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August 2015 • SMT Magazine 87 DON'T ALLOW STANDARDS TO GET THE BETTER OF YOu continues tHe essentIAl PIoneer's survIvAl GuIde Michael Ford is senior marketing development manager with valor Division of Mentor graphics cor- poration. To read past columns, or to contact the author, click here. a choice in the depth and breadth of recording is needed. Accuracy is another issue of conflict. Process operational efficiency may conflict with the accuracy with which the traceability data is collected, as for example trays are re-filled with- out positive poka-yoke confirmation of verifica- tion. These are just some typical variations in the level and degree of material traceability. For product tracking and process data recording, an immense number of other similar deci- sions have to be made. It is no wonder then that it is difficult to create a single standard that is good for all. The current trends in manufacturing are set to chal- lenge the standards-based op- erations that we have today. The Internet of Things, or Internet of Manufacturing as we apply it to PCB electronics manufacturing, introduces two fundamental requirements. The first is that data can be accurately, reli- ably, and completely aggregated into larger and more generalized data structures, creating so- called "big data." There needs to be some form of compatibility so that meaning and value are not compromised, which is essential where an OEM and its EMS partner are sharing informa- tion. The OEM may have several EMS partners to compare, as well as its internal operations. The EMS companies may have many custom- ers and wish to reduce the amount of variation required for each, as well as be able to measure the business performance. Where standards mandate operational documentation and data recording, there needs to be standards in the data itself, with perhaps a simple set of choices as to the extent of depth of reporting, so that all reporting systems will recognize and process appropriately. The second fundamental requirement for the data is that it can be used in an automated way, such as that inspired by the computeriza- tion philosophy of Industry 4.0, where data exchange from automated processes can be ap- plied to the automation of decisions, such as the control of material supply and planning. These different uses for data collected in manu- facturing should not need any duplication of data collection from the same processes, it all now needs to be compatible. There has been significant frustration from the highest levels in the top-tier companies with confusion over standards and definitions of things such as traceability. Often when needed, the required detail and dependability of the trace- ability data is not as expected. Equally, those in production have the sense that traceabil- ity as demanded by standards is adding unnecessary cost to the operation, which fre- quently for an EMS company becomes a premium service. If there were perhaps one stan- dard of traceability, it could be built into the manufactur- ing operation without adding any burden, as the best-in-class traceability systems can do today. There is then no cost issue to provide appropriate levels and contents of traceability, and reliability can be assured. The industry is reaching a point at which the confusion and costs of standards are stran- gling the progress of things such as the Inter- net of Manufacturing, which can be easy to un- derstand and applied within a manufacturing operation and shared with the customer. The compelling event is coming from the top level of management of key companies who see the business benefits of a new kind of real standard, and they want to make it a reality. I would in- vite those leaders and anyone affected by these issues to contact me through this magazine, to put the real situation on the table, whether you agree with what I have written here or not, and then perhaps we will create a compelling event of our own. SMT there needs to be some form of compatibility so that meaning and value are not compromised, which is essential where an oem and its ems partner are sharing information. " "

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