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Nepcon China – The Chinese Way

Nepcon China Rocks! There is so much going on, so much potential, so many companies focussed on success, to be the best in their field, to be number one. Electronics in the West is like the Mississippi river, huge and powerful, but slow moving, quite boring actually. In China, it is like riding the rapids. This is where skill and vision come in to play.

Creating the best production factory is the key, a factory that can make anything, at a moment’s notice, in an efficient and reliable way. Experience and know-how are important, to know what is right and not to cling to the momentum of obsolete practices that resist innovation to change. The SMT shop-floor is complex, comprising several different key roles, each with their own priorities and flows, each needing to work together for the operation to work optimally.

This is 2013, software systems are already all over the shop-floor, often as islands designed to, for example, operate or speed up a specific process, to monitor the performance of key machines, to gather defect information from repair stations. These kinds of “islands” of software have served the industry well for some time, growing up as in-house solutions, others from local suppliers who have made a business from developing solutions. Moving forward, how can software systems be used to differentiate the business against the competitors? Competitors after all, will also probably have similar systems and experience. To break out of the crowd is the goal, to create that clear differentiation.

As children grow up, they need bigger clothes. It is the same with software. Systems that offer point solutions, that is applications developed bearing in mind a specific issue and need on the shop-floor, are soon outgrown. As the business needs evolve, objectives change, the systems also need to change. Having many systems on the shop-floor has also no doubt led to the duplication of support effort and overlap of functionality. The next step must include having solutions that work together, sharing a common infrastructure, flexible enough to cope with any production innovation that comes along. In fact, these systems themselves should bring innovation into the operation. Whether it is new product introduction in half the time, optimisation of SMT for high mix and short notice changes whilst maintaining high efficiency, or whether it is control of materials to reduce costs and gain traceability, these are the opportunities to differentiate the business through innovation that competition does not yet have.

Nepcon China in Shanghai on the 23rd to 25th of April, should be a good show. For those attending the show, please don’t miss the opportunity to come to our Mentor Graphics booth 1A18 and talk to us about how we can help you to differentiate your business with our Valor Software Suite.

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About Michael Ford

Michael FordMICHAEL FORD SENIOR MARKETING DEVELOPMENT MANAGER, VALOR DIVISION, MENTOR GRAPHICS Michael started his career as a computer software and hardware engineer in 1982. Working for Sony in the UK, Michael became one of the first successful adopters of computer technology into the manufacturing shop-floor, going on to manage in Japan Sony’s global Lean Manufacturing solutions. Joining Valor Computerized Systems in 2008 gave Michael the opportunity to apply his experience into the main-stream of the industry. With almost 30 years’ experience, Michael’s key strength is the instinct of finding solutions and opportunities where there had been challenges and problems. Michael is currently working as part of the Marketing Development team within the Valor Division of Mentor Graphics, focussing on the realisation of real and practical solutions for manufacturing based on the application of Lean Thinking, end to end, from design through the entire manufacturing process. Visit The Michael Ford Manufacturing Blog

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