integrated supply chain management to improve customer satisfaction and profitability. Wus has great strategic vision. Each plant fo- cuses on core products to manage customers and technology requirements while the orga- nization consciously leverages the strengths of each and the entire supply chain for achieving technology, quality and yield advances. PCB007 Todd Johnson has over 20 years of experience in PCB quality, engineering, reliability, chemistry, and R&D. In recent years, robots have gained artificial vi- sion, touch, and even smell. "Researchers have been giving robots human-like perception," says MIT Associate Professor Fadel Adib. In a new paper, Adib's team is pushing the technology a step fur- ther. "We're trying to give robots superhuman per- ception," he says. The researchers have developed a robot that uses radio waves, which can pass through walls, to sense occluded objects. The robot, called RF- Grasp, combines this powerful sensing with more traditional computer vision to locate and grasp items that might other- wise be blocked from view. The advance could one day streamline e-commerce fulfill- ment in warehouses or help a machine pluck a screwdriver from a jumbled toolkit. As e-commerce continues to grow, warehouse work is still usually the domain of humans, not robots, despite sometimes-dangerous working conditions. That's in part because robots strug- gle to locate and grasp objects in such a crowded environment. "Perception and picking are two roadblocks in the industry today," says Rodri- guez. Using optical vision alone, robots can't perceive the presence of an item packed away in a box or hidden behind another object on the shelf—visible light waves, of course, don't pass through walls. But radio waves can. "RF is such a different sens- ing modality than vision," says Rodriguez. "It would be a mis- take not to explore what RF can do." (Source: MIT News) A Robot That Senses Hidden Objects

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