SMTA International Conference Proceedings


Author: K. Srihari
Company: State University of New York
Date Published: 9/12/1999   Conference: SMTA International

Abstract: The increasing use of subcontractors by OEMs (or Original Equipment Manufacturers) for Printed Circuit Board (PCB) assembly has forced the industry to rethink its supply chain strategy. Supply chain management is seen as the newest opportunity for the industry to cope with the needs of mass customization and shorter response times. An effective supply chain management strategy improves responsiveness, reduces working capital requirements, reduces inventory, provides opportunities for forming strategic partnerships, and thus improves the competitiveness of the organization.

This paper describes the results of a ‘supply chain mapping effort’ performed at an EMS provider’s facility, with a specific focus on the procurement process. A distributed intelligent agent-based system, ‘SUNY-IntelliPro’, was designed based on the results of this effort. This system is capable of sending a Request For Quote (RFQ) to the suppliers mentioned in the Accepted (or Approved) Vendor Lists (AVLs), analyzing the responses to the RFQs, and selecting a potential supplier to place a purchase order. An intelligent agent in the system would then estimate the total cost of the assembly, and inform the customer. Another agent in the system would then place orders for the different components, upon the customer’s approval of the quote. The system described in this paper would use concepts of Artificial Intelligence (AI), mobile agents, and object-oriented programming. The design of the agent system and the role of the different intelligent agents have been explained.

Keywords: Supply Chain Management, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Intelligent Agents, Printed Circuit Board (PCB).

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