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Case example

Fully automated label printing in PCB manufacturing

Challenge

A Printed Circuit Board manufacturer supplies pcb’s to multiple customers. This results in a variety of labels that need to be printed automatically to keep up with delivery requirements.

Label template

The amount of label templates in use could be reduced to 4 different templates. Each final product needed 1 PCB label, 1 package label per box and 1 shipping label. 2 PCB label layouts remain in use.

  • PCB layout A: this label template includes the pcb type and lot number
  • PCB layout B: this label template includes the pcb type and lot number
  • Box labels: this label template includes product name, pcb type and lot number
  • Shipping labels: this label template includes Company (customer) name, street, postal code, country and city

CSV-data dump set up

The manufacturer’s ERP system was able to dump CSV files.

1 CSV-file was set up with all ERP-data needed to print the 3 required labels per product. The customer decided to use column headers.

“PCBTYPE”,”Lotnr”,”PCB_amount”,”street”,”postal code”,”country”,”city”,”Company name”,box-amount”,”product name”

Data Automation set up

The setup uses the option to store the CSV-file in a different folder after it has been processed by Data Automation. In the PCB manufacturer’s set up, Data Automation also monitors this storage folder in another channel so that 1 CSV-file with all necessary information for 3 labels is cascaded down.

4 Data Automation channels were set up, 1 per label template:

  • PCB layout A: if PCB product type 1, the ERP system dumps the data as a CSVfile in this channel’s Watch Folder. The channel is set up to place “PCBTYPE” and “Lotnr” on the first label template. After processing, it dumps the CSV file in the Watch Folder for the Box labels channel.

  • PCB layout B: if PCB product type 2, the ERP system dumps the data as a CSVfile in this channel’s Watch Folder. The channel is set up to place “PCBTYPE” and “Lotnr” on a second label template. After processing, it dumps the CSV file in the Watch Folder for the Box labels channel.

  • Box labels: this Data Automation channel receives CSV-files in its Watch Folder from the Data Automation channels PCB layout A and PCB layout B. It is set up to place “product name”, “PCBTYPE” and “Lotnr” on the box label template. “Box-amount” is set up as a control variable to set the amount of copies. This channel copies the CSV-file after use in the Watch Folder for the Shipping labels channel.

  • Shipping labels: this Data Automation channel receives CSV-files in its Watch Folder from the Data Automation channel Box labels. It is set up to place the CSV-file fields “Company name”,”street”,”postal code”,”country”,”city” on a single shipping label.