Phone: +1 (931) 451-7390
itm@itmconsulting.com

Board Talk

Case Studies

Military and Commercial Manufacturer of Microwave Devices
- USA
  • OEM Manufacture of highly complex PCBAs for use in AWACS satellite systems
  • Low Volume / Low Mix
  • Q/R Class 3; NASA and other specs
  • End-user wanted 3rd party assessment and certification of Fabrication and Assembly Processes
  • ITM audited both PCB fabrication and PCB assembly processes.
  • Recommendations included areas of material handling, operating procedures and other documentation, calibration control and inspection criteria.
  • Recommendations were implemented and client received both ITM Fabrication and Assembly Certification.
  • Improved yields realized.
  • The end-user was satisfied with improvements.
  • Client has since been re-certified.

Fortune 100 Automotive Electronics Manufacturer
- USA
  • OEM Manufacture of automotive engine management control systems, auto entertainment systems.
  • Very High Volume / Medium Mixv
  • Q/R Class 2; Automotive
  • Corporate wanted SMT and Through-hole assembly process and quality systems reviewed.
  • Weak areas to be identified and assessed with goal to improve throughput and yields.
  • ITM audited two facilities in the US (engine control module assembly) and two facilities in Mexico (automotive entertainment systems).
  • Recommendations included areas of documentation not be adhered to and process control problems.
  • Implementation of Lean Manufacturing had gone too far and was impacting quality.
  • Recommendations generated improved product quality and higher first pass yield.

Fortune 50 Medical Equipment Manufacturer
- USA and Italy
  • OEM Manufacture of medical equipment.
  • Low volume / Medium Mix
  • Q/R Class 3; FDA and other specs
  • Field failure of heart/blood perfusion system manufactured for client in Italy prompted investigation of supply chain.
  • Possible root cause(s) of failure to be identified and assembly and quality systems rectified to assure highest quality and prevent future occurrences.
  • ITM audited design and box-build/test facility, PCB fabricator and PCB assembler (CEM),all located in Modena, Italy.
  • Documentation was found to be weak in key areas.
  • Root cause was determined to be in assembly due to lacking ESD procedures and best practices.
  • While other improvements were also recommended in Test, Box-build/Final Assembly as well as DFM, another CEM was ultimately qualified based upon ITM guidelines.

Fortune 100 Manufacturer of Power Conversion Equipment
- USA and Philippines
  • OEM Manufacturer of Uninterruptable Power Supplies and Battery Backup Systems
  • Assembling in Philippines with a Korean CEM
  • High Volume / Low Mix
  • Q/R Class 2; Consumer and industrial applications
  • Client was in the final stages of converting their assembly processes and materials to lead-free for the purpose of being in compliance with the EU RoHS directive.
  • ITM performed a process audit / lead-free gap analysis to assure world-class practices in electronic assembly as well as identify possible weak points in assuring RoHS compliance.
  • Recommendations included areas of quality systems, material control and documentation adherence as well as several process procedures.
  • Follow-up audit saw improved quality yields and reliable RoHS compliance.
  • ITM certified the Lead-free assembly process.

Tier 3 EMS Provider
- USA
  • CEM of integrated manufacturing services
  • Low volume / high mix
  • Class 3 and Class 2; Medical, industrial and commercial applications
  • This Tier 3 CEM had the objective of incorporating selective soldering into their assembly process.
  • Prior to contacting ITM, there was a great deal of confusion.
  • Due to the cost of the equipment and the specialized nature of the process, the client decided minimize their risk.
  • ITM was called in to assess their situation.
  • ITM did a complete on-site business review including process, quality and economic perspectives.
  • Through a comprehensive ITM examination combined with ITM's extensive equipment knowledge base as well as equipment and process expertise, the proper decision was made.
  • A very quick ROI was realized and the equipment selected continues to perform reliably expanding the client's manufacturing capability

Tier 4 EMS Provider
- USA
  • CEM of integrated manufacturing services
  • Low volume / high mix
  • Class 2; Military, automotive, industrial and commercial applications
  • This Tier 4 CEM was under new management, looking to improve performance of existing equipment set which had been configured solely as "islands of automation" with a significant diversity in equipment capabilities.
  • ITM did a complete Process Audit.
  • It was identified that the entire assembly operation was being limited by specific pieces of equipment which were significantly inferior in capabilities.
  • ITM assisted in selection of new, state-of-the-art equipment and in reconfiguration into a continuous automated SMT line.
  • Order of magnitude improvements were achieved in both throughput capability and quality.