Material Handling

Integrating X-Ray Counters with Smart Storage

X-ray counters are great, but how do you integrate them with your other manufacturing systems?

The integration of X-Ray counters with smart storage systems has the potential to significantly streamline operations within Surface Mount Technology (SMT) manufacturing. With numerous methods available, it can be challenging to choose the right approach that complements your operation. In this post, we'll explore the varying degrees of integration, along with the specific benefits they each offer.

Printed Labels

The simplest way to "integrate" X-Ray counters with other systems is by using labels with updated information each time a package is counted. To ensure maximum efficiency, these labels typically include a barcode or 2D code, which can be rapidly scanned into other systems. While this process still involves data entry, it's much quicker and less error-prone than manual input. When the operator adds a package to a smart storage system, they simply scan the package, which then automatically updates the system with the new count.

Real Time Data Transfer

A more sophisticated method involves real-time or near real-time communication between systems. As soon as a package is counted, the updated count is automatically dispatched to other manufacturing systems such as ERP, MRP, MES, or smart storage systems like InoAuto. By implementing this method, the smart storage system is instantly updated with the latest count as soon as the operator scans the package back into storage. It's worth noting that this type of integration typically relies on each package having a Unique Identifier (UID) for the seamless transfer of information.

Centralized Data

The final method extends the concept of real-time communication by sending updated counts to a centralized location. This location could be as simple as an updated file or as comprehensive as an MES system managing overall inventory. When an operator adds a package back into smart storage, the system queries the centralized location to find the most recent count for that package. Given the potential for numerous packages with the same part number, a UID is necessary to ensure the correct count is applied to the correct package.

Final Thoughts

Whether it's through labels, real-time communication, or a centralized approach, integrating X-Ray counters with smart storage systems can drastically improve operational efficiency in SMT manufacturing. The appropriate method largely depends on the specific needs of your operation, but each offers its own unique set of benefits.

To learn more about how these integrations can be tailored to suit your operation, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We're always ready to provide the guidance you need to navigate this exciting and beneficial integration.

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