Neuburg a. d. Kammel, 07.01.2014. In the production of electronics, large quantities of SMD (surface-mounted device) components are processed very quickly. Several hundred loading procedures an hour are needed for the just-in-time replenishment of the production lines. Pressure on costs within the industry is high. The main potential for savings lies in intralogistics, as the storage and retrieval solutions from Kardex Remstar show.
Although it only takes a few minutes or even seconds to populate a printed circuit board, the upstream and downstream processes in the manufacture of semiconductors devour many hours. If the wrong components are fitted by mistake, the time and costs involved can soon get out of hand. The key for electronics manufacturers is to run efficient processes on a highly frequent basis while avoiding errors and downtimes caused by delayed loading procedures. Furthermore, in order to be protected from possible claims for damages, complete traceability must be ensured.
Kardex Remstar supplies storage and retrieval solutions tailored to the area of electronics production. Wolfgang Zeller, an SMD handling expert at Kardex Remstar, explains: “Our systems are especially suitable for electronics manufacturers who have numerous production lines in operation at the same time and require a large quantity of different SMD reels.” Even if the entire process is highly complex, the aim of Kardex Remstar is to speed up and simplify the handling of SMD reels. “The simpler the solution, the fewer the mistakes,” says Zeller knowledgeably. Smooth interaction of the storage unit, such as the Megamat RS storage paternoster or Shuttle XP storage lift, plus software and intelligent process planning, are all success factors associated with the retrieval solution from Kardex Remstar. The storage units can be installed centrally in the production environment and occupy up to 85 percent less space.
Pick-by-Voice and double check
The components used in the equipping of printed circuit boards may be getting ever smaller, but the cost of procuring and handling these tiny parts is high. Therefor error-free retrieval of SMD reels is one of the biggest challenges of the production process. The industry experts at Kardex Remstar favor guidance systems such as pick-by-voice for their projects. If they are combined with a double check during retrieval of the SMD reels, the error rate when picking the feeder trolleys can be reduced to zero.
Processes controlled through the intelligent use of software
After the printed circuit boards have been populated, the SMD reels containing components that have not yet been fitted can be effortlessly returned to the storage space. The storage and retrieval process is controlled by Kardex Remstar’s own Smartpick 5200 software, which has been specially developed for electronics production. Smartpick 5200 permanently records the stock levels in the warehouse and monitors the movement data of the stored goods as well as the length of time they are used. The system documents the different materials that have been assigned to different production orders, identifies the availability of components, and can reserve goods needed for upcoming orders. Any missing stock is reported immediately and the material is ordered. The result of using the software: simple and clearly structured picking processes and 100 percent error-free retrieval of SMD reels for the loading/unloading process.
50 percent more throughput
Using Smartpick 5200 also facilitates the parallelization of retrieval and production processes. The pickers can retrieve the SMD reels from several storage units in parallel, load them onto the feeder trolleys in the right order, and return them to the storage space once the populating process is complete. Throughput can thus be increased by around 50 percent on average.
ESD version and dry storage
The Megamat RS and Shuttle XP storage units are supplied as ESD versions to prevent the buildup of electrostatic charge. Since the moisture sensitivity of the components can be a problem, Kardex Remstar also supplies the storage systems as dry rooms with less than five percent relative humidity. All storage and retrieval systems conform to the JEDEC standard.