As one of the leading manufacturers of electronic systems – SIMATIC automation products – Siemens is bound to be a surface-mount technology (SMT) expert. Because our factories all over the world do this every day, we should know what SMT and electronics assembly equipment need in terms of automation: excellent support, efficient engineering, and use of the latest digital technologies. Do we meet these requirements with our SIMATIC automation products? Yes, we do – as we will demonstrate together with IPTE Factory Automation in a new production cell in our Fürth factory.
When we think about SIMATIC technology, we think first and foremost of our automation products – controllers, HMI, and so on. But as one of the leading systems in the global automation market, SIMATIC has much more to offer, especially in the field of hardware and software as well as OT/IT integration. And it was the high level of openness and integration that convinced IPTE Factory Automation to pilot SIMATIC in a new piece of equipment destined for our Fürth production facility. There, the production cell will be used to depanel printed circuit boards for customized SIMATIC products that are made to order. So OT/IT integration with the MES was a must.
From management to shopfloor to management (system)
The new manufacturing cell will not only demonstrate that SIMATIC systems are flexible, reliable, and powerful enough for SMT equipment and processes – which they definitely are – but also emphasize how much SMT and final assembly operations in electronics manufacturing can benefit from a higher level of integration. SMT customers can cover an extremely broad range of applications and use cases and bring all aspects of manufacturing together with Siemens technology – from our Opcenter Execution Electronics digital manufacturing solution, to Industrial Edge and cloud solutions, to industry software, to proven hardware systems and products for manufacturing automation. Plus, we can offer a truly global support network for engineering, operation, and maintenance, including regional and even local spare parts supply in virtually every corner of the world.
All these features were what made IPTE look more closely at SIMATIC, says Rainer Krohmann, Strategic Sales Manager for IPTE DACH. “With Siemens and SIMATIC, we can rely on technologies that are being developed with a digitalization mindset. We can use SIMATIC to offer better solutions for the entire lifecycle of our systems. Moreover, we can provide added value through better OT/IT integration with the standardized OPC UA information model and the easy implementation in the SIMATIC PLC as well as in the MES.
With seamless OT/IT integration, companies in the Electronics Industry can streamline their operations through better and faster line and equipment integration and commissioning. Plus, it will provide the foundation for significantly enhanced manufacturing and performance visibility. Plant operators will be able to ramp up their production more quickly, optimize their performance more easily, and maintain optimum performance over the long term. And SIMATIC technology helps you achieve all these benefits.”
IPTE has already leveraged the benefits of the Digital Twin, which enables early testing of the automation program prior to commissioning to identify and eliminate flaws in the application and shorten commissioning times. The project team at IPTE was able to shorten and streamline the set-up and engineering of the kinematics for the milling process with a Digital Twin and the integration motion control features of the PLC. The movements were then validated using an aligned simulation software portfolio (SIMATIC S7-PLCSIM Advanced, SIMIT, NX MCD).
Machine users will benefit from the Digital Twin in their production planning and equipment utilization processes (throughput analysis, downtime calculation, etc.) with Tecnomatix Plant Simulation. Moreover, they can use NX MCD to contribute or change the design and construction process as well as train their staff on the Digital Twin.
All set for set-up
Our teams in Fürth are, of course, eagerly waiting for the new production cell so they can benefit from all these features – and so are we. The new equipment is currently being built and is scheduled for delivery in July. We will definitely keep you posted about the progress made and whether the SIMATIC solution lives up to our (very high) expectations. Stay tuned for news about “SIMATIC produces SIMATIC” in SMT and final assembly!
What do you think the greatest challenges are in SMT and final assembly in the electronics industry? Is it line integration and production visibility or something else? Please let me know in the comments.