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Presents an integrated approach to assembly planning for manufacturingprinted circuit boards (PCBs). The integrated manufacturing assemblyplanning system (IMAPS) is a…
Presents an integrated approach to assembly planning for manufacturing printed circuit boards (PCBs). The integrated manufacturing assembly planning system (IMAPS) is a system that incorporates knowledge‐based techniques to assist process engineers with the development of assembly plans for building PCBs. IMAPS has been developed in a two‐year project with a multinational telecommunications manufacturer and the Alberta Research Council of Canada. The scope of IMAPS is to develop an integrated environment that takes full advantage of electronic information for assembly planning of PCBs. Several functions in the company can be integrated with IMAPS, including product design, detailed assembly planning, line balancing and generation of shop floor drawings. Information stored in the manufacturing and design databases of the corporation, about a PCB to be assembled, is employed by a knowledge‐based module to generate assembly plans to build the PCB. A line balancing procedure is employed to select the most adequate assembly plan of those generated by the knowledge‐based module. The final assembly plan is then presented to the operators as a diagram with instructions for the assembly of the PCB. IMAPS has increased the speed to generate assembly plans from 120 hours to four hours. The final computer‐aided assembly planning system implemented in the company has taken the concepts developed in IMAPS; they have been implemented in C and C++. Lessons and experiences learned while developing and implementing IMAPS are presented.