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54 SMT007 MAGAZINE I NOVEMBER 2022 expedited shipping, to Andy's house in three days. Since Sue and A ndy had di s c u s s ed the engagement, Sue had only one request: to have an engagement party with both sets of par- ents invited. At this party the ring would be unveiled. e party was scheduled and during the event, the ring was revealed to everyone's astonishment. Both sets of parents applauded when Andy slipped it on Sue's finger. In a few more moments, both mothers were crying. A few days later on a flight to the electronics circuit board assembly factory in Mexico… "Hey, Romeo, let's see if we can come up with the five most important things we should look for in our evaluation of the company," Sue suggested. "Well, as we have discussed many times, assembly line uptime is arguably the most important single metric. So, that will be No. 1," Andy said. "Agreed," Sue said. "How about whether they collect defect data and plot it in a Pareto Chart and have a continuous improvement plan (CIP) to address the defects?" "at's a great No. 2," Andy responded. "What about line balancing for No. 3?" "I'll buy that if you go with training and staff competence as No. 4," Sue teased. "Hmmm, so maybe we should develop a quiz in Spanish?" Andy said. "I'll take some of the quiz questions that we had when Maggie and John took over and translate them into Spanish," Sue said. "So, what about No. 5?" Andy asked and Sue replied, "How about the quality of the solder paste? Remember all the issues we had with poor response-to-pause and other perfor- mance issues?" "Let's agree, too, that the general appear- ance and quality of the facility and the equip- ment is important," Andy added. "Okay, then that's No. 6," Sue suggested. "Since you are writing out the questions for the staff, I will write down these six areas to investigate when we get there," Andy said. It was quiet for a while as they both attended to their agreed upon assignments. Sue was always better at math than Andy in the many classes they took, so he had worked hard to find some math problem he could stump her with. Finally, he had a candidate. "Sue, how would you calculate 7 1000 with only a simple scientific calculator?" Andy asked with a little teasing in his voice. Sue took out her phone, opened the calcula- tor function, entered 7 1000 , and ended up with an "Error" on the screen. "Wait, why doesn't it give an answer? Oh, I think I know—the answer is too large," Sue said. "So, what do you do then to get the answer?" Andy asked. Sue thought for quite a while (she hated being bested by Andy in math). "I'm not sure," she responded. Want to know the answer? Stay tuned for next month's column. SMT007 Ronald C. Lasky is an instructional professor of engineering for the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College, and senior technologist at Indium Corporation. To read past columns, click here. Figure 2: Sue and Andy on the plane to Mexico discussing their plans for the audit of the factory.

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