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.