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26 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2023 A manufacturing facility is set up like a miniature business ecosystem. Within it, a product is handed from one department to another, with more features and materials added in each step in the process. Most of the time, one process will greatly affect those that follow it. For example, targets created at an imaging step will verify proper registration in a drill step. Sometimes the effect can be neg- ative, such as when too much warp in a panel at the lamination stages creates downstream issues for imaging. Unfortunately, even processes within a department can cause headaches for subse- quent processes. A thicker layer of solder mask on a panel may require a longer tack dry and A Mini Manufacturing Ecosystem exposure time. An imaging defect in resist can cause troubles in etching, and the list goes on. But there are remedies. For instance, creating a culture where the next department is viewed as "the customer" can help achieve desired quality standards in all departments. e first step in developing this type of cul- ture is to open lines of communication. How does one department know the targets of other departments in the process if they never see what they do? Creating and maintaining an open dialogue that helps solve issues can allow, for example, each area of the manufac- turing floor to get the tools they need to prop- erly perform the job. Holding meetings with those who make up an entire department pro- The New Chapter Feature Column by Paige Fiet, TTM-LOGAN

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