All About Flex: Flexible Circuits and Kaizen Events


Reading time ( words)

All Flex uses a variety of different tools and techniques in its continuous improvement efforts. A Kaizen event or Blitz is one technique that has resulted in significant improvements in our yields, productivity and customer satisfaction. A Kaizen event is a short-term effort using a dedicated team that is highly focused on improving a narrowly defined process. Kaizen teams usually consist of 3–8 members that include operators, engineers and other support personnel. The implementation phase of the event usually lasts 3–6 working days and the team members are removed from their daily duties to focus 100% of their time on the Kaizen effort. A Kaizen event is highly structured, and while the exact steps may vary from project to project, the process consists of three phases:

  • Planning and preparation
  • Implementation
  • Follow-up and tracking

Action items, analysis and recommendations are formally documented during each phase. The first step is to select and define the project. Kaizen events, as well as other improvement efforts, are selected based on a Pareto analysis that is presented to the management team. Selection is based on the process improvement that would have the biggest impact on one of the following:

  • Scrap
  • Throughput
  • Quality
  • Customer satisfaction

The planning and preparation phase of a Kaizen blitz can take 2–6 weeks. During this phase, the project charter is defined, a team is chosen, data collected and project orientation is performed. The Kaizen event can be disruptive, so the affected departments need to plan on how to deal with the potential disruptions.

Read the full article here.

 

Editor's Note: This article is originally published in the April 2016 issue of The PCB Magazine.

Share




Suggested Items

Addressing the Gap in Process Performance

04/26/2022 | Nolan Johnson, PCB007
The first steps in process improvement are to determine what the gap is and why it happens. Having a process is not sufficient; the process needs to be effective as well. For those responsible for creating and maintaining processes, the ultimate goal is to create a procedure that becomes self-perpetuating, that seeps into the fabric of the company’s culture. For better or worse, plenty of procedures do indeed become ingrained in company culture. How does one go about ensuring that company culture is loaded with effective processes that deliver a positive outcome? That is the question, to be sure.

Training the Future Manufacturing Labor Force

04/19/2022 | I-Connect007 Editorial Team
To better understand what’s needed for upskilling your labor force in today’s job climate, we reached out to Sunstone Circuits, a PCB fabricator in the Pacific Northwest. We posed our set of questions to individuals in three departments to hear their perspectives depending on what area they work in. The following are the questions and answers from Michael Connella, operations manager; Matt Stevenson, vice president of sales and marketing; and Debra Coburn, human resources manager.

The Carbon Footprint of HDI: Direct Metallization vs. Electroless Copper

04/14/2022 | Jordan Kologe and Leslie Kim, MacDermid Alpha Electronics Solutions
As the electronics supply chain contends with the struggles of moving out of the pandemic and into a new normal, it is increasingly obvious that a new normal will be one with sustainability and resource conservation as the top priority. Over the past year, we have seen printed circuit board manufacturers encounter challenges associated with environmental regulations, water and power outages, and pressures from the supply chain to reduce environmental footprints. From the perspective of a board fabricator, especially one that specializes in HDI, a highly resource-intensive step in the process of making a printed circuit board is the primary metallization step. All circuit boards that have multiple layers go through such a primary metallization, which is either electroless copper or direct metallization (DM).



Copyright © 2022 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.