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APRIL 2022 I SMT007 MAGAZINE 53 Companies that lack the ability to use data in an intelligent manner to drive informed business decisions are at a competitive disadvantage and will miss actionable insights about their custom- ers and their products. Not knowing the best way to read, understand, and apply data can actually be costing your business. ose costs could take the form of lost revenue opportunities, lower effi- ciency and productivity, quality issues, and more. For manufacturer s planning their f uture, data is key to unlocking the ability to optimize their processes, reduce costs, and accurately measure ROI—all by being able to make good decisions about products, services, employees, and strategy. SMT007 See this additional content from Siemens Digital Industries Software: • The Printed Circuit Designer's Guide to... Stackups: The Design within the Design by Bill Hargin (a free eBook available for download) • The Printed Circuit Assembler's Guide to... Smart Data: Using Data to Improve Manufacturing by Sagi Reuven and Zac Elliott (a free eBook available for download) • The Printed Circuit Assembler's Guide to… Advanced Manufacturing in the Digital Age by Oren Manor (a free eBook available for download) • The Printed Circuit Designer's Guide to… Power Integrity by Example by Fadi Deek (a free eBook available for download) • Siemens' free, 12-part, on-demand webinar series "Implementing Digital Twin Best Practices From Design Through Manufacturing." • RealTime With... Siemens and Computrol: Achieving Operational Excellence in Electronics Manufacturing • You can also view other titles in our full I-007eBook library here Zac Elliott is technical marketing engineer for Siemens Digital Industries Software and an I-Connect007 columnist. To read past columns or contact Elliott, click here. by Zac Elliott So far in this series of articles, we have looked at current trends in the supply chain and the challenges facing manufacturers. In general, the takeaway has been that we must do more with less: • We need to be more flexible while simultaneously decreasing labor input • We need to be more efficient while also managing component shortages But as we strive to manage these challenges, one area where we cannot lose focus or sac- rifice is the quality of products being manu- factured. This article will look at how current trends impact product quality and new meth- ods to manage the risk. Challenges to Quality Several trends contribute to challenges in maintaining product quality. A higher mix of products: As digitalization, automation, and specialization disrupt con- sumer and industrial markets, there is an increase in the variety of electronic products being produced today. As the mix of prod- ucts increases, the production volume of each device or lot of devices decreases. Taken to the extreme, lot sizes have decreased over time from thousands to hundreds to dozens to the now common lot-size-one production orders. With such small lot sizes, there is sim- ply not enough production volume to debug manufacturing process and reach a steady- state quality level. Increased new product introductions (NPIs): The number of engineering changes, revisions, and new product introductions is increasing across the board. With an explosion in the number of products and the increased prod- uct mix mentioned above, it is more difficult to identify trends related to product quality. This is driving manufacturers to focus on process quality as opposed to product quality. To read the entire column, click here. Lean Digital Thread Keeping an Eye on Quality

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