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REAL TIME WITH... IPC APEX EXPO 2023 SHOW & TELL MAGAZINE I I-CONNECT007 187 should be considered, as any missing link becomes a blind spot for even the most basic visibility and control. The focus of this project is to define an IPC- CFX standards-based open-hardware inter- face, designed to enable existing machines that cannot natively support IPC-CFX through software alone to become part of an IPC-CFX communication infrastructure. The A-Team's demonstration showed poten- tial IPC-CFX users that there is a practical and affordable option for providing IPC-CFX sup- port at any desired IPC-CFX endpoints where natively supported IPC-CFX machines are not available. The hardware comprises readily available, off-the-shelf components, locally avail- able across the world, including a CANBUS controller with four-wire connection and a Raspberry Pi. The architecture is modular and scalable, consisting of a primary controller and optional add-on modules, connected using CANBUS, a specialized LAN widely used in automotive and industrial uses, with proven use over many years. CANBUS is extremely modular and flexible, with simple wiring and installation, with many standard hardware and circuits available. A light tower was used to indicate the IPC- CFX status of a production station. The IPC-CFX endpoint utilized light sensors that detected the illumination of each segment of the light tower and converted the informa- tion into an IPC-CFX "state" message. The light tower changed illumination based on the IPC-CFX Station State messages received: • No Lamps: Station state—off • Green: Station state—running/ready • Amber: Station state—running with fault • Red: Station state—stopped (fault) All messaging between the box and the tower was viewable in real time via the IPC Connected Factory Exchange virtual broker. By the end of the demonstration, nearly 500,000 IPC-CFX messages had been received via the broker. As this device matures in development in the months ahead, it can be applicable to: • Older machines with "locked" software environments • Any machines that do not have internal software capabilities • Tools that do not have capabilities to add IPC-CFX endpoint software • Creation of hardware-based specialist sensors and devices to perform advanced measurement/control The success of this early demonstration is thanks to the work of five volunteers, known as the Raspberry Beret A-Team, who came together because they believe in the value of this project to the electronics manufacturing industry. IPC gave each volunteer the oppor- tunity to share with readers the importance of this project and why their companies are leading the way in supporting it.

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