.:Omnitrol Networks and Texas Instruments bring real time RFID traceability to printed circuit board manufacturing :.
April 11th , 2008
Omnitrol Networks and Texas Instruments Incorporated announced today an alliance to deliver a radio frequency identification RFID) real-time traceability solution for printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing applications. The new offering, which integrates Omnitrol Networks Work-in-Process visibility software and TI's Gen 2 chip technology, provides electronic and contract manufacturers a highly automated method of simultaneously identifying and tracking PCB's from the manufacturing floor to customer delivery.
The demand for higher quality, flexibility and efficiency in PCB manufacturing in driving the need for non-line of sight RFID work-in-process tracking that offers several improvements over relatively large, fixed memory barcodes. RFID's small chip size can effectively be used on increasingly scarce board real estate, and its programmable memory allows PCB manufacturers real-time work-in-process visibility into parts, labor and finished goods throughout their manufacturing operations. In addition, RFID solutions provide a highly accurate and comprehensive view of manufacturing data throughout the product lifecycle which can help reduce warranty, safety and liability costs.
The complete solution integrates Omnitrol Networks award winning Work-In-Process (WIP) visibility software and industrial sensor integration appliance, Gen 2 RFID readers and Texas Instruments RFID Gen 2 UHF chips. The off-the-shelf solution provides automated real-time visibility and maintains complete electronic pedigree (e-pedigree) for traceability on parts and WIP providing real-time dashboards, alerts and reports for the shop floor management. The manufacturing pedigree information is automatically programmed into the rfid tag for rapid access to critical data without the need to be connected to a back-end database.
"Electronic manufacturers need an automated, affordable and customisable solution to improve productivity by tracking PCB's throughout the manufacturing process," said Mikael Ahlund, director of asset tracking for Texas Instruments RFID Systems. "The PCB tracking solution combines Texas Instruments experience in electronics manufacturing along with our core competency in RFID with Omnitrol Networks Work-In-Process application appliance."
The solution provides manufacturers with highly accurate information on units in production including location, status and time metrics.
As a fully-integrated hardware and software solution, the PCB tracking solution can be rapidly deployed and scaled at a low cost be simply adding readers where required. By creating a complete e-pedigree for each unit produced, the system can assist manufacturers in identifying products impacted by defective parts, equipment or processes, including tracking counterfeit and diverted products in the market.
The new PCB tracking solution is in pilots with several electronic manufacturers including TQ Components, a leading technology service provider for advanced electronic subsystems and systems in Germany.
"Traditional barcode-based tracking systems are prone to human error and difficult to process due to board real estate, required manual intervention and lack of automation, "said Heinz Hornung, general manager at TQ COmponents. "The OMNITROL PCB tracking solution using TI's RFID chips allows us to automatically maintain traceability on each component that goes into the products we build. We have been able to replace tedious manual scanning with a completely automated process."
About Omnitrol Networks Inc
Omnitrol Networks Inc, is a leading provider of converged service-orientated application network solutions for the emerging wireless, RFID and sensor automation market. The companies award winning OMNITROL appliance and Edge Application and Services Engine (EASE™) software have pioneered the market for "Always On" real-time web based operational visibility and automation solutions. The OMNITROL's unique edge-centric solution architecture enables the industries most flexible and reliable means to deploy scalable application intelligent networks at the lowest total cost of ownership in the market. Omnitrol Networks is a privately held company with corporate headquarters in Mountain View, California USA.
About Texas Instruments
Texas Instruments is the world's largest integrated manufacturer of radio frequency identification (RFID) transponders and reader systems. Capitalising on its competencies in high-volume semicondustor manufacturing and microelectronics packaging, TI is a visionary leader and at the forefront of establishing new markets and international standards for RFID applications.
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