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36 SMT007 MAGAZINE I APRIL 2022 We are in the era of data—big data—and that should be a good thing. But the sheer volume of data we are collecting can be overwhelm- ing; its meaning and usefulness can become a burden, just more noise. All data is noise until it can be contextualized into actionable information. From that perspective, our goal with data collection should be to reduce the noise and organize data in ways that gener- ate meaningful information that can be used to improve our processes. As manufacturing evolves further toward an Industry 4.0 future, here is a quiz to gauge where your organiza- tion stands in terms of making meaningful impacts with your data. Each answer is given a point value; at the end of the quiz, add up your points. 1. How is your inspection data collected? w Manually (1 point) w Automated (2 points) What's That Noise? Is it Your Data? Manual data collection can be cumbersome and time consuming. Automated data collection is far more efficient, though we must beware that the volume of data can generate a lot of noise if we aren't selective. 2. Do you use statistical process control (SPC)? w No (1 point) w Yes (2 points) SPC is a great approach to preempting manu- facturing issues and addressing them promptly should they crop up. Those who implement SPC experience less rework and far less scrap. 3. Is your SPC online or offline? w No SPC (0 point) w Offline (1 point) w Online (2 points) Online SPC results in faster response to poten- tial issues. Addressing problems early results in reduced waste. X-Rayted Files Feature Column by Bill Cardoso, CREATIVE ELECTRON

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