The competitive advantage in PCB assembly is no longer defined by assembly process or equipment selection. It’s about creating a smart factory that can convert vast amounts of data into actionable and meaningful intelligence in real-time. It’s not an issue of quantity; more data doesn’t necessarily lead to clearer insights and better decision-making. It’s about having an agile PCB manufacturing process that uses data to move faster than the competition, reduce development and production costs, respond to dynamic customer demand, and create innovative business models. But electronics manufacturers need the right tools to transform their complex data into a unified digital thread and leverage it as a competitive advantage.
Industry 4.0 in electronics manufacturing
Printed circuit assemblers need an IoT ecosystem, the cornerstone of Industry 4.0. One of the key advantages of an IoT ecosystem is that it can take siloed information, analyze it, and optimize processes across a company’s systems. Aligning IT and OT is key to the Industry 4.0 transformation and to improving manufacturing processes and leads to higher production performance and lower costs. However, it requires effective governance and tools to adapt IT project management models for use in operations. In addition, OT needs tools to manage upgrades to multiple firmware versions for hundreds, thousands, or even millions of devices, as well as ways to ensure adequate testing and quality assurance before production rollout.
PCBA manufacturing services - Maximize efficiency
Networking systems, gateways, and software platforms automate data collection from machines and applications and transform that data into useful information in real-time. They are an integral part of the digital transformation at every level of the manufacturing operation, extracting insights from data in an instantaneous, streamlined process that is achievable for every manufacturer. Intelligent gateways are an emerging subset of the gateway that can be field-programmable and include a software platform that is hosted locally on the device or via the cloud to facilitate the creation/deployment of new apps/services, including from third parties.
Benefits of PCB manufacturing smart factories
Smart factories have fewer machine failures, reduced scrap and downtime issues, and improved throughput. They transform how factory employees work, collaborate, and serve their customers.
With a true digital thread from design to production and a smart IoT ecosystem that can analyze data across silos, electronics manufacturers can react quickly to design modifications, shorten product lifecycles, increase product complexity, and improve quality throughout the PCB manufacturing process.