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Phuntronix is a PCB manufacturer that provides component assembly services for customers in a wide range of industries, including automotive, medical, defense/security, robotics, and consumer electronics.
Phuntronix is a printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturer specializing in component assembly. Located in Soesterberg, The Netherlands, Phuntronix serves an international customer base from a wide range of industries, including automotive, medical, defense/security, robotics, and consumer electronics.
The fully automated production line of Phuntronix positions up to 100,000 components per hour, including solder paste inspection. It uses advanced flying probe testers to perform functional and in-circuit testing to ensure the quality of their assembled PCBs.
"As an electronics manufacturing services player, we are always on the lookout for new ideas and technologies that will help us preserve our competitive edge and improve collaboration with our customers,” says Minno de Roo, founder and director of Phuntronix. “As a result, we can continue to create new, innovative products and manufacture the highest-quality PCBs."
de Roo is keenly aware of the need for increased automation in their production operations: “Phuntronix introduces an average of 12 new boards per month,” says de Roo “We were losing a lot of time. We used to draw another design tool. Every layout, top and bottom, and all the layers were prepared by hand. For example, a complex PCB – with both manual and machine assembly involving SMT and THT components – would take us approximately three days to prepare.
"Our entire production process was manual and time-consuming and required duplicate data flows – as we had to upload the PCB layout to both the CAM350 software and the machine software. Most importantly, we needed a way to eliminate mistakes in the quotation process and to keep the production process free of costly and time-consuming errors."
After trying out a number of software tools – some of them unstable and crash-prone – Phuntronix installed Valor™ Process Preparation software at its production site in May 2018. Valor is part of the Xcelerator™ portfolio, the comprehensive and integrated portfolio of software and services from Siemens Digital Industries Software.
Phuntronix leverages the process structure and standardized templates in Valor Process Preparation to manage the entire new product introduction (NPI) process. “Valor Process Preparation provides us with organized, efficient workflows,” says de Roo. “It is flexible, allowing us to multitask multiple projects and swap between templates – which is crucial in our high-mix environment.
“We needed worry-free software. Valor Process Preparation runs and keeps running. We upload data, design panels, create Fuji programs, make drawings, and upload the BOM. Valor Process Preparation guides us through the entire preparation process in the order that we want and the way we want it. It’s a great tool for machine-to-machine communication.
“Our customers want to know exactly what they will receive from us, and that’s no problem. Every step of the process is fully documented – we’re in control.
“With Valor Process Preparation, it is first time right. We eliminate errors during the quotation and design process so production is problem-free. That’s why we rely on Siemens software.”
Following the introduction of Valor Process Preparation, Phuntronix noted a number of improvements.
According to de Roo, Phuntronix achieved faster new product introduction and was less prone to error. “Instead of needing several iterations, we get it right the first time now!” says de Roo. “We’re able to get all the work done in half a day instead of multiple days using half the manpower.”
Further, changeover time was reduced on average by 25 percent. Lead times were also cut.
“Of course, it depends on the complexity of the PCB and the quantity of the batch, but on average we’ve cut lead times by 30 percent,” says de Roo.
There were also reduced manpower requirements: “Usually two team members were involved, now it’s never more than one,” says de Roo. “Our expertise is in high-volume PCB assembly with a low THT component count. These types of products can be assembled and tested in a fully automatic way – minimizing the number of operators and reducing the cost of assembly. Now operators that were used for repetitive tasks can shift to more specialized tasks.”
Phuntronix forecasts a return-on-investment (ROI) on Valor Process Preparation within 2.5 years.
In September 2020, Phuntronix expanded its license to include Valor NPI, Siemens’ state-of-the-art design for manufacturability (DFM) software, and Siemens’ comprehensive Valor Parts Library, which provides accurate physical models of electronic components and connectors used in PCB manufacturing, test and assembly, delivered in a consistent, computer-aided design (CAD)/computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) friendly format.