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News from Association Connecting Electronics Industries (IPC)

When Field Failure is Not an Option — IPC Midwest Opening Session Reveals the Means to the End

Aug 10, 2011

Kicking off an intense, two-day focus on the latest technologies, processes and best practices in electronics manufacturing, Jim Springer, vice president of quality at Phoenix International, will deliver the free opening session at IPC Midwest Conference & Exhibition in Schaumburg, Ill. His presentation, “Clearly Understanding Field Failures Leads to Interesting New Knowledge (CUFFLINK) - A Case Study,” will take place on September 21 at 8:00 am.

Springer will share a firsthand account of a field issue that perplexed the staff at Phoenix International and the details of the extensive investigation undertaken by the team of engineers and six-sigma black belts to identify the root cause. It’s an interesting study that will cause people to think before they act.

“It was a surreptitious anomaly that caused a customer’s equipment to sporadically shut down in the middle of an operation … only happening at certain times of the year and in certain areas of the world,” describes Springer. “It took a complete understanding of field conditions as well as surroundings to solve this issue.”

Springer’s entertaining presentation will walk IPC Midwest attendees through the entire process, including field investigation, laboratory testing, manufacturing processes, hardware design and use of various six sigma tools. In addition to solving a major customer warranty issue, Phoenix’s CUFFLINK approach to successfully identifying a field-failure culprit resulted in a more reliable product, reduced warranty and increased customer satisfaction, with no increase in product cost.

IPC Midwest Conference & Exhibition will be held September 21-22, 2011, at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center, in Schaumburg, Ill. Springer’s opening session is free to all registrants of IPC Midwest 2011. For more information on IPC Midwest, including free registration to the exhibit hall featuring more than 50 of the Midwest’s top electronics manufacturing equipment and supply companies, visit


IPC ( is a global trade association based in Bannockburn, Ill., dedicated to the competitive excellence and financial success of its 3,000 member companies which represent all facets of the electronics industry, including design, printed board manufacturing, electronics assembly and test. As a member-driven organization and leading source for industry standards, training, market research and public policy advocacy, IPC supports programs to meet the needs of an estimated $1.85 trillion global electronics industry. IPC maintains additional offices in Taos, N.M.; Arlington, Va.; Stockholm, Sweden; Moscow, Russia; Bangalore, India; and Shanghai, Shenzhen and Beijing, China.

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