Yamaha Pursues High-Efficiency Surface Mounting Lines with Intelligent Factory
Leveraging IoT, 1 STOP SOLUTION aims to save on labor while improving manufacturing quality.
Example of Yamaha’s 1 STOP SOLUTION surface-mount line
Fig. 1: Example of Yamaha’s 1 STOP SOLUTION surface-mount line

s demand for electronics has outpaced supply due to continued global economic boom in recent years, labor-saving activities including improvement in automation rates are gaining renewed attention as a measure to tackle labor shortages and rising labor costs.

Meanwhile, investments to streamline manufacturing process through the Fourth Industrial Revolution based on the internet of things (IoT) have been stimulated by developments in the internet, spread of high-speed communication infrastructures, and also cost reduction in large-scale data storage.

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. has been following this trend by proactively using IoT technologies. The company proposes its original 1 STOP SOLUTION concept (Figure 1) as an effort to reduce human labor while improving manufacturing quality. It has an industry-leading product line of major equipment for surface-mount lines, and can build all such equipment under the Yamaha brand. In the concept, these devices are linked to each other by the company’s state-of-the-art IoT/M2M (machine-to-machine) integration system, intelligent factory (Figure 2), to achieve high efficiency through synergy effects.

Achieves Advanced M2M Links
Yamaha already has an extensive track record in the development of surface-mount lines based on M2M links, allowing a wide range of combinations involving not only its own machines, but also those of other firms.

However, in reality, there are various problems or limitations. For example, manufacturers with different development concept or business scale have more than a small amount of confidential information that they cannot disclose to each other, and therefore can exchange only basic information, such as circuit board identifications and bad marks. Also, it is difficult for manufacturers that have different resources or business models to develop functions or software in parallel.

Therefore, Yamaha has completed an industry-leading full product line of key assembly-line equipment under one brand, such as surface-mount device (SMD) storage systems, printers, dispensers, solder paste inspection machines, mounters, and appearance inspection systems, in order to achieve advanced M2M links that overcome limitations on linkage with other companies’ equipment while proactively supporting these links

1 STOP SOLUTION is a concept where facilities on assembly lines built out of those Yamaha surface-mount technology (SMT) devices are connected with black-box-free advanced M2M links by using intelligent factory, which is a set of pieces of functional package software, in order to maximize the performance of the lines through synergy effects and to achieve high-efficiency assembly through true total management.

Schematic of the configuration of intelligent factory
Fig. 2: Schematic of the configuration of intelligent factory

Examples of functions that exploit those synergy effects are as follows:

(1) Programming and scheduling package
– Grouping

Combinations involving many common components are automatically calculated in sites where a changeover takes place frequently. Optimization using single-brand products determines the order of production and minimizes changeover time, greatly improving work efficiency.

– Data conversion for AOI

ODB++ format data can be easily converted into inspection machine data.

Inspection machine data can be created without actual circuit boards, and startup time for new models is reduced significantly.

A number of components are simultaneously taken out of the storage by hand directly from YST15 and are carried by AGV.
Fig. 2: Schematic of the configuration of intelligent factory

(2) Production assistance package
– Floor simulator

The effects of introduction of auto-loading feeders are estimated so that the optimal number of replacements can be easily estimated.

– Component remain monitor

The remaining number of components is sent to PCs or tablets so that feed timing can be checked remotely. All necessary components can be simultaneously and automatically taken out of the storage with the optimal timing through combination with the SMD storage system YST15. Also, a number of components can be carried simultaneously in combination with automated guided vehicles (AGV) (Photo 1).

– Batch supply software

A number of components can be fed simultaneously by using, in combination, the batch supply software and the auto-loading feeder that allows pre-setting of the next components anytime during production. The number of observations by the operator is reduced significantly.

(3) Traceability package
– All image tracer

All images of components recognized by mounters are saved in real time so that if a defect occurs, its cause can be identified immediately by searching them.

(4) Monitoring package
– Real-time dashboard

The various conditions or bottlenecks of assembly lines in operation are displayed in real time. If there is a problem, it is reported.

(5) Analyzing package
– Analyzing dashboard

An N-point verification (Figure 3) is carried out to compare images and information related to printers and mounters on the basis of the results of appearance inspection before and after reflow to help identify the causes of defects immediately.

N-point verification
Fig. 3: N-point verification
Remote maintenance service
Fig. 4: Remote maintenance service

(6) Maintenance package
– Maintenance monitor

The state of feeders is visualized to urge maintenance to prevent the occurrence of problems in advance. Also, information on the necessity, history, results, etc. of maintenance of facilities in the entire factory is available as a list.

– Remote maintenance service

Direct support is provided by communicating with Yamaha’s operator through IoT, when trouble occurs on-site. Downtime due to trouble is minimized by remote support through communication with the users’ workplaces around the world (Figure 4).

(7) M2M & solution

Function to stabilize the operation of assembly lines by M2M links to improve and maintain product quality. For example, feedback is provided from SPI to printers about soldering positions or cleaning instructions to improve printing quality.

It should be added that in addition to the above, 1 STOP SOLUTION has many other practical advantages including ease of use thanks to common operations, comprehensive support upon the occurrence of problems, and high compatibility of parts between devices.