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88 SMT Magazine • November 2017 Las Marias: I think the industry will get there, but it's going to take some time. Vujosevic: It's going to take some re-designs. The machines have to become smart. In the pa- per, I discuss how you can use a Windows 10 PC with embedded IoT to control everything about the machine on the line. You don't need to have any MES anymore. It can collect traceabil- ity data. It can switch the set up. It can commu- nicate with other machines. It can send a sig- nal to the material tower to have AGVs bring the new reel, it can control predictive mainte- nance, and it can even self-schedule, i.e. pick a job available and schedule itself. We need intel- ligent machines that can do that. Las Marias: The industry's looking into devel- oping really strong AI capabilities in their ma- chines. Vujosevic: Right. That's why I was talking about process control. AI can help you because AI and neural networks are good in pattern recognition and classification and prediction. But to be able to achieve that, you need to train them, and you train them with a lot of data. You have data because you are doing the SPC and collecting measurements. So, AI can be really applied to that successfully as well as to predict machine maintenance, where you can collect sensor data and predict when the machines should be maintained instead of using preventive mainte- nance, which we know doesn't work very well. Las Marias: Where does Optimal Electronics come into that picture? Vujosevic: We provide smart software solutions. We have used AI in our production schedul- ing and pick-and-place machine optimization for past 20 years. We are now using AI for in- telligent machine design, intelligent predictive maintenance, intelligent process control, etc. Las Marias: Do you think companies in Asia and China will be among the first to transition to an Industry 4.0 vision in electronics manu- facturing? Vujosevic: I think so. In the U.S., the biggest companies are interested, and they will do it, or at least try. We have a customer in Texas where they are using AGVs and robots, 3D printing, etc. But that's only a handful of them. Indus- try 4.0 in the U.S. has had a lot of talk, but not a lot of action. Companies in Asia and China are much more interested in advancing towards real applications than those in the U.S. Las Marias: What opportunities are you seeing in this region for Optimal Electronics? Vujosevic: We want to do smart factory solu- tions. We want to position ourselves as a pro- vider of Industry 4.0 solutions and we want to get away from the MES provider label. We will still deliver MES solutions for some time. We re- cently hired a robotic expert. We want to pro- vide unique solutions and separate ourselves from traditional MES providers. We've never re- ally fit very well. Although we provide MES so- lutions, we always try to sell our dynamic pro- duction scheduling first, and target customers that we can sell our unique capabilities to, and kind of carve out a little market for us there, which is most often OEMs. But now, again, we want to also include into that our smart factory solutions and open that market for us. But we are open, of course, to sell traceability solutions to any type of a company, which we do very well. Las Marias: Traceability is also one of the issues when it comes to these smart factories. Vujosevic: Yes. But traceability is something you have to do because your customer is asking you, OPTIMAL ELECTRONICS SETS SIGHT ON GROWTH " You don't need to have any MES anymore. It can collect traceability data. It can switch the set up. It can communicate with other machines. "

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