Material Management and Control

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In a market that is trying to catch up with increasing customer demands and quickly ship products out the back door, no electronics manufacturing plant can afford to lose any time or resources during the production process. Manufacturers are forced to do more with less and get the most out of every single precious component.

When you finally get your hands on inventory, perhaps after months of delays due to part allocation or supply-chain snafus, it’s critical that not a single part is wasted. While reducing waste has always been a big focus for electronics manufacturers, it’s now a top concern for factories around the globe to ensure the right material is in the right place at the right time.

Getting Control of the Kitting Process
One area fraught with the possibility for material mismanagement is the kitting process. Considering most PCBAs today use hundreds of different components, kitting the materials for a production run can be both arduous and time consuming. In a fast-paced environment like electronics manufacturing, if the kitting process isn’t controlled and managed properly, it can expose a manufacturer to opportunities for waste.

With Cogiscan’s kitting control module, operators are precisely guided through the material picking process with a detailed kit list for each job—listing exactly where the components are located, how many are needed for the scheduled job, and precisely where they need to be loaded. Whether the components are sitting on stockroom shelves, or within an intelligent storage tower, the kit list will define the precise location.

As every factory runs a bit differently, this kitting module allows for custom-defined rules based on inventory consumption preferences. For example, a manufacturer can set up the system to pull materials based on FIFO rules, to consume partial reels first, or to select and kit reels that have enough components to get through that entire job to maximize line productivity and reduce material replenishment time. Each manufacturer has the freedom to customize the kitting preferences based on the real-time production environment.

Setup Control for the SMT Factory
Accurate kitting is only half the equation to ensure the right materials are selected and ready for production. The other important factor is the actual setup of materials and machines. With Cogiscan’s setup control module, manufacturers can verify that all the right elements are being used correctly. This includes validation of components, tooling, and consumables, as well as the machine program.

Instead of waiting until the job is running on the SMT line, manufacturers can verify accurate setup in the offline setting. So, if there is an error found in the setup configuration by the system, it can be corrected before being released to the line.

To read this entire article, which appeared in the November issue of SMT007 Magazine, click here.

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