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White Paper

Standardized data exchange is key to achieving a smart factory


Printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) manufacturing encompasses design, process engineering, and production. However, the lack of data standardization between stages often leads to fragmented interfaces, lack of machine control, and expenses related to consolidating data into enterprise systems. Integrating data exchange is vital to harnessing the breakthrough strengths of the smart factory, including the capacity to create a digital twin – which is vital to accurately predict key performance characteristics before investing in physical prototypes and production assets. In order to successfully evolve into a smart factory, manufacturers need to rethink how to use standardized data formats and interfaces to maximize their full potential.

ODB++Process (ODB++P)

Originally developed for intelligent design data, the ODB++ family has been expanded to provide a complete, end-to-end digital solution covering design, process, and manufacturing information flows. ODB++Process, one of three products in the ODB++ family, offers single format, comprehensive process data with ongoing support, and a machine-agnostic process data flow. It enables rapid machine programming and a product format definition that can withstand change.

Design data is transformed into the ODB++ Process format. This enables the exchange of intelligent assembly process engineering data between Valor™ Process Preparation software, the advanced programming solution powered by Valor Parts Library, and the various electronic manufacturing equipment vendors. The production machines can then utilize the assembly process data to support the digital thread across the design-through-manufacturing flow.

Standardized data format benefits

Disconnected data formats and information silos are key roadblocks in the PCB assembly industry, which increase the cost and complexity of production. Standardizing data formats enables the creation of a comprehensive digital twin for each stage of the PCB assembly process using existing software such as CAD, PCB assembly collateral, and manufacturing IoT, minimizing the need for numerous physical prototypes. Standardized data formats also enable accurate, reliable, controlled data acquisition that helps to optimize new products and processes at an early stage and implement machine-agnostic process planning. With standardized data, manufacturers can collect and analyze real production and product performance data and feed it back into development.