Client: an American worldwide manufacturing services company.
Any kind of electronics assembly is a very complex process with multiple components, requirements, and strict demands to the workflow.
Our client, a large global manufacturing services company based in the U.S., had several dozen different models of complex electronic assemblies, each with a unique combination of components. And each of them had problems and bottlenecks requiring in-depth analysis and optimization of every part of the assembly process.
Prior to the automation solutions integration, our client’s electronic assemblies were facing a number of chronic problems and inefficiencies in almost every process. Paper-based work instructions were a major source of problems and mistakes. Front-line engineers had to rely on paper-based documents (mainly guides and audit procedures) when instructing assembly operators and studying the process to identify issues and inefficiencies.
Considering they had a high variety of assembly requirements depending on the model, this problem was especially painful. They needed to maintain high quality and meet expectations across all assemblies manufacturing all the company’s products. This made it so important for the assembly operators to have the access to the information they need when they need it, to make sure the correct components are used in every case and no mistakes are made.
And, of course, there was a strong and obvious need in optimization: they required a way to identify and remove countless issues and non-value-add steps in their processes.
Meeting these comprehensive automation requirements was not an easy task. It required an integration of a number of interconnected automation solutions.
- Manufacturing Guide Apps.
In collaboration with the client's engineers, we created several new manufacturing apps. Virtually all the assembly instructions and work documents were digitized and turned into interactive content. A Manufacturing Guide App was created to guide operators through every part of a complex assembly process.
- Real-Time Data Collection and Analysis.
We designed and implemented a data collection process, with all new data from the assembly floor being continuously analyzed with AI capabilities. Adopting dashboards allowed us to visualize each step of the process, as well as KPIs and other information, in real-time mode.
- Quick and Easy Feedback Integration.
Automation also completely transformed the way company’s engineers approached their processes. Process engineer’s adopted a more flexible agile approach, which allowed them to achieve improvements fast by quickly updating their solutions based on real-time feedback with a simple graphical interface (users don’t need to know how to code).
Automation solutions also allowed our client to:
- Perfect their cycle time measurement for every part of the process;
- Enable instant defect reports in the manufacturing app;
- Centralise and visualize setting and measurement of KPI goals.
The results of integrating automation solutions to our clients electronics assembly processes were truly spectacular and in fact exceeded our initial expectations. For example, throughput of production lines has increased 35% in the first quarter after the integration, with the growth reaching nearly 50% after. Production yield has increased by 10%, while assembly-related quality issues have decreased drastically, 60-70% on average.
Another significant achievement is the fact that our client was able to significantly improve their training process for new assembly line operators and other manufacturing employees.