In my last Blog I mentioned custom software tools that EMAC created in order to allow us to efficiently adapt, react and manage manufacturing in this chaotic component climate. In this blog, I would like to describe some of these tools, how they work and the benefits that they provide. EMAC has had three Web-Developer programmers working on these tools for a number of years. As I am sure quite a few can attest to, ERP systems in general and our ERP system in particular was found to be inadequate to manage all the aspects of purchasing, manufacturing and testing. To that end we started developing our own software tools that interacted with and enhanced our ERP system. The main production tools are the Pull Tool, the Staging Tool, the Pick & Place (PNP) Tool and the Reconcile Tool. We also have a number of Tracking Tools that we use namely Package Tracker and Board Tracker.

Let me start with describing the Pull Tool. The Pull allows EMAC to enter in a Production Work Order and then it looks at our Inventory to see what we have in stock, also what virtual parts we have on order that will be received in time for the run and what parts that we are short on that vendors have in stock. The Pull Tool will allow us to create allocations for unallocated parts that we have in stock and also against virtual parts that are coming in. The Tool will also allow us to unreserve allocated parts to free up allocated parts so that we can perform a particular run. The Tool gives us a shortages list that allows our Purchasing department to start the purchasing process for the run.

The Staging Tool allows EMAC to locate the parts allocated by the Pull Tool and place them on feeders according to the correct PNP locations. The Staging Tool assures that all of the parts being placed are being put down in FIFO order. It also queues up additional Packages (Reels/Trays/Tubes) for loading on the machine when a package is depleted. Lastly, it determines what part feeders can stay on the PNP machine that are shared by the next run.

The PNP Tool assures that when loading packages onto the PNP machine that only the correct Manufactures Part Numbers are loaded in the correct PNP locations. The Tool also keeps track of the Moisture Sensitivity Level (MSL) so that packages do not stay out on the line over their time limits.

The Reconcile Tool is responsible for applying the Usages to the Package Allocations, computing waste and adjusting other Work Order Allocations as required.

Package Tracker allows us to view all related information on a particular component package such as PO#, Vendor, Manufacturer, cost, allocated and unallocated inventory, MSL, RoHS as well as all the Transactions (Allocate, Usage, Waste, Adjust) made against the package. It also allows for manual adjustments to package.

Lastly, Board Tracker allows us to view all the related history of a board. Every issue is logged in board tracker either by AOI, Functional Test or Manually. Once an issue is logged it must be resolved prior to the board being allowed to ship. Additionally, it keeps track of our First Pass yield and related statistics. Since EMAC is primarily an Engineering company, this provides us with a closed loop to present and log manufacturing issues in order for us to increase our First Pass yield.

I know this seems like a lot of effort to be able to better adapt and produce a higher quality Assembly, but we at EMAC feel it’s worth it and in these times of procurement difficulty it certainly gives us a leg up on our competitors. If you have any questions or would like to have EMAC provide you with an Assembly quote please reach out at