This manufacturer was able to obtain full flexibility and ease to perform visual inspection on wide varieties of small-batch PCB products with diverse features within the required shorter cycle time. Article by Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence.
Founded in 1999, Shenzhen Xingsen Kuaijie Electronic Co. Ltd is a one-stop solutions provider for printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing and other board components for the electronics and semiconductor industries. Headquartered in Shenzhen, China, the company has production and operation facilities in Guangzhou, Yixing, Jiangsu and the United Kingdom, and supports more than 4,000 customers around the world.
As part of its roadmap to become one of the world’s largest rapid manufacturing supplier for PCB products, Xingsen is continuously making significant investments in smart solutions to evolve its capabilities in furthering its design-technical-production-quality ecosystem and interconnectivity between the teams. These investments are making Xingsen one of the market leaders in rapid proofing, mass production and manufacturing services for advanced IC packaging, who can provide one-stop service and support to hugely customized, high-mix small-batch production of high-end IC products.
To maintain its leadership position in this ever-evolving growth in consumers electronics industry, Xingsen is consistently pushing itself to rethink how it can future-proof its facilities and processes for design, production and inspection.
The need to build greater dynamism and flexibility in its manufacturing facilities has become ever more crucial in ensuring its production is capable of providing quick turnaround for a wide range of PCB products, ranging from single panels, double-layer boards, four-layer boards, six-layer boards, to multi-layer circuit boards. From design and production, to quality inspection, manufacturers need smart solutions to improve their product quality, to compete well in this aggressive industry. In line with this, Xingsen has selected Hexagon’s smart solutions as one of its key pillars in achieving quality with ease and speed, while keeping cost competitive.
Replacing the Traditional Method
The traditional method of inspecting modern PCBs required the operators to capture numerous complex features such as conventional product length and width, positioning and size of miniature holes, line spacing and line width, and width of the upper and lower circuit layer, with multiple inspection equipment.
The complexity of the inspection further increases when the range of projects intensifies, and the set of inspection requirements varies from one to another. The need to switch between multiple measuring equipment was identified to be highly inefficient and error-prone.
With this consideration in mind, Hexagon Optiv Performance 622HA was introduced to allow Xingsen to complete the entire measurement on a single setting, with a single optical measurement equipment, using single metrology inspection program.
Hexagon Optiv Performance 662HA is a high precision composite image measuring instrument capable of achieving a measurement accuracy of 1.0 μm. It is equipped with Hexagon’s 2-step-zoom dual CCD technology, which allow product images to be enlarged and reduced based on the conversion of optical path, without the need of mechanical zooming.
A raft of new and enhanced functionality features in VISI 2021 – the latest release of Hexagon’s specialist mould and die CAD/CAM software.
CAD analysis benefits from a new function which improves the suite of analysis shading modes. Draft Analysis has been added to the existing Undercut and Accessibility shading, performing an on-the-fly analysis of the draft angle. This uses the same technique as in the undercut mode, but extended to more ranges. The colours and angular value of each range can be changed by simply clicking on the colours or numeric labels on the graphics toolbar.
Repair functions used in the Repair Invalid Faces of Bodies command are now integrated in the Validate command. It is now also possible to zoom in on any potential issues using the Auto Zoom function.
Developments to the CAD Reverse module enhance the Reverse and Casting processes. VISI Product Owner Marco Cattaneo explains that the scanning operation has been improved with the shaded view, giving better and faster feedback.
With Point Scanning, the shaded point cloud is now shown during the scanning operation, giving the operator an immediate view of what has been correctly scanned, and if anything is missing.
An additional option has been added to automatically create a mesh as a scanning result, which he says is particularly valuable when a quicker, rather than detailed, result is needed.
Enhancements to probing during the Reverse process now detect the correct diameter of the part in relation to the position of the probed points. A Circle/Slot probing feature has been added for probing and designing a circle or slot, giving several options to guarantee the probed element is the correct size and in the correct position.
MOULD – Body to Mould
Additional options to existing commands, along with new items of functionality, make part position management considerably easier.
With Body to Mould, there is a new option to select multiple elements, including solids and surfaces, and move the selected bodies to the mould position. During the part positioning, ‘non-uniform scaling values’ can now be defined by the user, and the system automatically sets the relative shrinkage data in a special Assembly Manager field (Bill of Materials).
