A Printed Circuit Board (PCB) mechanically supports and electrically connects electrical or electronic components using conductive tracks, pads and other features etched from one or more sheet layers of copper laminated onto and/or between sheet layers of a non-conductive substrate. Components are generally soldered onto the PCB to both electrically connect and mechanically fasten them to it.
Who Used the Printed Circuit Board?
Printed Circuit Boardsare used in a myriad of commercial and consumer products in today’s marketplace. In this article, we address the problem of inserting/placing components on Printed Circuit Boards using automated insertion/placement machines. The motivation to examine this problem stems from joint work with a major electronics manufacturer who not only introduced us to the manufacturing environment but also pro-vided data for testing and validating our component allocation and scheduling methodology. The results of our analysis can be used to trade-off operational savings of reduced cycle times versus tactical costs of reorganizing the equipment on the shop ﬂoor.
Printed Circuit Board are used across a variety of commercial and consumer products. The most well known of these products is the personal computer where the “motherboard” forms the basis of this ubiquitous machine. The lesser known commercial products using printed circuit boards range from control panels used in jet aircraft, automobiles, and satellites while other consumer products include hand-held personal digital assistants, printers, and of course, cellular phones. One of the major steps in Printed Circuit Board (PCB) manufacturing is the insertion and/or placement of various electrical and electronic components on a PCB.
Printed Circuit Board Assembly System Operated
In general, there is substantial variation in the technology of circuit boards and components. Modern Printed Circuit Board assembly typically uses computer-controlled machines to automatically insert and/or place electronic components on PCBs. Production control of this process deals with several problems such as the allocation of electronic components to each machines, component feeder arrangement on each machine, sequencing of placement operations, and sequencing of PCBs for production.
In this article, an assembly system operated by a major electronics manufacturer using eight identical HS-180 automated insertion machines is studied. Each machine places electronic components onto PCBs using surface mount technology and these components are loaded onto one or more of the 180 distinct feeder slots. The current machine layout used by the manufacturer is a ﬂow line conﬁguration with each PCB batch “visiting” each machine. Thus, an entire batch of a PCB type is introduced on the ﬁrst machine and routed through all the other seven machines in the line. On completion of the entire PCB type batch, a new PCB type is introduced on the ﬁrst machine and the sequence is repeated until all the PCB types are processed through the entire line.