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We're just days away from IPC APEX EXPO 2018 in San Diego and there is no doubt that the three letters will be heard again and again throughout the show. Those letters are CFX.
Creative Electron's Dr. Bill Cardoso is a member of the CFX committee and has equipment in the CFX showcase at APEX in San Diego from February 27 to March 1. I asked him to tell me a little more about the standard and the group that has delivered such a successful collaboration.
Philip Stoten: Dr. Cardoso, why are you on the CFX committee?
Dr. Bill Cardoso: The future SMT factory promises so much, but needs fully integrated data from all machines in the line to deliver that promise - specially data from inspection equipment. We were invited to join the CFX committee thanks to our long-term commitment to integrating our machines with other vendors to provide customers with the information they need to optimally run their SMT lines.
X-ray inspection is a key inspection technology that provides unique and fundamental insights on the health of the production line. Data from the x-ray machine, when properly interpreted and contextualized, becomes powerful information. We believe the success of smart factory initiatives depends on integration or connectivity, combined with domain knowledge. Our deep domain experience in x-ray become even more valuable when it’s combined with data from elsewhere in the line.
Stoten: What has been achieved so far?
Dr. Cardoso: A lot has been accomplished by the CFX committee when you consider the complexity of managing an independent group of users and suppliers. Despite the diversity of interests in the group, the committee has been able to converge on a reasonable protocol that is vendor agnostic.
An agnostic standard, that operates with factory solutions as the central priority, is the only way we can ensure the standard is properly and fully adopted. Having the full value chain on the committee, including OEMs, EMS companies, and vendors has been key to success.
Stoten: Are you impressed with how well the industry has come together to create CFX?
Dr. Cardoso: Most industry standards have a complex evolution. I’ve been directly involved with the development of a few standards, including VME (electronics for nuclear and high energy research), Fieldbus (industrial automation), and AS5553 (counterfeit detection). Getting a group of vendors and users to agree on a common language is not a trivial task. I’m optimist that CFX will continue to evolve, and in this process, continue to gain traction and adoption.
Stoten: What will Creative Electron be doing in the showcase at APEX?
Dr. Cardoso: At APEX, we will have three TruView Parts Counters and a TruView Fusion fully integrated in the CFX network. Attendees will be able to download the CFX app to assess the functionality of these x-ray systems in real time as they operate live on the trade show floor.
Stoten: Why do you think CFX will be accepted by the industry as the lead standard?
Dr. Cardoso: IPC is one of the leading standardization organizations in our industry. From material conformity to product inspection, IPC standards are widely used every day by manufacturers to design the next generation of capital equipment. As a result, IPC is the natural birthplace of the standard that will make these machines talk to each other.
IPC represents a real opportunity to manage the collaboration process, ensuring egos or interests don’t interfere with a common goal. This process has been a great example of how IPC can leverage the depth of its membership to achieve something that will benefit the entire industry.
Stoten: Thanks, Dr. Cardoso, see you at APEX.
Creative Electron will be exhibiting at APEX in Booth 1932.