IPC has announced the release of IPC-2591, Connected Factory Exchange (CFX). The electronics industry now has an industry standard available to all companies in the industry, regardless of size or location which can be used to quickly and easily implement "Industry 4.0" and "smart factory" applications to their manufacturing operations.
IPC CFX offers tremendous value to electronics manufacturers as well as equipment vendors, solution providers, in-house IT groups and users with applications where data is transmitted and captured. EMS companies can set up seamless data communication between all equipment on their lines and track production on all the equipment from any part of the world in real time.
Machine vendors have one plug-and-play data communication solution, reducing time and travel spent on customized programming for customers. OEMs can also utilize these standards to enhance real-time control of product quality, from board assembly to box build.
Because it is an industry standard, IPC CFX creates a level playing field for any company large or small to prepare for Industry 4.0 or to simply benefit from the machine-to-business data communication. IPC CFX also was developed with simplicity in mind. Rather than days or even weeks required to implement new equipment into a line, IPC CFX can be loaded and fully workable in a matter of hours.
IPC CFX defines all three critical elements required for a true plug and play industrial IoT standard: a message protocol, an encoding mechanism and a specific content creation element. The benefits are made possible without the need for middleware, delivering significant cost savings to the manufacturer as well as improved solution reliability.
The IPC CFX standard supports the concept of "big data," including data of different types from across the factory, data on performance, materials, resources, users, quality events, product tracking and more. The types of data included in IPC CFX are used in many ways such as, a closed-loop feedback system, live production dashboards, MES control, and active quality management are just a few. Capturing all this information leads to a "big data" environment which can be used to create value opportunities to the whole operation.
David Bergman, vice president, IPC standards and technology states, "The goal of CFX is to bring technology-based optimization for all aspects of manufacturing operations, making the adoption of automation easier and more effective, as well as bringing enhancement of flexibility. IPC would like to recognize the strong contribution of the hundreds of volunteers from industry equipment and technology vendors who have been instrumental in this revolutionary step towards digital factory standards."