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12 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2020 To ensure I identify critical trends for IPC members, I use a two-step approach. First, I leverage my network to understand what is most important, focusing on gathering criti- cal "voice of the customer" (VOC) input from subject-matter experts and IPC members from around the world. Second, I examine promis- ing trends through a business value lens. I fo- cus on ROI value delivery by identifying real business issues and then applying appropriate solutions, including base operations manage- ment practices and new Industry 4.0 technolo- gies as needed. Mitchell: There is a great deal of interest in the "factory of the future," implying that the current factory will be undergoing tremen- dous change soon. Can you explain what some of those changes might be and how they will affect the day-to-day operations of a factory? Kelly: I first want to address timing expecta- tions. We should expect a "factory of the fu- ture" transformation to be a gradual but steady transition with varying adoption levels by ge- ography. In Europe, companies have been in- vesting and transforming since 2008 (e.g., Germany—the birthplace of Industry 4.0). Companies in Asia have been working since 2014 and are now leading the way with large scale implementation of new Industry 4.0 ad- vancements. Adoption in North America is lag- ging but is critical in ensuring manufacturing competitiveness moving forward. As for new advancements in electronics man- ufacturing factories, I see companies first in- vesting and implementing solutions in the fol- lowing areas as they provide early ROI returns: digital transformation, secure cloud comput- ing networks, and manufacturing operations/ supply chain data analytics. This first group is likely to be followed by connected worker en- hancement, cobot/robot automation, artificial intelligence/machine learning, and additive manufacturing. Generally, these technologies are funded and implemented as individual solution blocks within a factory, as opposed to being installed as fully integrated end-to-end solutions. The main reason for this is the high CAPEX ex- pense for new solutions. Thus, project-based installation is expected to continue. From an employee perspective, as com- panies migrate to a factory of the future so- lutions, new technologies are not meant to fully replace the workforce; rather, these advancements will affect the workforce to change how they work. While there will be some level of workforce reduction, employ- ees will be expected to upskill, be more ver- satile, and be responsible for several areas simultaneously. To do this, they will need to leverage data analytics, AI insights, and au- tomation to help them manage many more activities in a day. Mitchell: You most recently worked at IBM in Toronto as a senior technical staff member and master inventor, and you are widely published in technical publications. How do you see your creative background informing the work you will do as IPC's chief technologist? Kelly: Engineers are notorious for their bad spelling and reluctance to write things down. They would rather be spending their time solving problems and developing new solu- tions. Early in my career, I was taught by my research supervisor at 3M a very important les- son, which I still use as guidance today: "Com- munication is the most important part of being an engineer. At the end of the day, if you don't write down what you've learned or observed, then you have nothing to pass along to oth- ers." I have never forgotten this advice, and it is the reason why I have written over 80 tech- nical publications and 25 patent disclosures to the industry. Moving forward as IPC's chief technologist, I plan to continue writing and communicating. I plan to work with trade publishers, issue IPC position papers to industry and government bodies, issue state-of-technology reports, and present at various trade shows and conferenc- es around the world. The intent is to increase IPC's technical strength and visibility within the industry and our membership.

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