Infineon collaborated with HOPE Technik, a homegrown engineering firm behind Singapore’s iconic Red Rhino firefighting vehicle, to co-develop Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) under SESTO Robotics to automate materials transportation in the semiconductor production environment.
The robots help Infineon to manage numerous mundane activities such as transporting materials and devices around the production floor, freeing up the operators to upgrade their skills and handle more complex tasks.
Introduced in December 2016, this AGV project was the first of its kind for Infineon’s manufacturing plant in Singapore as well as its back-end factories worldwide.
The robots not only help to boost efficiency at the manufacturing lines, they also collect important information that help Infineon to make predictions about workflow and implement more advanced planning. The robots continuously feed data of its location, tasks, traffic control system and transport history log back to the master control. This information can then be integrated with other automated solutions, supporting Infineon’s masterplan to transform its operations into Smart Factories of the future, where the use of human talent and automation can be optimised to improve productivity.
The Infineon-HOPE Technik partnership won the “Most Technologically Disruptive Collaboration Prize” at Singapore International Chambers of Commerce (SICC) Awards 2017.
HOPE Technik is also leveraging this new technology to target other semiconductor and logistics companies, who face similar challenges. Furthermore, as an aging workforce retires, companies are looking to boost productivity with fewer but more skilled employees who can handle more complex tasks while leaving the labour-intensive, low-value activities to robots.