Automatic program change in the intelligent factory

21st March 2024
Kristian McCann

On SMT production lines equipped with ASMPT hardware and software, program changes can be executed fully automatically, even in the absence of a barcode reader, by transmitting the data of the respective Printed Circuit Board (PCB) from one machine to another via a standardised interface.


The IPC-HERMES-9852 industry standard facilitates the electronic transmission of PCB data from machine to machine. Utilising this capability, DEK TQ solder paste printers, Process Lens SPI systems, and SIPLACE placement machines from ASMPT are able to automatically load the required production program as needed, eliminating the necessity to scan a barcode on each machine. The open, standardised interface further allows each conveyor system to automatically adjust to the specific width of the PCBs, irrespective of the manufacturer.

At the commencement of the line, as PCBs are unloaded from a magazine, their data is transmitted to the solder paste printer, either via a barcode reader or through IPC-HERMES-9852. The system utilises this data to select the production program to be executed. Should a batch change be required, the new production program is downloaded automatically. In the event of retooling being necessary, WORKS Operations, the application governing human operators on the lines, summons a qualified specialist.

SPI systems and placement machines also adapt automatically. Once printed, the PCB, along with its IPC-HERMES-9852 data, is passed along to the Process Lens. The SPI system reviews the board data and, if necessary, adjusts the program accordingly. Following this, it is the placement machines' turn, which, akin to the solder paste printer, review the PCB data, automatically adjust the program if required, and summon an operator via WORKS Operations.

Volker Sindel, Senior Product Manager at ASMPT, elaborates: "Previously, PCB data could not be transferred from machine to machine. Instead, each machine had to individually query this data from a higher-level system after scanning the barcode. Now, data transfer is significantly more efficient through the IPC-HERMES-9852 interface, eliminating the need for barcode readers on each machine. Owing to the standardised interface, automatic program changes are also feasible with third-party systems, enabling their implementation across the entire SMT line in the intelligent factory."

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