With Mould to Body, the system allows multiple element to be selected, including solids and surfaces, and to move the complete mould back into Body position. “This will be valuable for operators using CMM to check tools in the body position. When they select the part to move back, they get an option to select multiple elements to go with the tool back to Body position,” says Marco Cattaneo.
PROGRESS – Part Unfolding
To provide a powerful and complete solution to this new unfolding approach, additional features have been included for flanges and non-linear bends. The Part Definition feature has been improved, giving better and faster part analysis, identifying the different face types, defining material, and setting linear bends unfolding. Different colours can be set, relating to different neutral fibre values, giving quick identification for unfolded linear bends and fibre value.
A new feature manages flange unfolding on the analysed part, and shows the result in preview mode, so the operator can evaluate the result and set different parameters, while preserving the link with the original part. This automatically recalculates the flanged part, meaning all linked parts can then be rebuilt in reference to a modification on the original.
An interface with Hexagon’s G-code simulator, NCSIMUL Advanced comes as a cost option in VISI 2021. Marco Cattaneo explains that NCSIMUL manages the complete machining process from the NC program to the machined part.
Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has launched new high-quality chucks to enhance the measurement of cylindrical and rotationally symmetrical parts, one of the most common tasks undertaken on coordinate measuring machines (CMMs).
Hexagon’s Swift-Fix Chucks are designed to hold pieces in place with the help of either three or six jaws to ensure the best possible accessibility to the part. The highly accurate, self-centring and repeatable Swift-fix Chucks deploy consistent forces on all jaws and help users achieve the highest levels of precision and quality in the measurement process. A large and easy-to-handle adjustment range mean parts with various diameters can be mounted quickly. Depending on the application, parts can be held on the inner or outer diameter.
All three-jaw chucks contain jaws for inner and outer clamping to ensure the best possible positioning across a full range of applications. Six-jaw chucks are equipped with different position and stop pins, so that the clamping can be flexibly adjusted to changing applications.
Swift-Fix Chucks are manufactured from stainless steel or aluminium with additional ALTEF coating, making them completely resistant to corrosion, wear and scratches. In addition, all clamping jaws are vacuum hardened and polished. Hexagon’s choice of materials and attention to quality mean all chucks are easy to maintain and retain their high levels of precision and repeatability during long term use.
Introduction of dedicated metrology tools brings quality and efficiency improvements in large-scale subsea structure construction. Article by Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence.
Situated approximately 15 km south of Singapore in a free-trade-zone on Batam Island, Profab has for 20 years been building a reputation as a leading producer of large-scale parts for the global oil industry. A part of National Oilwell Varco since 2015, the company manufactures everything from subsea structures, turrets and wellhead platforms to mooring systems and pressure vessels.
This level of large-scale construction involves a host of complex industrial processes, including rolling, cutting, assembly, welding, cladding and weld overlay, post-weld heat treatment, painting and coating, loadout support, hydrostatic testing, fitting, packing and sea fastening.
Ensuring client projects are completed properly at the first attempt is a core goal at Profab, requiring the employment of the latest technology and equipment and a highly trained team. Their 27,500 square metre workshop was purpose-designed to provide the most efficient fabrication lines by minimising handling interference within the production process. Profab can handle the production of equipment weighing in at up to 4,000 tons, which can be loaded out directly onto barges via a roll-on-roll-off system using self-propelled modular transporter trailers.
Focus on Accuracy
The manufacture of pressure vessels and mooring systems are key areas where accuracy is becoming more and more critical for Profab. A key example of this was in the creation of the Sergipe floating storage regasification unit (FSRU), where precisely measuring the angles, position and length of the umbilical support structure was of great importance, with measurement essential in the reporting and positioning of adaptor plates.
The accuracy requirements for such tasks are at the submillimetre level for the machined parts, which was beyond the capabilities of the quality assurance equipment previously employed in Batam. It was clear that something more was needed to satisfy these requirements.
“We did consider a high-definition surveying system, but with accuracy at just about 2 to 3 mm, such a solution was just not workable for us,” said Rajesh Moehamad, Quality Control Manager at Profab. “Some of our customers require better accuracy than this, even for very big parts.”
After consultation with a Hexagon representative, it was clear that the Leica Absolute Tracker AT403 delivered a range of features and capabilities that perfectly aligned with Profab’s production needs in Batam.
Hexagon has launched its WORKPLAN 2021, which enhances automation and flexibility to further cement its integration into the sheet metal market.
