The transformation partner for the integrated smart factory
Open, efficient, flexible – all resources smartly integrated
ASM is centering this year’s Productronica presence on the ‘integrated smart factory’. At its booth (A3/377), which covers almost 800 square meters, the technology leader shows a whole series of new and innovative solutions that synchronize all critical resources in an electronics production – people, materials, machines and processes – smartly, transparently, and in real time. They make highly flexible workflows possible that allow manufacturers to churn out their products faster, more efficiently, and with improved quality. The foundation for these advances is an integrated spectrum of open interfaces, standardized protocols and integration platforms ranging from the shop floor to the cloud.
“Automated processes are efficient, but often very rigid. On the other hand, it is becoming more and more important for today’s electronics manufacturers to respond with great flexibility to changing customer and market requirements. Our smart solutions support highly flexible workflows by connecting and integrating all resources in a manufacturing facility. Equally important is the fact that ASM solutions are upgradeable and open to be integrated with equipment from other vendors. All this makes us a powerful partner for electronics manufacturers who want to move their operations towards the integrated smart factory,” says Fuyan Yan, head of ASM’s SMT Solutions Marketing.
Smart operator pools cover multiple lines
Employees are the most important resource in any factory. The integrated smart factory frees them from routine operations and deploys them efficiently in accordance with their individual knowledge and skills. With its ASM Command Center, ASM presents at this year’s Productronica trade fair an innovative software solution that collects messages and assist requests from all machines and uses this information to generate tasks that are then sent proactively and with sufficient lead time to the employees’ digital devices such as tablets, smartwatches, handheld scanners, etc. As a special feature, it sends these tasks to employees who are available and have the training and expertise needed to carry them out. The software also includes supporting information – even videos, checklists, or maintenance manuals. The intelligent prioritization and skills-based distribution of factory-wide tasks with ASM Command Center reduces production interruptions and makes the staff deployment much more efficient. Instead of rigidly assigning operators to individual lines, electronics manufacturers can work much more efficiently with ‘smart operator pools’ that cover multiple lines.
Another very interesting innovation at the ASM booth is the company’s ASM FactoryChat, an app that combines a professional messaging service with shift reporting and asset management functions, knowledge databases, and a digital training platform. They simplify and accelerate the communication on the factory floor. Another extremely smart feature: connected machines can send chat messages and notify app users of malfunctions or pending maintenance. The scalable app can run in the specially secured ASM cloud or on the electronics manufacturer’s own web servers.
Maximum machine and material availability
For the communication of process data and integration into efficient workflows, modern DEK printers and SIPLACE placement machines have open interfaces and support standard protocols like IPC HERMES 9852, ASM OIB, or IPC CFX.
On two demo lines in the center of its booth, ASM shows how these interfaces support material logistics that have been automated with autonomous intelligent vehicles (AIVs). The connected machines detect early enough when feeders are about to run empty and use solutions like the ASM Material Manager and ASM Material Tower to request fresh supplies, which are then transported from the storage systems to the lines by AIVs in accordance with the setup requirements. Innovations like the ASM AutoRefill Feeder eliminate the need for time-consuming manual splicing by automatically pulling in a second tape.
As a result of its investment into the Portuguese MES specialist Critical Manufacturing in the summer of 2018, ASM is now able to offer its own modern MES solution with which machines from other vendors can be linked to the factory-wide control system. And in accordance with ASM's principle of openness, electronics manufacturers with ASM equipment are not limited to ASM's own MES solution – thanks to protocols like IPC CFX they can still continue to link their machines to any MES or ERP systems.
The fabLive module is an innovation that was jointly developed by ASM and Critical Manufacturing to visualize the entire factory via ‘digital twins’ of the machines. What makes it so special is that the digital twins ‘live', are connected to their real counterparts on the shop floor, and behave just like them. That way, color-coded signals on the virtual machines can indicate malfunctions or pending maintenance requirements.
Process optimization and multi-site connectivity
Coordinated processes in an efficient manufacturing environment deliver productivity, earnings and quality. ASM supports electronics producers with solutions for eight central workflows: planning, virtual production, process optimization, production, material management, preparation, factory monitoring, and factory integration. The solutions combine and integrate various hardware, software and service solutions and allow electronics manufacturers to transform their operation into an integrated smart factory individually and in stages.
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