The connectivity debate rages on and with the addition of yet more standards it remains a major issue. It strikes at the foundation of the smart factory and is what Industry 4.0 is built upon. Machine to machine, machine to system and machine to operator communication are the starting point of the digital transformation of manufacturing and the key to the numerous benefits on offer.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll be publishing interviews conducted with experts involved in the deployment and development of smart factory solutions to get their view on the key issues surrounding connectivity. The last interview is with Sam Wong TS – Manufacturing Technology Product Management Manager at Keysight Technologies.
On the importance of connectivity for Industry 4.0 or IIoT
Sam Wong TS – Manufacturing Technology Product Management Manager at Keysight Technologies: In the manufacturing world, there are many different vendors and each are specialized in their focus area. They have been less concerned about the bigger picture or other equipment, at least not until now. For the industry to optimize their processes, to have higher performance and tap into benefits of Industry4.0, there must be synergy between these vendors in terms of data exchange. A common platform or standards is needed to make this happen.
What are the main issues or challenges associated with connectivity in our industry today?
Sam Wong: There are too many vendors, each with varying standards. Some of these are proprietary standards and have different hardware needs. At other times, customers have legacy systems. For some Test departments, they may also need to take directions from their corporate, to align with a global strategy. Corporate will take a longer time to meet the requirements of all their plants, each of which has different standards and requirements.
Explain your strategy to address these issues and challenges
Sam Wong: There is no single solution to meet this diversity. Our strategy is to rely on partners to provide these interfaces, partners specialize in these domain, such as Cogiscan.
What is your perspective relative to new industry standards such as Hermes, CFX and others you are aware of?
Sam Wong: This is really a good step forward and Keysight participates in the CFX and Hermes initiatives. In my view, this is only the beginning and the vast majorities of our test and inspection customers are coming to speed, especially on their requirements. Not many customers had deployed such connectivity and they usually come back to Keysight for advice. We have also worked with proprietary SMT standards, based on specific customers’ requests.
Previously in this series: