Best Practices 101, Part 1

Reading time ( words)


In the global economy that is today’s business environment, there are no guarantees as indeed, survival is not mandatory! The need for best practices is present in every industry, but mandatory in technology industries such as printed circuit board manufacturing.

In this new series, I will convey some of the personal lessons gained through my intimate involvement with more than 1,000 manufacturing companies, which has allowed me the unique perspective of truly understanding best practices by witnessing both the best of the best and the worst of the worst.

Best Practice - n. In business, a technique or methodology that, through practical experience, has proven to consistently lead to superior results over other means. Applied as a system, it combines all the collective experience, knowledge and technology at one's disposal.

                                              —Williams Business Dictionary, 2014

Process Analysis

One could argue--actually, I would argue--that before any improvement to a process can be made, the current state of the processes must be understood. Process analysis is just a fancy way to say this. If we consider waste to be anything in a process that is not adding value, then the question becomes, how do I identify waste in my process? The most effective method of identifying waste is by process mapping: from basic process flowcharting to advanced value-stream mapping. These two powerful tools will help any organization take the first step toward identifying the value, and non-value, activities in their processes. As my esteemed high school classmate Dr. Shigeo Shingo once famously said, “The most dangerous kind of waste is the waste we do not recognize.”

Read the full column here.

Editor's Note: This column originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of The PCB Magazine.



Suggested Items

ICT Autumn Seminar Review: Live in 2021!

12/07/2021 | Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
Faced with the choice between a real or virtual event, Bill Wilkie took a calculated risk. It has been many long months since members of the Institute of Circuit Technology had gathered together under one roof, but a fair-sized bunch of industry stalwarts braved the weather and the threat of COVID, descended on the Manor Hotel in Meriden, UK, on Nov. 30, and applauded Bill’s decision to go live. They were not disappointed; the program was superb, the atmosphere upbeat, and the networking opportunity priceless.

EIPC Technical Snapshot Review: Semi-additive Processes

12/01/2021 | Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
The development of ultra-high-density PCBs and packaging substrates using semi-additive and additive manufacturing processes was the theme of the 13th Technical Snapshot webinar presented by EIPC on November 24. It was introduced and moderated by technical director Tarja Rapala-Virtanen. Daniel Schulze, application engineering manager at Dyconex in Switzerland, gave the opening presentation, “Advanced high density rigid packaging substrates for RF and miniaturization.” He explained that with their long-established capabilities in ultra-high-density PCBs in flex, rigid-flex and rigid multilayer technologies, it was logical for Dyconex to apply their expertise to the development of specialist IC substrates.

Driving Down Cost with Process Engineering

04/20/2021 | I-Connect007 Editorial Team
Nolan Johnson, Barry Matties, and Happy Holden speak with Matt Mack, process engineer at ICM Controls. Matt shares a day in the life of a process engineer, along with how he approaches continuous improvement and planning for the future on the floor.

Copyright © 2021 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.