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30 The PCB Design Magazine • September 2015 volved with automotive electronics manufac- turing has an inherent advantage with their experience over newcomers to the market, but they will only be successful going forward if they have the key ingredients to adapt and compete. One key ingredient is the ability to reduce the long new-product-introduction process down to levels that are more cost-effective and agile to meet the changing customer demands. The need to do it perfectly remains a require- ment before volume manufacturing can start; what's needed is to bring more of the work into the virtual domain of the design and engineer- ing tools, rather than relying on extensive phys- ical process verification. Compliance and conformance are a sig- nificant cost overhead. The methods used to achieve these goals also must contribute to im- provement in best practices, operator guidance, waste elimination, productivity enhancement, and overall asset utilization. When these activi- ties are integrated, the cost overhead disappears and real value can be achieved. One of the keys to competitiveness is an in- tegrated manufacturing solution that provides areas of functionality that can be selected to meet the needs of electronics manufacturing in either stages or modules or end-to-end. The critical change is that conformance, compliance and the gathering of exact data for traceability is now built into a standard and ef- ficient operation at every process, integrated across the whole shop-floor. The automation of data capture from these processes ensures the timeliness and accuracy of captured data, de- Figure 2: Applications and services can use a single central data resource for the control, management, and reporting of the operation in real-time. feature BEING CoMPETITIvE IN AuToMoTIvE ElECTRoNICS MANuFACTuRING

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