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36 SMT Magazine • October 2014 by michael Ford MEnTOr grAphiCS the essentiaL PiOneer's surViVaL guiDe COLuMn stop the smt conspiracy: Part 1 I do feel bad about saying this, but when I take a tour of an SMT factory it sometimes feels to me like being in an episode of "The X-Files." I am not talking horror stories about glowing green men that emerge at night from X-ray machines, nor am I referring to slimy sil- ver life forms that lurk at the bottom of wave solder machines. I would not even dream of mentioning deviant behaviour such as the use of AOI machines as photocopiers, production documentation systems to make wedding invi- tations, or even those people who use ICT fix- tures as a strange form of acupuncture. Let's not go there. I am actually talking about the weird, yet accepted, working practices that have sprung up across the shop floor, where people have conspired together to create or change opera- tional practices for their own ends. These have then been in place for many years and seem to be unbreakable, even when these practices are actually limiting improvement and success of the business. The time has come, with pressure from the market, to break some of these bad Figure 1: weird, yet accepted practices have sprung up throughout SMT.

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