C-MAC Microcircuits in Sherbrooke, Quebec has completed the first phase of implementation of the Cogiscan platform for material control. The system offers a completely automated solution providing real-time visibility and control of materials on the production floor.
Alain Breton, Manufacturing Manager at C-MAC Microcircuits : "We feel that this is a very strategic investment for our facility. We must find new ways to reduce our costs while maintaining and even improving the quality of our products. When you consider that the majority of our costs are associated with the materials themselves, it was clear to us that this was the right place to start. Having real-time and accurate inventory of all materials on the production floor and eliminating the waste caused by human errors contribute directly to reducing our material costs and increasing our competitiveness."
The Cogiscan platform consists of a complete set of hardware and software modules that can be configured to provide the optimal level of automation in various manufacturing operations, for any type of material control application.
The first phase of implementation consists of automating the movement of ceramic substrates in the thick film sector. The substrates are handled in special cassettes from one operation to another. The cassettes are fitted with Cogiscan RF tags and the machine loaders/unloaders and conveyors are equipped with RF antennas.
The Cogiscan platform automatically detects the movement of all cassettes and performs various types of validation in the background. The system validates that the product goes through the proper sequence of operations and it also validates that every machine is properly setup at each operation. This setup validation is accomplished by using RF tags on raw materials (jars of paste), tooling (stencils, blades) and by integrating RF antennas inside the machines themselves.
In this highly complex environment, many opportunities for errors are eliminated with a simple and robust solution. The Cogiscan platform is designed in such a way that the current system can easily be expanded in the future to control other types of materials and other sectors of operations.