CPI WORKGROUP CONTINUES WORK ON REPOSITORY

The Cross-Platform Initiative (CPI) Workgroup 2 met via conference call on 05/21/19 to continue work on the Repository and begin discussions on the steps necessary to develop a foundation for a universal file format.

The Repository is still in development and contains the beginnings of the data requirements, file format specifications, etc. required by various equipment suppliers. Based on comments received during the meeting, the Repository is being updated and additional data from equipment suppliers is being input into the Repository. The target for completion of the first iteration of the Repository is June 2019.

The Workgroup also began discussions on outlining the steps for developing a foundation for a universal file format. The group considered a number of existing formats as possible foundations, in whole or in part, for a universal file format. The Uniform Data Standard (UDS), developed by SBCA, was considered as a potential foundation for a universal file format or formats but possibly being converted, at some point, into an XML format. The workgroup will be evaluating the UDS further over the next few weeks and are scheduled to continue the discussion on this topic at the next Workgroup 2 meeting scheduled for 06/04/19.


CPI WORKGROUP 2 UPDATE

The Cross-Platform Initiative (CPI) Workgroup 2 met via conference call on 04/30/19 to begin the further definition of the Repository concept and begin assembling the data requirements from suppliers as had been discussed at the 04/17/19 CPI Supplier meeting. The Repository will allow for some more immediate plug-n-play solutions while also serving as a building block and resource for the work on universal file formats.

While the Repository will help address some issues today, the Workgroup also discussed that there is also a need to begin addressing the longer-term development of a universal file format. The Workgroup determined that, if possible, it would be best to build a universal file format off of existing formats and that the builds of a universal file format will most likely be in incremental steps. The Workgroup noted that while a universal file format will be an improvement it will not be a “magic bullet” and solve all plug-n-play issues from the start. There will continue to be a need to support legacy file formats because older equipment will continue to be used in the component manufacturing marketplace. A universal file format will be another format that suppliers, software developers, and component manufacturers will need to support and use in addition to earlier formats. The Workgroup will begin looking at existing formats as well as the SBCA Uniform Data Standard to determine if existing work efforts and formats can be used as a foundation for a universal file format.

An upcoming target milestone date for the Initiative is to have the first version of the Repository available in June 2019 in addition to having a more definitive outline of the steps necessary to develop a foundation for a universal file format.


CPI TO BEGIN WORK ON A DATA RESOURCE REPOSITORY

The Cross-Platform Initiative (CPI) Supplier Group met via conference call on 04/17/19 to review the progress of the Workgroup and discussed the proposed approach for advancing the Initiative. The approach for moving forward that the CPI Supplier Group agreed to is a multi-step process. The initial step is to gather additional data requirements from suppliers into a Repository followed by using the Repository as a building block and resource for beginning the work on universal file formats. The Repository would alleviate the current lack of a common knowledge-base of interface definitions for equipment and software within the component manufacturing industry. Contemplated benefits of the Repository are that it:

  • Will provide software developers access to definitive, vendor-provided interface specifications and upcoming changes which would lead to opportunities to better achieve plug-n-play capabilities.

  • Will serve as a vehicle for an equipment manufacturer to notify software developers, via the repository, of equipment changes ahead of release permitting a better chance of achieving or maintaining plug-n-play capabilities.

  • Will allow equipment manufacturers and software developers the ability to research the current status of interface support and adoption.

  • Will provide opportunities for better coordination between equipment and software developers which will lead to better plug-n-play capabilities.

  • Will provide a step toward achieving plug-n-play capabilities needed and desired by customers in a short time frame and will provide a stepping stone and resource for developing universal file format(s) which is a longer-term solution for achieving plug-n-play capabilities.

  • Will make possible a yet to be defined “Seal of Approval” for those that participate in the Repository which would be able to indicate their level of plug-n-play capabilities which would provide confidence to customers regarding their investment into equipment and software.

As a result of the meeting, a new Workgroup was appointed that will be meeting over the next 1 – 2 weeks to further flesh out the Repository concept and a concept for universal file formats. A more defined Repository specification and possible example(s) are targeted to be presented to the larger CPI Supplier group sometime in mid-May.

