What’s new in software used for electronics manufacturing equipment?


The emergence of Industry 4.0 has increased the demand for smart, single software platforms that make electronics manufacturing equipment work better.

By Sneha Ambastha

We are all aware that electronics and software are inseparable in today’s world. The story with electronics manufacturing equipment is also the same, many of which will not work without the right software. In fact, it’s the software that manages and automates the complete electronics manufacturing process today.
So let’s review a few recently launched software solutions that can be used in different electronics manufacturing equipment, which help to eliminate production errors and make the manufacturing process flexible and convenient.

Mentor’s Valor MSS
Launched in January 2017, this new version of Valor MSS, the manufacturing systems solution, is a single platform that supports the entire manufacturing process —right from the introduction of new products to assembly and testing. It integrates the entire PCB manufacturing process seamlessly, and addresses the key requirement of quality manufacturing for on-time delivery. It enables offline preparation of the production plans for execution and control on the shop floor. The company claims that this software solution can work with most of the machine manufacturing brands like FUJI, PANA, YAMAHA, ASM, JUKI, DEK, ITWEAE, KOHYOUNG, etc, and can support different types of equipment such as printers, solder paste inspection (SPI) systems, pick and place machines, reflow systems, automated optical inspection (AOI) systems, functional testing equipment, etc.


Key features

  • Creates a centralised infrastructure to control and manage the operational data in manufacturing and resolve the process related challenges
  • Eliminates data redundancy and errors in configuration
  • Allows monitoring of line programming with accurate inventory management, both in the office and remotely
  • Designed to improve on-time delivery, increase asset utilisation and reduce machine downtime
  • Reduces inventory and streamlines production, using lean material flow based on just-in-time principles

USP: One platform for the entire manufacturing process
Contact details: Mentor Graphics Corporation; Oregon, United States of America; www.mentor.com
India: NMTronics India Pvt Ltd, [email protected], www.nmtronics.com

Hanwha’s T-Solution
This recent launch by Hanwha is an integrated management tool for the SMT process. It is designed to help the user prepare for production management and, hence, maximise production efficiency. The company claims that the T-Solution has many plus points when compared to its competitors like allowing offline programming and line management (through prediction and prevention), management and registration of components, and their verification and traceability (through reel management, feeder management, misplacement prevention and tracking production history). This tool is suitable for automation, defence and consumer electronics applications, among others.

Key features

  • Allows offline programming and line management by enabling prediction and prevention
  • Manages manufacturing and operation systems for factory automation
  • Prevents incorrect insertion of components and tracks production history
  • Optimises feeder and nozzle arrangement and placement, and tracks offline component registration too
  • Compares and manages real lists and material bar codes

USP: Enables stable quality and maximises productivity
Contact details: Hanwha Precision Machinery Co. Ltd; Gyeonggi-do, Korea; www.hanwhaprecisionmachinery.com
India: Hanwha Precision Machinery Co. Ltd (India SMT Business Center), [email protected], www.hanwhaprecisionmachinery.com

Optimal Electronics’ Optel
This recent launch from Optimal Electronics is a comprehensive software suite designed for lean manufacturing. It integrates over 300 tables in its database with the electronics manufacturing shop floor to allow process control and measurement. It also manages the response to unexpected disturbances. It allows real-time measurement of the production line, along with the performance of the machine and its downtime. And it includes state-of-art algorithms to help optimise production and maximise throughput.

Key features

  • Up to 50 per cent increase in production through assembly data modelling
  • Its scheduling and balancing feature enables over 15 to 80 per cent reduction while the optimisation and clustering feature allows up to 65 per cent reduction in changeover time
  • It has a global component library for easy maintenance of component data
  • Allows process control with traceability of components
  • Includes an accurate inventory, usage and scrap feedback to ERP

USP: Complete manufacturing control and optimisation
Contact details: Optimal Electronics Corporation; Texas, United States of America; http://www.optelco.com

Juki’s JaNets
Juki’s recently launched JaNets is an advanced network system that connects and controls the entire factory. It allows sharing of data via a database server and manages the production program. An intelligent feeder system helps to improve the quality of work by preventing the wrong placement of components, or the placement of incorrect parts. JaNets improves efficiency by shortening the set-up time and the time taken for component replacement. It is also capable of tracing the serial numbers of PCBs and the component lot numbers during production.

Key features

  • Has a single production programming feature with flexible CAD conversion feature
  • Allows line management like line monitoring, line production program creation, cluster optimisation, line unit optimisation, downloading of the production program and simulation
  • Allows monitoring of machines, starting from operation status and production management information to product delivery information and quality management
  • Allows server management functions
  • Its cluster optimisation feature helps to group various production files

USP: Enables the realisation of a smart factory
Contact details: Juki Corporation; Tokyo, Japan; http://www.juki.co.jp/smt_e/
India: Juki India Pvt Ltd, [email protected], http://jukiindia.com/smt/index.htm

Panasonic’s PanaCIM Work-in-Process
Launched in November 2016, PanaCIM Work-in-Process is an enterprise level software solution designed to track and control the complete production process—from receiving to shipping. It contains the PanaCIM enterprise edition manufacturing execution system (MES) with the inclusion of the new tenth module. It integrates different factory automation systems into a single network for the complete traceability of any product and any process, irrespective of manufacturing mix or volume. The software helps the workstation interface to provide the foundation data for work instructions, data collection and factory operations for discrete manufacturers. Its graphical interface enables creation of unlimited processes and allows easy installation with minimum hardware requirements.

Key features

  • Integrates complex process data in the background and presents it to the user in a simple and easy to use format
  • Includes sufficient amount of user defined and standard data for the entire manufacturing process
  • Capable of defining data traceability at the individual part level
  • Capable of defining inventory locations for the factory floor, which helps the inventory staff to work faster and more efficiently
  • Has been developed on the latest technology platform of .NET Framework 4.0 with Web framework ASP.NET MVC, using HTML5 and CSS3 with SQL Server 2012 RDBMS and Windows Server 2012

USP: Suited for tracking and controlling production
Contact details: Panasonic Smart Factory Solutions Co. Ltd; Osaka, Japan; http://www.panasonic.com/jp/company/psfs/en.html
India: Panasonic India Pvt Ltd (Smart Factory Solutions Division), [email protected], https://panasonic.net/cns/office/products/aio/

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