The final main characteristic of Industry 4.0 is the impact of exponential technologies as a catalyst for improvements in the manufacturing process. These improvements include flexibility, cutting of costs, and customized solutions. These exponential technologies often refer to Artificial Intelligence (AI), complicated robotics, and extremely advanced sensor technologies.
Initially, these types of technologies were not entirely accessible for smaller companies, as their cost and size made them prohibitive. However, recently, these two variables have decreased while computer power has risen massively. A recent example of exponential technology that is making waves in the world of Industry 4.0 and becoming more accessible at the same time is 3-D Printing.
Other exponential technologies include nanosensors, maintenance robots, and drones. All of these technologies allow for savings in terms of cost and time, increased manufacturing capabilities, efficiency improvement, and enhancement of the overall production process.
Saline Lectronics is always looking forward to emerging technologies in order to stay at the forefront of “what’s next” within the electronic manufacturing industry. Many electronics designers, especially within the consumer and medical industries, are demanding smaller and smaller components in order to fit within new, modern products. This increased need for micro-components and flexible printed circuit boards has challenged both how and with what tools contract manufacturers assemble these new product types.
We have responded accordingly by investing in the appropriate technology to assemble these new types of components; for example, our Juki SMT Machines that are equipped with nozzles that can place tiny 01005 components. We also have an Apollo Seiko L-CAT-4430 EVO soldering robot for high-volume, repetitive, tight soldering needs. Another example is how we customize our manufacturing processes to support the use of flex or rigid-flex PCBs, by using pallets to properly support the flex PCB during assembly where needed. Overall, our Leaders from Engineering and Manufacturing regularly attend industry specific seminars and conferences to stay abreast of these changing requirements for micro-components and flexible electronics.
Embracing Industry 4.0 is a major cornerstone of Saline Lectronics’ business model and vision. As this concept further evolves within manufacturing in the United States, we will remain at the forefront by continuously optimizing our machinery, processes and employees to this industry of the future.