Original Date: 06/05/2006
Revision Date: / /
Information : Enhanced Panelization for Automation
Rockwell Collins has implemented an enhanced panelization automation process that eliminates the costs for expensive fixtures, scrap, and work in process, enabling just-in-time processing and scheduling.
Automated processing of nonpanelized printed wiring boards (PWBs) requires dedicated fixtures including the management, storage, cleaning, repair and replacement of the fixtures. Large multipanels with dimensions of 12"x18” were used, but scrap boards within the panels were inadvertently populated, producing unacceptable scrap costs. Multipanels that were populated and not needed were considered excess inventory. Machine placement programs required offset readjustments (or “tweaking”) to ensure multipanel scrap boards (X-outs) did not get populated, resulting in unnecessary rework cost.
Rockwell Collins enhanced the panels to scalable panels that allow single- or multiple-board processing. The automated PWB panel generation is initiated in the design phase using board size, quantity, technology and material cost as criteria. Multiform panels containing the fewest number of boards are preferred due to the improved panel rigidity and reduced dimensional areas in the artwork. Unipanels contain a single board with dimensions not less than 4"x4" and not more than 11½"x 7½" including panel material. Multipanels containing more than two or more boards cannot exceed 11½"x17½".
The Enhanced Panelization Process provides the circuit designer with the following rules and requirements: Query the design database to extract the printed wiring board outline
Capture and map the X and Y segment of the outline
Use predetermined rules to create uni- or multiform panels (default unipanel; if size is <4”, add additional boards until >4” is met)
Use predetermined rule set to define tab location
Use predefined rule set to determine X and Y locations if multiform panel
Insert rails on the two longest edges
Use predefined rules to insert tabs
Add tab detail, fixture detail, tab X and Y
The Rockwell Collins Enhanced Panelization for Automation process eliminates the costs for fixtures, reduces the scrap due to “bad images” in panels, reduces work in process, and enables just-in-time processing and scheduling. Reduced solder paste consumption and reduced inventory levels for boards that are produced but not needed represent an additional cost savings. Manual versus automated panelization reduces processing time from one hour to two minutes. Rockwell Collins’ quality improvements include process control, stencil paste-and-part-placement accuracy, and greater structural support by using smaller panels that reduce sagging when mass reflow is performed.
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