What Instrumental’s high mix announcement means for you


This week, Instrumental announced the availability of core capabilities to meet the particular challenges of low-volume, high-mix electronics manufacturing brands. 

Customers like Chris Kim at August Home attests that using Instrumental is like “adding six engineers” to his team. At Instrumental, we give engineering teams superpowers and we do this by helping electronics brands gather data from across the supply chain and automate their problem-solving processes. Now, Instrumental can fully service programs where multiple SKUs or products are produced on the same line or work cell, resulting in more ROI with less setup.

Mission-critical electronics brands that output low volume can especially benefit from these new capabilities. For these customers, handling a high mix of products or SKUs is common as their factories combine multiple versions of products to get the same economies of scale as high-volume brands. But the added variables of high mix make assembly processes more complicated and mix-ups more common.

Our high mix release means customers can guarantee that they have the right parts on the right configurations. Our AI algorithms learn what normal looks like for each configuration, such as multiple colors, antennas, keypads, PCBs, and labels. This new level of understanding also upgrades our existing Monitor and Discover tools, enabling flexibility with multiple products or a large number of SKUs on a single line.

We’re also streamlining the platform experience for these customers, making it easy to navigate data across products and SKUs through the Instrumental app. 

Managing multiple products with Instrumental:

Customers, contract manufacturers (CMs), and suppliers building or managing different products on the same assembly line can ingest data for each distinct product into the Instrumental app where they can now be viewed as separate projects. This offers customers a scalable way to set up large numbers of products while providing complete and useful oversight. For CMs, data access can also be controlled at the station so only certain team members can see selected products. 

Managing multiple SKUs with Instrumental:

In electronics manufacturing, it is common to have different versions of one product built on the same assembly line. SKUs can be diversified for color, configuration, size variations, or different engineering configurations. To help these customers, we now offer the ability to ingest data for all SKUs into a single project in the Instrumental App. From here, our AI algorithm learns the new normal for each variation, increasing the ability to expand the use of Instrumental while maintaining high precision of automated defect detection. Additionally, once defects (known and unknown) are discovered, we can set up monitors on the same image type across multiple SKUs. 

In summary, the benefits of our high-mix release include:

  • Eliminate escapes by setting up monitors to accurately track issues unique to each SKU and product
  • Manage high mix environments with fewer resources 
  • Reduce incoming quality issues or parts mix-up for better production, data quality, and traceability
  • Simplify setup and improve standard operating procedures (SOPs) 

With these expanded capabilities, our customers can continue to enjoy the flexibility of choosing to use their own cameras, our stations, a combination of both, or use Instrumental to provide more value from their current AOI systems.

We’re enhancing the experience with Instrumental’s Discover AI over time, further helping customers in NPI build their configurations to ensure a more successful MP process, ultimately ramping faster.

“Instrumental reduces the number of experimental builds needed to validate our products during development – leading to a more streamlined development process.” –Stephen P., Operations, Consumer Electronics Company

To learn more, request a demo today. If you are a current customer, reach out to your account representative to discover how we can further optimize your programs. 

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