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24 SMT007 MAGAZINE I APRIL 2022 We were aware that Michael Kottke, Rocket EMS president, has a long history in Sili- con Valley EMS, but we were surprised back in 2013 to learn just how automated Rocket EMS was then. We recently reconnected with Rocket EMS to follow up, and it was even more insightful. Michael Kottke breaks down how his decision to dig deep into data has ele- vated his company's ability to meet his custom- ers' needs more efficiently than ever. Barry Matties: When we ask for a definition of Factory of the Future, we see it boils down to the data—incorporating it throughout the equipment, the facility, and your management, as well as interpreting and utilizing the data. ere's also the mechanization of process, which is the automated aspect of the machines doing the work, moving material, and so on. When I visited Rocket EMS back in 2013, you were already well ahead of the curve. Michael Kottke: e most important thing about the Smart factory is building the fac- tory to what you need to support. I hear every- one talk about the Smart factory, the con- nected factory, but depending on what you're doing and what customers you're support- ing, it means two vastly different things. If you're building 40,000 boards a month of the same thing, it looks a lot different than hav- ing 100 different customers a month. We want to look forward to what the customer needs and support that by building a factory that supports a high amount of change, very fast turns, and lots and lots of data. at's proba- The Evolution of Data at Rocket EMS Feature Interview by the I-Connect007 Editorial Team

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