Smart Manufacturing 08/26/2022

Digital Twin prevents component shortages

For OEM and EMS:

Digital twin prevents component shortages

Although the digitization of product development and purchasing, SMT assembly and assembly has little to do with the current shortage of components at first glance, in practice it opens up new possibilities for action and thus contributes to better competitiveness.

Growing demand, unstable supply chains, longer delivery times, rising prices, shorter life cycles - experts expect this situation on the electronic components market to persist for years to come. OEMs and EMS complain about poor utilization of production with a high order backlog. If you ask 100 electronics managers what their biggest challenge is, 99 see it in allocation. The production process begins with purchasing; if you can't find any components, you can't produce.

Online research and ERP integration

Instead of searching for components by phone or individual email, the Valor BOM connector gives you direct access to prices, stocks, delivery times and alternative parts from various suppliers and manufacturers, which also contain customer-specific information. An ERP integration ensures comfort, which ranges from stock comparison to inquiries, the EMS offer preparation to the order.

Integration of engineering and manufacturing

Anyone who has to switch to alternative components and look for different components for different batches needs support in communicating with development and production. To do this, Valor compares the geometric data of the components with those of the planned lines, provides feasibility analyzes and the basis for a production cost calculation.

Security through digital twin

Manufacturers who have to use new components at ever shorter intervals need information about price, availability and end-of-life, as well as certainty about producibility. Does the requested part fit perfectly, is it on the limit or can it not be used? To do this, 3D models of the component, circuit board and production facilities must be available - digital twins that accompany the production and assembly processes.

Flexibility and traceability through MES

Do the components come all at once or on multiple reels? Is there one or more SMT lines? The trend towards variant diversity and decreasing batch sizes places high demands on production planning anyway. Machine allocation and set-up processes for the highly flexible machines have to be planned. Manufacturers need an overview of when which product is where and at what stage the entire order is.
Depending on the industry and regulation, there are different requirements for traceability throughout the entire process. If you want to efficiently meet the applicable regulations on traceability and quality documentation, you can only do this completely digitally and without media breaks. For this purpose, the placement machines can be connected to a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) via plug-and-play, which collects the relevant data.

No dicconnected solutions

After inspection and any rework, the products are taken to assembly lines or to packaging and shipping. With complex change processes, a large variety of variants and complex logistics, traceability must be maintained. To do this, assembly processes must also be automated, machines connected and a secure factory tour set up that provides specific work instructions and documentation based on the digital twin.

Flexibility is required

Anyone who can quickly convert and reorganize the entire process chain gains enough flexibility to meet changing challenges. MES systems allow detailed planning according to various strategies: according to optimal utilization of expensive machines, to achieve delivery dates on time or according to margin. Above all, however, the flexibility allows high mix – low volume strategies, with which components that are available at short notice can be processed quickly.

Holistic digitilization strategy

Manufacturers cannot manage the necessary integration of electronics and mechanics, digital twins of product and production, an MES suitable for the industry and comprehensive integration of machines and workstations all at once. This results in the risk that interfaces will be missing later, isolated solutions cannot be integrated and digitization gaps will remain. On the other hand, companies that rely on Siemens Digital Industries Software gain security. The comprehensive and end-to-end range of solutions covers all areas and can be implemented step by step. A good start is a smart manufacturing audit. In an audit lasting several days, all areas of a customer company are included in a specified order. Finally, a recommendation is drawn up that contains a roadmap to the target state and specific instructions for action.