Peter Kronfeld
Peter Kronfeld
Peter Kronfeld, born in 1962, has always taken great interest in the subject of technological change in the economy, society and business. This already started when he was a student of economics and communication and he has been keeping track of these topics as a journalist and as managing director of HighTech communications GmbH until today.

ASM invited me to visit a number of electronic manufacturers in China and India. Why? All these companies teamed up with ASM and established ASM’s SmartNet, a network that drives the digital transformation in electronic manufacturing.

The first stop during my visit was the BYD factory in Huizhou near Shenzhen. BYD is one of the most innovative and fastest growing high-tech companies in China with activities in electronic manufacturing services, solar energy and automotive. Less than 15 years after its first investment into the automotive industry, BYD has become China’s biggest car manufacturer, which produces and sells more electronic cars in China than Tesla does in the whole world.

At their factory in Huizhou I saw an impressive SMT production plant which meets highest security and quality standards. Deputy Manager Ted Xiao explained, that BYD joined ASM’s SmartNet because they see a huge potential in implementing smart production processes to gain productivity and quality advantages.

The shop-floor gets transparent

I had a very detailed look at a dual lane SMT line equipped with DEK printers, Koh Young SPI, one SIPLACE X4s, one SIPLACE X2s, a Rehm reflow oven – and this fine-tuned setup is duplicated for top-bottom placement. Highlights of this line from the smart factory perspective are its integration with the MES and the material management at the line.

ASM engineers proposed and performed some customer-specific software development, which integrates SIPLACE Material Manager into BYD’s MES. So the SMT material for a complete order is taken out of the main warehouse and transferred to the SMT line. The ASM software receives all this information from the MES and takes over the complete material management on the SMT shop floor. Most of the material gets stored in the near-line storage system ASM Material Tower. Boards are labelled with a barcode sticker and line information like „components placed“ or events like „reel empty“ or „tear down“ gets transferred from SIPLACE Material Manager back to the MES. So, the MES has accurate data on the production progress, the material consumption and the number of components on a reel that is coming back to the main inventory. For improved operator guidance BYD uses ASM Line Monitor. Transparent shop floor processes and a level 4 traceability are just two of the many advantages delivered by the MES/Siplace Material Manager integration at BYD.

There is more to come from my visit to China ….

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