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September 2015 • SMT Magazine 37 bIG strAteGIes FOr suCCess continues give someone who is looking to purchase circuit boards for lowering their total cost? not necessar- ily for lowering your profit, but how do you help your customers lower their cost? Patel: That is one of our major strengths as well. We reveal their data as we look at their design for manufacturability. We use high-end CAM software, like UCAM, and the software's scripting helps tell us what to look out for from the very beginning, when the customer sends us a file and before it goes out in the process. All the detailed pictures in the software do it for them already. It lets us know these are the areas that are going to bring a low yield be - cause the chemistry and some of the processes are not selective. It goes through the process and warns if we are going to have fallout in a given region, or failure is going to occur in this area. We go back to customers and say, "Look, a ccording to our analysis if you change your de- sign, do some minor rerouting in certain places, add proper balance, and add a couple param- eters to it, we can bring the cost down to X per- centage here." They really admire that. They ask, "So instead of doing this, can I do this?" I say, "Sure! We can do this as long as you don't have a problem, we can increase our yield, and it works." We do this all the way from the Ger- ber or fabrication layouts to the final finish. A lot of times they have very exotic fabrication re- quirements with very stringent tolerances. We come out and do design for manufacturability and we get approval from them first. We do all this stuff upfront at the time of the quoting. We get it done and we show them how to reduce the cost. I give multiple presentations on design for manufacturability all the time. Matties: what's the most common error that you see designers making in circuit board design? Patel: There are a couple of major areas we encounter all of the time. Number one is the data applications—designers that just don't do the data. Usually the second is small panel lay- outs. They don't understand the shop-end side of contract manufacturing their panel layouts. Maximum yield and material to realization are concepts a lot of engineers still don't under- stand. We come out and we help them figure out how to maximize material to realization in fabrication. That's where we come in and where a major holdup usually occurs. The third one is usually final finish challenges and helping them decide what they are looking for. That's where we give someone recommendations and suggestions. Matties: nice. it sounds like you guys are doing a great job. You're investing in your company and you're investing in automation. what about em- ployee training? what sort of programs do you have for ongoing employee training? Patel: First of all, the number one training that we have is our production meetings that we hold every day. Then we have our month- ly meetings. So any issues in fabrication, pro- cessing, or any of those areas, our department of quality will separate each issue and con- tinually educate on them during the monthly visits. If there is any hiccup or a major issue happens, we call up a meeting immediately and give the training. We also of course have IPC trainers on our staff, including myself, and we use that knowledge to our advantage all the time. Matties: i really appreciate you taking time to talk with us today. Patel: Thank you so much. smt interview

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