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60 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2019 Even my good friend James Tiberius Kirk, who has spurred major technological advancements in the medical field, could have predicted the quantum shift in today's manufacturing tech - nologies. What just a short time ago would have been fodder for a Jetson's episode is now manu- facturing reality in today's smart factory realm. It's All About Connectivity In the rise of this fourth industrial revolu- tion (Industry 4.0), connectivity is king. Buzz- words like the internet of things (IoT), and machine-to-machine (M2M) and human-to- machine (H2M) communication appear to be involved in every conversation as the industry shifts from more traditional automation to a fully connected and flexible system—one that can use a constant stream of data from con- nected equipment and manufacturing systems to learn and adapt to ever-changing customer needs (Figure 1). At IPC APEX EXPO 2019, I interviewed Nori- hiro Koike, president and CEO of Saki. Nori described the technology behind Saki's indus- try-leading automated optical inspection (AOI) and 3D equipment. Imagine if a 3D AOI or sol- der paste inspection (SPI) system could be self- programming, require only a few clicks, and take less than 10 minutes to program. There's no need to imagine because Saki offers this technology today! Focusing on smart contract manufacturing factories, automated SMT lines require cutting-edge innovation to keep up. These systems feed back real-time process data that allows the SMT equipment to make on- the-fly process adjustments based on the in- coming data. Amazing! A History Lesson It is hard to believe that iPhones have only been around since 2007. The smartphone was such a step-function advancement in mobile technology that it led to the concept of IoT a short year later. Apple sold about 11 million iPhones in the first full year after their launch— a number that has skyrock- eted every year since to a level of 217 million last year [1] . In addition, there were less than five bil- lion connected devices in the world in 2008, but by the end of this year, it is predicted that this num- ber will explode to over 50 billion [2] . The New Frontier of Manufacturing The Right Approach Feature Column by Steve Williams, THE RIGHT APPROACH CONSULTING Figure 1: Smart factory development. (Source: Christoph Roser, AllAboutLean.com)

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