UK Cambridge-based contract electronics manufacturer Prism Electronics has selected Aegis manufacturing execution software as an integrated system to streamline engineering control and production information handling.
Prism focuses on the manufacture of complex products in modest volumes. The complexity ranges from initial technical challenges through to logistical and supply chain management while maintaining customer quality and traceability requirements. The Aegis system was chosen to support this complexity and reduce the risk of interpretation error, while dealing with the increasing flow of information.
Aegis provides an advanced software system with great depth of functionality 'out of the box' and extensive options to match user needs. Providing paperless process execution, WIP tracking, routing control, quality and test data collection/analysis the Aegis integrated suite of software modules adapts to all aspects of Prism's manufacturing procedures.
By investing in significant training for both engineering and operating staff Prism has quickly capitalised on the key features of the software to reduce risk to its customers and improve its manufacturing process.
In common with other manufacturers Prism has seen significant growth in the frequency of new product introductions (NPIs). Coupled with the increasing volume of design data this has put more emphasis on rapid data assimilation, error checking and effective integration into manufacturing. With Aegis software now providing a direct link and tight control from the original design data right through to delivery, NPI procedures are improved to meet the most demanding of customer needs.
Aegis can accept the majority of customer input from a wide variety of CAD data through to roughly scribbled notes. Changes, modifications and concessions are effectively checked, managed and incorporated seamlessly into the resulting manufacturing information. The integrated tools ensure that this is distributed with high confidence and low risk to the production process.
Manufacturing operations have benefited from more detailed information that is easily navigable and appropriate to the task in hand. Instructions for assembly and machine setup are supported with hints, tips, 'how to's' and, if appropriate, videos. Drilling down to BOM, build and quality details plus any background information is effortless.
For densely populated boards of 1,500-plus components, often without printed component identities, the facility for production operators to search the assembly image on-line at their workstations and focus on areas of interest is not only essential but highly valued.
Prism also uses Aegis to track products as they progress through the manufacturing process. The early capture of defect and trend information at key points in the process promotes quick reaction times, swift root cause analysis and rapid process improvements to support both yield and delivery performance.
"Aegis has not just improved the working lives and productivity of our engineering and production staff," commented Richard Walton, Technical Director and QA Manager at Prism. "It promotes our relationship with our customers by reducing risk when manufacturing their products. Our discussions are backed by improved confidence in our manufacturing status, as we can see production details whenever we want.
"Traceability also means that we can quickly resolve issues before they become problems. Aegis software has proved to be a premium tool for supporting our process design for new products and their implementation on the factory floor."
Lee Hitchins, UK Sales Manager for Aegis, said: "Prism is using Aegis software to support the highest quality, data and service levels more typically associated with tier one EMS providers while maintaining the flexibility and responsiveness of the smaller business. This creates a compelling proposition in the low to medium volume EMS market."
Richard Walton added: "This is just the beginning. We can see further possibilities in the software which we are keen to explore and exploit in the months and years to come. Our experience to date and the continuing support of Aegis enhances our confidence in both the software and our ability to further refine its use to the benefit of all our customers."