The challenges that PCB manufacturing faces are not new. However, the complexity of today's products and manufacturing processes mean that they can be much greater in both their scale and impact.
Volatility in customer demand is an inevitable by-product of consumers’ increasing influence on the high technology economy, and also our need for more energy-efficient devices. In addition to their complexity, today’s core products actually tend to have many more variants and shorter life-cycles. All this requires that factories adopt a step-change improvement in the flexibility of their operations.
A complete manufacturing operation needs to be re-engineered to enable it to efficiently react whenever timetables and product mixes change as a consequence of end-market turbulence.
In response, automation within SMT manufacturing is now extending from the machine and mechanical level into software. The complexity inherent in SMT technology is too great to manage manually. It must be automated with regard to key data. Today’s advanced software capabilities provide a unique combination of support.