Infineon's smart manufacturing will involve integrating 3 elements -- horizontal sites, vertical processes and digitisation. And lessons for customers?
Infineon will implement horizontal integration, initially connecting Singapore site with 5 partner production sites on a single platform. The aim is for their Global Production Network to bring end-to-end real-time visibility and control within the manufacturing supply chain network. The company plans to gradually expand the beyond those initial sites.
Figure 2: Infineon has been progressively integrating its vertical processes over several years. The diagram above shows the progress from 2012 and the plan going up to 2020.
Meanwhile, the company aims for vertical integration to progressively automate, connect and control equipment, material, processes, work flow and manufacturing data management. They have already deployed the first of robotics and Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV). Robotics and automation will also be introduced in loading-unloading, and packing.
The goal is to eliminate non-value added and error-prone manual tasks, such as handling of materials in and out of storage and microscopic visual inspection for defects, -- processes that are now automated.
Infineon's digital integration began with the introduction of paperless manufacturing execution system (MES) and real-time equipment monitoring. Automated scheduling and dispatching system improved overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), while eliminating manual and repetitive tasks, according to the company.
They recently introduced connected mobile devices to which they push real time notifications to Material Operators and help to eliminate error-prone verbal communication and unnecessary movement on shop-floor. The end goal is a comprehensive information network and control tower with simulations and predictive analytics capabilities to optimise decision making.
Taking lessons for customers?
Infineon said that as a user they know the challenges; and as a supplier they offer products for the similar implementation. Their press release stated that smart manufacturing initiatives have direct impact on job scopes of engineers, technicians and operators, and that the lean and fast-paced production requires employees to have a fast and agile mindset, technical competence to make the right decisions and an aptitude for continuous learning.