Thursday, November 10, 2011
Optimizing Electronics Production
eMIS from Essemtec allows planning and traceability down to the component level
The new eMIS Management Software Suite for SMD production includes functions for job planning, feeder setup optimization, stock management, traceability and much more. With eMIS, managers and operators can keep track of actual, future and past production. Flexible interfaces simplify integration into the existing ERP environment.
A modular and adaptable software innovated by Essemtec, eMIS features planning, optimization, management and traceability for SMD production. It can handle an unlimited number of production lines — even virtual ones. Unlike other solutions, eMIS has been developed based on practical experience. The software can simplify production and make it more efficient and more secure. Production managers, planners, stock managers and those responsible for quality that use eMIS will always be aware of the production that is running, can easily plan future jobs and can even look up past production.
Is the Line Currently Producing?
eMIS provides a fully graphical display of the actual machine and line layout and status. Therefore, one can check the status of machines, the advance of jobs and other important figures conveniently on a distant office PC.
eMIS displays real-time information from machines using eeZ software, such as Cobra and Paraquda pick-and-place machines. After every event, for example a component picked or placed, actualized production data are available immediately for all eMIS terminals.
eMIS knows actual feeder setup, planned jobs and component consumption of every machine, making it an ideal tool for planning new jobs as well as preparing and optimizing production.
The eMIS software package consists of multiple modules and add-ons that can be activated depending on user requirements. For example, a feeder setup place will require different rights and functionality than a planning terminal or the PC of the quality manager.
The available modules are called Base, Traceability, Stock Management, Multi-Job and Line Management. Add-ons mainly deliver interfaces to other systems such as a Tower component storage system.
The “Interface Add-On” is an especially flexible tool. It allows eMIS to communicate with nearly any other system such as ERP or machine. It includes programming libraries for C#, C++ and Visual Basic, which allow interfaces to be adapted exactly to the local environment and requirements.
Full Traceability of Placement Data
Until recently, traceability has been the domain of industries such as aerospace, medical and military. But today, traceability has been recognized as a useful tool for quality assurance in “normal” production as well.
ePlace, the operation software of Cobra and Paraquda pick-and-place machines, registers all production data in real time. PCB, reels and placement data are logged with reference to each individual component. However, the Traceability module of eMIS converts the bulk data into useful reports.
The eMIS Traceability module's filtering and search functions help to find relevant data quickly. For example, components of a job, a PCB or data about specific components are found within seconds. The export function enables the filtered data to be used in other programs such as Excel.
Stock Management Includes MSL Control
The Stock Module identifies all component reels, sticks and trays by unique ID numbers. The stock is always up to date because eMIS communicates with the machines directly. eMis knows, for instance, which components are currently being placed, how many components were refused by vision inspection and if a new component reel is added to stock.
Additionally, eMIS manages expiration dates and calculates the remaining floor lifetime of moisture-sensitivity level (MSL) classified components. These data also are available for traceability analysis. When creating feeder setup lists, eMIS follows the first-in/first out (FIFO) principle.
The Stock module of eMIS allows stock analysis and consumption planning as well. Therefore, it is an important tool for purchasing and feeder setup planning and can be used as goods-in terminal.
One Feeder Setup for Multiple Orders
The Multi-Job Module allows multiple PCBs and versions to be combined in one feeder setup. As such, the machine’s feeder capacity is used optimally and there is no need to change feeders between jobs.
The module can optimize with different parameters, for example for maximum placement speed or for minimum setup effort. Different values are taken into consideration such as travel distances from pick to place, the machine’s capability for simultaneous component pick-up, the feeder capacity and feeders currently installed. Planners can decide on-screen which option is more efficient and more convenient to quickly finish the current jobs.
Find the Balance
Inline manufacturing lines with multiple pick-and-place machines are prone to delays. It usually happens if one machine has finished its placements but has to wait for following machines to finish their job.
To avoid such problems, the Line Management Module of eMIS optimizes the feeder setup of each module in a way that the workload is evenly distributed. Additionally, it allows building and planning virtual production lines. This feature is used for “what-if” analyses or to study the advantages of a completely different line layout.
eeZ Technology Simplifies Complexity
eMIS and ePlace are both based on eeZ technology, a software standard innovated by Essemtec. eeZ software is optimized for touch screen monitor operation and, therefore, features simple operation on standard computers with mouse and keyboard, too.
The graphical user interface simplifies operation of complex systems such as pick-and-place machines. It is multilingual and offers excellent help functions such as context sensitive info pages. User entries are automatically completed and checked for validity.
The operation of eMIS and ePlace are similar. Therefore, eMIS is easy to understand for anyone having operated a pick-and-place machine and vice versa. The standardization of software reduces education efforts and increases flexibility.
Essemtec will highlight eMIS at the upcoming productronica 2011 exhibition in Munich, Germany. Visit Essemtec in Hall A3 on booth 358.