WORLD electronics’ mission to continually improve its processes and services is a pillar that effects all business decisions. WORLD has a dedicated committee comprised of leadership individuals that meets to discuss operational improvements in all aspects of the business: engineering, manufacturing, supply chain, new production introduction, and testing. The WORLD Improvement Network (WIN) is designed to provide an avenue for any employee to identify opportunities within the company and develop solutions in a collaborative team atmosphere. Some of the most impactful business solutions have resulted from the WIN committee. A few examples follow.
1. Monitor Solder Paste Use And Expiration
Opportunity: How could we better control and track the use of shelf-life material like solder paste?
Action(s): By leveraging our existing production software we were able to create an “expire” queue which uses the solder paste’s label and expiration date to monitor the product’s self-life. The “expire” queue is set to follow the proper FIFO (first in first out) inventory protocols to assure no item is used past its expiration date.
Results: WORLD is able to qualify the quality of materials used in builds and provide confidence for our customers that strict requirements are being met. This process has been successfully implemented across all items with an expiration date in the production process. We have also reduced our costs by waste aversion.
2. Printed Circuit Board Bake Out Process
Opportunity: Could we develop a standard bake out process for all printed circuit boards?
Action(s): Our team determined baking the printed circuit boards at receiving, prior to assembly for a minimum 4 hours at 125C and maximum 16 hours would meet IPC-1601 standards (Printed Board Handling and Storage Guidelines). Moisture barrier bags in a range of sizes were ordered for storage of the circuit boards after completing the PCB baking process. Two system programs were created within our existing production software for levels of baking PCBs (low temp and high temp).
Results: Our standardized printed circuit board bake-out process has dramatically decreased production time and minimized PCB fall out which results in fewer problems, quicker QC inspections, and higher quality circuit boards without fear of latent failures.
3. Foreign Object Debris Program
Opportunity: A client requested we implement a foreign object debris (FOD) program.
Action(s): After a workstation inspection was completed to identify necessary items and research on existing foreign debris processes conducted, a preliminary FOD process and reference document were created catering to our client and WORLD’s production process. Our foreign object debris process was reviewed, tested, and finalized and is now required training for all manufacturing employees.
Results: We provided our client a complete solution to their need and embraced the program in such a way as to positively benefit all of our clients.