THE DUAL LANE FACTORY: CONSIDERATIONS FOR IMPLEMENTING DUAL LANE MANUFACTURING
Author: Dennis O’Neal Company: Speedline Date Published: 8/23/1998
Surface Mount International
Abstract: Surface mount technology has undergone many changes in the past decade. These changes have been driven by several different manufacturing needs, such as quality and throughput. Today the focus is on total productivity. How can a surface mount manufacturing operation maximize all the resources necessary to produce the most product at the least cost? As the cost of electronic products continually decreases, the electronic manufacturer must learn to “produce more with less”. The drive is to minimize equipment, labor, and facility requirements (floor space, utilities, etc.) while still meeting the increasing demand for product. At the same time, product life will continue to shorten so the modem surface mount process line must not only be able to produce product at a faster rate, it must also be capable of changing to a new product very quickly. One answer to this reality that should be considered is the use of the Dual Lane surface mount process. It is a process that maximizes return on investment (ROI). The process is more than just a new style of equipment. It is important that companies adopting Dual Lane technology consider the benefits of this process back at the board design phase. This is termed DFDLM, or Design For Dual Lane Manufacturing.  To be successful, factories must be geared with flexible production lines that are able to respond to radical shifts in production volumes and shortened product introduction times. Shorter, more adaptable lines are now replacing long, dedicated double-side reflow lines. Traditionally considered primarily for increasing throughput, Dual Lane Technology is now being considered by many board manufacturers as a way of increasing a line’s flexibility, without significantly compromising productivity.