Electronics Manufacturing News Snapshot – January 2023

New component auto align option from VJ Electronix; Solder robots undergo strict quality controlTCS and National Robotarium link for robotics and AI researchSIIX Corp picks Cogiscan for global digital factoryStellantis acquires AiMotiveCybord launches inline visual-AI electronic components platform

New component auto align option from VJ Electronix

Rework technologies and advanced X-ray inspection and component counting systems provider, VJ Electronix, has introduced the new Component Auto Align option for its Summit 2200i rework system. The system can now be upgraded via software or purchased new with the option for Component Auto Align. The new feature allows for the alignment of components, including components larger than 100mm, with no operator intervention. The software recognizes the corners of the component and site using fiducials, and then pick locations (centerpoint) are determined automatically. The Summit 2200i is a high precision, automatic system for small to large SMD assemblies that is capable of handling boards up to 22″x30” and components as small as 01005. The system utilizes efficient convection heating and closed-loop temp control to mimic thoughtfully designed oven profiles. The system’s 1-2-3-GO graphical user interface and flexible SierraMate rework software minimize operator intervention while maintaining tight process control of all critical parameters and provides product traceability, profile analysis and sharing of profiles between VJE systems. Also, the independent non-contact site scavenger head safely removes residual solder, eliminates the potential for damage to pads and solder mask, and allows a continuous process without tool change. Operators can complete rework in a single thermal cycle.

Solder robots undergo strict quality control

Thermaltronics has reinforced extensive quality control procedures for its solder robots to ensure accurate and versatile processes and manufacture. The company manufactures and supplies a wide range of soldering products and accessories used in the electronics manufacturing industry. Design and development is undertaken in the USA and Australia, with final production taking place in a customized manufacturing facility, incorporating specialized equipment and in accordance with recognized international standards of quality and compliance. The Thermaltronics Robot System incorporates innovative design concepts and precision components to ensure accuracy. The combination of high precision hardware and intelligent software ensures precision soldering and low operator training costs.

Food manufacturers boost production with Yamaha robots

Automating any processes in a production sequence can simplify operational challenges as well as increasing efficiency and quality. Yamaha Motor Robotics FA Section has helped companies in different sectors of the food industry to realise these benefits by introducing robots to handle packaging and labelling. One of Yamaha’s customers in food production, an established brand of baked sweets with a history stretching back over 100 years, recently installed an array of SCARA robots to optimise production capacity when packing the sweets into boxes of various sizes. Using conventional manual packaging, a different number of workers is needed in the production area at any given time, depending on the numbers of boxes ordered and the quantity of sweets to be packed. Figure 1 illustrates workstations in the production area. The table shows how the optimum number of workers fluctuates according to the production target. This challenges managers to ensure that only the required number of workers is present on a daily basis. With 400mm arm length and 4kg payload capacity, the YK400XE is the smallest in the high-performance, affordable YK-XE series. It is ideal for palletising, loading/unloading, assembly and inspection tasks and is easily connected to Yamaha’s RCX340 controller to unleash the full potential of its features. These include automatic optimisation of acceleration and deceleration, which enhances control – especially when moving a heavy load – while also optimising reliability and minimising vibration.

TCS and National Robotarium link for robotics and AI research

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has announced a major applied engineering and research partnership with the National Robotarium, the UK’s advanced AI and robotics research centre. TCS will work closely with the new centre on innovation as part of a wider agreement between TCS and Heriot-Watt University, to support early-stage AI and robotics product development, entrepreneurship, job creation and building digital skills in the workforce. The National Robotarium provides a data-driven incubator environment, in which humans and robots can work together alongside academics, technologists and businesses ranging in size from innovative start-ups to global enterprises. By utilising the unique capabilities of the pioneering research centre, both partners will be able to de-risk and accelerate the development and adoption of robotics systems that can be used to tackle urgent societal issues, such as social and geriatric care.

Nokia and UR partner on turnkey 5G

UR Group (UK), a European provider of advanced connectivity, UR Group has announced it has entered into a new Indirect Reseller partnership with Nokia and Nuvias. Together, the companies will develop specialised turnkey 5G private wireless solutions that empower transportation, manufacturing, defence, energy, and other industrial customers to transform the way they do business. Through this partnership, UR will use its deep understanding of Intelligent Transportation System (ITS), Industrial IoT (IIoT) and other industrial communications use cases with Nokia’s state-of-the-art portfolio of market-leading private wireless technology, including Nokia Digital Automation Cloud (DAC) and services for advanced connectivity solutions that meet the growing business-critical connectivity needs of UK based customers. Nokia and UR Group (UK) will work together to develop high-speed 5G private wireless networks that allow enterprise customers to have secure, reliable, and low-latency solutions. In addition, these solutions will provide customers with reliable tracking capability, remote condition monitoring (RCM) and conduct preventive maintenance.

