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26 SMT007 MAGAZINE I OCTOBER 2018 A great milestone in digital assembly manu- facturing has been reached by having the IPC Connected Factory Exchange (CFX) indus- trial internet of things (IIoT) standard in place with an established, compelling commitment of adoption. First, it's important to under- stand how we got to this point. Second, we will look ahead to the not-too-distant future, where Industry 4.0 solutions within digital smart factories will become a reality that is available and accessible to everyone without any risk of vendor dependency or technology obsolescence. CFX To Date CFX started as an idea from senior members within IPC who long recognized the inevitable need for a factory-wide communication stan- dard. Having seen the fate of several attempts at standards from various areas within the indus- try come and go over many years, this was not something for the faint-hearted—especially considering the fiercely competitive nature of industry vendors. The very first CFX group meeting at 2016 IPC APEX EXPO attracted an impressive attendance from numerous compet- ing vendors across all disciplines. Prior to CFX, such a situation would surely have become somewhat rowdy. However, the meeting was the first sign of the magic that CFX would bring. Competitors sat together in agreement with the common intent to change the indus- try for the better. Over time, critical elements of the CFX stan- dard were put into place. The initial goals—to include all active manufacturing and support- ing processes, as well as be completely plug and play—seemed quite ambitious at the time. Accelerating Tech—Insights from the Smarter Factory Feature Column by Michael Ford, AEGIS SOFTWARE The Truth About CFX

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