RELIABILITY & PRODUCTIVITY
In Epoch’s 25 years of operation, our relatively simple focus has been to deliver very consistent quality while simultaneously meeting and exceeding high demands in terms of product mix, engineering and design complexity, engineering changes, supply chain complexity, program management, flexibility, and speed.
Now, through the gradual implementation of our intelligent manufacturing strategy, we believe that we can use technology solutions to reinforce this basic, but ambitious, business principle.
Our strategy undertakes this by:
- increasing transparency
- sharpening accuracy and quality
- ensuring cost competitiveness
- heightening flexibility and adaptability
SUPPLY CHAIN EFFICIENCY
As we assist innovation-based companies in the entire product development and manufacturing process, Epoch utilizes data collection, analytics, and an array of ICT tools to increase transparency throughout our business, from supply chain planning to the shipment of our products.
Ultimately it is our aim to put in place a system that will provide real-time information that our clients can access on demand. This is intended to be an added tool for our clients to better optimize their own supply chains.
In Epoch’s current strategy, we already have a wide array of tools that we are either currently implementing or designing. One of these is the placement of RFID tags throughout the factory which will get once-obscured locations under better monitoring. Epoch is in the process of introducing a tooling tracking system, production planning & productivity data transparency, and material information sharing.
SYSTEM INTEGRATION AND QUALITY ASSURANCE
The nuts and bolts of quality control will also be reinforced by machine intelligence. In Epoch’s plan, much of the factory floor quality control that is currently done manually will be performed by automated systems. For example on the SMT line, we have already invested in Solder Paste inspection and Automatic Optical Inspection equipment. The data is taken from these machines, integrate it into a database. Then the information is sent to various stations for real-time analysis. Plans are also in place to use X-ray machines to inspect BGA failures.
Beyond the automation front, our efforts towards vastly increasing data collection will, in our view, open a new frontier for Epoch’s quality control efforts. Product failure statistics will be generated on the factory floor and analyzed in real time. Data collection and analytics will also allow us to create a material expiration control system, perform predictive maintenance, and generate a comprehensive factory health index.
Epoch’s intelligent factory strategy is designed to increase flexibility and at the same time reduce the personal and financial costs of flexibility. Using the intelligent factory to increase flexibility is particularly important to us because we assist companies that are advancing in ever-quickening product development cycles. Our success in helping these companies innovate depends in large part on our flexibility. The intelligent factory increases flexibility by drastically reducing the costs of switching between processes. As an example, we are designing an auto-setting and auto-calibration systems which can help us in reconfiguring the system to the customer’s needs.
We feel confident to share Epoch’s intelligent factory vision & strategy on the grounds that it’s fundamentally important for you to observe that our plans don’t just aim to accommodate the present; we are looking forward and planning ahead for changes in our industry.