Trouble in Your Tank: Never Stop Learning

Reading time ( words)


My father always told me, even when I was 40 years old, that I should never stop learning. Of course, he was a teacher and an administrator, so he made it his mission to make sure others had great learning opportunities. And my dad never stopped trying to learn new things, either.

This lesson applies to the PCB manufacturing industry, as well. I have spent my life trying to get better at my job and, in turn, help others too. This is where constant learning and new skills development come into play. Let me introduce a few if you haven’t heard these already.

How to Troubleshoot a Technical Issue

This should come as no surprise to those of you who read my monthly columns or have met me in your circuit board facility; remember that time is money. And the longer a problem goes unresolved, the more money and certainly future customer goodwill can be lost. When being called on to solve technical issues—whether it is a delamination situation, copper plating failures, or solderability defects—I stress a few simple rules: 

  1. Walk the line and watch the operators in action.
  2. Review documented work procedures.
  3. Check rinse water quality and dwell times. Are you rinsing away the contaminants or simply dragging them along with the boards to the next critical process?
  4. And the biggest sin, “Yes, everything in the chemistry is being controlled per the datasheet.”

What I’m saying here is quite simple: develop the troubleshooting skills necessary to solve process problems efficiently.

To read this entire column, which appeared in the December 2019 issue of PCB007 Magazine, click here.




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