New Product Introduction for Process Engineers
How Smart Manufacturing is changing NPI in PCB assembly lines in high mix low volume productions
New Product Introduction for a "high mix low volume" era
High mix low volume manufacturing is the main trend of our era. Many people talk about “Lot-Size-One”. It ideally means producing a single product for a single consumer. It is the trend towards which we are heading, in a market that changes rapidly and where the consumer requires ever more extreme personalization.
In Industry 4.0, high mix low volume means producing a single product for an order, the opposite of mass production. From the manufacturer's point of view, the central idea of "Lot-Size-One" is to be able to make any product, in any variant, in any quantity, in any sequence, in any production line, and at any time. This should be achieved without having to rewrite your business model or invest heavily in the latest technology.
How Digital Manufacturing improves the NPI process
The implementation of the high mix low volume model is closely connected with the adoption of Digital Manufacturing in the factory. Digitization allows manufacturers to manage all product data in real-time at any time within the shop floor. Efficient and effective data management allows you to supply more and more product variants in small batches and perform efficient configuration changes.
For the New Product Introduction (NPI) of PCB assembly, in particular, the challenge is to be able to manage many new products per day, avoiding errors and re-spins and ensuring top-level quality.
This is possible thanks to Cadlog and the Smart Manufacturing tools provided by Siemens.
A tool like Valor Process Preparation provides the technology to meet each NPI's quality improvement and time reduction goals. In summary, the main benefits are the following:
- reduction of errors due to inaccurate component data;
- reduction of stops due to loss of data on components;
- improvement of product quality thanks to the precise positioning of components;
- standardization of the documentation;
- internal stencil design;
- normalization of the NPI flow with the possibility of reuse and export to other lines or factories
- product quality improvement.
Data exchange in electronics manufacturing
This white paper describes how Siemens Digital Industries Software’s technology standardizes data formats to enable the development of a comprehensive digital twin for design, process and production, allowing manufacturers to simulate changes in a safe environment without affecting real-life processes or production.
What is New Product Introduction process
New Product Introduction (NPI), otherwise known as New Product Development, is the set of activities required to bring a new industrial product to market. Whenever a new project is created and the decision is made to move on to engineering and then manufacturing, it is referred to as "New Product Introduction". The NPI is the bridge that ties the project to production, allowing you to consider the product from both perspectives. The New Product Introduction allows you to:
- understand the production impacts of the PCB design;
- optimize the PCB design based on production volumes;
- communicate complete project data to manufacturing;
- generate all documentation, programs, and tools necessary for production.
New Product Introduction is a step in the industrial process that arises from the need to solve some problems, such as:
- an excessively high level of waste during the production process;
- poor yields in production;
- difficulty in meeting delivery times;
- product reliability problems;
- excessively long data preparation times for production;
- need to employ too much manpower to handle the problems;
- customer demand for Design for Manufacturing (DFM) services and feedback.
Siemens offers different software tools and solutions to streamline the New Product Introduction process in the electronics industry. As this process begins in the design stage, it provides a complete solution for Design for Manufacturing, Valor NPI, and Valor Parts Library (VPL), a PCB part library with an accurate physical model of each BOM component. For Process Engineers, at the beginning of the manufacturing stage, Siemens provides two wonderful tools. Now they are the biggest facilitators of Industry 4.0 in Europe, helping many companies to digitalize their manufacturing processes: BOM Connector and Valor Process Preparation.
How the ODB ++ format improves New Product Introduction
ODB++, the open and intelligent data exchange format is now a reality in the electronic industry. ODB++ Design, in particular, allows PCB designs to be transferred to manufacturing with all the information manufacturers need for a "right the first time" approach.
At the same time, ODB++ Process enables the open exchange of process engineering information between autonomous machines, software vendors, and processes, helping accelerate new product introduction (NPI) and smooth manufacturing right the first time.
Software for New Product Introduction
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