“Industry 4.0, or Smart Manufacturing, isn’t just a goal for large manufacturers. We have more and more small companies turning to us, wanting a complete digital chain integrating specifications, and automating production management directly ingrated with their RADAN CAM solution, allowing them to get realtime views of their current workload, business profitability analysis, and full inventory control – all connected to their existing accounting system,” said Product Manager Christophe Mas.
A solution which was originally dedicated to mould makers, WORKPLAN, from Hexagon’s production software portfolio, has been able to mix a single database with multiple business requirements such as tools, sheet metal, prototyping, and mechanics.
“This means it shares new functions developed specifically for niche markets but which have now become real assets for all customers in many industrial sectors.”
Continuous improvement for sheet metal world
Initially used as a business calculator for sheet metal quotes, RADAN’s quoting module, Radquote, connects seamlessly with WORKPLAN, and now updates projects using referenced components present in a bill of material, optimising the price for the project.
Enhancements to the activity basket, which was launched in WORKPLAN 2020.0, make it possible to automatically create all baskets for the same project in just a few click, or from a nest with a simple drag and drop. And the activity baskets can now be controlled via the barcode system with specific manufacturing ranges, or via touch screens.
“This revolutionises the management of time tracking, and promotes automation and flexibility in the workshop. It also simplifies the management of assembly activities, heat treatment and finishing operations.”
GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation
A new set of measures has been introduced to guarantee maximum protection for storing both customer and employee data. “We have also implemented best practice guidelines related to the fundamental rights of GDPR such as consent management, right to be forgotten, right to change, and data portability.”
Experts in manufacturing and communication technologies discuss how 5G networks help drive digital transformation within the manufacturing sector.
Join Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division and Ericsson on 16 April 2020 for a webinaron how 5G will support Industry 4.0 deployments.
Sachin Mathur, Head of Partnership Programs, Smart Factory, Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division, Erik Josefsson, Vice President, Head of Advanced Industries, Ericsson and Sasidhar Yalavarthi, Project Manager, Smart Factory, Ericsson, will discuss how 5G wireless networks facilitate greater automation and data-driven decision-making in the manufacturing sector. The event will be moderated by Brett Brune, Editor in Chief of Smart Manufacturing magazine.
Ignacio Blanco, Product Marketing Manager, Smart Factory Solutions Hexagon, says: “Hexagon and Ericsson are partnering to make manufacturing smarter by simplifying the capture, transfer and use of data with reliable, low-latency, high-bandwidth wireless networks. As a result, manufacturers will be able to connect multiple machines, sensors and systems across even the largest sites in a way that suits their individual productivity needs.”
The webinar will be sponsored by Digital Engineering, a leading German-language construction and engineering trade magazine; Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN), one of the most authoritative metalworking magazines in the region; Smart Manufacturing, a principal industry voice in the United States and The Manufacturer, a major UK publication that provides news and promotes best practice in the manufacturing industry.
5G and Industry 4.0 in a nutshell
Smart Wireless Manufacturing
Strategic business-driven decisions
IoT and Industry connectivity
Register to join the webinar on 16 April 2020 at a choice of different times.
Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division is offering a range of free offline licensing and remote access options designed to enable efficient home working for manufacturing professionals facing new productivity challenges during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Home working options will be provided for Hexagon’s production software and metrology software offerings, as well as the MSC Software range of CAE solutions, at least until 30 June 2020. Manufacturers running metrology equipment in factories can remotely monitor and analyse how key assets are performing for free with HxGN SFx | Asset Management. Users will also have access to additional online learning resources.
“The purpose of our smart manufacturing solutions is to improve quality and productivity and this challenge is especially acute during this time of extensive home working” said Paolo Guglielmini, President of Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division. “So, to support the industries we serve, we’re offering special access to our software and learning tools for both current customers and non-customers who can benefit from our technology.”
“Like many businesses in the manufacturing sector, we have many employees working from home at the moment and we appreciate that giving them the right tools to work remotely is essential to their wellbeing and success. By offering learning and remote working solutions I hope we can contribute to maintaining productivity and quality while keeping employees in manufacturing safe.”
Details on how to access the home working packages can be found at www.hexagonmi.com/wahs. The offering will include:
Extension of licences for work-from-home support or alternative access options for MSC Software CAE solutions
Licence move, remote access or additional temporary home office licences for Hexagon’s CAD CAM software
Free offline licences of the latest versions of PC-DMIS and other leading metrology software
Free remote machine monitoring via the HxGN SFx | Asset Management asset performance management solution
Free access to online learning for Hexagon’s metrology and MSC Software solutions
Experts in manufacturing and communication technologies discuss how 5G networks help drive digital transformation within the manufacturing sector.
Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division and Ericsson, in media partnership with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN), will be holding a webinar on 16 April 2020 on how 5G supports Industry 4.0 deployments.
Hexagon and Ericsson are partnering to make manufacturing smarter by simplifying the capture, transfer and use of data for our customers.
Sasidhar Yalavarthi, Industrial Ecosystem Manager, and Erik Josefsson, Vice President and Head of Advanced Industries at Ericsson, and Sachin Mathur, Head of Partnership Programs Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division will discuss how 5G wireless networks facilitate greater automation and data-driven decision-making in the manufacturing sector.
Sachin Mathur says: “We’re excited to be partnering with Ericsson on helping our customers create manufacturing operations that are smarter, more flexible and more productive. Digital transformation depends on secure data exchange. With reliable, low-latency, high-bandwidth wireless networks our customers can connect multiple machines, sensors and systems across even the largest sites in a way that suits their individual productivity needs.”
A greater focus on energy efficiency and an accelerating shift towards electrification brings new engineering challenges that require increased use of simulation tools earlier in the design lifecycle. Romax Technology brings more than 30 years of experience in electromechanical simulation and multi-physics design optimisation.
The cloud-enabled MBSE (model-based systems engineering) platform, Romax Nexus, provides a complete workflow for designing, simulating and delivering the next generation of energy efficient drive and power generation systems, enabling engineers to collaborate and optimise electrical and mechanical design simultaneously. By simulating the operation of the entire system – engine, gears, bearings and housings – the efficiency of automobile, aerospace and wind turbine powertrains can be optimised, and the battery range of electric vehicles can be increased.
“One of the greatest challenges of our time is the battle against climate change and the need to reduce GHG emissions. The acquisition of Romax Technology enables us to meet the growing need for electrification, providing our customers with integrated tools that empower engineering teams to develop the next generation of energy-efficient electric vehicles,” said Hexagon President and CEO Ola Rollén.
“Electrification is a growing trend in automotive and aerospace but also presents new opportunities for Hexagon in the development of renewable energy systems.”
Real-time data analysis is playing an increasingly critical role in improving overall productivity and manufacturing competitiveness. Here’s how the metalworking sector, through advances in metrology solutions, can create a smarter manufacturing environment that is simple to manage and deploy. Article by Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence.
In today’s business climate, it is of paramount importance to reach consistently high levels of productivity, quality and cost-effectiveness.
For this reason, metalworking companies are harnessing new data-driven technologies to enhance and automate their design, production and inspection processes. And the change is taking place beyond sectors that are traditionally highly sensitive to quality, such as aerospace and automotive.
As today’s coordinate measuring machines (CMM) and their associated sensors and software become much faster and more sophisticated at collecting and exchanging accurate inspection data, real-time data analysis is playing an increasingly critical role in improving overall productivity and manufacturing competitiveness.
Many manufacturers have already equipped their CMMs with multisensor technology that allows them to perform contact and optical non-contact inspection interchangeably, while quickly and efficiently capturing data that can be checked for accuracy against original CAD data.
Measurement data collection and analysis is supported by the Q-DAS statistical analysis software, which can be used to visualise measurement data in real-time and monitor them statistically. Q-DAS’s statistical process control (SPC) function systematically informs the CMM operator of any violations of SPC alarm criteria, enabling operators to take corrective action in the manufacturing process before generating expensive scrap. At the same time the software’s high flexibility allows users to adapt the recording and visualisation of data to specific tasks.
Using Real-time Analysis to Improve Performance
But now, manufacturers are going a step further to increase their productivity by addressing the challenges of improving machine utilisation, throughput and uptime. This is leading them to adopt asset management solutions, such as the HxGN SFx Asset Management software, to monitor the status of one or several CMMs in real-time. The growing use of asset management software is partly due to greater automation, which requires operators and managers to keep a close check on the performance of unattended machines. By using asset management to efficiently monitor the status of CMMs remotely, manufacturers can maximise machine usage.
