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Collaborative Manufacturing Whitepaper Series - page 4 / 8





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Many companies have used acquisition strategies to build market share and to gain capacity. Integrating the various facilities into coherent manufacturing process pipelines is a continuous and unrelenting effort.

Collaboration is alive and doing very well in this industry. One example is the earlier described activities of The National Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (NEMI) and their effort to develop industry-led standards to provide easy inter-operability and transfer of data to and from production facilities. NEMIʼs Plug and Play Factory Project was created to develop an open, vendor-independent environment for electronics assembly, inspection, and test equipment. The project addressed the issues of how to quickly integrate new pieces of electronics assembly equipment into a shop floor line management system and how to manage the vast amounts of data available in todayʼs electronics manufacturing environment. It also addressed issues relating to the col- lection of shop floor data from disparate pieces of equipment and how that data could be transferred between remote locations via a Web browser. Activities focused on three areas:

  • Definition of standards for a software framework that will allow interoperability among software and equipment produced by different vendors

  • Development of process-specific machine communication interface standards for surface mount equipment.

  • Establishment of a test bed to prove the concepts developed by the project

Central to the Plug & Play effort was development of a software framework, based on XML (extensible mark-up language), the universal format for structured documents and data on the Web, which encodes data into a format that is both human and machine-readable. This platform independent and vendor neutral framework provides a common interface among all the hardware components on a printed circuit board manufacturing line, enabling equipment and software from various vendors to work together in a seamless fashion. It also allows data to be collected from all the machines on the line — regardless of vendor or location — and displayed inside a Web browser.

Three standards XML (CAMX) were developed by NEMIʼs Plug & Play Factory Project to facilitate interoperability among hardware and software components used in the manufacturing process (see Table 1). Based on XML, these standards provide a common interface among all the hardware components on a printed circuit board manufacturing line. They also leverage GenCAM, the industry standard that defines how product data for printed circuit boards should be described, including information needed for tooling, manufacturing, assembly, inspection, and testing requirements. These standards are available at www.ipc.org.

Standard IPC-2541


Generic Requirements for Electronics Manufacturing Shop- floor Equipment Communications Mesages (CAMX)


Sectional Requirements for Shop-floor Equipment Communicaiton Messages for Printed Circuit Board Assembly


Generic Requirements for Electronics Manufacturing Test, Inspection and Rework Equipment Communication

The use of product lifecycle management systems has been deployed extensively in this industry to manage the flow of engineering and product information across the supply chain. As the product lifecycle continues to shorten and the supply chain broadens, there is more information that must be shared with more partners over wider distances faster. Some of the daily issues include:

  • 1.

    Ensuring that the precise current definition of the product is being communicated to all internal and external partners in real time.

  • 2.

    Knowing the current cost of the product and the effect of changes in development, production, or procurement?

  • 3.

    Reducing the time for new product introduction and the time to implement product changes.

Collaboration Synergies Inc.

Electronics Industry Collaboration 4

360.833.8400 • www.cosyninc.com

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