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JANUARY 2022 I SMT007 MAGAZINE 19 our information up to a third-party next lev- el control entity will most likely be necessary. We've formed those partnerships early on and worked hard to really expand and maximize the use of what we can do together with them. is in turn is now being seen from a custom- er's perspective, as something you can only get using these combinational tools, whether it's us and printer company X or mounter com- pany Y, these are the deliverables that we can provide because of the initiatives that we've invested in significantly. ose are differentia- tors. With respect to overall smart factory suc- cess, I'm going to go back to that dataset topic that I spoke about earlier. Not everybody can get there (smart factory realization) to the de- gree that others will be able to, and this is due to the dataset that they're generating (or not generating). at's the key. You must start at the ground floor and climb the ladder one rung at a time. You don't get to jump to the top with- out doing all the little things in between, and without having that true 3D dataset—the right kind, right way, right amount. It all comes back to that. We've been able to do things that others have not because we have that superior data- set, and we've been able to apply that in our partnerships with, again, the screen print- er and mounter companies, along with other soware/MES companies that we work with to maximize the value to the customer. at's the competitive piece at this point. Going for- ward, if everything has been leveled and now there are protocols and things in place that al- low everybody to play with everybody nice- ly in the sandbox, you will have achieved the full line connectivity. But you won't neces- sarily have maximized the effects of what you could be producing with that type of capabil- ity unless you partnered with the right provid- ers who can provide the right data that drives the right solutions, and provides the self-heal- ing capabilities, etc. I see the potential for "var- ious levels" of smart factory attainment for EMS providers, and the level of success in the form of maximized results will be determined by the partners that our customers/EMS pro- viders have chosen. e whole concept of smart factory is 100% reliant on the accuracy and repeatability of the data and the robustness of the data. We can do a lot of things from a connectivity standpoint and still not be where we want to be in terms of getting the most out of our smart factory because our dataset is still lacking. It goes back to my comment about it not being a sin- gle machine application or decision that you're making today. You're deciding that it will car- ry you forward because of all the other things that the supplier that you're going to align with can do and provide to you long term. is can- not be overstated: it's really important to un- derstand as you're making equipment provid- er decisions. Johnson: Joel, thanks for taking the time to dis- cuss all this. Scutchfield: My pleasure. SMT007 Download Koh Young's book: The Printed Circuit Assembler's Guide to... SMT Inspection, Today, Tomorrow and Beyond.

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