PCB007 Magazine


Issue link: https://iconnect007.uberflip.com/i/1091269

Contents of this Issue


Page 61 of 113

62 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2019 What Makes a Factory Smart? Automation? Duh! However, it is not enough to employ automation whenever possible; smart factories require intelligent automation. In other words, equipment must talk to each other and adjust the process based on the da- ta being collected. Challenges that many op- erations face are the fact that we have a lot of equipment and/or processes that do not lend themselves to connectivity, either as mechani- cal processes or the capability of the equip- ment. This is where mobile solutions can play a major role. Such solutions collect data from stranded assets that are not digitally integrated and can be sent digitally to decision makers through tablets or apps. The overall productiv- ity and efficiency of the workplace improves using actionable insights derived from the data using mobile access. Quality Has a Role AOI has been around a long time in our in- dustry, but new technologies make use of in- credibly high-resolution cameras that can de- tect defects and concerns far more reliably (and infinitely faster) than the human eye. When integrated with a cloud-based data collection system, defects are instantly flagged and ac- tions are automatically coordinated. Artificial Intelligence There have been a number of science-fiction movies over the years about well-meaning ma- chines built with AI that learn too much and became autonomous and malicious. Most of these movies deal with a single machine that rebels against its inventor. I could make a con- vincing argument that the absolutely horrid 1986 movie "Maximum Overdrive" was actual- ly the first introduction of IoT and M2M in the movies, which is astounding since the World Wide Web was not even created until 1990 (I really don't recommend renting the DVD to prove my point). In the context of IoT and M2M, machine learning is a reality and equipment really can learn from performing a task over and over or collecting repetitive process data. One such ap - plication is the concept of predictive mainte- nance, which is your typical PM program on steroids. Smart factories are employing ma- chine learning cloud-based software to detect and predict defects in their machinery before is- sues arise through data collection. This allows for predictive maintenance that can cut down on unexpected delays, which can cost time, money, and customers. Machine-to-business While M2M and H2M connectivity are the primary focus of Industry 4.0, the true under- lying benefit of Industry 4.0 comes in the form of machine-to-business (M2B) connectivity or the "machine-as-a-service" concept. This is changing the way we purchase equipment. Today, some companies look past the tradi- tional efficiency equipment and focus instead on how it can drive revenue. For example, contract manufacturers no longer purchase manufacturing equipment in a one-and-done payment. Instead, they negotiate the key per- formance indicators (KPIs) of the equipment in advance, and then partially finance or lease the equipment based on the machine's output. This ensures that their equipment set is always the latest and greatest and that their technol- ogy remains fresh and current. PCB manufac- turers could take a lesson from their upstream brethren here. I have been a life-long believer in the old adage "Work smarter, not harder." I preach this to all of my clients. It is both interesting and exciting to watch our factories begin to follow suit. PCB007 References 1. Statista. 2019. "Unit sales of the Apple iPhone world- wide from 2007 to 2018 (in millions)." 2. Otto Motors (originally posted via ARC Advisory Group). July 27, 2018. "Five Key Industry 4.0 Technologies." Steve Williams is the president of The Right Approach Consulting. To read past columns or contact Williams, click here.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of PCB007 Magazine - PCB007-Mar2019