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Tracking labor at selective solder

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Tracking labor at selective solder | 19 December, 2017

We have several selective soldering machines, that because of several minutes of process time per PCB, one operator can keep 2 or sometimes 3 machines loaded and running. Other days only 1 machine is running but operator does not have enough time to perform any other useful task. We're trying to "balance" between one scenario and the other, but it's not working and our "bean counters" are freaking out. Anyone have similar issues?

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Tracking labor at selective solder | 21 December, 2017

Are the jobs so small and the setup time so high that it precludes running them on two or three machines?

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Tracking labor at selective solder | 21 December, 2017

Is the process the same for every product running through the selective solder machine? Load program, acquire or set up fixture, Change/load flux?, Change/Load solder pot?

Are the machines cold when the operators need to use them or are the machine solder pots kept liquidus so warm up time is not an issue?

Does each board need to be loaded into a unique fixture with hold downs? Do you have enough fixtures to load ALL your boards or do you use one fixture?

Is there a pre-heater? Typical .062 thick boards might not take too long to preheat, add a heavy ground layer to the board and preheat starts to become an issue. Heavy ground plane boards take more process time.

*Time your full set up process/processes.

Count how many components AND solder joints are to be soldered for each machine program. *Time how long each program takes complete

Once you have the set up and the run times you should have a clear picture of how long every program should take to run.

Now you need to accurately time each operators set up times AND run times.

I think you can see where this is going but you need to baseline everything then check to see if the human is the variable.

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Tracking labor at selective solder | 21 December, 2017

For me it looks like a scheduling issue. You can do time studies on your assemblies and predict the best workload, based on scheduling the jobs in the right sequence. Also it sounds like you have only one operator. Train more people to operate will help you when you have the quick boards.

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Tracking labor at selective solder | 22 December, 2017

For me it looks like a sales issue.

Having more operators would probably not help them meet their metric.

If you cannot meet or defeat a metric, switch metrics. (said tongue in cheek)

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Tracking labor at selective solder | 27 December, 2017

All the response is appreciated.

We have 4 SS machines and 2 operators (normally). Some jobs take up to 15 minutes (multiple boards), some take less than 2 minutes (machine time). Some involve fixtures, preheat, some may require the operator to monitor because of loose wires we are soldering. Normally someone else will "stuff" the board prior to SS but if it is just a couple of connectors the SS operator may stuff. Operators are expected to attach all of their labor time throughout the day to a job. If not they would call it unapplied (overhead). Any substantial unapplied time requires an explanation from the manager. I'm just looking to see what others are doing, the people here not understanding may have to make changes on their end.

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