Monday, June 18, 2018
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Partnering to Better Provide TTC Solutions to the Industry
Contactless tracking adds component usage data to your production data.

Cogiscan partners with leading equipment manufacturers and electronics assemblers to create solutions that can integrate with existing systems to provide factory-wide Trace, Trace and Control (TTC) solutions. The company is committed to the development and continuous improvement of solutions to TTC materials and tools on and off the shop floor with the focus of providing the most advanced, innovative technology to customers. Recently, Cogiscan began working with Juki Automation Systems (JAS) and the partnership is proving successful for both companies as well as their respective customers.

Juki and Cogiscan have been strategic partners for 10 years now. The relationship began in 2002 when Juki AG approached Cogiscan to improve its Intelligent Feeder System (IFS). The prior intelligent feeder hardware used electrical contacts and was replaced with the Cogiscan patented RFID smart feeder technology. This contactless method proved to be much more reliable and flexible, and the improved product became the IFS-X. Eventually, the original IFS software was replaced with the Cogiscan software and this version was named IFS-X2. Since then Juki has been selling IFS-X2 throughout Europe and the Americas. This option has become more and more popular over the years because of the industry trends toward improved quality, lower cost and traceability. Recently, Cogiscan has been working with Juki's headquarters in Japan to integrate the IFS-X2 technology in new machines and feeders, direct from the factory. This latest evolution, IFS-NX is being released in Asia and the rest of the world. Both companies are actively working to define the roadmap of future intelligent machines and advanced manufacturing software.
End-to-End materials tracking flow.

A company like Juki could very well have decided to develop all software internally. Instead, however, it decided to work with strategic partners like Cogiscan for several good reasons. First is the question of expertise — no company can be the best at everything. Juki focuses on developing world-class machines and the associated machine software while Cogiscan focuses on developing world-class TTC software that connects machines and materials with the rest of the factory. When the two products are tightly integrated, customers benefit from the best of both worlds. This collaboration enables both companies to develop better products faster and at a lower cost, thus maintaining a leading edge over the competition.

In a typical situation, Juki will first sell one or several placement machines equipped with the IFS-X2 option. Customers soon appreciate and come to depend on the higher level of automation provided by this solution. At this point, they are ready to look at other opportunities to gain a similar level of control in other parts of their SMT line and beyond. This is when Cogiscan comes into direct contact with the Juki customer. Since the Cogiscan TTC server is already installed and operational, it is only a matter of adding more application software. All new modules integrate directly with the existing IFS-X2 system as the default configuration.

The IFS-X2 option has been popular throughout the industry. Its success comes from key features. For one thing, there is a significant trend in the industry toward achieving higher levels of automation. The objective is to reduce cost while increasing quality. With IFS-X 2, this objective is achieved by knowing precisely and in real-time where each reel and matrix tray is located in the factory. The system optimizes every step of the assembly process, from kiting, to offline job setup, to online verification and low-level warnings. For customers in the high-reliability sector, the optional traceability module is a must. It allows customers to know precisely which lots of components were used to assemble a specific board, down to the reference designator level.
End-to-End materials tracking flow.

IFS-X2 also represents a competitive edge for Juki against other placement machines. It is the only intelligent feeder system that can be retrofitted back to any vintage of machine and feeder. The contactless RFID technology is more reliable and requires no maintenance, thus contributing to the lowest cost of ownership offered by Juki. The RFID feeders are intelligent both on and off the machine, even when they are loaded on storage carts. The IFS-X2 software also is different in the fact that other equipment vendors' software typically is limited to a specific machine brand and/or model. Because IFS-X2 is based on Cogiscan TTC software, it can be expanded to any other platform, providing a unified GUI and a common database for multi-vendor lines, including manual placement and any other manufacturing process such as AOI, ICT, final assembly, functional test, rework, conformal coating and final pack-out.

The Juki TTC software is a natural extension of IFS-X2. Since Juki is now selling more than just placement machines, they wanted to offer a similar level of material and process control software for equipment like screen printers, reflow ovens and selective soldering. It relies on Cogiscan to provide modular and scalable TTC software that can be deployed as a standalone solution, or integrated with factory-level systems. The Juki TTC software was successful when it was introduced the IPC APEX EXPO 2012.

TTC systems are strategically important for electronics assemblers. This recent product introduction is a significant milestone for Juki and Cogiscan, and is seen as a leading industry solution. By joining forces in the past, Juki and Cogiscan developed better solutions for their customers and, as a result, both companies enjoyed growing success. The same recipe that was proven for placement machines now is expanding to the next level: to the rest of the SMT line and beyond. By building its product and business development strategy on solid partnerships, Juki can offer better solutions — faster and at lower costs — ultimately delivering the highest value to its customers that, in turn, can help it become more successful in its own business.

Contact: Fran‡ois Monette, Cogiscan Inc., 50 De Gasp‚, Suite A5, Bromont, Canada J2L 2N8; E-mail:; 450-534-2644; Website: 

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