Labelling cell eliminates product identification and traceability problems
Automatic product identification and traceablity through bar coding is essential in many modern in-line assembly processes to maintain high throughputs and yields.
Yet while most manufacturers are willing to invest in expensive assembly machinery to achieve the highest levels of print or placement accuracy, the costs of unnecessary downtime and assembly errors due to board labelling problems are often overlooked.A wrongly placed or damaged label can bring an entire manufacturing line to a halt if, for example, the bar code reader on a placement machine cannot match a PCB's product code with the correct placement programme. Even the wrong orientation of a label can prevent a machine from being able to read it. An apparently 'simple' fault can therefore result in thousands of pounds-worth of lost production and downtime. All these problems can be avoided with the HiSAC labelling cell from PMJ automec.
The HiSAC labelling cell
from PMJ guards against labelling errors by immediately placing a bar code
label onto each PCB as it enters the assembly line. It also verifies that
the label is readable both before and after its placement on the boardÕs
surface by using a bar code reader on the pick-up head itself. This guarantees
that the label is in good condition, correctly printed and is positioned
in exactly the right place on the board. This ensures that any bar code
readers further down the assembly line will be able to read the label without
As an additional option, the HiSAC labelling cell can be equipped with PMJ´s LightVision System instead of a Laser Scanner. This option provides a host of new features. 2D barcodes such as PDF47 and Data Matrix codes can be used beside normal barcodes and board placement can be corrected with the help of fiducial checking. Vision can be used for OCR (Online Character Recognition) or OCF (Online Character Verifying) enabling the PCB type to be checked based on image or text. Placement checking can be made even more accurate as both XY- position and orientation of the barcode can be checked both before and after placement.
Because the fully programmable cell prints each label itself on-line, manufacturers can assign their own unique serial numbers to each bar code and position or orientate it as required. A database can be kept of every label printed and successfully applied to the board. This can either be stored on a PC or fed to a factory management system for enhanced process control traceability.
The fully automatic labour
saving cell is so effective, it often eliminates the need for an operator.
When used in a typical three-shift operation, the PMJ cell can pay for
itself in less than a year.
PMJ at a glance
PMJ supplies the electronics industry with automated solutions and has more than 30 years' experience with over 1000 machines installed world wide. Specialising in automated End-of-Line solutions, PMJ is a global organisation, headquartered in Finland with offices in the UK, Germany, Sweden and the USA. PMJ automec is listed on the I Ð List of the Helsinki Stock Exchange.
The HiSAC (High-speed Assembly Cell) modular platform was developed by PMJ to enable a range of in-line production solutions to be developed using proven robotic technology. HiSAC implementations are the Odd-Form Assembly Cell, Depanelling Cell, Selective Soldering Cell, Labelling and Final-Assembly Cells. Other PMJ automated End-of-Line solutions include: Board Handling and Overhead Conveyors, Turn Units, Walk Through Gates, Board Loaders and Unloaders, Intelligent Buffers and Manual Workstations.
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