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Smart Manufacturing for Electronics

The SMT assembly line in the Digital Factory

Smart Manufacturing is the integration of intelligence in the actual machines, parts, materials, products, buildings and supply chain, and the application of that intelligence within a connected, open end-to-end process and infrastructure. With Smart Manufacturing, data is the master, no longer the system.

Analysts are predicting that the next years of innovation, productivity, and business growth will be driven by the demand for mass customization and by the convergence of technology advances for next-generation manufacturing infrastructures. This is what they call “Smart Manufacturing”.

Smart manufacturing means bringing intelligence into all the aspects of the manufacturing process and encompasses what you have heard about the “Internet of Things (IoT),” the “Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)”, and “Industry 4.0.”

Why Smart Manufacturing

In today’s market, Electronics companies are under huge pressure to deliver an increasingly growing variety of products to a demanding customer base. But variety is not enough. Quality issues can have an irreversible effect on the company’s reputation. In addition, as entry barriers become lower, manufacturers are exposed to growing amounts of competition and need to be first to the market in order to secure market share. The question is how to achieve this with the existing equipment and infrastructure. The answer is “Smart Manufacturing”.

What is Smart Manufacturing

Smart Manufacturing is a manufacturing management approach that enables electronics companies to address the challenges of modern manufacturing and deliver a broader variety of products at an accelerated time-to-market without compromising on quality. It is possible to do that by leveraging Digitalization technologies to eliminate physical prototypes, disconnected systems, paper-based work instructions, and silos of information and enable a continuous, integrated flow from design to planning to production, driving more efficient manufacturing processes across individual sites and global enterprises.

Digitalization breaks the silos between domains of manufacturing and drives efficient processes across individual sites and global enterprises. Smart Manufacturing leverages digitalization to eliminate dependency on physical prototypes and trial-and-error. The use of digital data models also makes it easier to share data across the entire design-to-manufacturing flow, eliminating barriers between different parts of the flow, streamlining the entire process, and enabling closed-loop feedback. This approach also makes it easier to share data across the entire enterprise, regardless of geographic location.

Why we have chosen Siemens for Smart Manufacturing

Siemens is the only vendor capable of offering a solution that covers the full flow from design through execution, for both mechanical and electronic flows.

Today Siemens is the only company that can deliver a smart manufacturing solution throughout the entire product lifecycle – all the way from design to manufacturing, to both the electronic and mechanical aspects of the product.

The Siemens solution for Smart Manufacturing is scalable and can be used across different factories and solution domains.

Smart Manufacturing for Electronics is not one big monster solution. It’s comprised of multiple elements that address different stages of the flow and different needs. This allows for gradual adoption and scaling up as value milestones are achieved.

Why we have chosen Siemens for Smart Manufacturing

White Paper

Smart manufacturing for electronics

The white paper describes a completely digitalized strategy that supports both PCB and mechanical design and manufacturing, uniting the entire product lifecycle – from the idea to production to customers, and back. In a consumer climate that demands new products at an unprecedented rate, this approach can reduce time to market by up to 50%, shrink development costs by as much as 25%, and enable you to achieve near-perfect product quality.

What are the main Trends in the Electronics Industry?

The advent of Smart Manufacturing is a revolution in full swing, which is one of the essential components of Industry 4.0, or Fourth Industrial Revolution, a great historical change that we have the honor to witness today. This big change doesn’t come out of nowhere. It is the result of specific trends that we can observe in the electronics industry around the world.

Trend #1: Increased frequency of product innovation

The level of innovation in today’s competitive market has changed the rules of the game. Companies generate demand for products before they have actually been built, and once demand exists, they are expected to deliver as soon as possible. As a result, time to market must be cut shorter and any activity that can impact time to market becomes expensive overhead. The reduction of time to market is therefore becoming the mantra most recited by the managers of the manufacturing industry.

Trend #2: Increased supply chain complexity and global fragmentation of production and demand

Manufacturing has grown increasingly global, with stages of production spread among multiple facilities, suppliers and geographies. These shifts, coupled with the increased demand for regional, local, and individual customization, have made supply chains more complex. So Manufacturers must be agile, connected, and proactive in order to address shifting demand priorities. This has lead to transition of the traditional linear supply chain into Digital Supply Networks that can provide OEMs with greater control over outsourced manufacturing.

Trend #3: Manufacturers investing in digitaliation to mitigate the risk associated with labor shortage

The current trend is the investment in digitalization that manufacturers are making as a way to mitigate the risk associated with labor shortage. Many traditional manufacturers have indeed found themselves struggling to find both skilled and unskilled labor to keep their operations running.

Trend #4: Digital Transformation of manufacturing companies

Many companies are looking into ways to leverage digitalization to improve their business and operational performance. But manufacturers are still struggling to understand exactly how digitalization can contribute to their specific organizations. Digital transformation must be translated into success on the basis of tangible benefits, which are capable of justifying continuous investments.

smart manufacturing trends

Barriers to Smart Manufacturing to be overcome

To fully leverage the potential of Digitalization we first need to face the barriers to next frontier Manufacturing:

  • Fragmented digital infrastructure with a lack of integration between Supply Chain, Manufacturing, Engineering and Production
  • Ineffective closed loop without a continuous improvement along the manufacturing value chain
  • Single-purpose, inflexible linear process unable to timely respond to changes in manufacturing processes
  • Ineffective transformation of raw data into actionable information with low transparency and poor decision-making.
  • Inefficient production data sharing with a lack of real-time analysis of production KPIs

The Siemens MOM evolution towards Smart Manufacturing

Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) is the evolution of a Manufacturing Execution System (MES). As a holistic solution that provides full visibility into manufacturing processes, a MOM system consolidates all production processes to improve quality management, advanced planning and scheduling, manufacturing execution systems, R&D management, and more.

In this chart, you can see how MOM has been evolving from manufacturing execution to the enabler of Smart Manufacturing during the last decades.

The Siemens MOM evolution towards Smart Manufacturing

Do you want to receive more information about Smart Manufacturing?

Contact our expert to get quick answers to your doubts and curiosities.

Alessandro Balboni


Product Manager

Alessandro is the Product Manager for
Smart Manufacturing. He has more than
20 years of experience in Electronics
Design Automation and Professional
Services Management working for large
corporations. He joined Cadlog Group in
2013 and holds a significant record of
deployments of Smart Manufacturing
projects across Europe

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