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20 SMT007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2020 Feature by Chris Jorgensen IPC—ASSOCIATION CONNECTING ELECTRONICS INDUSTRIES The show floor at IPC APEX EXPO 2020 in San Diego, California, was as busy and con- gested as ever, and the IPC Industry 4.0 digital factory—powered by CFX—took center stage for its demonstration as a true plug-and-play Industry 4.0 solution, illustrating that there is nothing else quite like it in the industry right now. The demo showed a real-world factory line assembly operation with the added bene- fit that attendees were able to see how the CFX machine-to-machine communication standard sets the process in motion and the data that can be gathered using CFX. According to Marc Peo, president of Heller Industries Inc. and the 2-17 Connected Fac- tory Initiative Subcommittee co-chair, "The objective of the demo was to show the indus- try that CFX could be truly 'plug and play' with a wide range of different vendors and only two days set up time. We are happy to say that we achieved that goal with time to spare!" Because CFX defines the specific data content for all fields and topics, any endpoint in the CFX network can understand the content from all other endpoints—no matter what type of equip- ment or software they are, nor from which ven- dor they originate. CFX enables all the equip- ment to talk to each other and make decisions on their own, exactly as is expected in a true smart factory. Because all the equipment is speaking the same language—eliminating the need for middleware—any piece of CFX-enabled equip- ment from any vendor can drop into the line and immediately work with the equipment on either side of it: a true plug-and-play standard. This year's production line included equip- ment from nine companies, demonstrating a full utilization of CFX for machine-to-machine and machine-to-ERP communication. The line also utilized HERMES for line control, demon- strated by two versions of component place- ments on the boards going down the line. CFX: Industry 4.0 Ready

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