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IoT-based Smart Factory solution debuts in Munich

9th November 2017
Mick Elliott

A new era of full process optimisation in connection to the Smart Factory is being promised by Panasonic Factory Solutions at both the productronica and Semicon Europa exhibitions in Munich (14-17 November).

Hiroyuki Nagai, President of Panasonic Factory Solutions Europe, comments: “Today, manufacturers require improvements not only in process automation but also in productivity and quality across the entire production cycle and factory as a whole. The key technology to realise a Smart Factory is to connect various equipment through the Internet of Things (IoT), to link/synchronise them and collect/control data from the equipment in real time for entire production processes. A mounting line, in fact, has a set of equipment from different venders, so that multiple systems are needed to control the entire line.”

Panasonic's iLNB enables the entire production line comprising different venders’ equipment to be controlled by one PC simultaneously and improves the total productivity of mounting lines, even with 3rd party equipment, in the process of placing electronic components on printed-circuit boards.

Against this background, Panasonic has developed a line controller system to centrally control mounting lines by combining its mounting line control software and process know-how.

The aim is to virtually design an optimised production process by calculating the production time for each process, taking into consideration the operator work time and the equipment operation loss time. Conventional line control systems meant that separate control of Panasonic and non-Panasonic machines was required.

Panasonic machines had been connected directly to Panasonic’s LNB. 3rd party equipment, however, required an individual PC for every single machine set up in the production line.

As a consequence, information collection and display and automatic production changeover was only possible for Panasonic machines but not for 3rd party equipment, such as SPI, AOI, reflow ovens and others.

This has been changed significantly by the introduction of iLNB. All equipment set up in a production line can be connected directly to the iLNB and fully controlled by it.

Information collection, display of information such as machine production data or machine condition can be seen on a remote control centre.

Small errors like suction error (pickup error) can be seen on the remote PC screens and the machine in question can be re-started from that place. Automatic production changeover is now possible as well.


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