Blog

Top 3 reasons to invest in traceability for electronics and semiconductor manufacturing

Manufacturers in the electronics and semiconductor industries are under intense pressure to keep costs low while enabling flexibility. In semiconductor manufacturing in particular, companies grapple with a herculean combination of capital-intensive processes and low yields. It’s becoming more and more critical to cut out bottlenecks and increase velocity through factories.

Fortunately, these issues can be addressed with robust, real-time traceability systems that provide the data necessary to take many cost-saving, production-enhancing measures. From lights-out manufacturing to automating the rigorous testing tasks, here are three main benefits of implementing a traceability system.

1. You can let the machines follow production recipes on their own.

Traceability systems track individual works-in-progress (WIPs) using markings that contain identifying information, usually in the form of a printed barcode or direct part mark (DPM). These markings can also hold information that routes WIPs to different stations. In such cases, they can function as automated production recipes for the machines to follow.

When barcodes are the basis for WIPs moving through the production process, it’s essential to minimize no-reads to ensure complete tracking of every part. Omron’s high-performance industrial barcode readers are designed to keep your traceability system robust by using advanced algorithms to read nearly any code on any surface. Even damaged codes can still be intelligible to Omron’s compact and embeddable MicroHAWK readers.

2. You don’t need to keep the lights on.

You can also dispense with the heat and the air conditioning. When factories take advantage of automated production recipes, they can take advantage of “lights-out” manufacturing to enhance productivity while reducing upkeep costs. Work cells can be smaller when they don’t need to accommodate a human presence.

Of course, some lighting is necessary even in a lights-out system – for example, the illumination built into barcode scanners that makes it possible for imaging systems to locate and capture codes on PCBs. Optimal lighting is essential for reading codes with low contrast, which is often the case in the digital and semiconductor industry.

3. You can streamline your testing processes.

Printed circuit boards (PCBs) undergo rigorous testing. Each one is logged, inspected and thoroughly tested to make sure that its quality is near perfect before going to market. To make matters even more complex, different PCBs need to be tested in different ways. Just as barcodes can contain information on which production steps need to be run, they can also indicate which tests should be run on a given PCB.

Omron’s unique PanelScan technology makes it easier than ever to scan the codes on a series of PCBs. User-friendly and easy to integrate, PanelScan replaces error-prone manual scanning (or automated scanning where the scanner needs to be readjusted for each product) with an in-motion reading solution that keeps production lines moving quickly.

Interested in finding out more about how our technology can help you maximize productivity in your facility? Download our white paper today to read up on several more trends and challenges relating to traceability in electronics and semiconductor manufacturing!