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SCREEN AI User Report


Reduction of Verification Process by Using AI

An unrelenting challenge in terms of improving quality by AI
~Creating a future production model~

DAISHO DENSHI Co., Ltd. was established as a specialized printed circuit board manufacturer in 1968. The company has its head office in Ota-ku, Tokyo, and two manufacturing bases, Iwate Plant and Tochigi Plant. DAISHO DENSHI designs, produces and sells products on a global scale. It is a leading manufacturer in Japan, and engaged in the production, including prototype fabrication, of various circuit boards such as semiconductor package circuit boards, module circuit boards and flex-rigid circuit boards.
As a new endeavor, DAISHO DENSHI took on a challenge to incorporate an AI misinformation filtering system (SCREEN AI) developed by SCREEN into its manufacturing operations. The following describes the background of the incorporation of SCREEN AI as well as the assessment process and operating conditions.

金野 雄一氏

Mr.Yuichi Konno
(Operating officer,Iwate Factory Deputy Factory Manager)

小山 和久氏

Mr.Kazuhisa Koyama
(Production Technology Division Manager)

佐々木 央理氏

Ms.Rio Sasaki
(Production Technology Division Engineer)

Background of SCREEN AI

The workload of the verification process called AOI process was increasing due to growing production at DAISHO DENSHI. Since the extra time it took to perform this process, directly influenced to an increase in lead time. DAISHO DENSHI thus needed to reduce the verification time in one way or another. Mr. Konno said "The company wants to minimize the verification process and ultimately achieves a VERIFY FREE scheme such as requiring no human intervention by letting the SCREEN AI perform the entire verification operation."
The reason that DAISHO DENSHI had high hopes for SCREEN AI was that the company had urgent issues to solve. The main purposes of incorporating the SCREEN AI were the following three:

(1) Maintaining labor force
As Japan is faced with a problem of population decline, it is becoming increasingly difficult year after year for the company to secure a labor force at the Iwate Plant. Furthermore, the birth rate in Japan is expected to decrease even more in the future. A failure to maintaining a stable labor force can create a risk of not being able to continue production.

(2) Operators’ inspection skills
In the plant, many operators ranging from new employees to veterans are working. Since each worker’s labor experience varied and multiple workers performed tasks in groups, there was a risk that variation in verification quality could occur due to the differences in operators’ skills. Ideally, the quality of verification should be constant, and for that reason, it was not desirable to depend on individual operators’ skills to ensuring production stability.

(3) Minimizing human errors
The plant operates 24 hours a day and the concentration levels of operators change over time. It is important for the manufacturer to prevent conditions in which the quality of verification could be affected by the fluctuations of the operators’ concentration levels during working hours.

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Assessment of SCREEN AI and difficulties in incorporation

AI is a word, which you often hear in daily life. Many people may think AI is an all-purpose tool that can automatically perform almost everything on its own, but that is where you are mistaken. To create highly accurate AI, it is essential to prepare appropriate data in terms of quality and quantity for teaching the AI. For the assessment of SCREEN AI, DAISHO DENSHI had to overcome many difficulties due to the different understanding between ideal and reality.

Ms. Sasaki in charge of AI assessment said "The most difficult part is to classify image data necessary for teaching the AI. The first step to teaching the AI is to manually classify teaching data. There is no problem in classifying misinformation and defects that easy to recognize, but it is not easy to categorize the sensitive data. It is imperative to design an appropriate way to teach them to the AI. Since ambiguous classification could lead directly to the degradation of the accuracy of the AI, it takes a long time to obtain the intended results."

Immediately after the company started the assessment, unfamiliar AI-related technical terms tormented the staff. The assessment process sometimes had to be halted due to the staff’s inability to understand technical terms. When that happened, the staff used SCREEN’s remote support function or upgraded the version of the SCREEN AI software (example: replacement of technical terms displayed on the GUI screen with easy-to-understand words) in order to improve the assessment speed and ease of use.

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Benefits of SCREEN AI

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SCREEN’s AOI in operation

Let’s see what kind of benefits the incorporation of the SCREEN AI brought. 70% to 80% of the verification workload has been reduced for the manufacture of product models in which the SCREEN AI presently operated in effective ways, which resulting in a decrease in the lead time for circuit board production. However, the verification reduction effect was not necessarily uniform across all product models, so the corporation planned to further improve the accuracy in the future. As one of the initiatives for accuracy improvement, DAISHO DENSHI has been adding new data to the AI model.

One of the key features of SCREEN AI was that the user could add on new data and taught the AI to reflect the additional information in the AI model. In other words, an original AI model could be created at any desired time. If there were unclear points, the user could utilize the remote support system, which was established by SCREEN. Ms. Sasaki said, “I appreciate SCREEN’s polite and detailed responses when I am confused of something, or had a question.”

Future development of AI at DAISHO DENSHI

Although DAISHO DENSHI thought, it was halfway to reaching the initial goal. Mr. Koyama told us that "It is impossible to return to the previous system without SCREEN's AI in our prodcution." DAISHO DENSHI continued to work on the improvement of accuracy toward the goal of VERIFY FREE.

DAISHO DENSHI has been seeking ways to utilize AI in processes other than the AOI. Mr. Konno said "There are many areas where AI can be used effectively. For example, the using AI can minimize human intervention in time-consuming production set-up, such as manual adjustment of equipment.

The incorporation of AI into production and operations management has just begun. DAISHO DENSHI planned to further expand the use of AI in production activities by drawing on its accumulated knowledge and know-how.

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Mr. Konno and SCREEN PE Solutions President Suemori pledged a long-lasting cooperative relationship by shaking hands firmly.

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