Part V – 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 Thomas Marktscheffel – Director Product Management SW-Integration Platform at ASM Assembly, 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.
Thomas’ thoughts on the main issues or challenges associated with connectivity in our Industry: “So far, the one-and-only industry standard that “does it all” is not available… Long-term there might be a convergence. However, for the time being, openness and flexibility is still key to successful communication and integration.”
Sylvain’s view: I agree with Thomas; in a perfect world, one standard would be used universally on all machine types, brand and vintages. Unfortunately, this ideal is impossible, as no single standard has been adopted by all users. To address this at Cogiscan, we support all standards in our industry as we believe openness and flexibility are the key ingredients to attain seamless connectivity.
And how Thomas plans to address these connectivity challenges: “Connectivity and integration are more than technical concepts. No supplier can offer everything, but he must be willing and able to communicate and cooperate with other people and companies in a respectful and trusting manner. We focus on our customers, their objectives and their capabilities in everything we do. ASM chose Cogiscan as a partner to support industry standard protocols on top of OIB, because in this cooperation both partners can focus on their core competencies. With Cogiscan for instance, ASM works closely with a partner which has been known for a long time for their expertise in communication standards.”
Sylvain’s thoughts: For the last 15 years, we have been collaborating with all the leading vendors in the industry. We believe that customers should have the option to select from the best in class machine and software vendors that will address their connectivity challenges today and in the future. No supplier can be the best at everything, which is why we advocate collaboration and partnerships.
Thomas’ perspective on industry standards such as CFX and HERMES: “Midterm, I believe we will continue to see a coexistence of a few standards playing an important role in their industries. Long-term there might be a convergence. However, openness, sharing among partners and highest level of flexibility is still and will always be key to successful communication and integration. Thus, ASM will continue to work closely with partners on all integration levels and support the industry standards, which are in demand by electronics manufacturers and industry needs.”
Sylvain’s closing note: The challenge with standards is that every couple of years a new one appears attempting to solve emerging connectivity needs. Currently, we have multiple standards used globally in our industry: CAMX, CFX, OML, and SECS/GEM to name a few. At Cogiscan, we have a very practical approach to standards: we work with all of them! Our solutions are modular to provide flexibility of choice for machines and systems.
You have connectivity questions? Contact me!