Vanilla Electronics Ltd provide supply chain, kitting, manufacturing and logistics services to technology companies worldwide. A flexible and professional approach helping OEM’s seamlessly transition from design and prototyping, through to final box build, test, then direct end customer order fulfilment and reverse logistics.
In 2014, following another year of growth, Vanilla had the need to expand its manufacturing area and enhance
all stores, picking and kitting areas. In addition, the construction of a new 1,500 sq ft cleanroom was required.
As part of the £500k expansion project, Vanilla were looking to install an access control system for their ESD Protected Area (EPA) – the aim was three-fold:
- Verify the functionality of an operator’s wrist strap and footwear.
- Log the test results electronically.
- Control access to the EPA.
Vanilla looked at different solutions, compared features and benefits of available systems and attended various demonstrations and presentations.
In the end, Vanilla decided to install the SmarLog V5™ which is designed for fast, frequent and accurate testing of ESD personnel grounding items. Its unique design embeds an ESD tester, time clock, keypad, barcode scanner, Ethernet module and optional proximity badge reader into a compact stainless steel enclosure. The included relay terminal can be used to promote access control for passed tests.
Dan Croft, Managing Director at Vanilla Electronics, explains the decision: “The Smartlog’s capabilities were very impressive and we decided to install two systems: one at the entry to our kitting and picking area and another to the manufacturing area.” Both units were connected to a door entry system which allows Vanilla to control access to these areas: “Employees and visitors are unable to enter our EPA without successfully passing the necessary footwear and wrist strap tests.”
A Vanilla employee performing a test using the SmartLog V5
By touching the solid-state switch, the SmartLog V5™ independently tests the resistance path limits of the worn wrist strap and both worn ESD footwear in less than 2 seconds. It may also test a worn ESD garment if it is used as part of personnel grounding path. Test results are then electronically stored in the SmartLog V5™ and easily downloaded to a PC for logging records and
evaluation (using Team5 software). Paperless data can enhance operator accountability, immediately identifying problems while reducing logging and auditing costs. Operator identification can be accomplished using the keypad, scanning a barcode badge or waving a proximity badge (verify compatibility with the factory).
The SmartLog V5™ can test either single or dual-wire wrist straps and its split footplate design provides individual footwear testing all in a single test. With the use of TEAM5 Software, the SmartLog V5™ can be programmed to assign unique test requirements to personnel. An individual can be required to test either wrist strap only, footwear only or a combination of the two.
If a resistance path is below or exceeds the set limits, the SmartLog will indicate failure via audio and visual alarms. The included relay terminal allows access control for passed tests.
The SmartLog V5™ can also be networked to a company’s Intranet using its embedded Ethernet module.
After installation, Vanilla very easily assigned each user their own unique Barcode IDs and enabled automatic recording of both wrist and footwear test results. They then set the test frequency for each operator. The Team5 software automatically sends an email to line managers should any individual miss their scheduled test. “As well as passed results, the system also logs failures. This allows us to monitor wear and tear of ESD personnel grounding items and replace any that produce common failures.” The Team5 software also allows the Vanilla to quickly and efficiently produce accurate reports proving that each member of staff has met their ESD test requirements. Vanilla can align test data with their other systems such as pick and build information and environmental data including temperature and humidity. “The SmartLog system offers our customers full traceability throughout the process.”
Vanilla have recently arranged for the installation of the successor of the Smart V5™, the SmartLog Pro™, at one of their manufacturing facilities in Wiltshire – a true testament to the capabilities of the SmartLog Series. “We’re really happy with the SmartLogs. They protect the EPAs much more effectively than a traditional manual system and really look the part during customer visits!”.
The all new SmartLog Pro™ features a touchscreen display fulfilling two functions:
- Allows keypad entry and
- Visual colour-coded display of results.