• SMEMA Hermes

  • Upgrade your legacy
    SMEMA equipment

  • to IPC-HERMES-9852
    The Hermes Standard

A compact and low cost solution to extend the life of your
SMEMA based SMT electronic assembly equipment.

Your building blocks towards a Smart Factory

What is

The Hermes Standard is a successor of SMEMA (IPC-SMEMA-9851) by replacing simple opening and closing of circuits and dedicated wiring to define Ready signals, with XML messages sent via Network Sockets over Ethernet.

The use of XML means not only control messages can be sent between manufacturing equipment but also product data for Automatic Equipment Setup and Product Traceability.

How it works

Using the MultiPlug.Ext.Hermes MultiPlug Extension, the SMEMA Hermes Adaptor connects to both the Upstream and Downstream SMEMA connectors of the targeted non-Hermes compliant assembly equipment. This equipment believes it is communicating with Upstream and Downstream equipment in the normal SMEMA manner.

The Adaptor then takes the Upstream Hermes control messages and converts them into SMEMA signals. It does the same with the Downstream SMEMA connector of the non-Hermes compliant assembly equipment but in reverse by converting the SMEMA 'Good Board' (OK) and 'Bad Board' (NOK) signals into Hermes messages for Downstream equipment.

While this sequence occurs the Adaptor stores the Hermes Board Data so it’s not lost for onward travel down the production line. The Hermes Board Data is then re-paired with exiting Boards on a FIFO (First In, First Out) basis and Good/Bad values within the Hermes Board Data are updated.

The non-Hermes compliant equipment will not have access to this Hermes Board Data however the Adaptor has a RS232 Serial Port so equipment such as Board Conveyors can receive new board widths for automatic changeover. REST APIs (Application Programming Interface) are also available.

Use Case

1. The Adaptor has been initially created to fill the void of equipment that has historically had little intelligence therefore it becomes challenging to apply the Hermes Standard to it. This is commonly ‘dumb’ equipment such as PCB Conveyors that only currently work with SMEMA.

2. The second group is equipment that has fallen out of a service plan either by its age or due to second hand use, and so suppliers are unwilling to upgrade its control software.

3. Customers have been increasingly using the Adaptor to Inject and Extract Hermes Data at the Start and End of a production line, as well as adding new values such as Barcodes midway down a line.

4. OEM Equipment Suppliers have used the Adaptor to distance themselves from supporting a software standard that is currently a moving target. They directly connect the Adaptor to their PLCs (Programmable Logic Controller) and benefit from regular software upgrades and support.

First Steps

We don't recommend using the Adaptor as your first step towards a full Hermes production line, you should instead contact the suppliers of your larger intelligent equipment and understand their timelines of upgrading your equipment's software.

Once you have at least one machine that supports the Hermes Standard you can then begin to inject Hermes Data into that machine by creating a Scan Station or Fetching the Hermes Data from a remote source. Often customers start with the Stencil Printer or Pick & Place Machine. Please take a look at the IT Success Factors document.

The Adaptor is a great tool to understand the Hermes Standard and how it will benefit your production by triggering a Smart Factory innovation drive.


Also Known As the SMEMA Hermes Adaptor. A Dual Lane version (Austin) is also available.

  • Compact Design
  • Low Cost
  • Speedy Setup
  • Headless Device
  • Software Extendable


  • Single Lane SMT Assembly Production (Dual Lane on request)
  • Length 109 x Width 62 x Height 55 - Weight 227 grams
  • 2GB RAM, 32GB Storage, Linux Single-Board Computer
  • 5 Volt Supply via USB-C - optional industrial 24v stepdown
  • RJ12 Plug to SMEMA Plug or Socket Dongles (optional accessory)
  • RS232 Serial Port for Conveyor Integration
  • SMEMA and Hermes status indicators
  • Real Time Clock for accurate data logging
  • WiFi Access Point for remote setup and monitoring
  • Audible indicator and Active Cooling
  • Din Rail, Magnetic or Wall Mount

Connecting Manufacturing with the Digital Economy

Industry 4.0 -
No More Apps

Browser Based User Interface

The Digital Economy has grown over the last 30 years and the people that work within it use the Web Browser has their native user interface. To employ their skills into the Manufacturing industry we must use the same technologies to talk the same language.

While the Adaptor is a Headless device in normal operation, Setup and Remote Monitoring is conducted by a Browser based user interface. The Web Browser is the last App you will have to install.

Industry 4.0 -
Software is King

As a device with a defined purpose, the Adaptor will fulfill that purpose, but we now work within the Industry 4.0 era where shop floor technicals should be able to customise their solutions based on their changing needs. If that means the injection or extraction of data at given points, then a true Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) based product should give the option for change.

  • Powered by the MultiPlug Edge Computing Platform
  • Add functionality via MultiPlug Extensions
  • Native Browser based User Interface

Industry 4.0 -
Publish & Subscribe

The Adaptor runs the MultiPlug Edge Computing Platform that allows additional functionality to be loaded by Software Extensions. The Hermes Standard is one such proprietary Extension but other Open Source Extensions can be loaded. New Extensions can be created using the .Net programming language.

The MultiPlug uses the Publish–Subscribe design pattern where events are mapped to subscriptions using a visual web browser editor making it fully flexible for changing needs.

