Printed Circuit Board Assembly & PCB Design SMT Electronics Assembly Manufacturing Forum

Printed Circuit Board Assembly & PCB Design Forum

SMT electronics assembly manufacturing forum.

Training Benchmarks


Training Benchmarks | 27 November, 2000

Please benchmark training given by electronic board assembly companies according to: * Style (eg, classroom, OJT, off-site, etc) * Type (eg, job, safety, environmental, quality, etc) * Size of company (eg sales, GT $500M, LT $500M but GT $50M, LT $50M) or something like that * Employee skill area (eg, assembly, purchasing, administration, etc) * Incentives given to the employee to do well in training (eg, pay increase, keep job, etc) * Other measures you find relevent

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Re: Training Benchmarks | 27 November, 2000

Dave, this is a massive question, and if you have any hard data on these issues, it would be wonderful if you could share it.

The best I can offer is some indication of our experiences from contacts in the industry. Keep in mind as well, that we have focussed almost exclusively on assembly training, so I can't shed much light on the purchasing/admin side.

Our overall experience is that classroom training in the basics of safety, hazardous materials, and ESD are the norm, with many assemblers hitting the floor with minimums, followed by OJT for the specifics of the operation.

Offsite, either through private training facilities or community college programs are common for new-hires. Surprisingly, this doesn't seem to be at all related to company size, but rather to existing structure and corporate culture. For example, we have small clients with fewer than 20 employees who use multimedia because they don't have a full time training department, and we have huge multinationals that use multimedia in one or two locations and variants of classroom training and OJT in other locations. Community college based new-hire training in this area suffers from the problem that companies are looking a courses that are 8-16 weeks in duration before they can get people on the job, and OJT is still necessary before they are fully functional.

We, of course, don't see this as the ideal. Issues of consistency, completeness, time away from task, and overall training effectiveness plague the entire industry. Board rework is still a big, big business - as is warranty repair.

Our rough estimate is that fewer than one in ten companies, regardless of size, use extensive interactive (computer-based) training for assembly at this point in time, although that does appear to be changing quite rapidly. I talked last week, for example, to a contract manufacturing company that is opening up two brand-new computer-based, fully multimedia-capable training labs in December. Three years ago, by way of contrast, one of the major computer manufacturers (who will go unnamed) did not have multimedia capability in their own training facility.

Training still tends to be viewed by many managers as a cost that they cannot translate directly into increased productivity. Safety and quality issues are the big concerns of course. Safety training tends to be a bit more site specific, and is government mandated. But things like soldering and ESD are governed by industry standards, and are demanded by clients. An ESD audit by a customer of a contract manufacturer can have incredible consequences for cash flow.

On the incentives question, I haven't found much emphasis on this in Canada and the U.S. In Mexico, it is definitely a major consideration. It seems that most contract manufacturers there have incentive schemes in place.

I would welcome any data on these trends that viewers can contribute.

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