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10 SMT007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2018 while playing a vital role in IoT by allowing more effective monitoring of manufacturing facilities. This ensures that equipment oper- ates within its defined scope of action and that machine-to-machine payments are received accordingly. They added that blockchain could greatly ease the deployment of distributed 3D manufacturing, as it could enable low-cost, distributed and assured integrity for contracts, product histories, and production processes. Which brings me to this month's issue of SMT007 Magazine: Megatrends. Inside, you will find how manufacturers consider trends such as IoT, AI, automation, augmented real- ity (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed real- ity (MR), and now extended reality (XR), and how they are integrating the technology into their manufacturing lines. We have Michael Ford of Aegis Software discussing IoT; our resident columnist Dan Feinberg writing about XR; and Dr. Jennie Hwang's insights on AI. Columnist Eric Camden examines the blaz- ing speed of development in the electron- ics technology industry and the risks it pres- ents in manufacturing. Zac Elliott of Mentor, a Siemens Business, writes about how computer integrated manufacturing (CIM) and IoT can make your factory smart, while Pratik Kirve of Allied Analytics discusses the smart robot revolution. Changing of the Guard For over three years, I've been managing SMT007 Magazine, writing on the latest SMT equipment and technologies, manufacturing challenges and issues, and strategies to address them, and speaking with and interviewing some of the industry leaders in the SMT, PCB assem - bly and EMS fields. Very soon, I'll be shifting to managing our newsletters, starting with the redesigned SMT007 Week—which will feature new sections, including our Read Threads (for more information on this, you may contact Barb Hockaday). Of course, we are still seek - ing your contributions—bylines, interviews, or tips and tricks for this. Just feel free to drop us a note here. Beginning with our October issue, industry veteran Nolan Johnson will be the new These are some of the global megatrends happening right now that are making a big impact in the world of electronics manufactur- ing. The continuing automation in factories, IoT, increasing use of data, robotics, 3D print- ing, and artificial intelligence are just a few that will define the next generation of indus- trial revolution—also happening now. Meanwhile, over the past year, we have seen another growing trend in the financial indus- try—cryptocurrencies—the most famous of which is bitcoin. But Satoshi Nakamoto's innovation is not simply the bitcoin, but the technology behind it—the blockchain. Naka- moto's research paper titled "Bitcoin: A Peer- to-Peer Electronic Cash System" [2] , posted in a cryptography forum on November 1, 2008 [3] , described how blockchain worked and how it tackles the double-spending problem in digi- tal currency. It says this makes bitcoin one of the most secured digital currency right now because the blockchain technology includes records of every bitcoin in existence, and every bitcoin transaction ever made. No one can alter the transactions in the blockchain because all the computer nodes in the peer-to-peer network, upon which the blockchain technol- ogy is based, retain a copy of all the public history of transactions, making it impracti- cal for an attacker to change, as honest nodes control a majority of CPU power. How does this apply in manufacturing? According to industry experts, blockchain can be a game changer for supply chain manage- ment. According to Neil Sharp of EMS firm JJS Manufacturing, blockchain presents an excit- ing opportunity to create smarter, more secure supply chains. He wrote that blockchain opens a completely new way of tracking product jour- neys, providing a solid audit trail and real-time visibility for verified supply chain partners. For instance, it can track and record what mate- rials have arrived where, who handled them, how they were transported, and where they came from as "blocks" on the blockchain. In a whitepaper, the Technical Associates Group noted that blockchain could underpin new distributed manufacturing models brought about through the development of 3D printing,

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