CPI WORKGROUP UPDATE

The Cross-Platform Initiative (CPI) Workgroup met via conference call on 03/26/19 to review a draft of the information needs for laser equipment and to discuss the applicability of a universal file format such as the SBCA Uniform File Format to accommodate those needs. The Workgroup generally felt that a universal file format could accommodate the laser data needs but had concerns with how it might address batching of information and in particular all the nuances necessary for saw equipment. The next steps are to gather additional data needs from the other supplier companies and in particular, the saw equipment manufactures while also beginning to look into and better defining the batching needs of various pieces of manufacturing equipment. TPI staff and various members of the Workgroup will be working to that end and will be reaching out to the other CPI supplier members for their equipment requirements in preparation of the next meeting of the larger CPI Supplier group which will be sometime in mid-April.

CPI WORKGROUP BEGINS DEFINING DATA AND INFORMATION NEEDS FOR LASER EQUIPMENT

The Cross-Platform Initiative (CPI) Workgroup met via conference call on 03/05/19 to further discuss refining “what” information/data needs are to be exchanged between software and equipment in order to achieve the “plug-n-play” capabilities for equipment. Various equipment data needs and file format needs were discussed and debated. After discussion, the Workgroup determined that while there may be various file formats needed to address the different types of equipment used, they would initially focus on the specific equipment needs for laser equipment. The next step for the Workgroup is to develop a draft document which will outline the data and information needs from software in order for laser equipment to operate. Additionally, the draft document will address what data in the SBCA Uniform Data Standard (V1.0) is applicable to address those needs. The Workgroup is scheduled to meet again on 03/26/19 to review and update the draft document and to set the next steps in the Initiative.

Cross-Platform Initiative - Draft Scope and Workgroup Established

Eleven (11) supplier company representatives met via conference call on 02/12/19 to further discuss the initiative and to work on defining a project methodology, scope, timeline, and potential deliverables for the initiative. A draft scope statement was reviewed and a workgroup of seven (7) supplier representatives was formed. The workgroup will begin refining “what” information/data needs are to be exchanged between software and equipment in order to achieve the “plug-n-play” capabilities for equipment. The workgroup is scheduled to meet March 5, 2019 and, in the meantime, they will be reviewing the SBCA Uniform Data Standard (V1.0) to see if it will appropriately address the issue of achieving the “plug-n-play” capabilities. The workgroup also will be exploring other ideas regarding equipment and software cross-platform communication needs and solutions. Future meetings will be determined after the March 2019 meeting of the workgroup.

Cross-Platform Initiative - Meetings Underway

TPI member company representatives met via conference call on 01/18/19 to begin the process of gaining a common understanding of a project methodology, scope, timeline, and potential deliverables. This meeting focused primarily on defining a draft scope for a project that has a goal of achieving a “plug-n-play” capability for component manufacturing equipment and software while meeting the business needs and protecting the Intellectual Property (IP) of all participants. Another conference call is planned with the larger supplier group on 02/12/19 where further discussion and refinement of the initiative scope will take place. Also during the 02/12/19 conference call the group will discuss, if time permits, the project methodology and potential deliverables such as the work of the SBCA- IT committee and any other issues raised by the equipment suppliers. It is hoped that following the call on 02/12/19 that further discussion with an even larger group that will include interested component manufacturers will begin.


Cross-Platform Communication Initiative Update

Thank you to all those that have expressed an interest in the Cross-Platform Communication Initiative. This post is to provide everyone with an update on activities relative to the initiative.

Currently, there are 19 Supplier companies and 6 Component Manufacturing companies that have signed up. A listing of the companies that have signed up can be seen here. TPI is progressing on the initiative albeit a bit slower than anticipated given the holidays and everyone’s busy schedules. TPI member company representatives to the initiative are working on establishing an agenda and background material for our initial conference call. We hope to have that initial conference call in the month of January 2019 so everyone can begin the process of gaining a common understanding of a project methodology, scope, timeline, and potential deliverables. As soon as more information is available we will let everyone know.

Wishing everyone Happy Holidays!