At Google headquarters recently, Arch CEO Andrew Scheuermann delivered a compelling presentation regarding the move from Industry 3.0 to 4.0 to an audience of SMTA Technical Meeting attendees.

On a brief trip through history, Arch Systems CEO Andrew Scheuermann took an audience through the iterative processes and time frames of previous industrial revolutions with comparison to the world around us today. This included a retrospective look at the value of the steam locomotive, which, although it lost its first race with a horse-drawn railroad car, finally became a primary driver for industry change. 

Just as history showed the power of the steam engine, then electricity, and then programming, the power of data is and has been clear to early adopters. Every machine, every product, every process, can benefit from data. The essential determinant is moving from big data to the right data. The promise of AI clarifies the understanding that the data was always there – we simply needed to unlock it.  

Industry 3.0 gave us a deluge of data. It also gave us machines with varying levels of ‘smartness’, which included (but were certainly not limited to) different extents of computer use, operating systems, interfaces, languages, and so on. Computer-aided manufacturing unlocked enormous amounts of data, and in many forms, though often speaking very different languages.

So, how do we standardize all this data? 

Some say wait until every machine is smart and replace them all.  But a faster, cheaper, more flexible approach now exists: a factory data exchange comprised of one broker and a set of modular machine connectors. 

Arch provides a library of modular connectors that extract state machine data from any machine new or legacy.  State data is not barcode scans, transactions or a lot of what is in MES systems today, but what the machine is actually doing (voltages applied, switches flipped, strikes or picks made, pressures changed, etc.).  The modular connectors send data to a single broker that takes the disparate formats of state data and transforms them into one standard format, such as IPC-CFX messages for the electronics industry.   Arch provides such a tool called the ArchFx Broker and it’s being deployed globally allowing for uniform metrics and predictive analytics to be deployed across existing machines today.

Andrew Scheuermann gets a laugh from his crowd during a recent presentation at Google Campus

The take-home message was clear: The right data can be extracted from any machine, new or legacy, and processed by a single broker, moving us from data deluge to value realization. 

Also presenting at the event were Clayton Mellina, Google Cloud AI, ML Vision Team on the topic of an Automated Manufacturing Visual Inspection Solution for Industry 4.0, and Hassan Aluraibi, Advanced Manufacturing Engineering Manager at Flex with an Update on the Journey towards Industry 4.0. Special thanks to SMTA for the opportunity to present and to further discuss seminar topics with a generous crowd of attendees.