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FEBRUARY 2020 I PCB007 MAGAZINE 9 Nolan Johnson is managing editor of PCB007 Magazine. Nolan brings 30 years of career experience focused almost entirely on electronics de- sign and manufacturing.To contact Johnson, click here. sports medicine, so I'm not a good authority on what the different numbers really mean and how they interact with each other to tell a more detailed story. I need help with the anal- ysis, and that's where the second view adds value. The analysis view puts the numbers into context, along with explanations on how to interpret the numbers. When my data is mapped against a "healthy or not" graph, for example, I have a better idea of how I'm doing with my exercise and health programs. After a few weeks of watching my specific results, I understand what makes me most effective and healthy. After a week of restaurant food in San Diego, for example, my metabolic rate was down, and my body fat percentage was on the rise. Good to know! Armed with raw data and some anal- ysis, I'm more likely to make different choic- es on my next show trip. While it's not per- fect, going digital has certainly helped me be more aware of keeping my health program op- timized. With a little experience, I can already use historical results to predict future perfor- mance. And isn't that the point? This is where we are with the digital factory, as well. The data is there now—if you hook up your line, that is. The work to develop the apps to collect, analyze, and present that data is underway with a vengeance. A CEO I used to work for would often comment, "We need metrics that tell us what's going to happen. We spend all our time driving in the rearview mir- ror." We're nearly there. There is so much going on that we expect to be revisiting the topic, with more focused pieces of the digital factory story throughout the year. But for now, let's look at some of the benefits. Happy Holden, I-Connect007 technical edi- tor, starts the issue with an article overviewing the components of a smart factory implemen- tation. Happy's expertise in this area is direct; he had a hand in most of the manufacturing techniques currently in use in HDI manufac- turing. Next, we bring you Dr. John Mitchell's column, where he explores three workforce lessons from manufacturing plants around the world. Then, we move to Happy Holden's ex- cerpt on automation planning from Automa- tion and Advanced Procedures in PCB Fabrica- tion. Agfa's Frank Louwet speaks with I-Con- nect007 Technical Editor Pete Starkey about advances in the inkjet environment. Follow- ing behind is a conversation with LeGrande's John Watson—who is also a new I-Connect007 columnist—about digital security in the digital factory in "Designing Hardware for IoT Secu- rity." Next, I share my conversation with Tim Burke of Arch Systems from IPC APEX EXPO 2020, which outlines the company's work to deliver a unified architecture for digital fac- tories. In the PCB Norsemen column, Didrik Bech explores the true benefits of going digi- tal. And in another interview from IPC APEX EXPO 2020, Michael Ford discusses the natural progression to applications over infrastructure for the smart factory. Todd Kolmodin's column, "Looking at Digital With 11111100100 Vision," takes a gander (ha!) at how digital has changed over the years. In Part 3 of his column series, Mike Carano dis- cusses via hole filling and plugging. Hitachi High-Tech's Matt Kreiner delivers "XRF: An Es- sential Tool to Help PCB Manufacturers Meet IPC Specifications." Then, Lenora Clark talks to me about orga- nizational changes and her new role at Mac- dermid Alpha. MKS's Chris Ryder shares his perspective on "The Current State of Embed- ded Active Components." Nikolaus Shubkeg- el addresses "PCB Surface Preparation Before Solder Mask on Non-copper Finishes," and columnist Steve Williams continues his series, "The Founding Fathers of Quality: Ishikawa and Shewhart." There's a lot of weight to this digital issue. Enjoy. PCB007

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