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Taiwan Sets Roadmap for Smart PCB Manufacturing

Keenly aware of the changing needs of the times, the Taiwan Printed Circuit Association (TPCA), the country’s only government-approved Printed Circuit Board (PBC) industry organisation, initiated the research of a new roadmap for PCB smart manufacturing in Taiwan.

The TCPA spearheaded the effort to upgrade the standards of the PCB industry. The industry group collaborated with the Institute for Information Industry and the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research in updating the “Roadmap of Smart Manufacturing Development for Taiwan’s PCB industry.” Said upgrade should revolve around the smart manufacturing implementation process with an eye towards the future challenges for the PCB industry.

Specifically, this new roadmap plans the different processes for the development and application of smart manufacturing in the PCB industry. At the application level, the framework covers:

  • smart equipment
  • smart production
  • smart operations.

Thus, the rolled upgrade is divided into:

  • linkage (data capture and integration)
  • visualisation (data presentation)
  • transparency (data simulation and analysis)
  • prediction (data prediction)
  • adaptation (decision support and guidance).

It’s a timely recalibration. To a large degree, the upgrade will look into the application of technology to satisfy a very competitive market. To note, the chip industry has been undergoing a forced change due to the pandemic. As the demands for cars slowed down with lockdowns limiting people’s ability to travel, the world experienced a chip shortage. Not only did manufacturers experience challenges in the factory but also the tastes of the market evolved. Instead of being intended for cars, chips had to serve the consumer electronics market as the appetite for content and games ballooned with people forced to stay indoors.

Taiwan’s Institute for Information Industry should be familiar with the need to recalibrate. Called the thinktank behind the island nation’s digital transformation, the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) which was started jointly by the private and the public sector, had to do recalibrate its mission from the past. The group’s goals have evolved from Information Technology (IT) to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) development with wide social coverage.

The Taiwan Printed Circuit Association (TPCA) was established in 1998. It is the only PCB industry organisation approved by the government of Taiwan and is serving 540 member companies. TPCA aims to provide the latest market information, promote information exchange and resources among members through collaborative efforts and via international conventions.

The new smart manufacturing plan should be comprehensive in nature. As such, it aims to achieve:

  • visualisation of production lines for the short term
  • smart production for the medium term
  • and smart operations for the long term.

A recent milestone has been achieved in a new standard, SEMI A3-0819, specifications for Printed Circuit Board Equipment Communication Interfaces (PCBECI), established with Taiwanese PCB experts working in collaboration with American counterparts via SEMI, the global organisation of semiconductor production equipment vendors.

Today, the technology is the foundation for PCB smart manufacturing. The design will help resolve various communication inconsistencies between PCB equipment and manufacture to accelerate the development of PCB smart manufacturing, TPCA discloses.

Taiwan is doing the best it can to keep its lead in the semiconductor industry. As the world pivots to digital transformation, the nation is at the heart of it all, being the semiconductor capital of the world. When it started out, the country was not a major player in chip manufacturing, but thanks to its timely digital adoption, the nation rose to the top.

Its AI HUB should speak volumes on its leadership role in digitisation and its ambitions to be the artificial intelligence hub of the region. Further, manufacturers are set to make Taiwan a launchpad for digital health care in the region, as reported on OpenGov Asia. All because the country has advanced in the digital world.

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