APEX saw the first discussions of OML in an open environment, and what feedback we have had. Analysts and the press have been very positive about OML, seeing it as being the platform on which the Internet of Manufacturing for electronics should be based. In fact, there have been numerous inquiries about OML from outside the electronics industry, as other industries also see the need for an IoT protocol that delivers value for the industry in which it is specific to, as well as then being able to connect to higher level, broader, more generic IoT standards that work across industries. OML has certainly captured the imagination of the industry.
An initial introduction of OML was also made at APEX to key people within the IPC, from whom there was significant interest. It was widely agreed by all members in the industry that the standard for communication is needed immediately, and that we cannot wait several years.
The surprise at APEX came from Mentor Graphics, who announced an OML related hardware product, “Valor IoT Manufacturing”, which can be used to simply connect all existing SMT and related machines and processes, directly into the OML environment. This breaks the catch-22 that affects the introduction of any new standards into an industry – how do you avoid having to replace or upgrade all existing machines and make major changes to existing software systems? Now, OML can be used with existing, new machines that will support direct OML output, and all of your own OML developed projects, to ultimately cover everything in the existing factory.
A very exciting show then, with more to come at SMT Nuremberg in a few weeks’ time at the end of April. Come and join the fun, and let’s talk OML!