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How Does PCBasic’s MES System Effectively Control The PCBA Production Process?

Why we need to self-develop MES system

Manufacturing execution system or MES for short is a patented cloud management system developed by PCBasic, This in order to supply a demand that we found for products that develop in the direction of individualization, diversification, small-batch, and high constant demand of high-quality production. World wide customers often encounter pain points such as slow delivery of PCBA production plants, unguaranteed component quality, poor PCBA production quality, and unprofessional service. 

Due to the small number of customer orders, non-standard production BOM materials, and manufacturing defects in PCB design, traditional largescale EMS manufacturers are reluctant to accept such small batch orders, and the production management of small factories is not standardized, currently, there is no digital system management for small batch production, 

The quality of materials purchased without a complete supply chain is unstable, the quality of PCBA cannot be guaranteed, and professional services cannot be obtained.

To summarize these problems, based on our accumulated production experience and process technology research we gained through the years, we decided to develop a production system software in 2016 to help us tackle and solve this issue in order to serve our customers in the best possible way. We Effectively solved the above pain points and realized fast production services of high-end PCBA of various varieties and small batches. We set up special production lines with different batches and defined 1-100PCS as a sample line, 100-1000 as a small batch line, and more than 1000 as a batch line.

During production, we found that the customer BOM information often encounters material specifications and descriptions that do not match before and after, resulting in material procurement errors. For example: “C0603X223K1RACAUTO” Capacitor, in the BOM quantity mark is 5PCS, the actual number of C1-C6 is 6PCS, and the direction and polarity of LED, IC, and other parts are not clear, material management and other issues lead to affect the production speed and quality. 

We’ve set up an IT team of more than 10 people to develop a set of MES systems, BOM analysis software, SMT first article inspection instrument, IQC incoming material inspection for multi-variety and small-batch PCBA production process according to these problems and different batch types of orders. System, WMS system, APS automatic production scheduling system, QMS quality management system, SCADA data collection and management, SRM supplier management system, CRM customer management system, IoT intelligent shelf, and other hardware and software combine to overcome the management in the process of small-batch and multi-variety production Pain points and technical difficulties,

 we have obtained dozens of patented technologies over the years, and obtained 2 patented technologies for production devices when helping one of our largest customer “Google” to produce the “(Google) Chromecast 2rd Gen” device.

PCBasic owns one of the most effective management and execution systems in the industry for the rapid production of small batches of high-quality PCBA, which solves the pain points of the quality and delivery speed of PCBA rapid production, reduces product processing costs, improves quality control capabilities for customers, and achieves preventable delivery capabilities. Traceable intelligent management realizes the fast delivery of PCBA orders with a monthly production capacity of 3000+ orders.

Patent of PCBA Production Process tool

How did we implement a PCBA fast production control

In the PCBasic system, a unique barcode is generated for the order, and the user can automatically quote from the www.pcbasic.com website, and the SMT processing fee will be completed in one second.

PCBA automatically quote

The system will automatically bind and integrate the project to our smart infrastructure that supports order Purchasing, IQC Incoming Inspection Intelligent, Warehousing Automatic Production Scheduling, SMT Production, First Piece Test Reflow soldering, AOI X-RAY, QA, DIP, AOI functional test, conformal paint, packaging, FQA logistics shipment and much more. The data of the entire PCBA production process is recorded in real time and can be traced to the source, if the user can view the order production progress and any problems in the production process in real time; (as shown in the figure below: MES process record screen)

PCBA Production Process

1. The system will automatically pushes tasks to the “process engineers” for the purpose of BOM, PCB GERBER, stencil opening and process review. Engineers who encounter problems will give professional solutions or improvement suggestions in order to correct the issues in timely matter without causing a delay.

PCBA process review

2. After the process review is completed, the MES pushes the order to match the optimal suppliers in order to purchase the necessary materials and components. Before the materials are put into storage, IQC feature will use our self developed IQC material inspection system to detect the status of the material parameters. If the parameters are abnormal, we will record them in the system and propose solutions to customers.

IQC material inspection systemPCBA material counting machine
IQC material inspection system

3. The Material inspection that has been confirmed will be stored in the smart shelf, and when all production conditions are met, the system automatically pushes it to the best production line in the SMT workshop to initiate the production.

PCBA intelligent warehousePCBA smart shelf
MES System for PCBA production

4. We Purchase and use world’s best “ALPHA” Japanese brand solder paste, and the intelligent ESD electrostatic protection management system eliminates the hidden danger of electrostatic damage to the chip.

intelligent ESD electrostatic protection management system

5. Throughout the production process, the SCADA data acquisition system carries out data communication, reading and data acquisition. It will upload in real-time the data to our MES system regarding solder paste printing, SPI solder paste inspection equipment, SMT placement machine, 12-temperature zone reflow soldering, AOI optical inspection machine, and X-RAY tests that should be conducted in each production facility.

SCADA data acquisition system

6. For the first batch of PCBA that are produced will be used with the self-developed firstbatch inspection system to check whether the components of each patch are installed correctly. After the inspection is completed, our engineers will upload the correct sample pictures to our system and provide them to our customers to review and confirm. During the production quality check, if the customers find any problems, they can send feedback through the platform.

MES System for PCBA production

7. When the customer needs X-RAY to inspect the BGA, we will upload the inspection photos to our system and save it so that the customer can inquire at any time.

BGA test

8. 100% of the PCBA completed by the SMT patch is inspected by AOI, and the tested products are inspected and accepted by the QA personnel of the quality department according to the AQL standard;

AOI inspection machine for SMT patchQA detection in PCBA Production Process

Quality monitoring in PCBA Production Process

9. During DIP plug-in production, the system will complete the material correctness inspection of the PCBA using AOI. If there is a problem, the AOI system will automatically give a voice prompt and record the problem to the MES. Once confirmed, the PCBA enters the wave soldering process. After the soldering is completed, the AOI inspects the solder joints.

AOI inspection machine for DIP plug-inAOI inspection machine for DIP plug-in

10. Once AOI inspection is has been cleared, we will go to our automatic cleaning machine for PCBA cleaning. After cleaning, we will carry out functional testing, three-proof paint spraying, sub-board, and then QA inspection, finally it will be packaged and shipped in electrostatic packaging.

PCBA sub-board


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