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22 SMT007 MAGAZINE I NOVEMBER 2019 aging all of the BOMs, compo- nents, and steps of the manu- facturing process to develop a product. When you work for the CM, they have in-house parts that are theirs that they share between multiple OEMs. Their ability to manage those and not necessarily get that mixed up between clients when they're working for multiple OEMs and an OEM comes back and says, "I need to make a change to something that's a standard item for the CM." They need to be able to manage that in such a way that it doesn't affect the other OEM if the other OEM doesn't want to make that change. It turns into the same part with two numbers, one with a small change. That kind of stuff is problematic for them and adds complexity to their entire construct as far as what they have to manage from the manufacturing perspective when they may be building something similar for two companies. Johnson: We often cover smart factory proto- cols, including how the capital equipment on the production floor passes data up and down the manufacturing line, along with the product itself. Industry 4.0 seems to be getting a lot of traction worldwide in the assembly business. It looks like the PCB fabrication part of the business, while following behind, is starting to get the message. From where you sit with the software, how do you integrate the CFX proto- cols to share data? Meyers: Siemens has created hardware that converts multiple types of input languages into one database language. It then takes all digital information and converts it so that our software package can read it. When any of our software solutions connect to this hardware, almost any language is usable, and the data will convert into a format that the software can read—streamlin - ing the communication between equipment on the shop floor and improving manufacturing processes, quality, and timing. Holden: Does your role take you to Asia and Europe? Meyers: I had my first Europe trip this year. I went to Sweden and worked with the team there. I will spend a little time over the next years going through China, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea. One of my initiatives is to work on improving communications between CMs and their OEM partners. As you know, a good number of the CMs will con- tract manufacture for more than one company; most times, they do contract manufacturing for companies that compete against one another, so there's a big concern about communication and IP and data protection to protect that relationship. My goal is to start looking at where there are opportu- nities for the software that Siemens provides, as well as opportunities for us to help improve that communication and security. Johnson: Where do you see the most activity in the manufacturing data and communications space? Meyers: From my experience, Taiwan is prob- ably the central hub for most of the ODM/CM environment. Many of them have factories in China, but they manage the business events and all that out of Taiwan. Typically, they are manufacturing, engineering, and doing prod- uct development. If there are product develop- ment engineers, they're in Taiwan, and they fin- ish the details of the design, working directly with manufacturing engineering to determine precisely how they would, as a CM, develop the product. Johnson: What sorts of features and function- alities seem to be on the forefront right now? What are the first things that companies are looking to improve? Meyers: The tools that they have for product life cycle management, where they're man- David Meyers

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