Patty's Perspective: How do You Define Process Step Elimination and Automation?


Reading time ( words)

This month, we can call our theme PSE&A—a fancy acronym for process step elimination and automation. Sounds straightforward, but what exactly do we mean by “process step elimination?” Does it refer to shortening the numerous steps involved in making a printed circuit board? There sure are a lot of them, but they all must be necessary—or why would we have them?

Or perhaps it means eliminating unnecessary steps such as wait or queue times, extra inspections, extra cleaning processes, etc. Or, could process step elimination include actual steps, physical or otherwise, that an operator or engineer takes to perform their duties?

‘Automation’ is an equally broad term. Does it mean load/unload stations, an automatic hoist on your plating line, or perhaps conveyorizing everything possible in the process? Or, does it mean automating some lab analysis and replenishment tasks?

Another way of looking at extra steps is to consider them waste or non-value-added. Ah, but waste is yet another far-reaching term—time, scrap, hazardous, water—exactly what waste are we talking about?

Maybe PSE&A means all these things. That seems overwhelming! There isn’t a PCB facility in the world that doesn’t want to remove as many steps in as many areas as possible, but of course there are constraints. These are usually in the form of available capital to purchase new equipment that is more automated, plus possibly shortening the process steps.

How can we help with this? Well, I’m hoping our articles and columns this month will give you plenty of food for thought, some good tips, and perhaps a healthy dose of inspiration for improving your processes while saving time and money. Let’s get started.

This article originally appeared in the August 2017 issue of The CB Magazine, click here.

Share




Suggested Items

Preventing De-wetting Defects In Immersion Tin Soldering

01/04/2023 | Britta Schafsteller, Atotech
Immersion tin is well accepted as a high-reliability final finish in the industry. Due to its excellent corrosion resistance, it exhibits major market shares, particularly in the automotive industry. During the soldering process, an intermetallic compound (IMC) is formed between copper and tin. One remaining concern in the industry is the potential impact of the IMC on the solderability of the final finish. In this article, typical failure modes in soldering immersion tin are described and correlated to potential root causes for the defects.

Optimize Your Etcher for Best Image Quality

11/03/2022 | Christopher Bonsell, Chemcut
When it comes to obtaining high-quality images, many different factors come into play. Typically, most of these factors come down to your imaging equipment and cleanroom; however, there are factors involved in the etching process that can affect the quality of your image. Here are five steps to ensure your etching process is optimized for the best image quality.

EIPC Summer Conference 2022: Day 1 Review

06/28/2022 | Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
At last, a live EIPC conference and this time in the Swedish city of Örebro, “where history and contemporary culture converge,” a pleasant and convenient location for an event that included a privileged visit to the Ericsson facility in Kumla. Around 100 delegates made the journey and the Örebro Scandic Grand Hotel was an excellent conference venue for the June 14-15 conference.



Copyright © 2023 I-Connect007 | IPC Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.