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An Integrated Investigation into A Communication Network for A PCBA System

By Qian Wang, A R Mileham, GW Owen and C R Chatwin


For the successful integration of a highly automated printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) system consisting of assembly robots and associated control devices using a local area network (LAN), it is crucial to deliver the desired cost effective functional integration specified and required by the systems' analysts, designers or their clients. Such a highly integrated time-critical environment often requires a full system evaluation, i.e., the investigation of the system's performance cannot only focus on the operations aspect without considering the performance of the communication environment. Until recently, however, system designers lacked a feasible approach that allows investigators to take both aspects into account. Meanwhile, decision makers and managers from companies often demand fast delivery of an outcome, which gives a preview of the overall system performance before implementation of the actual system. This paper presents a method that may provide a useful aid for system designers to examine both the assembly system and its communication system by formulating an integrated process. This involves modelling the basic manufacturing operations and incorporating the effect of the communication system in order to detect and eliminate any fatal bottlenecks that may occur in the system. This method has been tested by applying it into a fairly complex PCBA system as a case study

Year: 2006
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