Baking, a process that involves lamination, soldering, and printing, is often used in the manufacture of printed circuit boards (PCB) to eliminate moisture, dry graphite, and harden resin. However to avoid damage to or failure of the board components, the baking temperature and duration must be carefully controlled. Traditionally, PCB factories use standalone ovens with an embedded proportional integral derivative (PID) controller.
Operators must read the meter, record temperature variations, and then manually adjust the baking temperature and duration. Because of the extreme precision required, this system is vulnerable to errors. One of Taiwan's leading PCB manufacturers decided to implement a real-time temperature monitoring solution to ensure product quality and yield.
Accordingly, this leading manufacturer required a connected monitoring system that would enable automatic real-time data acquisition, remote control of operating parameters and automatic alarm alerts when temperatures reach pre-set thresholds. Graphs showing the historical temperature variation trends for the operating duration were also required for quality management and policy making.
Advantech's solution involved installing six to eight RTD temperature sensors in each oven, which were then connected to an ADAM-6217 analog input I/O module. The sampling rate could be set at one entry per second/5 seconds, depending on the usage deployment method that does not cause damage or interference to existing equipment. The sensors transmit data to Ethernet-based data modules, connecting the ovens in a network for sharing information.
Advantech's ADAM-6200 series facilitates connection to an Ethernet network in a daisy-chain topology, reducing the need for switching nodes and complex deployment. ADAM-6200 series products are also equipped with basic logic judgment capabilities, which allows them to activate on-site alarms if temperatures exceed the designated threshold.
ADAM modules used to monitor ovens are daisy-chained together, and the data acquired from the sensors travels along the Ethernet-based daisy chain, via an EKI-5728 industrial switch, to arrive at IPC-610. The IPC-610 system is equipped with Advantech's WebAccess HMI/SCADA software to facilitate the acquisition, storage, display and use of received data.
Advantech's WebAccess software is an open platform that supports diverse communication drivers to ensure easy expansion and integration. If PCB manufacturers wish to expand the scale of Intelligent automation, all existing and newly added applications can be easily integrated on the same platform, and all data can be accessed from any Internet browser in any location.
With the implementation of Advantech's solution, the PCB factory was able to acquire baking temperature data 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with high sampling rates. When connected to the factory's MES, the temperature monitoring system can automatically set the baking temperature and duration according to the job recipes. This helps prevent board delamination, measling, or other failures and enables the factory to manage small-batch/diverse production.
Nowadays, PCB manufacturers face increasing pressure from both customers and competitors to adopt Industry 4.0. However, because of the Industry's low profit margins, manufacturers are more conservative when considering the plant-wide implementation of intelligent automation. Most manufacturers opt for partial implementation starting with their most critical process and equipment.
Advantech's real-time 24/7 baking temperature monitoring solution targets one of PCB manufacturers' biggest pain points and provides the most cost-effective, easy-to-deploy and easy-to-expand methods for ensuring product quality and yield goals.