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Electronics Production | January 31, 2011

Liebherr Elektronik uses Siplace LES

Liebherr Elektronik GmbH, a maker of control modules and power electronics for industrial, rail and aerospace applications based in Lindau, Germany, has upgraded its SMT production with help from the experts at ASM Assembly Systems GmbH & Co. KG (formerly Siplace Electronic Assembly Systems GmbH & Co. KG).

Thanks to the successful implementation of Siplace LES (Line Execution System) and the totally paperless management of all setup-related procedures, Liebherr Elektronik is now able to execute the changeovers for even the smallest lot sizes without costly production interruptions. By converting to non-stop setup processes with Siplace LES, Liebherr Elektronik significantly improved the capacity utilization, productivity and flexibility of its electronics production. Peter Horatschek, head of operations scheduling at Liebherr Elektronik, confirms: "Nowadays there is very little to differentiate between the various placement machines from the leading vendors and hence, the choice is difficult. However, what makes the selection more critical, is choosing the right technology partner in terms of software and process competencies. The success of Siplace LES demonstrates to us that integrating and optimizing the entire workflow with the help of good software can produce huge efficiency improvements for manufacturers." They successfully implemented Siplace LES and are convinced by its benefits (left to right): Jan-Holger Hein, Siplace Product Marketing Manager Software; Peter Horatschek, BSc BIS Ing., Head of Production Scheduling, Liebherr Elektronik GmbH, and Peter Reck, Head of SMT Production, Liebherr Elektronik GmbH. Floating setup and intelligent Siplace X-feeders Siplace LES reserves its most severe impact for the setup procedures at the line. The line stops which were necessary for traditional setup changeovers have been replaced with the so-called floating setup on-the-fly. The LEDs on the X-feeder modules signal to the staff which feeders can be torn down. The operator removes the appropriate X-feeders without stopping the line and replaces them with feeders from the Active Feeder Pool. Since the feeders register with the machine automatically, they can be installed in any slot. After they have been removed, the feeders are returned to the Active Feeder Pool, where they indicate via their LEDs whether they are still needed for one of the upcoming products and should remain in the pre-setup area or whether they can be torn down completely and the remaining material returned to the warehouse. "The great benefit of Siplace LES is the calmness which it brings to the factory floor. Since the employees in the entire process chain receive all the information they need early on and are guided via monitors and LEDs, there is none of the usual hectic pace during setup changeovers. And since production jobs with similar setups are grouped together, the changeovers require minimum effort and can be executed on-the-fly by replacing a few feeders," reports SMT production manager Peter Reck.
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