Working in the manufacturing industry, you’ve probably noticed the letters RoHS or REACH on various documentation or even browsing our website. But, have you ever wondered what these letters stand for or what the certification that comes with them entails?
In my last blog post, I reviewed the 5 why problem-solving method. In this blog post, we will continue this discussion so if you have not seen Part 1, I suggest you read that post first and then come back here.
In my last blog post, Five Why Root Cause Analysis Starts with a Good Problem Statement, I recommended that problem-solving teams develop well-crafted problem statements. This blog post will discuss the best practices for the five why method of root cause analysis.
ENEPIG (Electroless Nickel, Immersion Palladium, Immersion Gold) was derived out of the need to combat the challenge with the immersion gold process and Black Pad Syndrome. Black Pad (the hyper corrosion of underlying nickel) was baffling both PCB assemblers and manufacturers. After much analysis, the root cause was determined to be the nickel deposit.
Solving solderability issues for printed circuit boards (PCBs) can be a real hassle. Nothing is more frustrating than having lined up all your materials for an assembly, only to start running the package through reflow and discover that the solder paste is wetting poorly to the pads. Immediately, the profile is checked to confirm proper parameters.
With the introduction of ISO 9001:2015, which specifies requirements for quality management systems, the statement “quality management system documentation shall include a quality manual” no longer need apply. Many celebrated this as a reprieve from previously having to fully document their quality management system. However, eliminating the supplier quality manual altogether could be a dangerous takeaway on the new standard’s intention.
Root cause analysis is a technique performed to identify the underlying reasons why a particular problem is occurring. At Epec, we do a lot of problem solving. As manufacturers, we strive to discover better, more efficient ways to delight our customers. Whether we are working on an 8D CAPA or running an A3 Project, we are often working to determine the foundational cause of issues as the means to solving the problem.
I can remember the first ‘incident’ of black pad, years ago, when Epec started to use the electroless nickel immersion gold (ENIG) process. We didn’t notice the issue at the time, as it is not evident on the bare board, but received the complaint from assembly as it was later identified on completed assemblies.
IPC 4101 (Specification for Base Materials for Rigid and Multi-Layer Printed Circuit Boards) was released for publication in December, 1997. It was released as the replacement standard for MIL-S-13949. However, it contained a majority of the exact wording from the military standard. It maintained the “slash sheet” format appendix to the standard that specifies the resin and fiber system of different PCB laminates, along with testing parameters and properties. Initially there were 41 slash sheets, but as the industry opens up to “Lead Free” and “Green” processes, the slash sheets have increased to 66, the current revision.
Bow and twist of printed circuit boards (PCB) routinely rank among the highest levels of falsely identified non-conformance because it is perhaps the least understood. Envisioning a perfectly flat rigid circuit board as the standard is a fallacy believed by many incoming inspectors. Understanding the reasons and causes for PCB bow and twist can help resolve the issue at the board design stage.