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24 The PCB Design Magazine • September 2017 by Happy Holden It all started in 1983, at HP, when I com- plained to our groups vice president that our W. Edwards Deming and Total Quality Manage- ment (TQM) Six Sigma training was being con- centrated in PCB manufacturing. We had elimi- nated final inspection and instead placed qual- ity in the hands of the operators with a final electrical test. The electrical test was governed by what we learned from Deming. Our customers' problems with on-time de- livery and rejects had gone away, but now our problem was that we were having to put all our engineering at the front end of the process to inspect incoming CAD designs for producibil- ity, as the PCB design groups had no concept of a "quality design." To them their customer was the electronic designer and the schedule. To meet the schedules, they would just throw the design "over the wall," even though they knew the designs had problems. "Since you understand the problem, I am going to promote you to PCB design services manager," said the VP, agreeing with me. "In integrated circuits, we design the physical chips and then fabricate them from the specs and cir- cuits the EE gives us. I have never understood why the PCB fab group also did not do PCB lay- out in the IC model!" Not the answer I wanted, but at least he gave me the budget and the designers' salary flexibility I needed to recruit and start a PCB layout group as part of PCB manufacturing. So, DFM became the central focus for our design strategy. DFM/A was just starting out at HP. HP had taken a license from Hitachi and GE to use the Dewhurst and Boothroyd DFM/A methodol- ogy. This came after extensive benchmarking review of past HP product designs and visiting other large manufacturing companies like John Deere, Ford, Hitachi, Caterpillar, and Western Electric. The benchmarking clearly showed that just hiring the smartest engineers and giving them the best EDA tools did not guarantee a su- perior product. The electronic circuits may have been superior, but the physical products were FEATURE

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