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38 PCB007 MAGAZINE I JULY 2023 In the early 1990s, I was working for EMD Associates, an EMS company (now a Bench- mark Electronics operation in Winona, Min- nesota), when I became familiar with Dr. W. Edwards Deming. EMD was an early entrant into the SMT provider world, and we were very focused on quality. Deming was one of several experts that we used as a guide for our company. As part of that journey, I was able to attend a live Deming seminar in Phoenix. ere were several speakers as part of his team, but Dem- ing, who was at least 90 years old at the time, spoke in very memorable fashion each day on key topics. Deming's demonstration of the Red Bead Experiment le the most profound impression Recollections on Deming on me. You can see a shortened video from the Deming Institute of his experiment online 1 . (In fact, I may even be in that audience.) is experiment involved several "willing workers" (audience volunteers) who were asked to use a dimpled paddle to randomly remove 50 beads from a box of hundreds of white (good) and red (defective) beads. ose "workers" who had fewer relative defects were rewarded and promoted. ose who had more defects were put on probation and dismissed. e com- pany ultimately failed, allegedly because of the workers' inability to produce enough good product. It was, of course, all random and had nothing to do with the skill of individual work- ers. e system was simply not capable of pro- ducing the output they required to succeed Feature Article by Mark Wolfe, IPC

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