IPC has confirmed that they recognize The Hermes Standard to be the next generation solution to “the SMEMA Standard” IPC-SMEMA-9851. Accordingly, The Hermes Standard was assigned an IPC naming code: it can now officially be referred to as IPC-HERMES-9852.
This strong acknowledgement means a lot for further enhancements of the global footprint and acceptance of The Hermes Standard as it is entering the second stage in global market penetration. Customers and vendors alike will strongly benefit from this new level of standardization progress. Obstacles with regards to implementing “smart factory” features will be dramatically reduced or removed. Electronics manufacturers joining the movement will see another strong boost in their long-term competitiveness.
SMEMA and IPC-HERMES-9852: Two generations of M2M communication
Modern, open, and based on TCP/IP and XML, IPC-HERMES-9852 is designed to replace the obsolete SMEMA standard for the transfer of board-related information. It was developed and introduced to the market by The Hermes Standard Initiative, an independent and open group of leading vendors of SMT assembly equipment. The IPC-HERMES-9852 includes all features of SMEMA regarding board handover but addresses a far wider range of additional requirements related to board handling. In fact, IPC-HERMES-9852 combines leading edge technologies and established standards into a completely new generation solution.
The Hermes Standard Initiative and IPC – close cooperation from the beginning
Since The Hermes Standard was released, both IPC and The Hermes Standard Initiative share the same understanding that The Hermes Standard moves in the right direction to bring digitization to the PCB flow management. It was clear to all that the previously existing standard IPC-SMEMA-9851 cannot be simply “enhanced” to meet the requirements of an Industry 4.0-environment. Having looked into the details of The Hermes Standard specification everybody agreed that this new standard provides what it takes to be a suitable next generation solution for SMEMA, offering a migration path into the world of “smart factories”.
There was a very close cooperation between IPC and The Hermes Standard Initiative from the very beginning. This was set forth when it was found that the new IPC standard for vertical integration, IPC CFX, and The Hermes Standard are a perfect match when it comes to fully integrated communication in a mixed vendor SMT factory.
IPC-HERMES-9852: The Hermes Standard will remain an open standard and free of charge
Having an official IPC naming code does not change anything in the nature of The Hermes Standard itself. Both IPC and The Hermes Standard Initiative are convinced that further deployment of the standard will be strongly accelerated by maintaining the concept of a free and open standard. This will allow more and more equipment vendors to enter the movement in shorter time. With a broader penetration, the mutual benefit of a standard is exponentially enhanced further for all users.
The Hermes Standard Initiative members will keep up their successful approach of global cooperation
The same applies for the processes and structures within The Hermes Standard Initiative: IPC acknowledged explicitly the efficient and effective approach as pursued by the Hermes Standard Initiative in defining and establishing the standard. Therefore, The Hermes Standard Initiative will maintain its setup as a fully vendor driven initiative and keep its approach to global cooperation based on a mix of remote “online discussions” and regular meetings. Within the IPC, it will have the status of an independent working group with its own responsibility for further development of IPC-HERMES-9852, issuing new releases of the standard one to two times per year.
All results and new releases will be available at IPC’s “Connected Factory Initiative” (IPC CFX) homepage www.ipc-cfx.org/html/Hermes.htm as well for download and updated 1-2 times per year.
For the next meeting of The Hermes Standard Initiative – planned to take place in San Diego one day before IPC APEX expo 2019 – IPC offered to host the event, providing a meeting room at the fair ground.
Digitalization and Industry 4.0: IPC-HERMES-9852 makes a difference on the way ahead
IPC-HERMES-9852 brings the power and opportunities of digitalization to the PCB board flow level. Finally, the foundation layer of any automation solution in electronics assembly is now certified being ready for Industry 4.0.