IPC Launches Factory of The Future Initiative


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To help the electronics manufacturing industry harness the full potential of smart factory/Industry 4.0 technologies, IPC has launched its Factory of the Future initiative. The framework is intended to drive the industry forward by promoting and accelerating modernization; helping to Build Electronics Better.

Building upon 20 years of conventional technology advancements with emerging/disruptive technologies such as digitization, 3D printing, robotics, cloud computing, and equipment data communications, IPC is bringing factory of the future solutions providers together with original equipment manufacturers, EMS companies, and PCB fabricators focused on identifying and solving business challenges important to their companies and supply chains. Target outcomes from new collaborations include improvements in quality, reliability, efficiency, productivity, new product introduction cycles times, and manufacturing operations security enhancements. The model fosters industry-wide modernization by developing new standards, workforce education modules, industry events, and advocacy efforts.

Elements of the initiative include strengthening industry workgroup collaborations (AIAG, PSMA, MTC, HDP, INEMI); addition of new factory of the future technology solutions providers; Chief Technologist Council insights to obtain “voice of customer” input and continuously monitor IPC member manufacturing technology needs; CFX implementation on the shop floor; digital standards portfolio development and growth; and expanded education and training offerings.

“To date, there hasn’t been a clear path on how to implement Industry 4.0 leaving companies paralyzed with information overload and wondering how to make use of innovations that will deliver real value to their business,” said Matt Kelly, IPC chief technologist and initiative lead. “Taking a leadership role, IPC, through its partners and member base will help industry move beyond Industry 4.0 concepts by shifting to implementation of new/emerging technologies, thus modernizing factories, operations, and manufacturing/business processes. IPC will focus its efforts on building common industry building blocks benefiting the entire electronics industry supply chain.”

IPC President and CEO John Mitchell echoes Kelly’s points, “This initiative is very much implementation focused. Our goal is to drive a unified, standardized, and simplified factory of the future industry transformation. Currently, we are working on defining a new factory of future standards category which will include the following areas: connected factory, cybersecurity, digital twin, blockchain, traceability, model-based design, and PCB/PCBA manufacturing data and transfer methodology. IPC is absolutely investing in the electronics industry’s future. It is our goal to be the go-to association helping companies transform and modernize.”

For additional information on IPC’s Factory of the Future initiative, visit ipc.org/ipc-factory-future.   

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