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APRIL 2022 I SMT007 MAGAZINE 9 "present" in media, isn't it? Sure, the sets for the big news channels don't look like that, but that's the point; it's a set, not the real offices behind the back wall. It's just not how we work at I-Connect007. No, our editorial meetings are teleconfer- ences and have been for about 12 years. ere is no physical headquarters. ere is no bull- pen office with an oversized table. We all work from our home offices or, if we're trav- eling, from a hotel room. e reality is, we all sit around our respective computer screens for our creative sessions. I will admit that what I miss most about the old days is the smell of those donuts. Noth- ing said "sit back and let your brain spin up creatively" like the sugar and yeast high only a donut can give you. But I digress. e donuts didn't make the editorial team more productive; nor did that bullpen office, to be honest. It was simply the best, most efficient solution available at that time. But times have already changed. e "media of the future" is now, and has been for some time. Barry Matties, our pub- lisher, is unabashed about the fact that we need to be constantly changing, improving, updating, and trying new methods to bring the stories to the industry. As a company cul- ture, we're trying the newest things as they're introduced to the market. Why? Because by the time we learn what the new technology can do for us, it's now ordinary. If you wait to learn about it until it's in the mainstream, you're too late. Which brings me to the point of this issue: e future, ladies and gentlemen, is now. e Factory of the Future is a reality in some parts of the globe. So, if you and your facility aren't already migrating to Industry 4.0, you're at risk of being le behind. at's the message in our detailed interview with IPC Chief Technol- ogist Matt Kelly, who follows up on his IPC APEX EXPO comments. at same message comes through loud and clear in our interview with Michael Kottke, CEO at Rocket EMS. His team has been implementing a digital factory environment for 10 years. Talking to Kottke helps you see where you'll be in five years, if you start now. I'm cutting my time estimate in half because Kottke and his team took a DIY approach at a time when there were no off-the- shelf solutions to even consider. It's a different world out there now. Which is why we also include additional perspectives from Aegis, Siemens, and Arch Systems. Oddly enough, the topic I mention last is arguably where we all want to start: data secu- rity. To digitize your factory is one thing; to keep all that digital information safe is some- thing else entirely. I met Ryan Bonner, CEO of DEFCERT, at the EMS Leadership Summit in San Diego in January. Aer a great conversa- tion there, I called him to discuss data security issues in the context of a digital factory. While Ryan has plenty of first-hand experience in electronics manufacturing, he also draws from other industries to leverage their best prac- tices. e key takeaway is that manufacturing sectors considered less high-tech than us are further along in digitizing their factories than the industry that's manufacturing the electron- ics they're using. Makes you stop and think, doesn't it? ere is a call to action here: Make your plan and implement it. Do what you need to do; it does not require buying all new equipment. ere are other ways to get the data you need. But start to capture the data and then use it to optimize your business practices. Once you do, you will be—like Michael Kottke—addicted to the business intelligence you now have at your fingertips. What are you waiting for? SMT007 Nolan Johnson is managing editor of SMT007 Magazine. Nolan brings 30 years of career experience focused almost entirely on electronics design and manufacturing. To contact Johnson, click here.

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