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The message was loud and clear from IPC at January’s IPC APEX EXPO: the Factory of the Future is actually the "Factory of the Now," and North America is five to 10 years behind in adoption. If you and your facility aren’t already migrating to Industry 4.0, you’re at risk of being left behind.
So, what's it going to take for North America to catch up? In this issue of SMT007 Magazine, we explore possible answers to that question, and strategies that can be implemented right now.
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Zac Elliott, Siemens Digital Industries Software
Let’s face it, in the past, electronics manufacturing has not been a big business for North America. A majority of electronics are assembled in Asia where supply chains and operating costs offer many economic advantages. In North America, the electronics manufacturing industry has been generally focused on lower volume, high-cost devices, while higher volume products are produced elsewhere. However, the COVID pandemic and various legislation in the U.S. are changing the situation, making electronics manufacturing in North America a more attractive option. How can factories in North America compete for the same type of manufacturing traditionally performed in lower-cost regions?
I-Connect007 Editorial Team
The I-Connect007 Editorial Team spoke with Matt Kelly, IPC chief technologist, about Factory of the Future. In this wide-ranging conversation, the team starts with the premise that factory automation is no longer a future topic, but a concern for right now. The conversation takes a closer look at the need for digitization, upskilling the workforce, ensuring ROI is gained from digitizing the factory and, at the center of it all, the need for a strong commitment to move forward as a company.
Dan Beaulieu, D.B. Management Group
M&A activity is on the rise and shows no indication of slowing down, even if interest rates climb. In the past two years, there were more than 45 deals. Where does your company fit in? In this interview with Dan Beaulieu, M&A expert Tom Kastner breaks down the market and who benefits most when it comes to buyers, sellers, and where you live.