Last week in Las Vegas the electronics industry’s great and good gathered to explore the latest developments, and while there were the usual incremental evolutions as products are getting faster, more efficient and in many cases cheaper, there was little revolution. The area, however, that did show substantial progress and the highest level of interest was that of smart and connected manufacturing or IoM (Internet of Manufacturing), as we know it in the Americas.
In an interview with Kim Sauer, filmd at APEX 2016 in Las Vegas, Jason explains how Industry 4.0 goes beyond communication around the SMT line and highlights how materials management is a key component a fully integrated SMART Factory approach.
It’s an odd premise but more than one person at APEX in Las Vegas told me that robots could be part of the drive to save manufacturing jobs in places like the USA where labor rates are higher.
It doesn’t matter which tech company you admire, engineers largely start them all, be they hardware guys like Steve Wozniak, or software guys like Mark Zuckerberg. Imhotep, who many refer to as the first civil engineer, built the pyramids. The Wright Brothers we’re the creators and fathers of the aviation industry, which we now take for granted. Leonardo da Vinci was quite the engineer, sometimes credited with inventing the helicopter and the parachute, and a decent painter to boot, having knocked off The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa between engineering projects.
There’s no doubt that Industry 4.0 has been top of the agenda for the electronics manufacturing industry in Germany for a couple of years now. Elsewhere less so, but now the debate around this topic seems to be gaining momentum in China and with the launch of their own ‘Made in China 2025’ initiative China is looking to move from being the world’s largest manufacturer to the world’s best.
Alibaba and DigiKey is not a supply chain strategy! So what are the ten most important things to consider when developing an outsourced manufacturing solution and the supply chain that surrounds it?
At Riverwood we see all kinds of supply chains, good, bad and darn right ugly. We see more vendors than most, and we visit an unhealthily large number of factories in all the world’s manufacturing geographies. Here’s a little of what we’ve learned along the way and what we like to consider with clients when we start the vendor selection process.
The first industrial revolution was built on machines lubricated by oil, the current revolution is built on computers lubricated by data, and just as those who controlled the sources and distribution of oil became rich and powerful in the last millennium, those controlling data are gaining influence now.
As I see it a number of factors are throwing up another golden age of electronics innovation, led by new markets and supported by enabling technologies, excellent outsourced product fulfillment and good access to venture capital
As I mentioned in one of my previous blogs, 2015 closed on the heels of a very successful presence at Productronica in Munich, Germany. As well as enjoying the best event we’ve had in terms of enquiries and interest, I also took part in a number of video interviews, press meetings and some fascinating roundtable debating topics around Industry 4.0, IoM and factory automation.
We've seen so very much in the media recently about IoT and its potential to benefit consumer and manufacturer alike. Trends around IoM (Internet of Manufacturing) and Industry 4.0 are all largely focused on operations but where does the potential lie for big data within the supply chain?