Industry 4.0 Drives New Perspective on PCB Manufacturing
“PCB users and AI systems want to know everything they can about every PCB coming off the production line. New advanced traceability techniques associated with process control and visualization capabilities can tell them a lot."
PCB factories embrace AI
The evolution of PCBs from large and antiquated “printed wiring boards” to today’s fine-line designs on high-density interconnect PCBs, IC substrates and more, has been matched by manufacturing processes that have evolved from manual assembly to highly automated production. As manufacturing technology further develops, processes become more complex and more sophisticated, including the ability to inspect and then shape defects that would once have resulted in scrapped panels. A significant opportunity is now emerging for the PCB manufacturing industry to capitalize on artificial intelligence (AI) and optimize production processes and, ultimately, the entire PCB manufacturing facility.
The evolution of industry 4.0, through the eyes of the PCB manufacturer
Industry 4.0—known to some as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) or smart factory—promises to transform the manufacturing and production infrastructure in profound ways. Its name derives from its potential to usher in the fourth industrial revolution—a bold objective when one considers the magnitude of the revolutions in steam power, assembly-line production, and computer automation that preceded it.