SIIX Corp picks Cogiscan for global digital factory

Connectivity and TTC solutions provider for the electronics manufacturing industry, Cogiscan, has signed a corporate-wide global traceability agreement with SIIX Corporation. As part of SIIX’s commitment to factory digitalization, the unification of a traceability solution across all manufacturing sites will allow them to better leverage material and production visibility as well as overall quality control and throughput. SIIX operates 50 locations in 14 different countries. With the Cogiscan traceability system currently installed in three of SIIX’s factories – in Mexico, China, and Indonesia – SIIX and Cogiscan have worked together on a site-by-site basis since 2015.  Cogiscan’s modular, flexible, and SMT expertise in electronics manufacturing has positioned them as a leader for factory digitalization. Supported by a robust connectivity and data management platform, Cogiscan’s system provides unparalleled access to the most complete and accurate reporting of the production process including material, product, and process details.

Stellantis acquires AiMotive

An autonomous driving journey has been accelerated by Stellantis with the acquisition of aiMotive, an artificial intelligence and autonomous driving start-up. This acquisition is said to enhance Stellantis’ artificial intelligence and autonomous driving core technology, expands its global talent pool, and boosts the mid-term development of the all-new STLA AutoDrive platform. aiMotive’s technology product portfolio is focused on four key areas within artificial intelligence and autonomous driving: aiDrive: embedded software stack for autonomous driving; aiData: artificial intelligence operations and data tooling; aiWare: expertise and intellectual property for silicon microchips; aiSim: software simulation for development of autonomous driving. Stellantis’ software teams are already developing the three all-new technology platforms (STLA Brain, STLA SmartCockpit, STLA AutoDrive) that will be deployed at scale across the four all-new STLA vehicle platforms (STLA Small, STLA Medium, STLA Large, STLA Frame), starting in 2024.

Jabil opens new design center for sector growth

Jabil Inc. (NYSE: JBL) has officially opened a new design center in Wroclaw, Poland, that will develop leading-edge technologies for multiple industries including the automotive and healthcare sectors. The opening of the 10,000 square foot center will extend Jabil’s design capabilities in concept feasibility, development engineering, industrialization, material technology and advanced manufacturing technology. Jabil’s design center in Wroclaw has a range of capabilities that include electronic power design, industrialization support, mechanical design, printed circuit board design, project management and value add/value engineering.

Empowering a greener future

Future Electronics, leader of electronic components, has introduced integrated solutions in  various application areas such as Wide bandgap, Cybersecurity & Safety, Internet of Things (IoT) and Industrial Electronics (IE) among other key products. The company says it has a unique approach to the electronics component distribution channel with their inventory, logistics, supply chain and eCommerce solutions. Their comprehensive design support and an integrated set of services offer a flexible engineering bias which allows consistent resilience in their design approach.

Cybord launches inline visual-AI electronic components platform

A solution for comprehensive electronic components analytics at the early stages of production has been demonstrated by Cybord utilizing top and bottom inspection of the components, visual-AI, and big data. The company, an inline visual AI electronic component analytics software leader that implements an AI & Big Data technology, has taken on a mission to get counterfeit and defective components off production lines, for significantly increasing the reliability, authenticity, and quality of products, and providing OEMs with the highest level of traceability. The platform aggregates and analyzes images and data from 100% of the components at various production stages – allowing secure purchasing of electronic components from any source; high yields of a product from early assembly stages; and visual traceability verification of marked components assembled on each PCBA.

MCUs for two-motor electric vehicle traction inverters

NXP is aiming at electric vehicles traction inverters for up to two motors with its S32K39 microcontrollers. The MCUs support IGBT as well as SiC and GaN, according to the company. It has enough compute power to support six-phase or two three-phase motors controlled by dual 200 kHz control loops, while hosting AI, machine learning or other monitoring applications. It supports remote smart actuation applications using Time-Sensitive Networking Ethernet for zonal vehicle architectures. S32K39 also provides flexibility to control up to quad traction inverters when coupled with the NXP S32E real-time processor, and can implement advanced traction capabilities for four-wheel-drive EVs in this configuration. This is the highest performance S32K family member, said NXP, with four 320MHz Arm Cortex-M7 cores configured as a lock-step pair and two split-lock cores. Up to 6Mbyte of flash and 800kbyte of ram is available.

Raspberry Pi DIN-mount industrial IoT computer built by OnLogic

Industrial computer manufacturer OnLogic has announced Factor 202, built around a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4. Factor 202 (FR202) measures 201 x 121 x 54mm, can mount on a wall or DIN rail, and adds 16x digital inputs, 16x digital outputs, 4x analogue inputs, 2x analogus outputs and a 2.7in capacitive touchscreen to the physically-smaller Factor 201 launched earlier this year. The company says it takes everything that makes the Factor 201 special and adds additional connectivity and a built-in user interface. Cooling is passive, and operation is from 8 – 24V and over -20 to 60°C. For single-cable installations, power can also come through an Ethernet connection using Power-over-Ethernet Power Delivery (PoE-PD).