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16 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I APRIL 2019 The term "fragmented manufacturing" is a good way to describe current assembly manu- facturing challenges in an Industry 4.0 environ- ment. Even in Germany, productivity reported- ly continues to decline. To reach the upside of Industry 4.0, data flows relating to design play a major role—one that brings significant op- portunity to the overall assembly business. The assembly sector always complains about the increasing mix of products that are being scheduled together with lower volumes. It's ironic when we consider the massive growth in the application of electronics into virtually every device that we use. Surely, that means that volumes overall should be going up. Unfortunately, the industry has become like an old, mechanical hard disk. We are trying to squeeze through more and more data into a de- vice that appears to be working more slowly, but the files on the disk have become fragment- ed. Instead of the data being stored in one long group record, files are split up into many pieces and stored in different places on the disk. It is as if instead of going to the supermarket, you have to pick up groceries from many shops on the high street, one by one. Windows 10 now turns on periodic hard-disk defragmentation automatically, so most people don't even no - tice this issue anymore. Can we do the same in our assembly manufacturing plants? Standards-driven, Digital Design Flow for Industry 4.0 Accelerating Tech—Insights from the Smarter Factory Feature Column by Michael Ford, AEGIS SOFTWARE

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