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30 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2018 of the product design and the bill of mate- rials (BOM). As there are many automated machine processes involved with the assem- bly of a circuit board, each assembly process needs to understand their role, and select the data from the design/BOM combination that is relevant. This is repeated at every process, hopefully without duplication or anything missing. For assembly processes, the materi- als or actions that need to be performed at the process will be selected, with an understand- ing of what has been done at prior processes. For test or inspection processes, the clear and detailed knowledge of what has been done at prior processes is essential. Production engi- neers using the machine vendor software must make sense of information and select the appropriate data from what is given in which- ever format the customer makes available. As there is so much variation in data formats and potentially many documents and files, there is a lot of checking and adjustment or trans- lation of data to be done to avoid conflicts. This is a major pain for the machine vendor, as the customer ends up needing many layers of user-interfaces with which to perform these tasks, which the machine vendor is expected to provide. Any mistakes in the data prepara- tion manifest themselves as incorrect machine operation, which often is initially attributed to the machine itself. A lot of effort is expended by the machine vendor to try to eliminate risks and issues, even though these are not essen- tially the vendor's responsibility. The machine data preparation software should be focusing on taking the product data, together with knowledge of the machine features and capabilities, to create the most efficient and effective operation as possible. With the continuous increase in product mix, the frequency of changes from one product to another increases, which brings a greater frequency of new product introductions and changes in machine setup. In many cases already, the time taken to change the setup of the machine between sequential work-orders representing different products exceeds the actual time that the machine is working to add value. Were the machine vendor to have visi- bility of the data for the whole sequence of expected production work-orders in the near- term, their operational optimization could be extended to include consideration of how to reduce setup time between products (e.g., through the creation of the common location of materials, as long as machine execution time was not too severely affected). This can be especially effective where multiple processes in a connected line are grouped and managed through a single overall machine vendor soft- ware platform such as those currently provided by the larger machine vendors. However, this creates the need for product data to be avail- able to the machine vendors' software earlier. As Industry 4.0 brings a yet higher level of flexibility requirement, this easily overloads the engineering data preparation capability. In most operations it is already a challenge to keep up with data preparation on a done-by- one basis. Neither machine vendors nor manu- facturing engineering will be able to achieve the expected flexibility in the flow of data required for Industry 4.0 without the help of digitalization. …To Digital Best Practice Having data from design (both electri- cal and mechanical) and BOM delivered as a single digital product model, in the form for example of the IPC-2581 standard, means that a vast amount of product data processing of the otherwise many documents and files is eliminated. This approach really makes sense considering that practically every product is designed digitally and every BOM is main - tained digitally. There is simply no reason any more why the product data should be split For test or inspection processes, the clear and detailed knowledge of what has been done at prior processes is essential.

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