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14 SMT007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2019 roads are congested with private cars and ride services, and all are filled with people connect- ed on their mobile devices. Not only are the roads congested, but factories are now faced with a new problem—parking. Since most fac- tories were built before the boom in privately owned vehicles, allowing space for employee parking was not a consideration. In my recent visit to DSG in Dongguan, China, that's exactly what Mauro commented on: Mauro: Look at the cars. When we started the facility, there were two cars—the company cars. Now, operators come in by car, and you can see the road is full of our employees' cars. Barry: Parking space for cars isn't the only change facing Chinese companies; wage pres- sure is a growing and ever-present concern. What have wages been like over the past 13 years, and what sort of percentage increase has there been? Mauro: Wages increased from 20–25% year to year. The labor cost is a big matter because you have to spend on recruitment and for them to go through the procedure including taking them to a hospital for examination. Then, be- fore they can do any operation, they must take at least one month of training in the factory. It is a big investment. ___________ Now, after 13 years of meeting all of the chal- lenges with success, Mauro and the leadership of DSG recognize their factory will be less and less competitive if they do not make some seri- ous changes. This is much more than updating a few pieces of equipment; it starts with the idea of becoming a leading 4.0 smart factory. The goal is to be a factory that will meet the needs of future technology and increase capa- bility and yields while counteracting the de- manding wage pressure and other rising costs faced in China. To accomplish this new manufacturing mod- el, Mauro is again leading this major project to retool and expand the entire factory. The plans have been made, the smart systems have been mapped out, new equipment has been ordered, and the ground has been broken. As you would expect, the new digital smart factory will be managed in real time. Every item will be tracked and monitored throughout the entire process from planning to shipping. Automation will take over, and process opera- tors will become a thing of the past. Incoming work will be uniquely marked so the machines will automatically adjust their parameters ac- cordingly. All of this automation will be sup- ported with high-level mechanization to keep it a hands-off process virtually from start fin- ish. Mauro describes it this way: Mauro: We are talking about a smart factory— Industry 4.0. Each piece of equipment will be able to read and record every single panel in real time. We will no longer manually record process by process; instead, every single board will have identifying marks, and everything

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