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Open automation in the integrated smart factory

19th January 2023
Harry Fowle
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The SMT Solutions division of ASMPT demonstrates its industry automation tech at booth 1701 at the IPC APEX Expo 2023 from 24th to 26th January in San Diego.

Among the exhibits will be the new DEK TQ L solder paste printer for large circuit boards measuring up to 600x510mm and software for integrated smart factories. Also on display will be the smart shop floor management suite WORKS for optimising SMT line processes, smart SaaS applications for factory and enterprise uses, and an MES solution that was specially designed for the needs of SMT manufacturers. Modular, manufacturer-independent, and retrofittable, all hardware and software solutions being shown fit seamlessly into ASMPT’s Open Automation concept for the economically sensible automation of SMT production.

Best-in-class SMT line

At the ASMPT booth, visitors can see for themselves how high-performance printers, high-end SPI systems, high-performance placement systems, industry-leading feeding solutions and fully automated storage systems work together and with high precision on a fully functional SMT line. And for the first time on U.S. soil, the new DEK TQ L solder paste printer will demonstrate how effectively it handles circuit boards measuring up to 600x510mm. With this new printer, manufacturers significantly increase their flexibility and product range, thus opening the door to a completely new set of markets.

Full integration for open automation

Thanks to open interfaces such as IPC-HERMES-9852 and IPC-CFX, all ASMPT systems are designed for seamless M2M and M2H communication. They fit easily and comprehensively into the modular and manufacturer-independent open automation concept for the economically sensible automation of SMT production, which runs as a recurrent theme through the entire trade fair presentation.

Today, software is just as important to ASMPT as hardware. With smart solutions and SaaS applications for the machine, shop floor, factory, and company levels, ASMPT is underlining its technological leadership at APEX in this field as well.

Process optimisation on the shop floor

The smart shop floor management suite WORKS covers production workflows. WORKS Command Centre, for example, optimises employee assignments by automatically generating tasks and sending them to their smartphones, tablets, or smart watches while the WORKS Performance Monitor provides information about all of the production’s relevant performance indicators at the line in real-time. And the unique WORKS Process Expert turns the high-end Process Lens SPI system into a self-learning inline expert system that can control and optimise the printing process fully autonomously if desired.

Intelligent software for the Integrated SMT factory

In the area of factory solutions, ASMPT will focus on SaaS applications such as the Factory Equipment Centre, its comprehensive solution for company-wide asset and maintenance management, and on data analytics for extensive reporting across the whole enterprise. Virtual Assist is the brand-new AI- and NLP-supported ASMPT expert system that lets users handle all maintenance, repair, and service tasks with help from their smartphones or tablets. The system answers concrete questions like an experienced co-worker and reduces the time spent looking for information by up to 95%. As a special feature, it works even for third-party systems.

Powerful MES for electronics manufacturers

ASMPT recognised at an early stage the hugely important role that software would play today and decided in 2018 to invest in Critical Manufacturing (CMF), an MES developer specialising in the electronics industry. The Portuguese company is also responsible for ASMPT’s software applications on the factory and enterprise levels. At this year’s APEX show, CMF will present its leading ‘Critical Manufacturing MES’, which was designed to meet the special needs of the electronics manufacturing industry.

“ROI-oriented, modular, and retrofittable automation, best-in-class hardware and smart software solutions bring SMT production into top shape, relieve employees, and optimise processes. A visit to our IPC APEX Expo booth will be exciting and informative again this year thanks to ASMPT’s unique spectrum of products and services,” explains Mark Ogden, Head of Marketing AMCAS at ASMPT. “For our customers, North America’s largest event for electronics manufacturing is a very special opportunity to engage in a personal dialogue with our specialists and to discuss their individual requirements based on the fully functional production line being shown.”

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