SMTA International Conference Proceedings


Authors: Robert J Black, Jr.
Company: Juki Automation Systems
Date Published: 9/25/2005   Conference: SMTA International

Seika Machinery, Inc.

Abstract: Radio Frequency Identification technology (RFID) has made possible the tracking of component feeders in production lines without physical contact. This is a significant improvement on the earlier requirement that the feeder be connected to the system by cables or contact pins. It also allows mechanical feeders without electronics to be made intelligent and tracked throughout the system by addition of an RFID tag.

There are several applications on the production floor which can be addressed by RFID Intelligent Feeders. Chief among these is the assurance that the proper component is loaded into the proper space on the placement machine feeder bank. Mis-load errors are still a leading cause of manufacturing defects. Traceability is another application growing in importance for manufacturers of products where quality is vital. These include medical electronics, aerospace and defense manufacturing, and automotive products.

Information stored in the production database, and accessible by the placement system when identified by the RFID Intelligent Feeder, can be recorded by board serial number electronically resulting in c complete manufacturing history for each assembled board. Tracking of component inventory, including moisture sensitive devices, is another application which can be addressed by RFID Intelligent Feeders. These important areas, and others, can be addressed by a well designed intelligent feeder system using RFID technology, resulting in more reliable and controllable assembly of electronic circuit assemblies.

Key words: RFID, Intelligent Feeders, Traceability, SMT assembly, Inventory Control

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