Fast & Accurate Traceability

By: Cogiscan
Flash Electronics wanted to meet the traceability requirements of their top customers like HuaWei. “We were looking for a system capable of delivering accurate and reliable data that would answer the following questions: Which components were assembled on each PCB? Where did the components come from? When did we place or insert those components? When did the PCB enter/exit each machine? On top of getting these answers, Cogiscan software enabled us to completely avoid data entry duplication by integrating seamlessly with our incoming quality assurance system” says Lin-Lin.


In 2006, Flash Electronics responded to customer requirements for component level traceability by implementing a material tracking solution from Cogiscan. The system had to be configured and deployed rapidly to meet tight deadlines demanded by their customers.

The Cogiscan Traceability package was installed across multiple lines at a Flash Electronics facility in Suzhou, China. The system is used to address high level traceability and real-time reporting requirements, for all operations throughout the facility including SMT, hand-load and final mechanical assembly.

Flash Electronics, Inc. is headquartered in Silicon Valley, CA, and has five manufacturing sites in the United States and China. Flash Electronics has rapidly grown into one of the world’s premier electronics manufacturing service (EMS) providers serving a dynamic list of leading OEMs. “Given the importance of the project and the highly competitive environment, we evaluated many solutions to make the right choice. Cogiscan demonstrated a higher level of flexibility and scalability, at a lower cost than alternative solutions. Cogiscan offered us a cost-effective and proven traceability system while showing superior technology,” recalls Lin-Lin Li, IT Application Manager, from Flash Electronics, explaining why her company chose Cogiscan.


“Cogiscan Traceability software helps us build and access complete historical data that we need, right from the start, and keeps track of every component and process. That’s the bottom line,” says Sweader Shih, VP Operations. “The open architecture is of major importance. We started out with a barcode based solution which gathers traceability information that our managers use to create customer reports and that our engineers use to improve our products. Cogiscan opens its data warehouse so we can use the information however we want, and develop our own customized reports. In the future, we will be able to further increase our productivity by using Cogiscan’s unique RFID technology,” notes Lin-Lin.

Cogiscan Traceability solutions include the use of Product Flow Controllers to ensure that scanners mounted at strategic scan points on the SMT line record all the necessary product information. The product cannot progress to the next assembly operation unless the required traceability data is accurately captured, 100% of the time.


Faster and more accurate reporting

Real-time and accurate reporting – key strengths of Cogiscan Traceability. “The most important benefit is that every time we want to create a traceability report for a customer, we save a lot of time in retrieving the information and we are really confident that the data is very accurate,” affirms Lin-Lin Li.

Minimized recall

It is of critical importance to Flash Electronics to continuously minimize repair and rework while improving their manufacturing process, yield and overall quality. “Cogiscan Traceability gives us more information and an increased ability to identify problems, perform tight recalls and improve our overall quality. Our time to produce a precise recall campaign has dropped significantly,” says Lin-Lin Li.

Proactive team

“The Cogiscan team, both in North America and China, really exceeded our expectations. They are very responsive, possess tremendous know-how and are dedicated to customer satisfaction. They understand the electronic manufacturing industry and provide best-in-class service because they listen carefully. They are as dedicated to excellence as we are. Cogiscan quickly assessed and filled gaps between our systems to comply with our specific needs”, adds Lin-Lin Li.


The system enables managers and engineers to quickly generate their own customized reports, eliminating the time lag that may exist between the time a problem occurs and when it can be identified and corrected. “Now management and operation can access traceability data in real-time. They appreciate the opportunity to rapidly create reports and improve the quality of our products. I see the progress on the factory floor growing as we continue to fine-tune our assembly processes” summarizes Lin-Lin Li.