There are many complex problems in the optimization of an electronics manufacturing environment, and it is the view of the authors that these problems should not be solved and optimized in isolation, but analysed in the framework of a system. A systems approach offers an overall approach for solving problems, and optimizing the whole of the system as well as discrete subsystems. The research introduced in this paper integrates several techniques, namely: Integrated computer aided manufacturing DEFinition (IDEF), and experimental design and response surface methods for the analysis, control and optimization of electronic manufacturing processes. Electronics manufacturing includes three major processes; Printed Circuit Board (PCB) manufacturing, semiconductor device manufacturing and electronics assembly. This paper describes a novel generic systematic methodology that has been used to create a model to optimize the photolithography process in PCB manufacture. For this, photolithography has been considered as a whole system made up of several sub-systems. This is shown in the process map for PCBs that focuses on photolithography and its subprocesses. A model of the manufacturing process is then given with the results of this being validated using an industrial study. Optimized settings for processing equipment are given resulting in an increase in process yield within industry.