As a medium sized company with less than 80 employees and just a single SMT-line Ginzinger electronic systems located in Austria is an innovation leader in the electronics manufacturing industry (EMS). Through Industry 4.0 solutions and digitization Ginzinger constantly improves process safety and efficiency of its production. Like many other EMS companies in western countries, the customer demand changed towards high quality products with relatively low volume – also referred to as low volume high mix. This requires a diverse SMD component inventory and many production line changeovers. To maintain inventory accuracy it is mandatory to count reels coming back from production or prototyping to prevent production stops caused by insufficient material. The first approach of just relying on the results of inbuilt traceability data provided by the pick and place systems turned out to be not sufficient in this case.

As production stops caused by discrepancies in actual and expected components increased, Ginzinger electronic systems decided to evaluate the automatic component counter XRHCount from VisiConsult. After a successful rental period of around three months the system was finally purchased and completely integrated to the material flow. The following quote comes from Ginzinger’s production and warehouse manager (translated from German):

Mainly the system is used to perform a real-time mapping of the exact SMD-reel stock. In the past we used a slow manual counting device. In this process every reel had to be unpacked, unreeled and packaged again. Nowadays we just put it on a drawer. 15 seconds after pressing a single button an accurate result is shown. No risk for component loss or damage and no need to unpack reels in ESD or moisture bags.

In the past the whole process took around 3 to 5 minutes. Looking at an amount of hundreds of reels per month this is a significant reduction in time and also costs. Additionally to this advantage the high accuracy increases our inventory accuracy and order forecast.

This shows that the XRHCount is not only applicable to big manufacturing sites but also pays off in small to medium sized EMS factories especially in high wage countries. The higher the degree of automation the better the underlying data quality needs to be. Therefore, this system is directly contributing towards the efficiency of Smart Factory and Industry 4.0 solutions. Big names in the electronic industry already realized the importance of this fact – VisiConsult just got certified as an official partner for the FUJI Smart Factory.

German original: