Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services


What you need to know about the Hermes standard

EMP 2019 Electronics Manufacturing & Production Handbook Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services

Hermes is the name of a recently created standard conceived to serve as a backbone for board-flow data management in smart electronics manufacturing facilities, by providing a vendor independent method of machine-to-machine communication for SMT (surface mount technology) assembly.

Taking advantage of modern TCP/IP communication and XML data format technologies, Hermes is effectively a replacement of the more than 20-year-old SMEMA (Surface Mount Equipment Manufacturers Association) standard (which carries the official designation IPC-SMEMA-9851), which is considered obsolete.

The Hermes standard was instigated by an independent group of equipment vendors and was officially launched at Productronica 2017 as an open standard under the auspices of the Hermes Standard Initiative. It has subsequently been recognised by IPC as the successor to SMEMA, and been assigned the official designation IPC-HERMES-9852. While it remains organisationally independent from the IPC body, close cooperation assure full compatibility, and both parties work together to guarantee a seamless fit, in particular with regards to the related IPC-CFX standard.

One standard to rule them all?

As with so many standardisation initiatives, there is no one standard to rule them all. Shortly after the Hermes standard was published, a group of mainly Japanese vendors, organised in a sub-committee of the Japanese Robot Association (JARA) decided not to join but to go for a similar yet separate approach that it calls JARAS 1014. While there has been some bickering between the two bodies, IPC’s support for Hermes positions it as the clear favourite to realise its goal of becoming the de facto global standard.

The Hermes Standard Initiative has been true to its claim of being truly open, and has a wealth of freely available information on its website, including the entire decision making process and all results, including the specification itself. It has also published an in-depth comparison between Hermes, JARAS 1014 and Fuji’s Easy Link solution.

All vendors of SMT equipment are free to join the Hermes Standard Initiative and to participate free of charge, and it counts roughly more than 50 companies amongst its membership, including most of the biggest names in the business from all across the globe.

Value proposition to manufacturers

Based on TCP/IP and XML, the Hermes standard uses modern communication technology and standardised data formats for machine-to-machine (M2M) communication. Its purpose is to transmit barcode information and board or job related data such as dimensions, board identifiers and product type identifiers together with the board along the machines of different vendors in an SMT line.

This means that a maximum of only one barcode scanner is required in the line. Besides this, the product itself becomes the driver of changes along the SMT line, so that manual adjustment of conveyor belt widths, for example, becomes unnecessary. Likewise, the information provided with a board can be used to automatically change the program according to the product type.

There are a number of clear benefits this offers to manufacturers of electronic assemblies. First of all, if all the machines on a production line are talking the same language, regardless of who made them, closed-loop handover is far more easily achievable.

Since it is protocol based rather than signal based, it is easier to adjust and expand for integrating further information. It also uses standard components in the form of Ethernet cables, plugs and interfaces that are inexpensive and readily available. If supported by the equipment, cables can even be done away with in favour of standard Wi-Fi.

New equipment can be used alongside existing SMEMA-only devices if required, but the full benefit will only unfold in lines where the majority of machines are compliant with IPC-HERMES-9852. According to the Hermes Standard Initiative, operational lines successfully making use of the standard have been running since June 2018, although no further details are provided.

For more information visit www.the-hermes-standard.info





Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

Things are tough for electronics contract manufacturers in SA
23 October 2019, Barracuda Holdings, Leratadima Tellumat Manufacturing , Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services
The contract manufacturing side of the South African electronics industry has been under enormous pressure for some time now, with some high-profile manufacturers having closed their doors or suffering serious financial trouble in recent years.

Read more...
Quality management based on quality assurance
23 October 2019, Quamba Technologies , Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services
To ensure consistently high product quality and ultimately achieve a zero-fault production stage, it is necessary to control all process steps.

Read more...
3D printing and electronics manufacturing
23 October 2019, Omnigo , Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services
“The opportunities are endless and we are excited to see what the future holds for 3D printing and the electronics manufacturing industry.” – Christine Brindle, Omnigo

Read more...
3D printer for rapid prototyping
23 October 2019, RS Components (SA) , Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services
RS Components is shipping the latest version of the MakerBot 3D printer – the MakerBot Method – which has been designed to bridge the gap between industrial and desktop 3D printing. The unit targets engineers ...

Read more...
Versatile conformal coating applicators
23 October 2019, Techmet , Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services
The Select Coat applicator series from Nordson Asymtek – which includes the SC-350 Select Spray and the SC-300 Multi-Mode – is a highly versatile conformal coating applicator that supports a wide range ...

Read more...
High-accuracy fluid dispenser
23 October 2019, Techmet , Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services
Nordson Asymtek recently introduced the Forte fluid dispensing system. The Forte series combines high-accuracy fluid dispensing with increased throughput and productivity in a narrow footprint to handle ...

Read more...
Conformal coating cleaning agent
23 October 2019, Techmet , Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services
Coating carriers and frames offer important advantages within the conformal coating process regarding handling, process reliability and output, but they also require very extensive cleaning afterwards.  ...

Read more...
Company profile: Etion Create
23 October 2019, ETION Create , Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services
Etion Create is an original design manufacturer (ODM) that has been in operation for more than 25 years. Originally known as Parsec, the company was founded in 1993, focusing on the design, development ...

Read more...
Cleaning machines and agents on show at Productronica
23 October 2019, Electronic Industry Supplies , Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services
Using the motto ‘Make the Cleaning Check’, Zestron will be exhibiting a selection of state-of-the-art cleaning machines from leading international manufacturers. Visitors who are looking for a new cleaning ...

Read more...
Application centres for dispensing and coating
23 October 2019, MyKay Tronics , Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services
With a larger global installed base of MYSmart and MY700 jet printing and dispensing systems, Mycronic is taking the next step in bringing its hands-on expertise closer to customers by establishing multiple ...

Read more...