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.
For customers and suppliers along the PCB manufacturing process, non-conformances will, unfortunately, happen from time to time. A non-conformance consists of receiving an order for printed circuit boards that do not meet your specifications or industry (IPC) standards. While dealing with these issues is obviously essential, the solution is sometimes not obvious and can put on-time delivery to your customer at risk. It is imperative that your circuit board supplier can deliver conforming product as soon as possible, which means having the procedures to get there.
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.
Within industries like electronics manufacturing, suppler self-surveys are very popular. At any given moment here at Epec, we are processing five or so supplier surveys. We send them out ourselves. I have dealt with supplier surveys, one way or another, for the last twenty something years. But, what purpose do they serve, and more importantly, what value do they provide to your organization?