Successful Start to IoM 2016

2IoM 2016, held at The Tech Museum in San Jose, CA on May 12th was a resounding success according to all exit polls and the feedback received from sponsors, speakers and attendees.

As the only dedicated forum for electronics factory automation, many of the world’s largest and most important companies converged to discuss, debate and share their knowledge of how Industry 4.0 and factory automation will change the electronics manufacturing landscape in the future.

The event was preceded by a cocktail party and fascinating tour of the new Jabil Blue Sky Center. Here, attendees saw the very latest developments in new technologies affecting medical, automotive, wearables and other technologies. 3D printing is a major focus at Jabil and helping re-engineer the speed, accuracy and complexity at which they can produce prototypes.

3John Dulchinos from Jabil opened the conference with a superb keynote speech showing how this tier one behemoth operates across the globe and the myriad of parameters that go into their ‘total landed cost equation’. These include constant monitoring of world events and weather patterns after learning salutary lessons following the Fukushima nuclear accident.

Automating the entire supply chain is front and center of Jabil’s goals to optimize the company as it sees a continuing trend toward increased customization and localization of products.

Michael Ford, from Mentor Graphics, presented the latest information on OML (Open Manufacturing Language) and its ability to connect to any existing or legacy machine to output data in OML language. OML is an open source software that is free to use. The company is currently in talks with IPC to donate the software for use as a basis in the formation of an IPC factory automation standard.

ASM Assembly Systems was represented by Hubert Egger who demonstrated the company’s latest bulk feeding systems on their SIPLACE pick and place machines and process optimization using their newly developed SPI system that auto-corrects their ASM DEK printers.

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5Riverwood Solutions are well established in Silicon Valley as a consultancy group that comprises a number of CEM industry professionals, including a former CEO of Flextronics. Akhil Oltikar gave an interesting presentation of the risks and opportunities that IoM and IoT will bring CEM and EMS manufacturers.

Miles Moreau from KIC Thermal Systems gave a presentation on how to optimize reflow oven setup in the connected factory. Moreau stated that it is one thing to optimize the materials flow, printer and pick and place functions, but this can be negated if it creates a 20 minute bottleneck at the reflow oven.

After lunch it was the turn of the world’s largest CEM to present. Kevin Sin from Foxconn told the audience how robotics were a big factor in optimizing Foxconn factories across the world. Facial recognition technologies were also being used to assist in traceability of products, detailing not only what stage of production defects occurred, but who was working on that process at the time.

6Unlike Jabil’s vision of an increase in smaller factories, closer to market, Foxconn will continue to focus on very large volume projects from factories located in low-cost destinations.

Track, trace and control has many applications throughout the EMS factory and Francois Monette gave an excellent presentation on how Cogiscan’s middleware product was well positioned to help machines from multiple vendors communicate seamlessly.

James Trego made a presentation on Unit Level Traceability before the event came to a close with a vigorous panel debate between John Dulchinos (Jabil), Kevin Sin (Foxconn), Michael Ford (Mentor Graphics) and Hubert Egger (ASM Assembly Systems). One clear takeaway from the debate was that manufacturers want the ability to communicate with all equipment on the line and the factory floor 7seamlessly.

– TREVOR GALBRAITH

Presentations from IoM 2016 are available online at www.internetofmanufacturing.com

Details for IoM 2017 are now in the works and will be announced shortly.

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