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34 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2023 For many, blindly going where no one has gone before is just a normal day in the factory. As new products are introduced, manufactur- ing is expected to provide perfect products based primarily on assumptions and reverse engineering. Without accurate and complete product data, there can be no engineering automation, which results in a complete waste of energy. is should no longer be acceptable in the industry. A lack of adequate contextual- izing of product information creates unneces- sary cost and risk in manufacturing operations, thereby limiting competitiveness. What's behind the industry's reluctance to change on this matter? e key reason relates to security. Releasing full design data to manufacturing exposes valu- able intellectual property (IP), which could make its way to competitors. e current para- digm wherein we trade performance for secu- rity needs to be destroyed if we, as an indus- An Unblinkered View try, will ever succeed in our business goals. Recently, performance and security consid- erations have become more urgent and sig- nificant, such that we will soon reach a cru- cial tipping point. On one side, there is a clear expectation for assembly manufacturing to be as efficient as possible. Operational excep- tions, compromises, and defect rates that were once acceptable are no longer viable in a suc- cessful assembly operation; these include gen- eral wastes of time, resources, and investment, including delayed deliveries and poor quality. Any activity that invokes waste of any kind is unacceptable. Perfection is paramount. Digital manufacturing technology has now come of age, making automated processing an integral component of manufacturing engi- neering soware. ese new processes are meant to eliminate the needless, repetitive, and error-prone conventional methods that have long guided the industry's decision-mak- Smart Factory Insights by Michael Ford, AEGIS SOFTWARE

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