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26 SMT007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2018 components of a "plug and play" IoT commu- nication solution. These comprises of the proto- col, which is the secure connection (AMQP v1.0), the encoding method, which is the way in which the data is represented in messages (JSON), and the message content definition. CFX is uniquely created in this way to bring genuine inter-operability across machines on the shop-floor, with no licensing or middle- ware required. Companies will be able to pick and choose CFX-based Industry 4.0 solutions from machine vendors, solution providers, and will even find it easy to augment solutions with in-house development. There is something for everyone with CFX. Machine vendors will replace the need for the support of many different data customer-dependent outputs, and will be able to satisfy all customers with just one CFX interface. Not only that, vendors also get the opportunity to obtain data from all other produc- tion machines and stations, as well as factory level infor- mation through the same CFX inter- face. Each machine process now has a n u n p re c e d e n t e d "digital visibility" that includes changing factory wo r k - a s s i g n m e n t s, t h e line status and condition both upstream and downstream, mate- rials availability and assignment, the digi- tal product model, resource availabilities etc. For example, instead of hearing the phrase, "if only I had known," when materials arrive with different supply forms and rotations than those expected, or the line stops for maintenance when nothing was prepared, or an unexpected change-over happens which causes extensive setups of materials and inefficient machine programs, CFX makes all of the information available to each machine, so that unprece- dented levels of optimization can be achieved through the use of that performance informa- tion. Machine options will undoubtedly appear in the form of added value digital Industry 4.0 solutions for higher mix optimization, active quality management, enhanced flexibility, faster new product introduction etc. As well as commercial machines, other processes such as, bespoke functional testers, manual assem- bly, inspection, test operations and transac- tional operations, etc., are supported by CFX. In-house jig development teams would easily include interfaces into machines that they create or processes that they execute. The IPC CFX SDK makes integration of CFX possible with the minimum of development overhead. All solution providers, in areas such as ERP, MES, MOM, etc., suffer from having to deci- pher data derived directly or through middleware from the many differ- ent types and vendors of machines. It is not only the complex conver- sions and unex- pected changes in the data itself that cause prob- lems, but the fact that legacy machine interfaces can only provide a defined and limited amount of data. This definition was in many cases made by a machine engi- neering team many years ago. If only they had known then what the customers would need in the future and the direction that IoT solutions would take, and if only compa- nies had had the vision to work together. CFX resolves these content problems, bringing everyone up to a level playing field, so that factory solutions need no longer be depen- dent on the lowest common denominator of process capabilities across the factory. Values created and offered to customers are therefore transformed through enhanced content, accu-

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