The exchange of data and information among collaborating partners and resources in a distributed manufacturing system assumes significance especially in today’s global economy. In recent years, Internet of Things (IoT) and Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) related practices and technologies have emerged as enablers of collaborative manufacturing and engineering practices. Smart technologies involving Virtual Reality and haptic based interactions are continuing to play an important role in concurrent engineering based methods in distributed contexts. The research presented in this paper explores the design of an IoT based framework for electronics manufacturing involving the use of VR based environments and Cloud computing technologies. The process domain of interest is electronics manufacturing with an emphasis on Surface Mount assembly of printed circuit boards (PCBs). The VR based assembly environment played a key role in this IoT framework as it supported Concurrent Engineering practices by enabling stakeholders in this manufacturing system context to obtain a better understanding of the manufacturing process design while providing ‘what if’ analysis capabilities for changing customer requirements. Another benefit of such VR based IoT frameworks is the potential of such 3D environments to provide effective training of assembly processes as well as facilitating better understanding of process design issues from distributed locations.

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