Happy’s Essential Skills: Computer-Aided Manufacturing, Part 2 - Automation Examples

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Computers Come to Plating[12]:  Computers were first applied to PCB manufacturing at HP’s Palo Alto facility in 1974. Figure 12 shows the computer controlled plating system that included hoist (Figure 13) control, current control and monitoring for the plating tanks, chemical replenishment for the plating cells and multiple process sequence recipes (Cu, Sn/Ni, Sn & Au} that HP used for all its different 23,000 separate products.


Figure 11: Process recipe on PC-10 to be downloaded by SECS II and GEM. (Source: HP Journal, July 1985)


Figure 12: Automation diagram of the plating system used at HP’s Palo Alto, California facility. (Source: Metal Finishing Magazine[12])


Figure 13: One of the robot hoists is controlled by the computer system. 

CIM environment for the Sunnyvale PCB factory[13]


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