PCB's Move Towards Intelligent Manufacturing Equipment Networking Remains The Biggest Challenge

- Mar 27, 2018 -

  Intelligent manufacturing can be said to be imperative in order to upgrade the industry and move towards high value. In this regard, the Taiwan PCB Association pointed out that although PCB manufacturers are willing to build intelligent automated production models, However, how to make the equipment "network" is the main challenge for the PCB industry to move towards intelligence.

Hong Ya-yun, deputy director general of the Market Information Department of the Taiwan PCB Association, says that the main obstacle to the realization of intelligent manufacturing in the PCB industry today lies in the fact that manufacturers' production equipment has not yet been "connected to the network", thus lacking the ability to collect, analyze, and apply data. Therefore, to realize intelligent manufacturing, how to make production equipment have the ability to connect network is the first priority.

  According to the survey conducted by TPCA and ITRI IEK, as of August 2017, about 60% of PCB operators had achieved single-station automation in their production lines, leaving 40% of the reasons for not realizing single-station automation, including difficulties in old and old equipment renewal. Limited space can not be added to the mechanical arm, or feel unnecessary to add and so on.

  However, as of August 2017, only 20 percent of operators were connected to station automation. In other words, there are still as many as 80 percent of operators whose equipment is not connected to the network. It is impossible to collect production, operation, and other data to carry out information integration, thus lacking analysis of production data data. Hong Ya-yun further explains that the current circuit board industry does not have a common format for production information and communication protocols. Therefore, the equipment manufacturers have no basis for the standard, and the PCB manufacturers all come from a variety of different equipment factories, which makes the connection between stations more difficult. Only a small number of manufacturers can do so, so PCB production equipment is in urgent need of a standardized communication interface.

  To this end, since 2015, the Taiwan PCB Association and the ITRI have begun to study the "Taiwan PCB equipment Communication Agreement (PCBEI)." this communication agreement follows the SECS/GEM specification of the International Semiconductor Industry Association (ICIA). Hong Ya-yun disclosed that. The communication agreement has been formally sent to the International Semiconductor Association (SEMIA) for filing. However, it is a pity that the implementation of the threshold TPCA will continue to be promoted after voting. Through this agreement, we will assist in the establishment of a data storage and analysis platform for circuit board production lines. And the construction of PCB plant production information system.


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