Electronics Industry Mourns Loss of Colleague and Visionary Michael FordJanuary 31, 2024 | I-Connect007
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
Longtime I-Connect007 columnist, industry visionary, and friend Michael Ford passed away Saturday, Jan. 27, 2024. “In this time of sorrow, we can take solace in the knowledge that Michael leaves a great legacy of contribution to the electronics industry,” according to a statement from Aegis Software.
Michael was senior director of emerging industry strategy at Aegis. He was a prolific writer and speaker whose work and ideas put him at the forefront of electronics manufacturing. Working for Aegis gave him the opportunity to apply his software for electronics manufacturing experience to further drive technology solution innovation.
In the statement from Aegis, Michael was described as “always envisioning what was needed to achieve an improved manufacturing future before others could see it. What new system, standard, or concept could help move things forward for the better? Michael could move those ideas to the forefront and was always seeking the views and ideas of others in the process. He had a singular gift in helping everyone he encountered see the future with him in his articulate and compelling way that brought everyone into the process, whether an individual or a full conference hall.”
He started his career with Sony, including eight years working in Japan. He was instrumental in creating and evolving software solutions for assembly manufacturing that meet the most demanding expectations. He was an established thought leader for Industry 4.0 and digital Smart factories, and an active contributor to industry standards.
In 2020, Michael was given the IPC President’s Award as recognition for contributions, including CFX, traceability, secure supply-chain and digital twin standards.
In 2021 Michael was awarded the Dieter Bergman IPC Fellowship Award and chose Villanova University’s engineering department as the recipient of the grant which in turn awards a scholarship to benefit the promotion of opportunities for women in the industry.
His column for I-Connect007 was titled Smart Factory Insights, and he frequently took commonly-held ideas and pushed the boundaries of current thinking. He often found ways to improve business operations or create new business models that built off current frameworks.
“Michael has been such a generous and knowledgeable columnist for so long,” says Pete Starkey, a technical editor for I-Connect007. “He was a genuinely lovely man and a worthy recipient of our ‘Good for the Industry’ award. I can’t believe he’s gone.”
One time we asked him for his sage advice and he said, "Always keep an open and progressive mind. Listen to and understand perspectives from all of those around you."
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