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30 SMT007 MAGAZINE I AUGUST 2020 and speed. You might be in purchasing, want- ing to understand whether it is okay to sub- stitute this material for that because there's a shortage, or need for a dual supplier. Instead of existing islands working in isola- tion, we want them to do what they're doing today, but within a framework in which the different parties share information. A com- pany doing a simulation of a production line or robot cell using a production-orientated digital twin would find it easier if there were a stan- dard form of digital twin related to the prod- uct. Even easier if there was a standard form in which to represent the digital twin of each piece of equipment that's being used. Instead of having to spend millions of dollars to cre- ate bespoke digital twins related to any partic- ular application, why not use standards-based digital twins that have been created as part of other processes? Each of these individual contributors within a structure is able to exchange and share infor- mation with others creating interoperability of digital twins created for different purposes. This interoperability concept was already proven with IPC-CFX. Originally, machine data was a default kept private to the vendor, avail- able to customers and others at a significant cost. Every machine vendor who now supports CFX sends their data outside and has access to the data from every other machine, line and factory operation so that they can see the line condition, the schedule, and the materials, pro- viding them with the opportunity to optimize their own machines in real-time as production is happening. This is the same as the way in which the IPC digital twin works, all the way from initial material design, product design, manufactur- ing layout, and execution, including traceability within manufacturing, extending out all the way into the market, including rework, recycling, etc. We've created the infrastructure, such that existing proprietary solutions need not change dramatically to be able to take advantage of dig- ital twins from other parties. There is practical information that helps people to understand the context in which they are working. For every- body who's taking part, they have an extra ben- efit, and that's the ultimate principle. Johnson: As this rolls together—and one can follow a particular active component through manufacturing, packaging, distribution, and application, all the way through the process— you'll also be able to see the critical manufac- turing data that went along with the machines and the steps all the way into the finished prod- uct that goes onto the shelf for sale. Ford: Correct. The challenge is how to contex- tualize the data for each particular use case. Johnson: How do you put that into a usable form? Ford: Many detailed elements within the IPC digital twin are to be defined; however, for the product side, it's already defined, by utiliz- ing existing IPC standards, such as IPC-2581 design format. You can break the design ele- ments down into individual features against which, for example, aspects of production or usage performance can be measured. Barry Matties: This becomes more along the lines of predictive engineering. Ford: You could say that, yes, it is actually all about prediction, engineering, materials, qual- ity, throughput, capabilities, market returns cost, and everything that the business and engineering planners need to know. Matties: With that knowledge of the digital twin, and what you're describing, what impact does this have on inventory management? There is practical information that helps people to understand the context in which they are working.

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