For a small PCB prototyping enterprise intent on serving a number of the best-known and most revered tech manufacturers on the planet, fast turnaround is greater than a advertising gimmick – it is a promise. PCB prototype meeting is on no account a easy exercise, and small, time-consuming hang-ups can flip into misplaced orders and offended clients in an business the place 48-hour turnarounds are the norm.
So as to have the ability to reliably produce outcomes on such brief time frames, PCB meeting vegetation have to optimize almost each side of their workflow for velocity and consistency. On the coronary heart of this want is an inherent battle between maximizing the belongings and sources you already personal or including further belongings and sources to your atmosphere.
Primarily, what fast-turnaround PCB assemblers need to know is whether or not they need to rent further assist and make extra use of their machines, or purchase newer, higher machines which will allow them to profit from their present employees PCB assembly.
Imperfectly Optimized PCB Planning Programs
Earlier than leaping into the problem of whether or not manpower or machine energy actually generates quick turnarounds, we have to make sure that the PCB planning system itself is already performing optimally. As William Ho asserts, element placement is the bottleneck of any PCB meeting line.
Primarily, that bottleneck is made up of two elements – element sequencing and feeder preparations. PCB producers want to decide on the optimum sequence of parts after which assign them to the suitable feeders
There are almost infinite ways in which PCB element sequencing and feeder preparations might be approached. Discovering the really most effective resolution is just not possible in a enterprise context – not, not less than, with present computational expertise, and definitely not inside a two-day timeframe.
PCB assemblers on a good deadline use genetic algorithms to find out near-optimal planning programs with out getting misplaced on the best way to the “good” resolution. Whereas this isn’t an issue that may be solved with in the present day’s expertise, it is vital to do not forget that no present PCB meeting course of is completely environment friendly. This turns into an more and more complicating issue for high-volume PCB prototype firms.
Extra Machines Means Extra Set Up Time
Understanding that any given PCB meeting course of have to be lower than completely environment friendly, we will flip to time constraints on workflow processes.
SMT machines are usually not plug-and-play units. Even environment friendly machines require changeovers of not less than an hour – if you happen to run eight to 10 setups per week, that implies that you are shedding a whole day in manufacturing time each week.
Changeover instances can turn out to be an enormous drag on manufacturing, particularly when coping with tight turnarounds. Time, as soon as misplaced, can’t be recovered, and each second of time saved boosts income.
Since SMT machines can encounter almost infinite manufacturing prospects on a single run, and are sometimes tasked with making a number of runs per day, any changeover time is downtime. A UIC reveals in a easy set of graphs in accordance with SMT machine income producing time, each second counts – an hour of downtime for a line that generates $10 million yearly prices $5000.