Industry 4.0 -
PC Architecture

The Adaptor runs a Linux operating system giving the flexibility of a PC architecture that was shown to be the winning platform of the 1990's.

Traditionally, industrial control systems would use PLCs (Programmable Logic Controller) as the main brains to solutions. These are great for control and safety critical situations but they have many drawbacks when it comes to processing data and allowing a bigger software development community to build onto and extend solutions.

Using a PC Architecture gives solutions the processing power and the memory to process data locally and using Linux allows a broader set of software developers to contribute and support solutions.

PLCs managing the Control and PCs handling the Data is the perfect solution mix of a safe, fast and extensible solution. This is the solution OEM Equipment Suppliers are using when integrating the Adaptor within their equipment.

Used by


Product Recipe Changeover

Using the Data Validation feature Operators can be prompted via the Browser based User Interface when Hermes Data values change between Boards, for example Board Width or Product Type ID changes.

Automatic Product Changeover can be achieved by sending the new values to Conveyors via the Serial Port or Network Socket connection.

Once the Conveyor has adjusted itself to the new value a message can be sent back to the Adaptor to unlock the SMEMA signal and allow the Board to continue.

SMT Scan Station

The Adaptor features USB ports and a RS232 serial port which barcode readers can be connected to.

These scanned barcodes wait in a queue to be married up to the next board.

These barcodes can be used to fetch Hermes Data from other systems using the Hermes Supervisory System or used to create new records locally by the Adaptor.

Data Validation can be also achieved by matching scanned barcodes with barcodes found within existing Hermes Data.

Merging new barcodes into existing Hermes Data is also possible for mid-line operation.


Operators can remotely Create, Move, Delete Hermes Board Data using the Browser based User Interface.

They can also remotely Upload and Download Hermes Board Data to and from files using the Browser based User Interface.

At the start of the production line Hermes Board Data can be fetched via a Hermes Supervisory System using scanned barcodes.

At the end of the production line Hermes Board Data can be pushed using MultiPlug Events to Network File Servers, Databases or MES Systems.

Coming Soon

Connected Factory Exchange

IPC-2591 also known as CFX-2591 or the Connected Factory Exchange is the new Machine to Factory communication standard based on AMQP with data encoded as JSON. It’s backed by all the equipment suppliers as well as Manufacturing Execution System (MES) suppliers such as iTAC Software AG, Critical Manufacturing, Arch Systems, and Aegis' FactoryLogix.

Support for the CFX has been scheduled for 2024 thanks to the financial support from the UK Government. It will extend the functionality of the Hermes Supervisory System which currently supports the messages Board Arrived and Board Departed.

SMT Inspection Station

Connecting the Adaptor to an existing Inspection Station Conveyor will allow for the normal Good Board (OK) and Bad Board (NOK) SMEMA signals to be read and this turned into Hermes message. However the operator currently has to remember to remove the board record from the Digital Twin if the board is removed from the inspection station.

A virtual Inspection Station will be introduced so the process prompts the operator for a Pass/Fail result and an optional board removal option. This virtual Inspection station will also allow a Standard PCB Conveyor to be converted into a Inspection Station by Interlocking the SMEMA Signals.

Other Uses

OEM Equipment Integration

During the development of the Adaptor we have been approached by equipment suppliers who either want to support existing legacy equipment in the field on behalf of their customers or were interested in keeping the Hermes Standard upgrade solution modular but seen to be part of their existing offering.

We can supply the Adaptor in an unenclosed raw state which can be mounted as you see fit and wired using the RJ12 connectors. It is also possible to directly interface with the Single-Board Computer which means you wouldn’t use our SMEMA interface hardware however you, and your customers would benefit from the Hermes MultiPlug software and ongoing support. Dual Lane versions are available on request and White labeling is also available.

The MultiPlug.Ext.Hermes software extension that runs on the Adaptor can be used without the need of the Adaptor hardware creating a Gateway between the Hermes Standard (Network Sockets) and a REST API or bespoke interface to a OEM solution. This allows machine builders to upgrade their SMEMA offering by a simple software addition.

General I/O

The SMEMA interface can easily be repurposed for general Input and Output. A single lane SMEMA interface consists of 3 switch circuits (1A 30 VDC max) and 3 circuit detectors (open or closed). So could be used to trigger visible indicators such as Beacon Towers (Outputs) and connected to switched circuits (Inputs).

The state of these I/O can then be mapped within MultiPlug to trigger off other events such as a HTTP Post request to a third party system, Or use the MultiPlug REST API to toggle the state of the output I/O.


The project of creating the Adaptor has only been made possible by the collaboration between investors, suppliers and innovators.

It started in 2019 with no customer backer or even contact of the Hermes Standard committee. It's only thanks to visionaries that identified a limitation of rolling out Hermes to the masses with legacy equipment. A Startup business with founders who had previously worked within the industry was ideally placed and keen to enter the market with a new product. An initial prototype was developed with support of the Barclays Eagle Labs, Westbourne and rolled out to a number of beta sites to begin trials. With these trials successful and feedback gained European Regional Development Match Funding was secured after attending an business pitch event in Poole, Dorset. This funding was administered by the Arts University Bournemouth who also provided access to prototyping facilities for further development. In 2021 an electronics contract manufacturer in Poole assembled the first batch of Mk3 Adaptors ready for increasingly growing customer demand.