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PCB-Feb2017

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12 The PCB Magazine • February 2017 Technology isn't just a tangible entity. It moves beyond what we can see, feel, and touch. It is ideas and theories. It includes philosophy and risks. In a way, technology itself is like the stock market. Different industries hedge their bets on emerging trends. These trends develop into useful products that change our world. It isn't just enough to simply guess where a new technology may fit, or how emerging technolo- gies will advance the industry. You must under- stand how the ebbs and flows will impact your business, and how new technologies will lever- age against existing systems. So, to be successful, we need to do our best to first spot trends in the industry, and under- stand how these trends point to a paradigm shift in the way we operate. You see, every few years, technology finds a way to revolutionize the entire manufacturing process. Dating back to the first Industrial Revolution, when manu- facturing started to move from hand produc- tion to steam power, there was a great shift in how manufacturing impacted the economy. From there, the utilization of electric power to create mass production, and then the usage of electronics to automate has opened the door for where we are today. We are on the doorstep of the fourth great revolution in manufacturing, which has put an emphasis on connecting the factory, the work- force, and the end-user. It is this connected fac- tory and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) that has created never-before-seen opportuni- ties to include new technologies ranging from robotics to 3D printing. But as technologies continue to advance so quickly, some may find it difficult to anticipate what comes next. Just because there are new technologies doesn't mean you should be com- placent with new improvements. Even the best- connected factory today will experience shifts in production down the road. Adjusting is more than a single upgrade. It is creating a dynamic environment that can adapt to fluctuations to- day, while adjusting to include emerging tech- nologies tomorrow. And one of the best ways to ensure that we are adaptable to all coming technologies is to Emerging Technology, Training for the Future, and the Next Industrial Revolution FEATURE COLUMN: ONE WORLD, ONE INDUSTRY by John Mitchell IPC—ASSOCIATION CONNECTING ELECTRONICS INDUSTRIES

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