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42 SMT007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2022 We used to discuss manufacturing para- digms in terms of high- or low-mix, coupled with high- or low-volume, with many shades of grey in between. Now, we have a new dimen- sion, that of high-volatility, as key dependen- cies on labour, materials, and logistics contrib- ute challenges to production, which in turn, is subject to the volatility of customer demand. More than ever, material management is either the key enabler for business success, or your nemesis in not being able to achieve the neces- sary recovery plan if not thought out properly. One unique aspect of electronics manufac- turing is that there are simply too many mate- rials to individually manage. Obviously, we use carriers for those materials, whether collected Fractional Materials and High-Mix Manufacturing Smart Factory Insights Feature Column by Michael Ford, AEGIS SOFTWARE

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