Electronics Assembly Knowledge, Vision & Wisdom
Lean Flow on the SMT Factory Floor
How can a Lean, agile SMT operation be sustained by turning existing engineering programming and planning functions "upside down"?
Production Floor

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Authored By:
Michael Ford
Mentor Graphics
Wilsonville, OR, USA

Summary
Today's SMT factories need to be flexible and agile, making continuously variable quantities of larger ranges of products, meeting volatile customer demand changes, without having to resort to the creation and storage of dormant stock. Creating a lean manufacturing flow in this environment is a major challenge for SMT, where experience shows that productivity is inversely proportional to the amount of changes that are needed.

Applying Lean separately to the production processes, and then also to production flow, has often resulted in conflicts so that neither approach has really become mainstream in the SMT area to the extent that might have been expected. A new approach is required, where we explore how a Lean, yet agile SMT operation can be created and sustained by turning existing engineering programming and planning functions "upside down" and using this as a basis to apply the ultimate in Lean thinking for manufacturing.

Initially Published in the SMTA Proceedings

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