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FEBRUARY 2020 I SMT007 MAGAZINE 55 design, manufacturing, and operation. It is the reconciliation of physical and virtual worlds such that the manipulation and use of data are done in the precise context of the physical constraints. This includes not only the product itself, but also all materials, tools, machines, and processes used throughout the life cycle of the product, as well as environmental aspects such as temperatures, pressure, energy sup- plies, and physical stresses and strains to which the product may be subjected. The Use of the Digital Twin The true digital twin, therefore, is inclusive of a vast array and architecture of technologies, all of which are represented through data, avail- able to any application that wishes to be a part of the new paradigm of digital manufacturing. At the highest level, we can see the point at which a corporate business manager will sim- ply select a digital product model on his screen, and then drag and drop it into a digital assem- bly model of a line or factory. This will automat- ically determine and show the capability, deliv- ery, timing, and cost of manufacturing with many layers of software (likely from many dif- ferent vendors)—including IIoT-driven MES and machine vendors—working seamlessly together to model the physical and digital world. Designers no longer need to depend on static design-rules, but can seamlessly understand the effects of producibility and product reliabil- ity as they perform the original design. In man- ufacturing, rather than the dependence on the physical analysis of the product to determine production configuration parameters, they can be set based on the digital model without a doubt that constraints of the actual equipment, materials, and tools selected have been taken into account. This is just as well, as any form of manual intervention in the equipment pro- gramming or engineering processes can no longer be reliably made based on the physical domain alone as product sizes decrease, and component densities increase. The Realization of the Digital Twin The practical ways forward towards the real digital twin have already started. The IPC-2581 Digital Product Model (DPMX), for example, is a mature and successful way to model the com- plete electrical design of a PCB in a single simple file. The JEDEC JEP-30 standard is a new way to model components in three dimensions, includ- ing temperature profiles, specifications, and tol- erances. The IPC Connected Factory Exchange (CFX) standard promotes open IIoT-driven com- munication amongst machines and systems, orchestrated by the IIoT-based MES platform— which is essential as the connectivity required for the digital twin to be inclusive of all com- ponents—without the need any longer for hun- dreds of millions of dollars to be spent through- out the industry on bespoke connections. The true digital twin will encompass all of these existing technologies and expand its pur- view to include such things as mechanical design, robot simulation, and reliability per- formance. These elements are not solutions or proprietary, nor do they belong to any one ven- dor, but they define the environment in which solutions from many different vendors can work together. What Can I Do? For the vast majority of people in the indus- try, it is important to understand the true scope of what is happening and judge solutions as they are marketed based on the knowledge of what has to happen to make the transition from separated physical management and dig- ital management into becoming the true digi- tal twin that combines both. For those adven- turous enough to want to contribute to the creation of a digital twin standard or simply understand more about what the true digital twin is about, IPC has just started such an ini- tiative, which will quickly develop into the necessary guidance for what must happen in the industry to make the step-change required in our miniaturizing world. SMT007 Michael Ford is the senior director of emerging industry strategy for Aegis Software. To read past columns or contact Ford, click here.

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