Tape and reel components typically have a label with multiple bar codes. Individual bar codes can represent customer part number, manufacturer part number, date code, quantity, lot/trace code etc. If all these bar codes are to be scanned separately, it takes unnecessary operator time and effort.
EIGP-114 describes an industry-wide standard for including all such data in a single 2D bar code. More and more reels will be delivered with this labelling and all IT systems concerned with handling electronic components need to be able to deal with these bar codes.
As the standard is based on bar codes in a variant of the ISO/IEC 15434 format, Reel aMounts is already capable of reading such bar codes, breaking them down into their component parts and recording relevant fields in the Reel aMounts traceability record. It can also act as a conduit to other IT systems which do not have this capability, passing on the data one field at a time.
Reel aMounts goes further though. It can simultaneously handle multiple formats of ISO/IEC 15434 bar codes, including badly formed ones. Any data identifier used in a bar code can be matched to any Reel aMounts field. Multiple data identifiers can be used for the same information in different bar codes, including more unusual, user–defined identifiers.
Of course, the area imager bar code scanners supplied with Reel aMounts can read the EIGP-114 bar codes as well as more conventional 1D codes. As documented by the standard, an area imager is the only type of scanner compatible with all the symbologies covered in the standard.
Reel aMounts can already be configured to prompt the operator to scan extra information from a reel label the first time a reel is processed by Reel aMounts. This can be used, for example, to capture the customer's unique ID for the reel. That will then be stored in the Reel aMounts database and provide traceability through that ID on the entire usage of that reel.
The data to be captured can be in virtually any format, and is probably held in a bar code close to several other bar codes on the reel label. This means that occasionally an operator may scan the wrong bar code, and with no fixed format to check the information against, this could initially go undetected.
Reel aMounts now provides the option to require the operator to review all such supplementary data and then either approve it or choose to re-enter the data. The whole procedure can be controlled by scanning Reel aMounts "action" bar codes, so there is no need to slow down the operator by using a mouse or keyboard.
Reels are sometimes returned from production with lost or damaged labels. Reel aMounts gives every reel its own unique reel ID, used for traceability and material control. The customer may well have a unique ID of their own too.
If such a returned reel is not matched with its former ID, it may cause difficulty with traceability, material movement and inventory accuracy. If two reel IDs are given to the same reel, it may appear that more components are in stock than is the case, the reel could be recorded as being in two places at once and/or there could be gaps in the traceability record.
Where a reel is returned with missing traceability information, Reel aMounts Reporting Centre provides the operator with tools to identify the reel and find its correct Reel aMounts reel ID. Reel aMounts then allows the operator to reset this reel ID, which in turn will reconnect to the correct customer reel ID, where one is used.
Reel aMounts has no problem counting spliced reels, including the case where the spliced quantity on the reel is more than the original quantity delivered.
We did not anticipate a requirement, when Reel aMounts is first introduced into a plant, to label used reels in stores with more than the original quantity of components on them. The reasoning behind this was
- A production operator will only splice extra material onto a reel if that reel would otherwise run out during the build.
- This means that, during the rest of the build, all the original material, the splice and some of the new material should be consumed.
- There did not seem to be any reason why an operator would splice on extra material and then return more than a full reel of components to the stores. So, we don't expect to find reels in stores with more than the original quantity on them. It is quite possible that a reel that originally had 5000 components might go to production with 1000 components on the reel and return with 2000 because of splicing, but it should not return with 6000.
Because of this Reel aMounts previously flagged an error if an operator attempted to give a "partial" reel its first ever Reel aMounts label showing a quantity more than on the original reel. This capability has now been provided.
Reel aMounts imports a list of component part codes from your ERP system. Occasionally, a part may be presented for counting and/or labelling which, for some reason, is not included in the imported parts list. Reel aMounts allows this to proceed but the operator is alerted to the fact.
There is now the option to reject any part code not included in the imported list.
Reel aMounts Reporting Centre has been updated to provide extra information on component inventories.