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8 The PCB Magazine • October 2015 by Patty Goldman i-connEcT007 Patty's PersPectiVe Cycling Around FeATure ColuMn Well, it's tough to beat last month's focus on the great things happening in automotive electronics, which was a lot of fun to read. But we still have work to do. Yeah, it's time to focus inward again and beat down a few more alliga- tors. We focus on cycle time reduction in this issue, and that's a bugaboo for everyone. I've been thinking about it and I truly can't come up with a scenario, at least in business, when a longer cycle time is better than shorter. And it's not just about manufacturing, though that is the first thing that always comes to mind. In fact, while we can talk about the cycle time of an isolated process, we also have to think about the overall cycle time, from start to finish, or from initial order to final shipment, or from initial sales contact through delivery to customer. Whatever the process or system that you choose to focus on, we have assembled experts from many parts of the PCB fab indus- try to help you address cycle time reduction (CTR). In preparation for this issue, we did a survey of our readers to find out what issues they are having with CTR and the results were…interest- ing. While almost everyone said reducing cycle time was very important, methods for dealing with problem areas were all over the map. By that I mean the tools used ranged from brute force to time/motion studies to value stream mapping and everything in between. When we asked about bottlenecks, again, the entire PCB process was covered, from sales/marketing to front-end engineering and on through every process step, including final test. When we asked what you wanted to learn, the answer was everything! You want tips on every- thing from improving

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