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60 PCB007 MAGAZINE I AUGUST 2022 eration, please reach out. Wendy Gaston is the IPCEF liaison between companies and stu- dent chapters. She can be reached at Wendy- Gaston@ipc.org. Let's all continue to move this work forward. PCB007 Hannah Nelson is a student at Valparaiso University, part of the IPC Emerging Engineer Program, and an IPC student director. To read past columns, click here. I plan to help other young women find that same passion. I've seen how a simple email to IPCEF started me on a path I never imagined as I have grown my passion for learning, teach- ing, and leading. To students who are reading this, follow your passions, even if it seems out of the ordinary. Don't be scared to share your ideas because they might make a difference in your organi- zation or the people around you. I know this because it changed my life. If you already work in the industry and want to help our next gen- Introduction Thanks to marketing and advances in technology, we have all come to expect that the electronic products we buy will be closely aligned to our individual and specific lifestyle or business require- ments. This expected variability in per- sonal function and style, as well as reg- ulatory compliance and a changing global economic landscape, has made designing and producing new products a challenging prospect. And, on top of the resulting "high-mix, low-volume" production cycles, increasingly more products contain elec- tronic components in varying levels that heighten the complexity of design and manufacturing. This situation means that printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing has shifted from a focus that's primarily driven by the time it takes to build a sin- gle board on a single dedicated line to focusing on the changeover time between varying products on a single line or between multiple lines. As part of this shift, PCB manufacturers moved away from the traditional practice of selecting pick-and-place lines from multiple vendors toward choosing a single vendor for their machine lines. An unintended result was that using the one vendor's machine software became the primary way to opti- mize the line because the key factors were known, and manufacturers no longer had to optimize across multiple, differing machine platforms. T h e n s u r f a c e m o u n t t e c h n o l - ogy (SMT) came along, and these machines had greater feeder capacity. They were able to cover more types of component packages. SMT machines were more modular than pick-and- place machines so they could be put together to create the overall place- ment line. Despite this move to SMT, some pick-and-place machines, espe- cially if they were legacy machines that still functioned well and were too expensive to replace, were kept in a manufacturing line. So, a sin- gle factory still could have at least two, or more, dif- ferent machine vendors across all lines. This made optimizing all the machines across a line or multi- ple lines complicated because they all had different software programs. Because this setup is difficult to configure, com- panies such as Valor and Tecnomatix, both now part of Siemens Digital Industries, stepped in to deliver optimization strategies for these mixed vendor lines. One of the most popular mixed-vendor lines histori- cally was the Fuji CP-Universal GSM line. However, most electronics assembly lines back then were typically mixed vendor of some type. To continue reading this chapter, download your free book today! Book Excerpt: The Electronics Industry's Guide to… The Evolving PCB NPI Process

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