AI-based, Closed Loop Self-Optimization Platform Developed at SUNY Binghamton

Smart Factory in Electronics Manufacturing: AI-based Closed-Loop Self-Optimization Platform

By Professor Sang Won Yoon


Automated production in electronics manufacturing can produce high-quality products, but it might lead to a particular failure without human interventions. With the rapid technology development, such as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), big data analysis, cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), many manufacturing processes can be more intelligent, and Industry 4.0 can then be realized in the near future[1]. Smart manufacturing adopts real-time decision-making based on operational and inspectional data and integrates the entire manufacturing process as a unified framework. Then, the future manufacturing process transforms cyber-physical systems digitally and responds to any uncertain situations proactively while ensuring higher efficiency.

In Surface Mount Assembly (SMA) lines, equipment status and quality data can be collected via IIoT technology. Data-driven solutions, such as AI and machine learning algorithms, can be applied to diagnose abnormal defects and adjust optimal machine parameters in response to unexpected changes/situations during production. Collaborating with various SMT industry partners, the research team at the State University of New York at Binghamton (aka Binghamton University) developed a novel framework based on AI-based closed-loop feedback control and parameter optimization to implement a smart manufacturing solution in the PCB assembly for yield and throughput improvement. This AI-based framework could provide a potential road map for data-driven process control in SMA.

Machine Intelligence in SMA

Each SMA process has a critical effect on the final PCB product quality and throughput. Notably, the solder printing process is a critical operation because over 60% of the PCB assembly soldering defects can be traced back to this stage. An inadequate volume of solder paste transferred to any PCB pad is a printing fault, which leads to board failure and substantial reworking and repair costs. The pick and place (P&P) process is the highest cost procedure, including expensive machine investment and extended production time. In the soldering reflow process (SRP), the reflow oven temperature and other related settings determine the solder joints’ quality and reliability. Hence, multiple inspection machines in the SMA processes have been introduced, including solder paste inspection (SPI) and automated optical inspection (AOI) machines. Particularly, two independent AOIs could be employed to detect the components’ defects before and after SRP.


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