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ASM digital twin of the production with real-time data

Proactive support and predictive maintenance
ASM digital twin of the production with real-time data

Proactively controlled service management is a component that‘s indispensable for building an integrated smart SMT factory, which is why ASM has developed a comprehensive and modular solution for this purpose with its ASM Equipment Center. Service teams can now optimize the planning and execution of maintenance activities in line with the ‘agile production’ approach. The fabLIVE module delivers instant benefits by mapping a digital twin of the complete production in a detailed 3D model, which shows current maintenance relevant machine conditions at a glance. The Equipment Center thus supports predictive maintenance to a previously unattainable degree. Necessary assists and troubleshooting measures become instantly visible, which reduces the frequency of production stops significantly.

Having a seamless exchange of data is vitally important for the integrated Smart Factory. Even in heterogeneous production environments with equipment from many different manufacturers, the flow of data must be maintained at all times. It‘s the only way to proactively plan maintenance, in order to ensure a continuously high level of quality and prevent unnecessary production stops. “As we transition to the integrated Smart Factory in stages, our service operations must change as well. With a classic organization and traditional tools, the manufacturers’ service teams are no longer able to satisfy the growing demands on availability and thus the immaculate condition of machines, feeders and other components,” says Jim Leather, head of Product Management for ASM SMT Solutions, before adding: “Predictive maintenance based on sensors in the machines that make data available anywhere and in real time is one component of our Service 4.0 initiative.”

Integrated Smart Factory lives on data

The company believes in the use of powerful, flexible and open communication standards, such as IPC-CFX or ASM OIB across the entire production chain. The company is the first supplier in the SMT field to make it possible for the seamless flow of data from its own machines, as well as, third-party machines. Predictive maintenance is just one beneficiary of this approach as long as machine messages are processed appropriately. Virtualizing the collected and channeled data in a continuously updated user cockpit that can be seen anywhere in the company and not just at the individual machine opens up a new world of opportunities in predictive maintenance.

Visualizing the digital twin of the factory

Not every industrial user can and wants to implement the integrated Smart Factory everywhere in one step – in most cases, this is done in stages. One helpful module on this road is the fabLIVE module, which is part of the manufacturing execution system (MES) offered by the company’s subsidiary Critical Manufacturing. The browser-based software generates a virtual 3D image of the factory with all its production equipment and machines.

Since ASM includes all the necessary 3D data with its own machines such as DEK printers or Siplace placement systems, they can be used to create the 3D image right away. In addition, the system can import maintenance calendars and other information from ASM machines such as manuals, job cards or checklists, and it does most of this automatically. This saves many hours of manual labor. If graphical templates cannot be imported from third-party equipment, they can be created with the software. For additional third-party machine data, a wide range of import options is available.

After their data has been entered, fabLIVE can describe and depict all machines in detail with their location coordinates and their length and width dimensions. This alone would be nothing special – it’s the networking component that makes the difference.

Via communication interfaces like ASM OIB or IPC-CFX, fabLIVE can now collect, filter and compile all available operating data from the machines, whether they are made by the company or someone else. The end product is an exact screen copy of the factory with maintenance relevant current production data in real time. In addition, many widgets for creating reports, charts or bills of materials can be assigned to tools, areas, or entire plants. Their display can be configured with great flexibility dashboards for specific user groups.

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Each machine’s status at a glance

Traffic light colors indicate each machine‘s status within the production line. A click on the digital twin of a certain machine may deliver additional information, such as sensor data, job or work-in-progress data, information about operators or maintenance intervals, as well as key performance indicators (KPIs) such as utilization, productivity, throughput, and a whole lot more. The system can also generate reports on the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), historical data and material tracking data, as well as alarm analyses based on location, department or features.

All these functionalities make it possible to monitor lines without having to be physically present on site. The clear display of current output data, pending maintenance activities or necessary assists as well as of trouble information broken down by location, type or scope provides a comprehensive overview – anytime and anywhere. And the consideration of preprogrammed fixed maintenance intervals paired with units produced, machine runtimes and other parameters, makes it possible to plan and schedule maintenance operations in accordance with the actual production numbers.

Real-time communication

Through fabLIVE, the Equipment Center software does not only centrally keep track of the status and maintenance history of each machine, but the user can also see feeder availability and locations, including those that have been sent out for repairs. For example, the software can show the individual feeder status – another way to prevent any negative impacts on throughput, yield or quality by minimizing the reaction time from the start.

Modular for more functions

Thanks to the modular architecture of the solution packages from Critical Manufacturing, the functional scope of fabLIVE can be expanded quickly and easily, for instance with the implementation of bi-directional communication for interlocking by using further modules. For example, with the addition of augmented reality (AR), operators can receive maintenance and status data along with other information on their mobile devices when they stand in front of the machine. The camera recognizes the machine and calls up its stored information along with current production data. That way, data does not have to be requested and sorted individually, all of which takes time, but is displayed specifically for each user. Since AR enables each user to see in detail what needs to be done and how, even less experienced employees can perform many duties right away. While most suppliers still use AR mainly for maintenance instructions, Critical Manufacturing employs the technology to give users much deeper insights into the production environment.

Immediate user benefits

The Equipment Center together with the module fabLIVE makes factories transparent from day one because maintenance relevant machine data is available in real time. The software thus represents a major step towards the integrated Smart Factory. And since it is browser-based, the virtual twins can be viewed and analyzed on desktops or mobile devices without the need to install special software. The information is customized for specific user groups such as service technicians or production managers. The resulting support for predictive maintenance shortens response times dramatically, minimizes downtime, reduces the communication effort, and improves the performance.


Der Artikel zeigt, wie mittels einer umfassenden, modularen Lösung die Planung und Durchführung von Wartungsaktivitäten nach dem Ansatz einer agilen Produktion optimiert werden kann.


L’article montre comment une solution modulaire complète permet d’optimiser la planification et la réalisation d’opérations de maintenance selon le principe de la production agile.


В статье рассказывается о том, как комплексное модульное решение может помочь при оптимизации планирования и работ по техобслуживанию в соответствии с концепцией гибкого производства.

Company contact

ASM Assembly Systems GmbH & Co. KG
Rupert-Mayer-Strasse 48
81379 Munich Germany
Tel.: +49 89 20800 27819
E-Mail: smt-solutions.de@asmpt.com
Website: www.asm-smt.com

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