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96 SMT Magazine • January 2017 By Stefan Meissner ULT AG The Value-Added Chain—What Is It? "The idea of the value chain is based on the process view of organizations, the idea of seeing a manufacturing (or service) organization as a sys- tem, made up of subsystems each with inputs, transformation processes and outputs." 1 The def- inition of a value-added chain by Michael E. Por- ter is one of many that can be found in refer- ence books, works and on websites. In principle, it involves a sequence of activities, executed by a manufacturing company to develop, produce, sell, ship and maintain products or services. Three main parameters essentially influence a value-added chain: • Direct activities: research, development, production, shipment, etc. • Indirect activities: maintenance, operation, occupational safety, environment, etc. • Quality assurance: monitoring, test/ inspection; quality management, etc. The Influence of Clean Air on the Value-Added Chain in Electronics Production In particular, indirect activities and quality assurance generate a greater part of the costs in product manufacturing. This article principally focuses on the indirect activities. The indirect activities within a value-added chain comprises of three subdivisions: • Maintenance: production resources and rooms as well as the entirety of all systems and plants • Product quality: precision of manufacture, accuracy, functionality and cleanliness • Occupational safety: work clothing, ESD protection, injury potential and clean air All three issues have one common factor: They depend on clean air in the production rooms. How is this the case? In modern electronics production, there is a multitude of different processes: from connec- tion and separation technologies, surface pro- cessing such as marking, drilling, sintering and milling, the utilisation of fluxes, up to produc- tion processes such as 3D printing or rapid pro- totyping by means of laser, soldering, welding ARTICLE

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