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12 SMT Magazine • February 2017 by Rich Heimsch SUPER DRY-TOTECH EU Industry 4.0 changes the rules of the game for manufacturing. It holds great promise for significant increases in productivity by con- necting machines with information technolo- gies and the Internet. Companies that use new technologies for Industry 4.0 are more competitive because they produce at lower costs and possess the flexibility to meet wide ranging and quickly changing customer requirements. Industry 4.0 is upon us, and those that are prepared to im- plement it now will actively shape and lead the change. Mass customization is a marketing and man- ufacturing concept that merges the personaliza- tion and flexibility of custom-made with the low cost per unit for which mass production is known. The 4.0 environment advances this concept towards reality. With all useful infor- mation available at any time, in any location, it is possible to economically produce individual- ized products in very small batches. Companies that implement Industry 4.0 produce faster, with more flexibility, greater efficiency of ma- terial, and reduced complexity and downtime. This greater efficiency of material often means robotically automated inventory logis- tics and tracking systems that virtually eliminate manual material handling, and are integrated with enterprise-wide MES and ERP systems. lt has some additional meaning and unique re- quirements in the production of printed circuit board assemblies (PCBA) and the management of the inventory involved there. These include not only maintaining the known whereabouts of tens of thousands of devices, but to also track the status of their exposure time to ambient at- mosphere. Most individual devices assembled into a PCBA, including often the PCB substrate itself, are susceptible to moisture absorption and have various but specifically limited floor life available before they become a severe risk to elevated temperature processing, the meth- od by which all of the PCBA interconnections are made. During reflow soldering, when tem- peratures as high as 260°C are applied, excessive moisture (i.e., > 0.1% water weight) that has permeated the components' hygroscopic en- capsulation can escape in sudden bursts, crack- In Pursuit of 4.0 FEATURE

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