IPC APEX EXPO: IPC Digital Factory to Spotlight Real-world Use of IPC CFX


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If you had the chance to align your EMS facility with Industry 4.0, set up seamless data communication between all equipment on your line—even conveyors—and be able to track production on all the equipment from any part of the world, would you do it? If you are a machine vendor, would you like to get out of the business of developing and managing bespoke interfaces for your customer? As an OEM, what would you think about one communication software to provide an added dimension over real-time control of product quality, from board assembly to box build?

What if I told you the entry cost for such a communication-enabling software is available at the low, low IPC price of exactly zero dollars? Would it sweeten the deal if I told you that you could plug this software into your existing line in one day?

IPC CFX communication software for smart production (IPC-2591) and HERMES standard for machine-to-machine communication (IPC-HERMES-9852) are industry-developed standards forming the foundation and backbone of Industry 4.0 Applications. IPC CFX-HERMES simplifies and standardizes machine-to-machine communication while also facilitating machine-to-business and business-to-machine solutions.

During IPC APEX EXPO 2019 in San Diego, California, January 29-31, 2019, IPC will demonstrate two live production lines using this standard software in the IPC Digital Factory on the show floor. One line will utilize both HERMES for machine-to-machine communication and CFX for output messages to the cloud, and the second line will utilize CFX.

The HERMES-CFX line will run printed boards of different sizes through the following process sequence using equipment from a variety of manufacturers. We will use boards of different sizes so you can see the power of HERMES, as it communicates upstream to equipment so it can automatically adjust for the new board size. The CFX line will run the same boards through a separate line, and it will use additional equipment as a demonstration of the compatibility of the software.

You will also be able to follow both production lines—in real time—from your mobile device. This will provide you a real-world view of how you will be able to utilize the data reporting from CFX and HERMES in your own facilities.

HERMES-CFX line sequence
Laser marker – ASYS Group
Screen printer – ASM
Solder paste inspection – Saki
Pick and place – Kulick & Soffa
Reflow oven – Heller
Post-over conveyor – Nutek
Post-reflow AOI – Koh Young
X-ray – Test Research, Inc.
ICT – Keysight
Output conveyor – Nutek

CFX line sequence
Input conveyor – Flexlink
Dispense robot – OK International
Solder paste inspection – Koh Young
Pick and place – Fuji
Reflow oven – Heller
Post-oven conveyor – Flexlink
Post-reflow AOI – Pemtron
X-ray – Creative Electron
Buffer conveyor – Flexlink
Inspection conveyor – Flexlink
Rework center – OK International

Each line will run throughout each day of IPC APEX EXPO, so you will have time to see for yourself the simplicity and power of IPC CFX and HERMES. For instance:

  • It provides a level playing field for smaller companies
  • Because this is an industry standard and available at no cost, with very little work to be done to implement, you can use the same software as larger, globally located companies.
  • All manufacturers will save time and money
  • Developing your own communications software, especially for multi-vendor equipment lines, can cost upwards or $30,000 and take up to a full business quarter to implement. IPC CFX and HERMES are free to industry and can be implemented in a day.
  • Reduce or eliminate customer follow-up for software issues

One of the IPC Connected Factory Initiative Subcommittee members, who works on the software development side, communicated the ease of CFX and HERMES implementation. He directed one of his customers to the software and the customer loaded and implemented it without the need for technical support.

The software serves as a building block for enhanced production tracking. IPC CFX and HERMES are written in a way that a company can very easily and inexpensively add app-like functionalities for such things as materials traceability or quality improvement.

It's even adaptable enough for hand-soldering tools. One of the Digital Factory participants, OK International, found a way to make CFX, which was written for MS .Net, work in Linux. Not only does this present even more possibilities for industry participation, they even implemented it into hand soldering tools.

CFX can provide on-demand, real-time data on any piece of equipment worldwide. EMS companies looking to place orders or report to OEM customers on project statuses will be able to see the activity of any piece of equipment in any facility in any part of the world from their computer or handheld device.

These are just a handful examples of the simplicity, value and power of IPC CFX and HERMES. Visit the IPC Digital Factory during IPC APEX EXPO 2019 to see these standards in action.

IPC Digital Factory
San Diego Convention Center – Sails Pavilion
Tuesday, January 29, 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Wednesday, January 30, 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Thursday, January 31, 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Join the IPC 2-17 Subcommittee Meeting at IPC APEX EXPO. You can learn more about these two standards and how you can shape their direction by attending the 2-17 Connected Factory Initiative Subcommittee meeting during the show. The subcommittee will meet Monday, January 28, 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM in room 17A at the convention center. The meeting is open to anyone.

For more details about IPC CFX-HERMES, the live production line or the 2-17 meeting, e-mail me at DavidBergman@ipc.org.

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