For the next Smart Factories generation, Jara has developed a comprehensive PCB transfer communication protocol which grants the following benefits between all connected equipment in the SMT production line:
- M2M1 PCB transfer (including simple equipment controlled by PLC)
- Seamless collective changeover of all equipment
- M2M inspection results data exchange
Participating companies as of May 2018 (in alphabetical order): CKD Corporation, Fuji Corporation, Juki Corporation, Koh Young Technology Inc., Komatsu Electronics Co., Ltd., Marantz Electronics Ltd., Mirtec Japan Co., Ltd., Musashi Engineering Inc., Mycronic Corporation, Nagaoka Factory Corporation, Nagoya Electric Works Co., Ltd., Omron Corporation, Panasonic Corporation, Parmi Co., Ltd., Saki Corporation, Senju Metal Industry Co., Ltd., Tamura Corporation, Test Research, Inc., Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd., YS Co., Ltd.
Jara (Japan Robot Association) and Semi (Headquarter in Milpitas/CA) announced collaboration for standardizing M2M communication in SMT (Surface Mount Technology) lines based on the Semi A1 HC2 (Horizontal Communication). Current SMT production lines are composed of various equipment (e.g. printers, inspection machines, placement machines, reflow ovens and connecting conveyors) which are often provided by different equipment suppliers. PCB data, production information and communication protocol of connected equipment are unique for each equipment supplier. This situation leads to loss of productivity, resources and time.
Therefore, 20 SMT equipment and related software manufactures have jointly launched a subcommittee for SMT equipment M2M communication protocol standardization.
Meanwhile, Semi has developed a M2M cooperation standard named “Semi A1 HC” protocol based on their experience in automating complete control of semiconductor machines and adapting these to the requirements of “Industry 4.0”. It covers both products and associated information flow for the shop-floor type production line. Not only does it have a transfer function to hand over a set of product itself and its information between connected machines, but it also has a general purpose communication function to exchange machine setting information and processing feedback information between connected machines through the entire production line. Moreover, this standard can also be applied to communicate between a host computer and machine.
Jara has decided to the A1 HC protocol for M2M cooperation in SMT lines and finally complete it to establish a new standard. By standardizing the communication protocol between machines from different suppliers, user-friendly placement systems can be established to simplify and facilitate production instead of sticking to each different supplier. This includes facilitating production management and faster response time to variable-volume variable-mix production demands. Manufacturing companies will have opportunities to provide new added values.
- M2M1: “Machine To Machine” (M2M) is a common term to describe technology that enables any network connected device to exchange information and perform actions without manual assistance of humans.
- Semi A1 HC2: SEMI A1 Specification for Horizontal Communication (HC) between Equipment for Factory Automation Systems.