As someone who’s spent his whole career working in offices, not factories, I had very little idea what a modern “smart factory” powered by the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) might look like. That’s why I was so interested in Tempo Automation’s new 42,000-square-foot facility in San Francisco’s trendy Design District.
Frankly, I pictured the company’s facility, which uses IIoT to automatically configure, operate, and monitor the prototyping and low-volume production of printed circuit board assemblies (PCBAs), as a cacophony of robots and conveyor belts attended to by a grizzled band of grease-stained technicians. You know, a 21stcentury update of Charlie Chaplin’s 1936 classic Modern Times making equipment for customers in the aerospace, medtech, industrial automation, consumer electronics, and automotive industries. (The company just inked a new contract with Lockheed Martin.)