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Milwaukee Electronics has standardized on Panasonic equipment platform for all of its three facilities. The facilities’ SMT lines have been enhanced with Panasonic placement equipment to improve throughput and efficiency. The placement equipment utilizes a feeder cart system, PanaCIM software and DGS Data Creation System. The Panasonic NPM-W2 chip shooter and Panasonic NMP-W2 multifunctional pick-and-place machine replace a Fuji CP-6 IP-III machine. The line’s Ekra screen printer and Vitronics XP 2 8-zone reflow oven stay in place.
The new equipment was installed in the middle of the fourth quarter. It improves operational efficiency and quality in several ways. Glue dispense capability is now integrated in one of the Panasonic’s placement heads, eliminating the need for standalone glue dispensing capability. The work envelope in each machine has been expanded to 21 inches by 29 inches, enabling the facility to support customer requirements for larger board sizes. The PanaCIM software can show real-time information on production cycle time, machine performance, operation ratio, placement quantity and production quantity, or be customized to show any information desired. The machine verification (MV) feature in the PanaCIM software automatically checks the feeders in each cart to validate the right parts are present. The DGS system can recommend optimum feeder loading sequences and the best nozzle sizes to minimize placement time and improves throughput.
“Operationally, we now have intelligent feeder capability in place across all our placement machines, since this is also a capability in Mydata lines. This combined with the feeder cart systems makes our goal of zero changeover time a reality, which is critical to effectively managing high mix production. We also can electronically support our customers’ traceability and tracking requirements via barcodes. The PanaCIM software also supports our continuous improvement efforts by providing daily and weekly machine efficiency reporting,” said Terry Martin, the facility’s operations manager.
Additionally, the new equipment shortens up the line footprint by 25 feet, freeing up additional production space. This investment brings Milwaukee Electronics’ total SMT capability up to 9.5 lines.