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14 PCB007 MAGAZINE I JULY 2023 you can start reducing the steps. Now we can automate, bring in computer technology, or whatever the automation necessitates. It's a journey of first understanding the process, and then improving it. at is the foundational concept. All those acronyms that we're talk- ing about are the foundation for continuous improvement. Leadership is in control of this whole pro- cess. Leaders are the ones who set the tone, decide how much resource to dedicate to it, and what improvements are needed. From Deming's point of view, when there's an error or a quality issue, we don't blame the worker, we always blame leadership. Johnson: What would Deming think if he'd been doing this type of data collection that we have available now? Holden: at's why I liked our equation that we came up with last year, X = Xc - 1. Start with changing just one thing. What does your pareto chart say is your biggest yield loss? It's usually handling, and that's why we oen mis- equate automation with mechanization. Automation is made up of two separate vec- tors: mechanization and systemization (infor- mation). Systemization is system information; mechanization is product action and move- ment. I advise you to benchmark and analyze the two of them independently in your pro- cess. Are you looking at the right information? Do you know what affects yield or do you only understand your yield at a final electrical test when you can't figure out the failure? Statistics can help you identify what seems to be a random failure, but when it keeps occur- ring lot aer lot then it's not random anymore; it's systemic. You only know that if you do some- thing with the data. Other than that, just let the piece of paper on "pass and fail" go into the trash can and ship the good ones without trying to figure out why you have bad ones. Johnson: Happy, that's the ongoing question, isn't it? Holden: You just keep moving it forward. Matties: anks for your insight, everyone. Always informative. PCB007 Holden also presented this article at the ICT Annual Symposium on June 8, 2022. But readers can refer to the content of his presentation here. Holden encourages readers to: • Start your smart factory journey today. Think big, start small, act now. • Look to staff the automation team with your own engineers plus training. • Initiate a smart factory assessment, then make it operational with proof of value (ROI). This is a fundamental business transition; align the technology to business objectives. • Drive toward a smart connected factory with a zero-downtime, zero-defect vision. • Improve your weak link: people, process, or technology. Benefits only accrue as far as the weakest link. — I-Connect007 Editors Start Your Smart Factory Journey Continuous improvement, smart factories, and automation increasingly continue to overlap as trends in the industry. One repeating question of course, is "how to get started?" What is the best way—in a TQM culture—to approach making your manufacturing processes smarter. Well, you're in luck. In the April 2022 issue of SMT007 Magazine, industry pioneer and I-Connect007 technical editor, Happy Holden wrote an article titled "The Journey to Your Smart Factory." In his article, Holden answers these questions about how to get started. • Who should design it • What they need to learn • How to analyze and plan the automation • How long should it take? • When is the right time? • How much will it cost?

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