From Legacy Machines to Manufacturing Intelligence

As a global manufacturing leader with over 100 facilities across 30 countries, Flex owns and operates a broad portfolio of production machines, both new and legacy. The company's challenge was how to enable live machine data and a data exchange to unlock Industry 4.0 within the factory. Flex partnered with Arch Systems to leverage the value of accurate, real-time supply-chain information to drive efficiency and innovation for their customers. An organization the size of Flex has many different levels of challenges in building a digital factory. To start, there's a fundamental question of how you extract data from many different machine types: new and old, smart and dumb, and electronics and mechanicals. Problem definition is important because it determines what data is needed and what edge processing capabilities are required. In cases where machine data was already being captured, it was localized to the site and wasn't able to be pulled up into global metrics and dashboards. Connections to different MES's complicated implementation. Once the data was gathered, it needed to be transformed and standardized in a data exchange to drive production efficiencies, process automation, and predictive analysis. And, at the top level, alignment and buy-in from both IT and Operations was required for a global rollout. This talk will walk the audience through the journey that Flex and Arch Systems took together to build manufacturing intelligence and use specific examples in SMT (surface mount technology) and mechanicals to highlight challenges and solutions.