Asset management can help the metalworking sector raise productivity across multiple applications, such as the measurement of rotor or stator lamination stacks. Rotor or stator lamination stacks are composed of individual electrical steel laminations and are typically inspected in pallets using image-processing (vision) sensors. Hexagon’s OPTIV multisensor and optical CMMs come equipped with a vision sensor as a standard and are commonly used to simplify the measurement of large or palletised flat parts such as rotor or stator laminations close to the shop floor. Equipped with handle workpiece palletising, the Hexagon OPTIV enables a fast and automated inspection process, even for large batches of small serial parts such as clutch discs and fine-blanked parts.
Because speed and accuracy are of the essence when inspecting rotor or stator lamination stacks, operators often need to manage multiple CMMs that are running pallet measurement routines unattended.
The OPTIV’s extended measurement range enables prepared interchangeable pallets to be supplied semi-automatically by a palletising robot, reducing standstill times and increasing inspection throughput.
Hexagon’s Inspect software, meanwhile, makes it simple for operators to set up one pallet and then prepare and launch the next on a separate CMM. Asset management software offers a simple dashboard view of machine availability, which allows operators to save additional time by identifying which CMM has spare capacity.
The right asset management tool also helps manufacturers optimise maintenance schedules and plan for a more efficient use of manufacturing resources. As a result, quality departments can shift from managing assets as a cost centre to creating value by optimising equipment profitability.
If, for example, a manufacturer needs to increase production to fulfil new orders for a customer, information from asset management systems makes it easy to identify where spare inspection capacity lies either locally or at another site.
Raising Your Equipment’s Overall Effectiveness
Successful asset management, however, depends on having instant access to actionable insights. Notifications about the performance and status of metrology assets, for example, need to be available in real-time. And all alerts should be readily customisable so that operators and managers receive the information that is pertinent to their role and in a format that is easy to access, understand and use.
For this reason, Hexagon has ensured its HxGN SFx Asset Management platform provides a simple, accurate way to monitor and analyse how key assets are performing via a centralised, user-friendly dashboard. It works equally well whether the machines being monitored are on a single site or in multiple factories around the world. And in addition to a having a dashboard view of each CMM’s uptime and downtime, it’s possible for operators to see how each machine is being used, all while working remotely on a mobile phone or a PC.
Having real-time insight into CMM performance not only enables operators and managers to schedule work efficiently and respond immediately to operator errors. They can also use data analysis to understand and manage the productivity of their assets over the long term and to calculate overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) either for a single CMM or for several CMMs, across multiple sites and over various periods of time. OEE is calculated using data for quality, which is based on a CMM’s success in completing measurement processes during the scheduled time, performance and availability. Gaining a thorough understanding of a CMM’s OEE makes it easier for manufacturers to reduce spending on maintenance while achieving better overall performance and efficiency.
Getting the Right Data with Versatile, Multisensor Systems
Any analysis is only as good as the data it relies on, which is why Hexagon is investing in ensuring all its systems deliver accurate, real-time, relevant data to where it is most needed. The HxGN SFx Asset Management solution is an important part of this strategy, but it is not the only element.
When it comes to inspection, the choice of CMM, sensors and supporting software for a given application clearly plays a pivotal role in determining the quality and quantity of data that manufacturers gather, and at what speed.
Multisensor CMMs have grown popular because of their versatility when capturing data at the varying levels of detail and speed required by different applications and materials.
Having the Vision to Improve Processes
Vision sensors remain a key inspection tool in the metalworking sector because they are adept at quickly and automatically measuring large volumes of intricate metal parts. Designed to capture surface detail swiftly, vision systems are particularly useful when dealing with high production rates.
A vision sensor with a high-resolution digital CMOS colour camera and a programmable motorised zoom lens, for example, can offer variable illumination in the form of a coaxial LED top light, LED back light and multi-segment LED ring light to provide high contrast illumination of complex surfaces and edges, all while quickly capturing data that informs the entire manufacturing process. Hexagon further enhanced vision sensor speed and performances when it launched a Large Field Of View vision sensor for its OPTIV CMMs. The new vision sensor provided a field of view that is approximately four times larger than the standard vision sensor on today’s OPTIV CMMs.
When it comes to using multisensor systems to measure metal workpieces, Hexagon’s OPTIV Dual Z helps increases batch measurement throughput by enabling optical and tactile sensors operating in restricted measuring volumes to automatically reach more measuring positions within a single measurement cycle.
Whether a manufacturer’s applications best suit a vision sensor, a laser sensor or a touch probe, Hexagon is focused on providing data-based solutions that easily integrate with existing and future systems to create a smarter manufacturing environment that is simple to manage and deploy.