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10 SMT007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2021 Feature by Michael Ford AEGIS SOFTWARE "Smart" is not simply an "on" or "off " state. Just like people, some solutions are "smarter" than others; as we see from the various ways of measuring intelligence within humans, there are many kinds of "smarts." When look- ing to invest in a smart manufacturing strategy, the playing field is more complex than it may appear. We should first understand and define what "smart" means, to what extent it exists, and the other requirements and dependen- cies that are needed to get the best value from investment. Perhaps we should start with the IQ test, a measurement of intelligence attributed to peo- ple. Could we not have a scale for the intelli- gence of smart processes? As an adjective, "smart" sets expectations, but there is a huge gamut of actual intelligence or cleverness that can pass for smart. Perhaps we can create an AIQ (artificial intelligence quotient) scale to help us. At the bottom of the AIQ scale, I would place the smartphone, which does nothing unless you press a button or configure an action to make it do exactly what it was programmed to do. e functions shortcut many otherwise manual actions. Smart functions are normally associated with soware, though that is not to say that hardware cannot also be smart. A modern domestic sewing machine, for exam- ple, enables a novice operator with little skill or experience to create all manner of amazing stitching patterns. It is "smart" in that it aug- ments human capabilities. A mechanical manufacturing machine- based process—anything from a simple SMT placer to an assembly robot arm—is likely to be at least as smart as a smartphone. ey basi- cally do what they are told to do as a replace- ment of otherwise manual operations. Results of Six Sigma experiments tell us that there will always be variation in mechanical movements, resulting in slightly different results each time. Sensors are therefore built into machines and linked with the control logic, acting as feed- Smart Is Not a Binary Concept

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