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46 The PCB Magazine • April 2016 Action items, analysis and recommenda- tions are formally documented during each phase. The first step is to select and define the project. Kaizen events, as well as other improve- ment efforts, are selected based on a Pareto anal- ysis that is presented to the management team. Selection is based on the process improvement that would have the biggest impact on one of the following: • Scrap • Throughput • Quality • Customer satisfaction The planning and preparation phase of a Kaizen blitz can take 2–6 weeks. During this phase, the project charter is defined, a team is chosen, data collected and project orientation is performed. The Kaizen event can be disrup- tive, so the affected departments need to plan on how to deal with the potential disruptions. All Flex uses a variety of different tools and techniques in its continuous improvement ef- forts. A Kaizen event or Blitz is one technique that has resulted in significant improvements in our yields, productivity and customer sat- isfaction. A Kaizen event is a short-term effort using a dedicated team that is highly focused on improving a narrowly defined process. Kai- zen teams usually consist of 3–8 members that include operators, engineers and other support personnel. The implementation phase of the event usually lasts 3–6 working days and the team members are removed from their daily du- ties to focus 100% of their time on the Kaizen effort. A Kaizen event is highly structured, and while the exact steps may vary from project to project, the process consists of three phases: • Planning and preparation • Implementation • Follow-up and tracking by Dave Becker all Flex Flexible circUitS llc Flexible Circuits and Kaizen Events feature Column: all about flex

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