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The Early Journey to Industry 4.0

July 17, 2017

The Early Journey to Industry 4.0

Critical Manufacturing are currently hosting a webinar series on Industry 4.0. On Tuesday 11th July, we hosted part #1 of the series, titled ‘The Early Journey to Industry 4.0’. This episode was introduced by Julie Fraser, Principal of Iyno Advisors Inc and co-presented by Alois Schacherl, Group Manager of IT at AT&S.

Industry 4.0 is based on autonomous Cyber-Physical systems (CPS) which are fundamentally physical objects with embedded software, communication and computing power. The concept allows for low cost personalised products, quicker processes and improved product reliability and quality. I4.0 can be enabled using real-time data, and by creating an integrated fabric of devices, data, connections, processes and people.

There are huge benefits to be gained from I4.0, but the transition will not happen overnight. MES plays a vital role in the practical realization of this industrial revolution, but to do so MES too must change. The traditional UI-focused MES needs to adapt to embrace de-centralization and expand to handle big data and the necessary sophisticated analysis tools needed to transform that data into useful information, enabling effective production strategy and decision making.

The question to then ask is how will manufacturers get there?

“It’s a Journey!”

A journey which AT&S have already begun taking.

AT&S are the world leader in the polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and IC substrates industry, supplying to the mobile devices, substrates, automotive, industrial and medical sectors.

Their IC substrates serve as an interconnecting platform between semiconductors and PCBs, making their products applicable to high-end processors and OEMs in the semiconductor industry. From this, they have formed substrate-like PCBs, the next evolution of high-end HDI PCBs with a higher density, suitable for wearables and the applications of IoT. Without the implementation of I4.0 and MES the introduction of new products, such as these, would not have been possible.

Alois explained the steps they took to becoming well into their journey:

  • Implementation of a Manufacturing Execution Systems.
  • Integration between MES and equipment.
  • Big data projects; reviewing correlations between product quality and process data.
  • Evaluation of further use of mobile devices.
  • Evaluation of current automation systems.

He further explained the challenges of reaching this stage. Including; the need for high process knowledge, a close interaction with the equipment vendors, a competent and supportive understanding of IT as an IT issue could stop the production at any time, and lastly, the establishment of a I4.0 mind-set for all involved.

Critical Manufacturing have helped AT&S build a solid, yet flexible infrastructure for the long-term transformation to Industry 4.0. To listen to the full webinar, follow this link

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Five Ways Medical Device Industry Leaders Maintain their Manufacturing Edge
by Julie Fraser, Iyno Advisors