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52 SMT007 MAGAZINE I APRIL 2022 a historical focus on higher mix production, manufacturers in North America have mas- tered the ability to provide their customers with responsiveness, flexibility, and quality. Carrying these capabilities forward is impor- tant to support the next generation of manu- facturing. How do manufacturers adapt? On the shop floor, manufacturing lines will become more modular to accommodate a higher mix of product on the same equipment, but what will really differentiate manufacturers is how they use data to support their operations. Leverag- ing data and digitalization will be the only way to maintain responsiveness, flexibility, and quality while supporting an increasing volume of high-mix products. Boosting prediction accuracy is one of the key benefits of using data effectively, but this requires domain expertise and a deep under- standing of the data. It also requires access to the data in the first place, and this is not always a trivial task. Many intelligent machine inter- faces today will describe the processes and pro- duction operations occurring on the machine and allow for interlocking the equipment with external management systems. Most machines today do not provide information about their internal operation, and it is this detail that is needed to drive the next level of performance improvement, where a motor drawing extra power or a sensor operating marginally can sig- nal a problem with the performance or reliabil- ity of the equipment. If that data is not avail- able, companies can invest R&D resources to determine how to get to it. To differentiate themselves from their com- petition, companies must provide intelligent, responsive, and supportive productization. Effectively balancing customization with com- plexity costs will allow companies to maintain profit margins significantly higher than their industry peers. Utilizing improved workflows and technology to maintain high output can provide a cost savings as compared to a mass production environment. Smart manufacturing supports mass custom- ization by providing insight on production effi- ciency, equipment usage, and status across the entire value chain. By eliminating silos of infor- mation and enabling the sharing of data, busi- nesses can dramatically shorten NPI cycles and time to market. Digital innovation and adoption of smart manufacturing strategies will also give busi- nesses greater adaptability by providing better control and visibility into their supply chain and optimizing their capacity to build more products, faster and with profitable growth. By adopting smart manufacturing strategies, busi- nesses will know up front that a design can be made, the manufacturing plan is up-to-date and synchronized, and the production system is optimized and performing as planned. Siemens talks a lot about digital twins. e whole point of having a digital twin for an elec- tronics manufacturing operation is to be able to analyze and understand what is happening, why it is happening, and how to improve it. By using soware to create models and optimize processes, businesses can run multiple what-if scenarios that can be evaluated relatively inex- pensively. ey can save time and money by simulating and proving-out product designs and manufacturing capabilities before invest- ing in new equipment and materials. Leveraging data and digitalization will be the only way to maintain responsiveness, flexibility, and quality while supporting an increasing volume of high-mix products.

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