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JUNE 2019 I SMT007 MAGAZINE 37 a larger point about Industry 4.0. For facilities with pre-existing equipment, not everything needs to be purchased new. Controller or soft- ware updates may, for the right equipment, bring the current machines into the smart factory data exchange conversation. And that is the same value proposition for KIC customers. With facility idle time making up a large percentage of each month's avail- able manufacturing capacity, changeover and recalibration become a critical part of the reflow department's contribution to increased efficiency. "When the industry switched to forced con- vection oven technology, it was much better, as long as the oven was set correctly," said Kazmierowicz. "Different boards, more often than not, required different oven recipes, and the setup process was very labor-intensive. The engineer would run a profile, adjust the oven recipe, wait for the oven to stabilize, and then run another profile. Each iteration could take 30 minutes or more. We were the first to invent a system where the computer could model the oven environment, dramatically reducing the number of profiles required to find the correct oven recipe." That begs the question: How does such a sys- tem provide that benefit? In the current Indus- try 4.0 environment, how does KIC change the 30-minute iteration steps? "The key benefit to Industry 4.0 or the smart factory is information," said Allen. "Informa- tion is imperative to making knowledgeable decisions and most important for learning. From the information operators can correct, change, and optimize processes to achieve the highest quality products at the lowest cost and in the shortest amount of time. When automa- tion is implemented—along with connectiv- ity for usable, accurate data collection—soft- ware will provide answers to 'how' and 'why' to make these changes." "With an RPI system, the process data can be output for each reflowed assembly, even to a specific barcode for traceability," Allen added. "This data is quickly and easily accessible, so a company has the information at their finger- tips from anywhere. They can search produc- tion runs for quality information, troubleshoot, optimize, and improve processes for better line utilization and productivity." Using Information as Feedback for Efficiencies As the conversation moved toward data, it shifted gears into a discussion of current data interchange formats. Johnson: Aren't CFX, Hermes, Jara, etc., creat- ing an infrastructure for you, so you can take that information and use it somewhere else? Kazmierowicz: Exactly. And once you have the infor- mation and start really studying it and using it, you realize that there is a change. Connecting to var- ious manufacturing execu- tion systems (MES) allows customers to have valuable data, which they may use to improve their processes, improve their qual- ity, and save money. We are actively involved in Industry 4.0 and smart factory solutions for our customers. Johnson: Because an investment in your prod- uct, it could be argued, is about operational efficiency and a margin boost. Kazmierowicz: Yes, especially for a contract manufacturer trying to get business in an area, such as automotive, high reliability, safety, or medical where the customers are savvy enough to know when something is being pro- cessed correctly. The shops that they're com- peting with use our equipment, saying, "I have to compete with that company who has KIC equipment, so I better buy KIC too." Also, savvy companies are continuously looking at ways to save money and improve their quality. These are also our customers. Johnson: But that's not all. Mil-aero, automo- tive, and medical are pushing on the indus- try to dramatically improve reliability by more Phil Kazmierowicz

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