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Legislation at the factory level, by way of procedures, can assist in reducing failures by making sure not to introduce a failure mechanism into the product. Laminators and PCB suppliers must share the responsibility for fostering a culture of cleanliness and quality.
Additionally, good processing is a must to avoid introducing faults into the laminate or printed circuit board. It is preferable that the whole supply chain from the laminator to the PCB manufacturer and the EMS providers are all covered by the same accreditation. In the aerospace segment, all involved share the burden of making the supply chain compliant with AS9100C.
It therefore makes sense to have accreditation in all camps. As the recipient of the final product, the OEM should demand this certification. But how complete is the actual coverage of any accreditation, including AS9100C? The procedure for tracking product quality and delivery is a good model to review, because it considers concepts from source to destination, the whole pipeline. So, why not apply a similar model when applying AS9100C? It is a thought!
The PCB manufacturer must come under the same accreditation rules to comply with the ideal of lowest-cost manufacture, which means highest yields and no-failure introduction. The processes must be correct, so aerospace OEMs will benefit from partnering with PCB manufacturers who have AS9100C accreditation. As I revisit the concept of pipeline accreditation, it becomes obvious that, with so many variables and opportunities for introducing faults, any fault-reduction methodology is welcome. AS9100C typifies how the avionics industry leads the way in supply chain accreditation; compliance leads to a cascading effect downwards into other market sectors, and it also shows leadership in quality ideals. Read the full article here.Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the August 2014 issue of The PCB Design Magazine.