Part IV – Connectivity in electronics manufacturing: sorting practicality from hype
Exploring the key elements to look for in a pragmatic smart factory solution with guest blogger Sylvain Perron, Product Manager at Cogiscan.
Part of our series features Gerry Padnos, Director of Technology at Juki Automation Systems Inc., as he shares his thoughts and vision for Industry 4.0 and why connecting all pieces of the manufacturing process is a critical first step.
Gerry’s thoughts on the main issues or challenges associated with connectivity in our Industry: “In the absence of a good standard, many companies have made their own. Some of these companies are now reluctant to switch because what they’ve made is working. There’s also a big challenge with the number of older machines in use around the world. In some cases, upgrading these to use new technology is difficult, expensive, or just impossible.”
Sylvain’s view: As Gerry points out, new standards do not solve any short terms connectivity issues. Most manufacturing ecosystems consist of multiple different brands and vintages of machines. Given the cost of these machines, it’s not likely they will be replaced each time a new standard comes around. Machines are high-value assets that shouldn’t be quickly replaced with a new standard – instead they require modern connectivity solutions to keep them profitable and running for the longest time possible.
And how Gerry plans to address these connectivity challenges: “Rather than getting distracted from our main mission of building the highest quality machines, Juki has partnered with Cogiscan for many years. Since Cogiscan is a neutral third party and already has access to the required data for many machine manufacturers, line without tying up valuable engineering resources. This also overcomes the hurdle of working with some competitive systems.”
Sylvain’s thoughts: For the last 15 years, we have collaborated with multiple equipment and software vendors. As a neutral connectivity expert, we are the obvious choice to more and more leading vendors when they experience connectivity challenges. Our Co-NECT solution is robust, proven, and ready to go.
Gerry’s perspective on industry standards such as CFX and HERMES: “I think the concept of having easy interoperability is a great idea and I hope the new standards succeed and really become ‘standards’. Writing and approving a standard is one thing, but getting everyone to use it is another.”
Sylvain’s closing note: Hoping that a single standard would be accepted and used by everyone is just a dream. The reality is SMT manufacturing still carries multiple industry standards and proprietary protocols. At Cogiscan, we take a pragmatic, and more practical approach to connectivity challenges. We offer modular solutions that allow users flexibility to choose what suits them best – in a way that always maximizing existing assets. If you’re stuck on your own solve connectivity challenges, no matter the type, you should talk to me.
Read the entire interview with Gerry on EMS NOW.