Saturday 18 February 2012

Factory-wide deployment of manufacturing operations software

Pactron, a preeminent supplier of board level design and contract manufacturing solutions to the semiconductor industry, has recently purchased an Aegis Manufacturing Operation Software (MOS) system to improve efficiency across their facility. This system comprises Aegis’ iLaunch, iView, iTrac, IQ and XLink software modules. Pactron turned to Aegis after enjoying excellent technical support related to a previous purchase, and their decision was further simplified when they realized that Aegis’ offering met their business needs more comprehensively than competing products.

Pactron upgraded to iLaunch from their previous paper-based system. This used a standalone Aegis CircuitCAM package together with Microsoft Word. It generated paper travelers including visual aids to handle defect collection and routing. As these travelers extended to 15 pages or more, Pactron frequently experienced document integrity issues such as missing pages or mixed revision levels.

The new MOS software eliminates these issues as well as bringing other key benefits. iLaunch transforms BOM and CAD data into rich, interactive operator support documentation, as well as auto-detecting CAD file types for process design and machine programming. iView then dispatches the complete operator documentation set automatically to each workstation under revision control, continually ensuring that each document arrives when and where it is needed.

iTrac digitally tracks all work orders and units throughout Pactron’s production area, making location and status information available to users in real time, and enforcing routing. iQ exploits the availability of interactive visual documentation, allowing operators to simply and quickly mark up defect data instead of using text input. This provides superior quality data input and therefore improved analytical results.

For Pactron, this new set of Aegis software modules enforces discipline across their four production lines and ensures that products are routed correctly during manufacturing. Together they deliver better tracking, visibility and process control.

Pactron offers reference design development, product engineering, contract manufacturing and NPI, ATE solutions, reliability engineering and ODM solutions. Some of these services call for low volume production runs. In such situations, especially for prototypes, changes occur frequently during manufacturing. Aegis’ support for rapid and easy documentation edits, for example to add parts or handle deviations, is therefore a key benefit. Additionally, Pactron considers that the consistency of the MOS xLink machine interface adapters and Aegis’ robust handling of defect collection contribute significantly to their operation’s efficiency and success.

The Aegis software is thoroughly integrated into Pactron’s manufacturing environment. It exchanges information with a software reporting tool custom developed for Pactron, and future integration with their ManEx on site ERP system is under review. Pactron’s hardware is also connected, with AOI systems from both YesTech and Mirtec being supported. Further expansion is also being considered, with particular interest in the iMaterials module for materials tracking.

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