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ASM Assembly Systems announced that Parker Hannifin (Parker) Motion Systems Group’s Electronic Controls Division (ECD), a leading OEM of electronic system products for industrial mobile vehicles, has selected the company’s SIPLACE SX2 placement platform to secure its manufacturing flexibility and growth trajectory for the company’s high-mix electronics assembly operations. The Morton, IL-based division of Parker is also tapping into ASM Academy, ASM’s online learning resource, as well as Remote Smart Factory for remote line oversight capability.
Parker ECD’s 60,000 sq. ft. Morton facility serves a variety of mobile markets including applications in agriculture, construction, material handling and trucking. At this location, sensors and mobile electronics are designed and manufactured to the highest quality standards where reliability is central, as the sensors manage critical functional elements of demanding, large OEM systems. Three SMT assembly lines and 21 final assembly cells combine to produce over 700 different types of sensors.
Prior to the SIPLACE SX2 selection, the SMT lines at Parker’s Morton facility included placement machines from multiple suppliers, including previous-generation SIPLACE equipment. As Richie Evans, Parker Senior Manufacturing Engineer explains, standardization across a common system, improved capacity and production flexibility were some of the factors that led the Electronic Controls team to again choose ASM. “SIPLACE performance and support has never disappointed,” shares Evans, who has a long history with SIPLACE systems, as well as other brands. “In evaluating our high-mix operational objectives of changeover ease, wide component range, scalable capacity expansion capabilities, maximizing floor space, productivity improvements with programming and offline setup, and ease of maintenance, SIPLACE SX2 emerged as the clear solution.”
Replacing two disparate placement machines on one of the SMT lines, Parker’s pair of in-line SIPLACE SX2 systems has dramatically expanded production capacity and allowed the team to optimize programming automatically across its lines on SIPLACE PRO, eliminating time-consuming manual line-balancing adjustments. The first in-line SIPLACE SX2 is equipped with two SIPLACE MultiStar placement heads and the second with a SIPLACE MultiStar and a SIPLACE TwinStar for maximum component range and manufacturing adaptability. Combined, the platforms deliver 73,000 cph, 210 hot-swappable feeder slots and capacity-on-demand features that allow Parker to scale up or down as manufacturing conditions demand. “With floor space at a premium, expanding capacity without any increase in footprint is a must for our manufacturing set up,” says Richie Evans, “and the SIPLACE SX2 provides unmatched latitude.”
The Parker team has also leveraged the ASM Academy digital learning platform and Remote Smart Factory remote line analysis to enhance maintenance protocols and productivity. Even before ASM Academy was officially launched in early 2020, Parker SMT Process Technician, Brian Sutton, was eager to gain access to the over 150 available modules and augmented reality (AR) ‘hands-on’ experience. “With the new SIPLACE SX2 platforms, having an on-demand desktop classroom was hugely beneficial for learning about certain system maintenance procedures, programming optimization and general operational guidance,” he says. “Personally, I’ve found the digital training with AR capability better than traditional in-person instruction and I can do it on my time. Plus, when COVID restrictions limited travel for a few months, the importance of this type of resource was even more profound. ASM’s robust digital learning resources have tremendous long-term workforce skill development advantages for our team.”
Evans adds that Remote Smart Factory, ASM’s secure solution, is another advanced digital tool that provides production continuity for Parker’s Morton operation. “If needed, the ASM service team can remotely access the machine using a secure connection to offer programming help or diagnose issues. Recently, a remote assist on one of the placement heads had us up in running in less than an hour; factoring travel, a typical in-person service visit could have taken a day or more,” says Evans, adding that he can also check in on the line from his home office or anywhere in the world. “What Remote Smart Factory delivers for productivity is hard to quantify; it’s significant. The digital tools are the best I’ve seen and the ASM team always goes above and beyond. This partnership is definitely the right choice for our current operation and long-range growth strategy.”