Resilience in electronics manufacturing

Panasonic’s autonomous factory

Many production facilities are still highly dependent on the knowledge and manpower of their employees. This is particularly relevant as the manufacturing industry is currently facing various challenges. These include the shortage of skilled workers as well as complex manual production steps such as splicing, which is used in the production of printed circuit boards (PCBs). Furthermore, the industry faces lack of material supply as well as very strict traceability requirements. Trying to solve these issues, the digital transformation serves as a driving force for innovation in manufacturing, empowering factories to remain adaptable to any situation and stay competitive in the market.

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Andreas Prusak
Senior Product Manager
Panasonic Connect Europe

The autonomous factory concept

At this point, Panasonic’s autonomous factory concept comes in where the five pillars of the autonomous factory enable swift responses and autonomous evolution: huMan, Maschine, Material, Method and Measurement (5M). The autonomous factory is based on a convergence of automation and intelligence. It shifts from managing the production manually to automating processes intelligently. 

The autonomous factory can be realized through the combination of cutting-edge hardware devices, automation and autonomous production and operation system as well as 5M control and management. Implementing independent optimization of manual executions and decisions enables the establishment of a robust, resilient production while adhering to the production schedule.

Detection of 5M variances

Flexible, efficient, and economical production lines can be set up with the new G-Series platform, which includes the NPM-GP/L stencil printer and the NPM-GH pick and place machine as well as a new Auto Setting Feeder concept, for splice less component feeding throughout the line. Along with the G-series as hardware, goes the APC-5M, Panasonic's APC (Adaptive Process Control) 5M system for 5M process control. It detects and corrects 5M deviations from the optimum and line changes in real time. Within the production environment, the 5Ms detect for variances in operator’s management, machine management, material management, data management as well as measure management. Supported by AI, the APC-5M control system improves and specifies the detection and feedback after each production process - and becomes increasingly precise in the process.

Transformation within all layers of production

The realization of the autonomous factory is based on an overall optimization of the whole production process across all layers of production: from production layer to resource management and management decisions. The aim is to provide a three-layer maximization process through automation and smartification, achieving a factory that autonomously responds to change. The management layer can support maximizing business through efficient investment and high-quality decision making. Looking towards resource management, the maximum resource efficiency should be used in terms of efficient production planning. Lastly, the operating production should operate according to plan without downtime as well as using 5M competency including efficient production equipment. 


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