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40 SMT007 MAGAZINE I OCTOBER 2018 running within 48 hours with receipt of the software development (SD) kit from Aegis. We realized this was going to be easy for us to do, so why not try it? We have seen it gain traction. Vendors are being added to the list all the time, and we real- ized some of the big players were going down the CFX route. Then, we had the demonstra- tion at IPC APEX EXPO, which went off with- out a hitch. The cloud server worked well and required minimal effort. We recently partic- ipated in the demonstration at SMT Hybrid Packaging Nuremberg, which also went very well. In all of these cases, we used a cloud server provided by Aegis and IPC. Recently, we've gone out on our own such that we don't necessarily need to involve any third party if the customer wants an entirely internal system without a cloud-based interface. We've taken that product standard further to have an in-house broker system. Again, it was rela- tively easy to develop. We also recently had an indus- try open day where Michael talked about Industry 4.0 and CFX. At the same time, we were able to demonstrate the Euro- placer system in our facility. That's where we are today. We've offered to help IPC create messages for pick-and- place equipment. They are always looking for vendors to help construct the format of CFX to add new messages all the time. By getting in first, our messages will become a part of it. By doing this, we felt there would be less work for our programmers. If we'd gone down a path that wasn't included in the standard, we would need to recode that. Volunteering on the committee writing the message standards will help us in the future. We can also customize the messages to a certain degree for our equipment. For exam- ple, we have multiple heads on the machines. The standard as it existed didn't have any facil- ities to create messages for multiple-headed machines or give information on an individ- ual head's performance. We have sent those unique messages to IPC. Hopefully, they will be accepted to the draft standards. Las Marias: What do you think is the challenge that CFX is trying to address? Fenton: That is an interesting question because I am not sure that customers know they have a challenge yet. CFX is still an industry stan- dard that is ahead of the demand. We have many customers worldwide, and it's not something that is on their radar. The more we promote it, the more they realize there is a need. It's slightly backward. As far as our customers in the small- medium-end markets are concerned, they have never pushed us for this type of data gathering until very recently. However, the challenge is that it would hopefully sell and be able to take in data from anybody's machine— not just Europlacer's—and display it on a stan- dard dashboard without having to write custom front-end data for the dashboards. Over time, the challenge will be to combine data from multiple vendors into one common platform. Las Marias: What can you say about the state of interest in CFX? Fenton: To be perfectly honest, it is lower than I thought. We saw hundreds of people over the course of the previous show, and when we spoke with the various demonstrators, engi- neers, and salespeople, very few attendees had asked about CFX or Industry 4.0. At the moment, I still think it's a bit of a tick box that the industry needs to promote the benefits. As the months go by, people will start to real- David Fenton

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