November 2019 — IPC announces industry programs to support implementation and full utilization of IPC Connected Factory Exchange–IPC CFX. IPC CFX enables any manufacturing facility, large or small, to achieve Industry 4.0, IIoT and smart factory objectives. IPC CFX is a single-source, plug-and-play system supported by IPC-2591, Connected Factory Exchange (CFX), an open internationalstandard developed by industry for industry. IPC CFX uses a secure license-free communication protocol that can reduce/eliminate reliance on middleware — a constant source of headaches in smart factory implementation.
Unlike other standards which either establish the equipment messaging protocols or just the equipment messaging, IPC CFX builds all of these into one system. This enables direct communication between equipment and shop management systems, making it the first true IIoT standard.
To speed up implementation of IPC CFX in factories, industry asked for resources for successful utilization of IPC CFX. IPC is providing several industry solutions through education, equipment validation and technical support to meet these needs.
- Education – IPC is providing a comprehensive range of on-demand education webinars and training videos that enable any manufacturing facility, IT team and equipment supplier to quickly, easily and successfully understand, implement and utilize CFX.
- Equipment Validation – Manufacturing facilities will need assurances that the equipment they are buying is CFX-ready. IPC is addressing this by providing a portal for the electronics industry to verify if equipment has been validated to CFX message sets. Equipment will be third-party verified.
- Self-Evaluation – IPC is providing a cloud-based application for equipment vendors and manufacturing facilities to self-evaluate their equipment to CFX. The self-evaluation service will confirm network identification, subscription and relevant CFX messages are supported; ensure CFX messages are sent and responded to and confirm CFX message content data format integrity.
- Technical Support – IPC technical support services will assist manufacturing operations looking to implement CFX-based solutions. The consultation services will cover project management, engineering-level guidance for the shop floor, application coding when getting started and support for machine vendor implementation.
IPC plans to roll out these programs in Q1 2020. Companies interested in getting information when programs are launched should send their contact information to IPCCFX@ipc.org.
David Bergman, IPC’s vice president of standards and technology states, “The goal of CFX is to bring technology-based optimization for all aspects of manufacturing operations, making the adoption of automation easier and more effective, as well as bringing enhancement of flexibility. IPC would like to recognize the strong contribution of the hundreds of volunteers from industry equipment and technology vendors who have been instrumental in this revolutionary step towards digital factory standards.”
Live demos of IPC CFX in action can be seen at productronica 2019 (Hall A1, Booth 305) and at IPC APEX EXPO 2020. Participants can follow the thousands of messages being sent from equipment live on their laptops or mobile device sat www.connectedfactoryexchange.com. For more information on IPC CFX, CFX supporters and other CFX resources, visit www.ipc-cfx.org.