Smart Factory: Zero is the new hero

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Written by
Ivan Rodrigo Flor Cantos

Marketing Manager of Panasonic Smart Factory Solutions

Smart Factory: Zero is the new hero

Ivan Flor Cantos, Marketing Manager of Panasonic Smart Factory Solutions, states production needs to be flexible and responsive to new requirements at any time and explains how the zero concept will contribute to process automation and smart factories.

For more than 100 years, Panasonic has helped connect the world with building and optimising our own manufacturing operations and supply chains and apply this know-how and technologies to create efficient new automated processes. In the development of Smart Factories, we provide not only the production equipment and software, but we can connect the whole factory to maximise output while optimising resources across the shopfloor. Our goal is to help customers reducing production costs by increasing effectiveness.

Zero production stops

Having a digital layer which enables machines and systems to talk to one another contributes to have full visibility and tracking options on data that can be used to optimise operations and quality. Panasonic’s MES and PanaCIM oversees the whole production process from the outset by taking control of material management, allocating materials wherever needed, detecting defect materials, and preventing material shortages and production stops. Plan-result differences can be analysed automatically, and production schedules can be optimised accordingly.

During production, Panasonic’s iLNB (integrated Line Management System) offers both horizontal and vertical access to a digital factory. Fast auto-changeover without stopping the production process and maintaining productivity is now possible. iLNB can control the whole production line autonomously and function as a gateway for a smart production site with the possibility to integrate third-party systems.

Zero operators and zero defects

Thinking about zero operator requirements, Panasonic provides solutions such as the NPM-VF machine that handles odd-shaped components to reduce the presence of human labour and accordingly lower production costs. When human operators are still required, PGMA (Panasonic Guided Manual Assembly) will instruct the operator how and where to place the component on the PCB by a guided process to avoid mistakes during manual assembly which leads to zero defects.

Additional tools like the APC (Advanced Process Control) function, the seamless machine communication (M2M) managed by Panasonic’s iLNB and the well stablished error information sharing with inspection equipment in the production line also provide vital support on the path to zero defects.

Zero emissions

On the way to zero emissions and sustainability, Panasonic is the lowest energy consumption equipment provider in the market. Its mission towards sustainability builds on three pillars. First to reduce the CO2 footprint created by the manufacture of its own production line machines by shortening the supply chain and focusing on the most sustainable components. Second, by concentrating on building production line machines where retrofitting and recycling strategies can be applied for extended life cycles. Lastly, by offering solutions to decrease downtime and defects and helping to maximise the efficiency savings of the production line.

Learn more about our smart factory products.

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