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8 SMT Magazine • August 2017 by Stephen Las Marias I-CONNECT007 Assembly Training and Education When we set out to plan the topic and con- tent for this month's issue of SMT Magazine, we initially focused on improving the electronics assembly industry. Because even if your PCB assembly process is optimized, there is always room for improvement; no matter how suc- cessful your company has been in the past, you can't rest on your laurels and be complacent, doing whatever you have done in the past be- cause it has worked. It is always in your best interest to strive towards a better operations model. But what we found during our conversa- tions with industry experts is that, while in- vesting in the latest technologies and having a systems-based approach in your assem- bly processes are important, the key factors that will make you successful in your continu- ous improve- ment goal are the skills, training, and education of your workforce. However you look at it, the human factor remains a critical issue when it comes to your overall efficiency. Your operators, engineers, supervisors, line managers, etc. will continue to oversee most, if not all, of your sys- tems and processes. So how do you make sure that they have the proper knowledge and skill sets to perform at their peak levels, day in and day out? In our recent survey on assembly training and education, one of the questions we asked concerned the importance of training to elec- tronics manufacturers. Around 85% of our respondents consider training important to their work- force. In fact, the majority of respondents—47%—say it is very important. Such train- ing could be on-the- job training, formal E DITOR'S NOTE

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