Innovative PCB Processes are Lean and Green


Reading time ( words)

Not much has changed in printed circuit multilayer manufacturing in the last 50 years except that the equipment is more mechanized and streamlined, the processes much more stable, and high-volume PCB manufacturing has moved to China.

But now, an OEM has finally found a way to build PCBs in the United States for less than buying them from Asia. Whelen Engineering Company of Connecticut is a worldwide supplier of aviation and automotive emergency lighting. Whelen was buying all of its circuit boards from China, while every other part of their manufacturing is done inhouse.

The supply pipeline duration and intellectual property (IP) concerns continually upset their schedules. Further, costs were increasing in China. Whelen managers decided to take another look at the old PCB manufacturing process and apply what they knew about Six Sigma and Lean manufacturing.

Thus, Whelen Engineering Company concluded that printed circuit manufacturing processes based in the U.S. could be significantly improved, and offer higher quality, lower costs, and rapid delivery on finished PCBs.

Lean_Green.jpg

Lean and Green

The new PCB factory, GreenSource Fabrication, in Charlestown, New Hampshire, is an excellent example of Lean principles. In the process of automating the PCB flow and eliminating waste, they produced a facility with zero effluents, thus, also becoming an excellent example of a green fabrication facility. “Lean and green” went hand-in-hand. The over-riding strategy of Lean and green (zero discharge) has not changed, but the technology, focus on customers, and equipment have. The growth in inner layer production to support multilayers up to 36 layers—whereas multilayer made up 1% of the original captive facility—is significant.

To read the full version of this article which originally appeared in the October 2018 issue of PCB007 Magazine, click here.

Share

Print


Suggested Items

Can E-waste and Metals Recovery Efforts Lower Environmental Risks and Liability?

02/19/2019 | Andrew McManus, GANNON & SCOTT INC.
Gold, palladium, silver, and other precious metals (PMs) in manufacturing wastes represent high value, but how PMs are recovered can pose environmental and liability issues. Aerospace and electronics manufacturers and suppliers, in particular, produce volumes of manufacturing wastes that contain varying levels of PMs.

RTW IPC APEX EXPO 2019: Ventec's Goodwin on Global Technology Directions

02/05/2019 | Real Time with...IPC
Mark Goodwin, Ventec International Group CEO EMEA and USA, comments on technology directions globally and in the North American market. He also explains how Ventec's quality accreditations, technical expertise, and flexible manufacturing capacity continue to strengthen their leading position.

Institute of Circuit Technology Harrogate Christmas Seminar 2018

01/02/2019 | Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
The Institute of Circuit Technology returned to the fading Victorian splendour of the palatial and stately Majestic Hotel in the North Yorkshire town of Harrogate for its 2018 Christmas seminar, an intense programme of five excellent technical presentations, impeccably organised and moderated by Technical Director Bill Wilkie and generously supported by GSPK Circuits.



Copyright © 2019 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.