The future of automated manufacturing

Panasonic is helping SMT manufacturers automate towards Industry 4.0 faster than ever before. Doris Ucal, Content Marketing Specialist and CXC Tour Guide, explains just what’s possible today.

P.S. Visit us at SMT Connect 2023 in Nuremberg from May 9-11! Hall 4, Booth 221

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Written by
Doris Uçal

Content Marketing Specialist and CXC Tour Guide

Did you know that Panasonic’s SMT manufacturing solutions are used by four of the five leading smartphone makers, eight of the ten leading automotive electronics manufacturers, and hundreds of other companies from agriculture to aerospace, as well as 200 of Panasonic’s global production facilities?

As industries look to automate their manufacturing production lines, the Machine Training Room at the Panasonic Connect Europe Customer Experience Centre, in Munich, is the perfect place to see the latest autonomous factory solutions. 

They are all designed to address the needs of manufacturers for speed, agility and flexibility whilst saving on costs and maintaining quality. 

At our Customer Experience Centre you can see a fully automated SMT production line. Alongside our paper-free wiping unit featured screen printing solutions, we have SMT equipment like our WX, dual- and quad-beam modular placement machines for smart manufacturing.

Currently important in manufacturing areas such as automotive EV charging and home heating and pump systems, we also have fully automated Through Hole Technology machine solutions on display, with very fast radial and axial processes.

Supporting the move to zero operators

Helping to deliver on the drive for zero operators, our highly flexible NPM-VF machine can place odd-shape components by providing multiple head tools and machine feeder configurations. This machine combines SMT and THT to mount components on PCBs and removes the need for the human assemblers usually required for this type of work. Quality is also further improved by eliminating human errors.

Where operators are still necessary for the assembly of odd shaped components on the PCB, we offer the Panasonic Guided Manual Assembly solution, which provides instructions to operators using light to show which components to pick next and where to place them on the PCB. Using this hint approach maximises productivity and reduces errors. 

Supported by smart software

Of course, the autonomous production world also requires smart software solutions to bring everything together and here visitors to the Customer Experience Centre can see Panasonic’s solutions in operation. 

Using our powerful and modular MES software called PanaCIM and our Operations Optimising Software called MFO, we are able to oversee, control and continuously optimise the complete production process.

The Manufacturing Operations Optimiser (MFO) is a new solution for production planning that saves on man-hours and enhances efficiency. MFO creates detailed schedules for production by simulating the manufacturing process of the entire SMT floor and calculating the required resources and best product groups for an optimal set-up concept for any production environment. To minimise changeover time, it optimises the materials for the common feeder cart set-up, taking into account workorder assignments to deliver the most efficient production times. 

MFO support is not limited to machines in the Panasonic NPM-series but also supports CM and DT-series machines and screen printers and non-Panasonic equipment such as SPI, AOI, reflow ovens, screen printers and many others.

Factory-wide management

The software suite PanaCIM Enterprise MES even enables your entire manufacturing operation to work together with other external systems. Panasonic’s manufacturing solutions go beyond SMT and currently includes capabilities for: Material Verification and Traceability, Production Analysis, Production Monitoring and Dispatch, Automation with Product Changeover and Control, Material Control and Allocation, Production Planning, Maintenance, and standard and Industry 4.0 Data Linking.

So, if you are considering how to further automate your production processes, why not get in touch for a visit to the Customer Experience Centre? With a little advance notice, we would be delighted to show you what can be achieved and even configure demonstrations to match your requirements as closely as possible. 

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