Douglas, Is it always possible even after following your detailed prescription for a company to completely avoid a fire drill during or after production? And, if it cannot be avoided, what are the essential steps to taking care of a fire emergency?
I think the best way of handling a fire is exemplified by the city fire department. Since what they do is handle fires, aside from fire prevention through inspection and code enforcement and approval (Initial Quality Audit), knowing things will can and will go wrong they:
1. Expect or Anticipate a fire (be ready)
2. They have the proper equipment and back-up supplies to combat the various kinds of fire (Every fire has unique characteristics and procedures for mitigating)
3. They have a cross-trained work force (In case of an unaticipated absence or injury)
4. They have specific people uniquely skilled for the particular nature of the fire and the complications engendered thereby.
5. They work as a team
6. There is a fire foreman calling the shots and keeping the eye on the big picture
7. They have back up or fall back plans
8. They can call in extra support from outside their own department
9. They take pride in their work
10. They respond rapidly but don't lose thier organization or heads
11. They stay with it until the fire is out
12. They learn from each fire and incorporate that learning into subsequent fights
I recently took part in a fire drill at my organization. What they have done is to have a fire incharge in every department who's responsible for ensuring evacuation of all the members in the departments. The fire incharge has a list of all the members under him and he/she cannot evacuate unless all the members of the department have left the building safely. Seemed like a pretty neat setup to me.
I agree with you Barbra. This is very good and inforamtive article. However, even after following all these procedures, we do undergo fire drills on occasions. This is due to extreme speed of project and pressure of time to market. Also managing new concept, design, performance achievement and providing all these required documents to CM on-time is very challenging.
"Also managing new concept, design, performance achievement and providing all these required documents to CM on-time is very challenging."
@Hm: I agree that managing component inventory on these guidelines can be time consuming in the short term but I guess it will result in savings in the long run because there will be less glitches in production. Also, it may be time consuming for your engineers if they are not trained to manage the components this way. Once they develop their expertise, they can do it in lesser time.
Barb, You always had something to add, even if it was only "well said." Aside from this, though, from your experience, (and theoretically speaking, of course) can a production fire drill really be avoided? By the way, I'll also be asking Douglas the same question.
Bolaji: I don't think fire drills can be avoided entirely. No matter how well prepared you are -- and Douglas seems to anticipate every contingency -- there will also be something that goes haywire. I think if you can cover the 80 percent (in the 80 - 20 rule) you are doing pretty well. I've had a couple of situations recently where "I didn't see that coming" -- just some bizarre circumstances that must be influenced by tides, the Santa Ana winds, global warming or Murphy's Law. Now, it's funny. But then....
Douglas, thanks for this post. I did not have an overview of the production assembly but now i have some idea. Your suggestion of grouping the task so that it is easier to identify the shortage and communicate that shortage properly can really work like charm.
This article clearly summarizes how to run a production without getting into to many fire drills. But I didn't clearly understood why the ICT and burnin tests are included in the final package after the complete assembly.
In Circuit Testing, ICT happens post PCB assembly. The functional testing can be at the PCB, Subassembly, or final assembly level. The examples at the end of the article, were for reference only as to how by combining the group ID info, an assembly level and associated problem can be quickly identified and subsequently responded to from a rapid response approach. You can mix and match problem codes, (not all shown) with the various levels of assembly as best makes sense for your product structure and process failure modes. I was able to use this method to keep the line going while part shortages were identified on the non impacted assembly operations underway. CMs have to be meticulous about part audits and process controls and consequently sometime, they will stop an entire operation if anything, anywhere is unexpected. As you may have experienced in a CM line down situation, other customers may slip ahead of you in the queue and that will change the delivery date as originally scheduled. That is what this Grouping ID process is designed to avoid. I apologize for any confusion.
This solution was born out of necessity. When a CM is building a top level product including the shipping materials and packaging, each individual operation requires process-focused attention as there are unique aspects to each operation. By grouping ID names and problems, it avoids miscommunication as to where attention is needed and if there are assigned work centers per operation, a Process or Test Engineer can go to the CM and quickly identify where on the shop floor his/her attention is needed. Thank you for the kind words. It should work like a charm, but it is the adherence to the procedures and good people that make it all work in the end.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.