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I'd like to start this one with a big thank you to the entire team behind CFX (Connected Factory Exchange). It is a great example of industry collaboration and my compliments go to IPC and the members of the standards committee that worked so hard, gave so much, and showed the tenacity to achieve success. The CFX Showcase at APEX had 245,000 CFX website page views; 701,200 CFX messages transmitted; and 664.5 million bytes of data exchanged; and the whole thing was pulled together in a matter of weeks. Anecdotally, I was told the CFX standard was simple to work with and deploy, but I wanted to find out the universal view. I asked all the participants in the program to give me their feedback and below are their comments.
"With a showcase that had less than two months in the making, 22 companies with 44 machines passed over 600,000 messages during IPC APEX EPO show week.
In addition, we saw cooperative support from a major OEM and industry consortium. Just imagine what IPC CFX will be able to do by the end of 2018. Suddenly Industry 4.0 seems more achievable."
—David Bergman, vice president, Standards and Training, IPC
"I am thrilled by the success of the IPC CFX demo as it is a testament to the great team of people on the committee who made this happen in about two months’ time. Having the free tool kit available and having vendors up and running with real data—in some cases in as little as two or three days—shows the adaptability and strength of CFX. Most important, it is an open standard available for all. Vendors, OEMs small or large, will be able to tap into its full potential. I am grateful to have such a great team of volunteers pulling together to do what is right for the industry."
—Nancy Jaster, manager, Design Programs, IPC
"CFX is powerful because it was initiated by the industry. The IPC Membership (OEMs, CEMs and equipment manufacturers) all collaborated to create the CFX Standard. There is no hidden marketing agenda or advantage gained by anyone other than the user because it is free! The heart of CFX is its ability to communicate across a wide range of machine platforms. Thus, higher throughput, better quality and improved efficiencies can all be gained regardless of how many different types of pick-and-place or printers or ovens you might have on the production floor. Regarding our CFX experience, as a machine vendor we tend to cringe when we hear the term ‘new software.’ However, CFX is arranged in a building block format that is quite simple. It took our software group about 10 days to set up the first pass package. Other vendors have had similar experiences so there is really no barrier to entry. CFX can be implemented quickly, inexpensively and provide meaningful data with tangible results."
—Marc Peo, president, Heller Industries Inc.
"Having engineered the CFX cloud server for the APEX demo, we saw how easy it was for the participating vendors to connect their machines. In the two weeks leading to the show, those machine and device vendors successfully installed the IPC CFX Toolkit and started sending CFX from across the world into the cloud server.
We first saw messages arriving from Korea, then France, Germany, Japan, and all around the planet in the space of a few days. It was testament to how using free, open and proven modern IIoT technology reduces cost and improves outcomes."
—Jason Spera, CEO, Aegis Software
"As an AOI and X-ray inspection vendor, Viscom’s systems are the sensors of any Industry 4.0 environment. Our AOI and X-ray equipment provides the data that can be used to improve processes and product quality. Naturally, Viscom was involved early on with several platforms like our own quality uplink and an open i4.0 interface that allows third parties to connect to our equipment. We have supported the IPC CFX standardization efforts from day one. It was very exciting to see our industry's first standard based IoT network come to life in San Diego. Our customers can not only benefit from Viscom’s quality data within our tools, soon they will be able to merge data from all other equipment via CFX and use it to improve quality and drive down cost. Every CFX enabled equipment will easily be integrated into solutions that today still require much customer specific development."
—Carsten Salewski, president/CEO, Viscom Inc.
"Koh Young is focused on the Smart Factory and transforming data into actionable information manufactures can use to transform its operations. The IPC CFX Initiative, with its open standards and broad-based collaboration, was a perfect opportunity to highlight our resolve.
Quickly, our team generated the links necessary to participate in the IPC APEX Expo demonstration. We are proud to have been an active participant in the first-ever real-time CFX showcase.
From our own AI developments to our deep connectivity with leading equipment suppliers like Panasonic and ITW EAE, Koh Young continues to advance plug-and-play, future-proof connectivity options for its users."
—Brent A. Fischthal, Sr. manager, Americas Marketing & Regional Sales, Koh Young America Inc.
"Cogiscan provides a wide range of connectivity solutions for the electronics industry. We work closely with leading machine and software vendors to enable the factory of the future. Because of this mission, we are actively involved in all industry standards and other consortium efforts that relate to the connected factory, and there are several such initiatives currently underway including the IPC CFX standard committee.
As with any other developing protocol that may impact our market, we are ready to offer the related technology to our partners and customers when they decide to support it."
—François Monette, chief sales & marketing officer, Cogiscan
"CyberOptics was pleased to participate in the CFX standard showcase at the recent IPC APEX EXPO 2018 show in San Diego. The implementation was straightforward, and everything was running within a week.
The show was a great opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to this new standard, and to show our customers we continue to support current and emerging Industry 4.0 initiatives. The support for standards is important to all customers as it enables them to choose the best in class equipment and not have any integration or compatibility concerns.”
—Dick Johnson, engineering director, CyberOptics