Continental is among the top worldwide electronic manufacturer. Its products are manufactured in Electronic plants such as the plant in Timisoara. Our plant is producing high electronic products, design by the group of development within different worldwide locations. Products are from design phase customized for our final customer, automotive OEM’s. Although these products (e.g. airbag control units, chaises controllers, hand brake controllers etc.) have a high complexity degree, their routings can be described (in brief) as follows.
- SMT (Surface Mount Technology) lines. High automated lines where electronic components are placed on the PCB boards.
- PCBA (Printed Circuit Board Area). PCB area, where the electronic built in SMT will be separated in smaller parts (PCB’s) and tested electrically (In Circuit Test). Additional processes can also take place in this area like Press Fit, Handling, Flashing of Microcontrollers and Temperature functional tests.
- FA (Final Assembly) and Test Area. This is the step of production where the electronic is connected to the mechanical part and finally tested and labelled. The processes in this area are in the area of connecting the mechanical parts: Screwing, Press Fit, Gluing, Riveting, Snap In. The testing area consists of tests line Functional test of the product, Automatic Optical Inspection, Force monitoring for the snap in, air leakage test.
- Packaging and delivery operation. Within this step of manufacturing we are packing the products in customer specific boxes and link all the information needed by customer to the unique number of each box.
To maximize lifetime of equipment’s involved in production process (Process equipment but also Test equipment), Continental maintenance & repair departments perform different maintenance techniques. Also, workers from the shop floor play an important role through the information provided about equipment’s’ behavior in operations. In this regard, valuable information is gathered and interpreted in order to detect early possible failures or defects. Inspection, maintenance and repair activities are performed daily to annually, in conjunction with the technical prescriptions and machine age. Mainly process characteristics that are tracked are: (i) Process parameters e.g. torque, pressing forces, (ii) measured values of the electronic components, (iii) product reaction in different temperatures, (iv) wearing of the tools during production phase (v) deviations from accuracies machining / processing. Maintenance operations must be further combined with advanced analytics and robust optimization methods to effectively coordinate maintenance (predictive or reactive) with production planning and scheduling.