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Automating Small-Lot Electronic Production

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1 Author(s)
Schneider, W. ; Stavid Engineering Inc,NJ

It is indicated that new developments of promise for automation of military electronics have yet to reach actual production. A plea is made for a self-instituted program of standardization and mechanism. The various types of semi-automatic mechanized, and programmed varieties of automation machinery for electronic assembly, are described, and commented upon at some length. A tabulation of their numerous characteristics is contributed. Two graphs present short-run production rates of the eight basic types of machines, when used to assemble 24 or 48 component parts to printed-wiring boards; the number of units to be made are plotted from 0-100. Two other graphs amplify the lower portion and are plotted from 0-10 units. Considerable comment is included. Indexes show cost, manpower and space requirements for batches of 30, 1OO, and 1000 units, and are tabulated against each of the eight varieties of automation. Suggestions are made for the adoption of mechanization. The importance of design modification, modular conversion, and standardization of component parts, are stressed. The results of a specific redesign are cited. Emphasis is placed upon the thesis, that before being submitted to production, the development of a mechanically-producible electronic system must have arrived at a more complete stage of design than one to be manually assembled. Several benefits to be obtained from automation, and some problems, are listed. It is concluded that military electronics development and production can be improves substantially by the action that is suggested.

Published in:

Production Techniques, IRE Transactions on  (Volume:3 ,  Issue: 1 )