R&D UKSPF Match-Fund Secured for the SMEMA CFX Adaptor

The UKSPF is the replacement of the EU Development Fund following the UK leaving the European Union.

On the 4th of August we signed an agreement with Charles Fynn, Economic Development Support Officer at BCP (Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole) Council that secured us a match-fund grant from the UKSPF (UK Shared Prosperity Fund), that will assist us with getting a new product for electronic assembly manufacturing to market.

The match-fund will be used for the research and innovation of a device to convert IPC-SMEMA-9851 signals to CFX-2591 (also known as IPC-2591) messages used by the Connected Factory Exchange. We are naming this device a SMEMA CFX Adaptor or Oscar for short.

Under the terms of the contract both parties acknowledge that this is a Research and Innovation project and as such results cannot be guaranteed however this project will build on the successful international rollout of the Hermes Adaptor (Quentin) and the Ethernet Adaptor (Clive). Our existing customer base will benefit from the work of the CFX Adaptor.


CFX-2591 messages run over AMQP (Advanced Message Queuing Protocol) and are encoded as JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) making it familiar for software developers working within the digital economy. The IPC standards body has coordinated the development of messages targeted at types of manufacturing equipment with the support from a subcommittee made of industry members.

We were first given a live demonstration of what the CFX can achieve by Michael Ford back in 2018 and he has since received a IPC Fellowship Award for his great work on the subcommittee and as an ambassador to the standard.

The original codebase was donated to the cause by Aegis Software and a SDK (Software Development Kit) makes it free* to implement. The IPC provides a paid validation service allowing the use of the IPC CFX QPL (Qualified Products List) logo within your marketing and on your products.

The project will be conducted in two parts; firstly the refinement of the current hardware platform used by Quentin and Clive allowing us to improve the manufacturing process and act on feedback from the existing customer base.

Secondly the development of the MultiPlug software extension MultiPlug.Ext.CFX. This extension will allow SMEMA interlocking to occur over the CFX rather than Serial, Network Sockets or RESTful connections. It will also allow 'supervisory' functionality to occur such as product traceability as it moves down a production line. Existing customers will be able to purchase the new extension for a low cost fee and sideload it onto their Adaptors.

CFX 2591 Logo Blue

Customer interest has been strong for the use of the CFX-2591 over the two year release of the Hermes Adaptor. The request for CFX support was amplified after our attendance of the IPC Apex Expo in San Diego at the end of January. It was clear that Cloud-based software service providers such as Arch Systems required a common data channel to deal with which AMQP provides.

The match-fund gives us the opportunity to push ahead with developments far quicker than a scale-up business could normally do operating on constrained resources. We 'request for comment' from those interested in future uses of the SMEMA CFX Adaptor.

We predict the project will begin at the end of September. More information can be found at the brochure website www.smema-cfx-adaptor.info which will be updated and refreshed over the coming months.

About 4IR.UK British Systems

4IR.UK British Systems is a Smart Factory solutions provider for the smart industrial manufacturing sector. We were founded in 2016 after the attendance of the Silicon South First Bourne Business Accelerator. We develop bespoke Software Extensions for the Low-Code No-Code MultiPlug Edge Computing Platform that allows for real time configuration and monitoring of production line equipment. The flexibility of off-the-shelf software combined with inside industrial experience means that 4IR.UK British Systems is ideally placed to anticipate and respond to a factory's changing needs.

David Graham

David Graham

David is the Chief Technology Officer at 4IR.UK