Panasonic Showcases Its Cutting-edge Smart Factory Solutions in Germany - Aspires to Introduce Industry 4.0
Nuremberg, Germany - Panasonic Automotive & Industrial Systems Europe, one of Panasonic's group companies, took part in the "SMT Hybrid Packaging 2017", Europe's leading exhibition for factory automation devices held at the Nuremberg Messe from May 16 to 18, 2017. Each year, approximately 400 key FA device manufacturers take part in this trade fair, which welcomes 15,000 to 20,000 professionals in charge of electrical device manufacturing from all across Europe.
The Panasonic booth introduced manufacturing machines and technologies such as the "Total Solutions Line" consisting of its surface mount devices and production monitoring system, "Odd-form Component Insertion Machine", and "Bare IC Chip Bonders".
Hiroyuki Nagai, President of Panasonic Factory Solutions Europe, comments: "Whether you call it smart factory, industry 4.0 or advanced manufacturing, it is always the same concept. This trend is currently changing production processes in manufacturing. Rather than isolated solutions, Panasonic promotes streamlined, agile and integrated systems which are supported by the internet of things. We have developed the capability of supplying complete solutions which go beyond the production line. Customers receive our own best-in-class hardware and software tools, which we combine with products from partner companies. In this way, ready to implement solutions can be provided for any application and all production requirements."
Total Solutions Line
In the Total Solutions Line corner, Panasonic introduced key to realizing its vision of Industry 4.0. The heart of the smart factory, the Total Solutions Line, showcased features Panasonic's solder paste printers and chip mounting modular, as well as state-of-the-art machines from partner companies connected via the network and integrated monitoring software.
What manages the line is Panasonic's proprietary manufacturing execution system, PanaCIM. The system not only monitors the line, but at the same time, it also keeps an eye on the level of component inventory and more using IoT technology and realizes end-to-end control over the entire production line. The PanaCIM enables easy switching of devices and tracking of component-mounted circuit boards, so it improves production efficiency and yield. The system received great feedback from visitors at the exhibition.
Odd-form Component Mounting/Insertion Machine
Some electronic components have a chip structure, some are quadratic prisms, and some are cylindrical, so they come in all shapes and sizes. And there are also various different ways to attach circuit boards - soldering, or fastening them by inserting the legs into the holes in the circuit boards and folding them over. In this corner, Panasonic demonstrated how 1 machine can attach components in multiple ways, and caught the attention of many visitors with its ability to reduce installation space and improve productivity and manufacturing stability.
Bare IC Chip Bonders
Ordinarily, IC comes in a pump-shaped package with electrodes, which is then housed in a protective resin sealant and attached to electronic circuits using the aforementioned mounting device. A bare chip refers to the chip before it is housed in the sealant. This bare chip is cut out from silicon wafers that measure 150mm, 200mm, or 300mm in diameter. But some silicon wafers may only be about 25μm thick, and when they are extremely thin, they do not have much elasticity, so it had been very difficult in the past to cut chips out of them. To resolve this issue, Panasonic developed a way to cut out chips using plasma. Panasonic also had on display its high precision, high speed Flip Chip Bonder that can deliver and install these extremely thin bare IC chips and apply thermal or thermosonic compression. This, too, drew much attention.
Panasonic has a large market share in Japan and Asia. Moreover, in Europe, it has doubled its market share over the past year or two, and has drawn increasing acclaim for its functions, technologies, and ease of use. Please look forward to the cutting-edge smart factory solutions Panasonic will continue to introduce at tradeshows and via the Panasonic News Room.
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