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20 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2019 all the way up to Tier 1s. That makes it sus- tainable. Nobody is going to turn their back on it and say, "That was yesterday's fad. What's tomorrow?" because we are all getting direct business benefits. Matties: Let's talk about supply chain 4.0 fur- ther because I think that's part of why I men- tioned sales; that's where it starts. Ford: It is. The focus of Industry 4.0 over the years has all been on manufacturing, but man- ufacturing has a god, and that god's name is supply chain. You can't do anything if you don't have the materials. If you're short of one of the lowliest, tiniest resistors, you don't ship that product. The value of every component is not the cents that you used to buy it, but the value of the shipped product. With that in mind, with Industry 4.0 telling us we need to make a quick response to the customer, how are we supposed to communi- cate that through ancient technology like MRP and ERP on through to component supplies? It doesn't work because it was never designed to do that. Do we want to get rid of MRP and ERP? No, we want to augment it. We want to provide ERP and MRP with the eyes and ears of the Digital Age. What we've done with supply chain 4.0 is to link manufacturing with a tool called BOM Con- nector, which can take a BOM at a moment's notice and find components. If a customer wants 100 of a given product, you don't order the ones you already have because that would be silly. From our FactoryLogix software, I know how many materials you have, includ- ing spare materials, and how much is commit- ted to other projects. That can be utilized, or you can find everything else new. If they need a particular lead time and I want to make sure the quality is right, I want to make sure I buy it from a trusted source so that I don't get coun- terfeits. I also want to ensure that the part I buy is consistent with the one I was originally intending to use in the design. All of that is supply chain 4.0. Instead of having to do all of that manu- ally—as they have been doing for years—the purchasing people can just run this function. It searches and finds all of the parts on the inter- net and gives you a new BOM. I'm going to put that into my production system, so we didn't change anything about those systems; we sim- ply augmented them by providing them with the right information. Matties: That backs all the way up into the point of sales because this is something you don't have to wait until it's ordered to run this report. Ford: Correct. There was a study done, which I found fascinating, where if you look at the life cycle of a product in the market, you see a curve that starts out gradually because nobody's aware of the product. Then, people become aware of it, and all want it. Suddenly, you start to saturate the demand, and competitors come in, and everything S curves. Those used to be measured in years and then in months. How - ever, you can analyze the demand on the S curve on that short, initial area and predict the exact quantity of when you're going to sell that product and how many. You can put that prediction, albeit for three months or one, as your demand for your factory and give them a heads up. I don't know the day people are going to buy it, but I know within one week, and I know the quantity. This is my Indus - try 4.0 input through the factory and supply chain. Matties: It changes everything, and it's all driven from data. Data is what we're automat- ing. When we say automation, we're automat- ing data. The value of every component is not the cents that you used to buy it, but the value of the shipped product.

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