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18 PCB007 MAGAZINE I AUGUST 2019 their own facilities as well as the power and simplicity of these two standards. IPC CFX and HERMES To say the least, the buzz around these two standards is palpable, and for six good reasons. 1. CFX Provides a Level Playing Field for Manufacturing Companies This includes manufacturing companies of all sizes and in any location. Setting up IPC CFX in existing equipment can be accomplished in a matter of hours—not days—and the SDKs developed to make it easier are available free of charge. 2. Both Standards Provide a Simple Messaging Protocol for Equipment The messaging has been developed so that it can apply to new or legacy equipment. That means there's no more need for custom pro- gramming for machine-to-machine messaging or middleware. Eliminating the need for mid- dleware reduces the eventual finger-pointing when adapters inevitably break. 3. The Standards Can Provide Significant Cost Savings Developing a custom-built communications software, especially for multi-vendor equip- ment lines, can cost upwards of $30,000 and take up to a full business quarter to imple- ment. IPC CFX and HERMES are free to the industry, and companies have reported to IPC that they were able to implement CFX in less than one day. 4. The SDKs Serve as a Building Block for Enhanced Production Tracking IPC CFX and HERMES are written so that a company can easily and inexpensively add app-like functionalities for things such as ma- terials traceability or quality improvement. 5. CFX Is Flexible for Almost Any Piece of Equipment or Manufacturing Line One company loaded CFX into hand soldering tools, and IPC is receiving inquiries on how to implement CFX into non-electronics manufac- turing lines. 6. Instant Access to Real-time Data on Any Piece of Equipment Worldwide EMS sales representatives wanting to check availability of equipment for placing a new or- der or reporting a job status to OEM customers can view the activity of any piece of equip- ment in any facility, in any part of the world, in real time from their computer or handheld device. This is just a sampling of the simplicity, val- ue, and power of IPC CFX and HERMES. Collecting CFX Roadmaps Here's what's next for CFX. As interest in IPC CFX grows, we regularly receive questions about timelines for implementation/CFX road- maps for equipment suppliers, software devel- opers, and EMS companies. To address this, IPC is collecting industry roadmaps for CFX implementation, and we plan to begin com-

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