In the world of electronics manufacturing, times have changed. Gone are the days when a productive and profitable manufacturing model could be built around cycle times and components per hour (cph). Today, these metrics have little to do with the success of OEM and EMS providers. A new measure – Operational Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) – has emerged as the best indication of efficiency and whether a manufacturer is maximizing potential revenue in the current market landscape. OEE evaluates and indicates how effectively a manufacturing operation is utilized, and is best used to identify opportunities for process improvements, as well as how to realize those improvements to enhance the overall value stream.
Universal Instruments Corporation, Conklin, NY (USA)
If OEE is the key to growing the bottom line, then what is required to optimize this defining baseline? The solution is to embrace a model that is flexible and agile enough to build any product at any time, while facilitating the fastest new product introductions, ramp to volume, and product changeovers. Simply put, maximize the revenue opportunities as well as utilization and uptime for the greatest possible profitability. Solutions that support a high number of changeover opportunities with fewer setups will deliver a higher OEE.
In today’s higher-mix environments with more new product introductions and changeovers, OEE rates of less than 30% and extremely low utilization rates are typical. For manufacturers operating in these environments in particular, Universal Instruments’ Fuzion surface mount placement platform solutions offer a distinctively different approach that can dramatically improve efficiency to maximize productivity while reducing costs.
The system features more than twice the feeder inputs of alternative surface mount platforms to accommodate multiple product setups, fixed family schemes, or “feeder anywhere” flexible setup – advantages which enable manufacturers to minimize setups and simply change programs for product changeovers. This contemporary production model can boost utilization by 50%, resulting in a significant increase in output – enough to eliminate entire production shifts. In higher-mix environments, the improvement can be exponential. Additional feeder capacity also allows manufacturers to replace multiple modules with a single platform, thereby reducing capital expenditures, production costs, and floor space consumption.
When new feeder setups are required for changeover, Fuzion solutions benefit from all-new, easy-loading ion feeders with vastly improved ergonomics (30% smaller and 25% lighter) and a superior top-loading design that reduces replenishment and changeover times by 50%, making them particularly well suited for NPI to medium-volume production environments.
Fast and efficient new product introduction is another important variable in maximizing OEE. Fuzion leverages a powerful new suite of NPI software tools featuring an icon-driven interface and new efficiency tools, including on-line component auto-teach and on-the-fly production editing, to expedite NPI and ramp-to-volume, and deliver 100% first-pass yield. And, unlike conventional NPI solutions, the system offers a seamless transition to volume production by easily transferring the program from a single platform to a full production line.
Maximizing revenue opportunities
The versatility to quote virtually any job is a valuable asset in a flexible production model. The FuzionXC2–37, recipient of the 2013 Circuits Assembly magazine NPI Award in the “Component Placement – Multi-Function” category, combines high-speed chip and extreme odd-form placements (from 01005 passive components up to 150mm connectors with 5kg placement force and parts up to 25mm tall) all on the same platform. It handles boards up to 1300mm x 610mm, has 272 8mm feeder inputs, and accepts a full range of input types, including strip, tape, tube, odd-form, and tray. However, XC models are not the only solutions offered by the company. There is a comprehensive portfolio of Fuzion platforms to suit every production environment.
Benefits of higher OEE
The most successful electronics manufacturers are those that can accommodate the most diverse revenue stream and produce a full range of products in a lean manufacturing model that maximizes the capabilities of their equipment set – take on any job, introduce new products in 15 minutes or less, quickly ramp to volume, minimize setups, and maximize utilization. In higher-mix environments, this model will provide considerable and long-term cost savings, increased productivity, lower inventory, reduced setup and response time, formidable competitive advantage, and increased profits.
Fuzion solutions provide a building block with exclusive features and capabilities to optimize OEE and attain the highest possible productivity at the lowest cost, enabling manufacturers to build better, build more, and spend less.