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Innumeracy and Electronic Assembly

  • Indium Corporation
  • Friends,

    I teach numerous workshops and certification courses. I often find significant "math" resistance at these workshops, even when I use or require the students to use only high school algebra or geometry. These complaints are especially true when I teach SMT line balancing, including downtime calculations. I will often hear comments like, "My job doesn't require math." The comment that is most painful to me is a process engineer in charge of productivity who says "I don't need math at my job." Several authors of statements like this have presided over assembly lines with uptimes of 9% and a flexible placer that waits 25 seconds for the chip shooter to finish. The sad thing is that these folks are so rusty at math that they don't recognize the need when it is staring them in the face.

    We need to be commited to keeping our own math skills sharp and encouraging it in our staff. For further reading on this topic John Paulos has written a delighful book on the topic called surprisingly Innumeracy.