Building bullet proof processes when failure is not an option
Tools to minimize mistakes in electronics assembly
When manufacturing electronics for high-reliability products, the stakes are high. If the electronics fail in a phone or a watch, it would be an inconvenience, but failure in mission-critical applications such as medical devices, battery systems, telecommunication infrastructure, and airplanes could be catastrophic.
Over the past decade, experienced manufacturing associates have been retiring at the highest rates since the industrial revolution started. At the same time, employment in the U.S. "temporary help supply" industry has more than tripled. These workers are often less skilled than the rest of the staff, leading to higher training requirements as well as quality and productivity challenges. Another trend in electronics systems manufacturing is an increasing customer demand for customizations.
All these factors are leading to quality issues for electronics manufacturers, and have increased the need to mistake-proof manual assembly processes. Our RetroActivity platform assists these manufacturers in three ways:
1. Enforcing compliance to a clearly defined Bill of Process.
2. Empowering lean engineers by providing them with continuous time and motion studies which facilitate root cause analysis and error tracing.
3. Providing data-driven training programs for operators that emphasize common errors.
These capabilities have been shown to yield 10% improvement in first-time yield and 60% reduction in manual-assembly related quality issues within 2 weeks.
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