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The 'black art' of PCBA test & quality

Quality in particular ‘test’ are still seen as a black art by production and process teams.

In my experience the very best manufacturing engineers & managers are those that  have both test and process engineering skills.

I now see this reflected in the ‘smart’ organisations who have already combined ‘engineering’ & ‘quality’ functions.

 So why do we still have many manufacturing software solutions that do not link both assembly and quality?

These tend to be ‘legacy’ software solutions that follow the traditional divide between assembly and quality, offering little scope for further improvement and cross deployment of skills.

A good MES (manufacturing execution system) will bridge the divide across the entire factory and enable the analysis of results across key metrics in materials, asset utilisation and qulaity.

Ensuring some previously difficult analysis to become routine. For example; A drop in yield can be traced across all the operations points associated with the assembly. Process or component issues can be quickly identified and if needed all other products using that process or component vendor can be isolated for special attention.

A  single focal point for assembly and test preparation, operations and data collection supports this ‘smart’  manuafcturing. Ensuring we take ‘black’ out of the ‘black art’. 

Or are we happy with functional silos?

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About Bernard Sutton

Bernard SuttonBernard has over 30 years of experience in electronics manufacturing in both OEM and EMS manufacturing environments. Electronics Test, Production Engineering and Quality. In Mentor Bernard brings his experience to the Valor Division manufacturing shopfloor applications (MSS) aiming to ensure customers see products that meet the demands of modern electronics manufacturing. Visit Manufacturing Quality and Reporting

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