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10 SMT007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2020 Nolan Johnson is managing editor of SMT007 Magazine. Nolan brings 30 years of career experience focused almost entirely on electron- ics design and manufacturing. To contact Johnson, click here. when considering each purchase. Do I need it? Does it bring me value? Does it make some- thing better? Otherwise, I end up with a bunch of stuff that doesn't advance my pursuit, the acquisition of which just distracted me from my true purpose. I have to think about optimi- zation. In this issue, we set out to explore imple- mentation details for smart factory concepts. Our expectation, based on what we heard in conversations with people in the industry, was that we would be talking all about the gad- gets: PLCs, sensors, computing hardware, aug- mented reality, etc. Most discussions were about the pieces of equipment, so that assump- tion seemed reasonable. Instead, as we dug deeper, we uncovered something else. It became clear that the real value is in the skills. It's not the sensors and controllers that make the factory smart; they simply measure things. Instead, it's about human intelligence and thinking outside the normal confines to recognize new ways to do the work faster and better. In the end, the smart factory is about your business prac- tices, and the add-ons simply report on the results of your business practice improve- ments. A well-designed smart factory doesn't need a new-construction site. Instead, all the smart factory needs is a set of optimized processes. It's not the facility that needs to be greenfield; it's the executive staff's thinking that needs to start over from scratch. We'll continue explor- ing this topic in April, as well. In the realm of the smart factory, there is so much more to talk about. We fire up the line with Part 1 of our exten- sive interview with Sagi Reuven from Mentor, a Siemens Business. Sagi methodically outlines the need for business practice optimization as a crucial part of the smart factory. Next, IPC's Chris Jorgensen reports on how CFX is Indus- try 4.0 Ready. We follow with an article by Happy Holden, outlining his six principles for factory automation. We also conducted an informal survey to gauge reader perceptions. What we saw in the survey data was more confirming than surpris- ing. You can read the details in "Smart Fac- tories: Readers Share Their Progress and Pri- orities." Then, Dan Feinberg catches up with Ranjan Chatterjee to discuss smart factory data management in "Cimetrix Helping to Digitalize Factories." To add even more thought to the topic of implementation, we've included an excerpt from Oren Manor's book, The Printed Circuit Assembler's Guide to… Advanced Man- ufacturing in the Digital Age, published by I-Connect007 (download your free copy at As much as attention to business practices may be important to a successful implemen- tation, so are the communication protocols. Data needs to move seamlessly if one is going to depend on it for analysis. Thus, we bring you "Happy Holden's Smart Factory Protocol Primer." Readers of PCB007 Magazine may recognize this as a section of a larger arti- cle published in the February 2020 issue; this material is important enough to reprint here, alongside the rest of the implementation dis- cussion for SMT. Columnist Ray Prasad is next with Part 1 of his series, "Developments in BTC Guidelines: IPC-7093A." Next, we showcase the IPC QMS Validation Program with a case study interview at Taiwan's ASKEY Computer Corporation submitted by PCB007 China's managing edi- tor, Edy Yu. Process validation programs work hand-in-glove to certify new business practices effected through the conversion to smart fac- tory concepts. That brings us to the end of part one on smart factory implementation. We will build upon this foundation next month. This is a time of tran- sition for the industry; if you have feedback, news to share, or a story to tell, contact us any- time at SMT007

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