LACROIX Electronics

Smart industry

LACROIX Electronics Activity is continuing its Smart Industry strategy by accelerating the digitisation and automated processing of its data chain. With the implementation of the IPC-CFX (Connected Factory Exchange) standard, French manufacturing plants are entering a new, 100% connected era. This new international state-of-the-art communication standard will revolutionise the operations of manufacturers and EMS.

Interoperability, real-time production monitoring, cost optimisation, and more: high expectations for manufacturers

This universal communication protocol was eagerly awaited by manufacturers, for whom machine-software interoperability has become essential. With the IPC-CFX standard, they are now able to access simplified data transfers with better detailed monitoring of their production, which can be done in real time. Effectively, machines communicate with each other and visible real-time indicators make it possible to take immediate action in the production process. Teams can respond to any warnings and improve their processes, thereby resulting in an increase in industrial performance.

LACROIX and its partner EUROPLACER are among the first to deploy IPC-CFX for component placement machines.

LACROIX_ColasPeyrelier

Our interest is twofold: this protocol allows us not only to plan, launch and modify production in the workshops using production control software (MES) or management software (ERP), but also to check the status of our production in real time.

Colas Peyrelier
Industrial IT Manager at LACROIX Electronics Activity

Standardising information systems: an art in itself!

As already successfully developed in mobile telephony, a single, shared communication protocol has been eagerly awaited by the electronics industry for nigh-on ten years. Like others, LACROIX Electronics Activity has several machine models sourced from different manufacturers. Although these machines perform the same types of activities, this does not mean that they all use the same language. How can we use all this information easily if its terminology differs from one model to another?

Although machine manufacturers used to operate in silos for strategic reasons, they now have every interest in implementing standardised information systems to meet the requirements of their customers in the automotive, aerospace, industrial and home automation sectors.

Saving time and a lot besides…

With a single communication protocol shared between all machines, a new machine can be now connected to the rest of its ecosystem six times faster.

In the past, we sometimes spent several months integrating new machines and standardising their languages to make them compatible with our IT environment. This is now a thing of the past, thanks to the IPC-CFX standard which considerably improves our implementation efficiency. It will be rolled out across all our production sites.

Colas Peyrelier, Industrial IT Manager at LACROIX Electronics Activity

Developing the LACROIX Smart Industry strategy

The IPC-CFX standard means that the factory can be fully “connected” through interconnection between all its machines and software. This technical breakthrough is in line with the strategic directions chosen by the manufacturer.

ALL ABOUT SMART INDUSTRY

LACROIXElectronics_DominiqueMaisonneuve

This standard meets the 3 strategic pillars of our industry 4.0 perfectly:

    • industrial performance
    • connected ecosystems
    • augmented operators

It accelerates our digital transformation by offering new real-time monitoring services.

Dominique Maisonneuve
Smart Industry Manager at LACROIX Electronics Activity

A new, essential technology for industry 4.0

With better productivity and visibility of their production lines thanks to all of the data at their disposal, manufacturers can therefore manage their process more precisely. But while the benefits for EMS are obvious, this standardisation is also a major step forward for machine manufacturers. For this reason, component placement machine manufacturer EUROPLACER preferred to take the lead by relying on the beta-site of LACROIX Electronics Activity.

LACROIX and EUROPLACER: two partners that complement one another

The partnership between EUROPLACER and LACROIX has resulted in innovative ideas. What’s more, new requirements emerged after being subjected to actual production constraints. The ergonomics of particular boards and the presentation of particular information have thus been modified. The experience has also allowed new features to be added that were not within the initial scope.

FrançoisErceau_EUROPLACER

Thanks to LACROIX, we were able to test the IPC-CFX standard on full-scale production and address a wider range of situations. Benefiting from the experience of a leading industrialist in its field and its power is an opportunity for us.

François Erceau
Strategy and Marketing Director at EUROPLACER

Simplicity and speed with CFX-certified machines

Making data transfer easier

The protocol, defined by IPC-CFX, acts as a web service that can be implemented in all machines. It can be used simply by means of an Ethernet cable, enabling it to be launched automatically as soon as it is connected. Once installed, it takes care of translating machine data into a language known and shared by all. File exchange or access to a database becomes obsolete, being replaced by a simple, quick operation.

Technically, the IPC-CFX standard uses an AMQP (Advanced Message Queuing Protocol) to transfer data. This is an IT standard that has already been standardised, is very well known on the web and whose security aspects and options have already been developed. The text is formatted using a common language called JSON (JavaScript Object Notation), which is also understood and used by all machines and software.

 

Colas Peyrelier, Industrial IT Manager at LACROIX Electronics Activity

 

Ensuring better quality monitoring through interoperability

The IPC-CFX standard also offers manufacturers better in-depth monitoring of their production, which can be carried out in real time. Effectively, machines communicate with each other and visible real-time indicators make it possible to take immediate action in the production process. Teams can respond to any warning and improve their processes, thereby allowing optimisation of production costs.

“Our interest is twofold: this protocol allows us not only to plan, launch and modify production in the workshops using production control software (MES) or management software (ERP), but also to check the status of our production in real time.” Colas Peyrelier

 

 

A more robust quality approach made easier

Improving product and component traceability

All boards produced by the manufacturer are always 100% tested before delivery, and thanks to the standard, team responsiveness has been further improved. Colas Peyrelier said that relevant events to be listed during production are also implemented in the IPC-CFX standard, in particular the information necessary to ensure full traceability of our products.

 

Reduction of tasks with low added value

The IPC-CFX standard allows data to be extracted easily and made more accessible. Having access to useful information in real time without needing physically to immobilise machines eliminates time-consuming procedures for obtaining authorisation to take action.

EUROPLACER component placement machines are among the first to be certified CFX by IPC. Its goal is for all models to have this certification by the end of 2021, and for its screen-printing equipment to have it by the following year.

 

Machine compatibility with IPC-CFX becomes the “standard”

It will take a total of eighteen months to develop this protocol, but it will be rolled out with other manufacturers much faster. Indeed, the objective for LACROIX is to gradually bring other suppliers on board in implementing this standard in their machine fleets. Pilot projects are already under way with Ersa and Panasonic.

LACROIX_ColasPeyrelier

All machines that we install from now on will need to implement the IPC-CFX standard so that they can be quickly integrated within our sites. Now that we know the benefits, we cannot do without them.

Colas Peyrelier
Industrial IT Manager at LACROIX Electronics Activity

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