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Hong Kong Electronics Manufacturer Increases Efficiency Through RFID
PC Partner is employing a solution that automatically tracks the components used to assemble circuit boards, and shuts down the assembly process if it detects a potential mistake.
Feb 11, 2011—PC Partner, one of Hong Kong's largest electronics manufacturing firms, is using radio frequency identification to improve assembly-line efficiency at two of its production facilities, located in Dongguan, China.
PC Partner is a global manufacturer of such electronics products as motherboards, graphics cards and consumer electronics. Every month, the company assembles more than 2 million printed circuit board assemblies (PCBAs). The firm's RFID-enabled facilities include 33 assembly lines for constructing various assemblies and subassemblies, as well as mounting components onto the surface of printed circuit boards. Altogether, there are approximately 100 placement machines to accomplish the assembly.
Consequently, PC Partner sought a more automated system, ultimately selecting a track, trace and control (TTC) system provided by Canadian RFID firm Cogiscan. "RFID is a natural migration to deliver a more efficient solution," says Alan Poon, PC Partner's operation manager.
Installation began in July 2010. The factories installed Cogiscan's RFID Smart Feeder 125 kHz reader, which operates via a proprietary air-interface protocol, on each of approximately 100 component-placement machines. Each feeder is fitted with an RFID tag containing a unique ID number. When a component reel is loaded into a feeder, that reel's bar-coded label is scanned (in the same manner as with the non-RFID process), and that information is stored in the TTC software to link the specific reel with that feeder's unique tag ID number.
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