After my visit at BYD I travelled to CIG (Cambridge Industries Group), an ICT equipment manufacturer in Shanghai. Based on its strong in-house engineering division CIG positions itself as an ODM (Original Development Manufacturer) or JDM (Joint Development Manufacturer), selling its engineering and manufacturing services to a wide range of well-known ICT brands.
CIG was founded and is still headed by Gerald G. Wong. Gerry pushes his vision of a „Dark Factory“ – fully automated, highly scalable and flexible electronic manufacturing. His team works hard to make this vision a reality, establishing CIG at the forefront of Industry 4.0 (or Manufacturing 2025 as China puts it in its national strategy). Part of the production at the factory in Shanghai already runs on highly automated lines. Two SMT lines with modern DEK printers and SIPLACE placement machines, SPI, AOI and such are extended by a number of robot cells. These perform all processes from selective soldering, several optical and electronical test procedures up to WiFi and optical calibration as well as packaging.
Other smart elements CIG uses are RFID tags to manage the complete material flow in its SMT production. All reels and materials are tagged with flexible and reusable RFID transponders when entering the main warehouse. The advantage: far easier, faster and paperless control of the total material flow– from the main warehouse, the SMT warehouse and the shop floor up to setup verification and tear down.
All data from material workflows, process data of machines, results of quality control etc. is collected, integrated and stored in the CIG cloud. The cloud enables real time monitoring and visualization of KPIs etc. The most impressive proof of this integration: a big screen in the main meeting room, where all data can be displayed and shown to the customers.
I will do an extensive story on CIGs lines and processes when I am back in Europe – stay tuned …..