The drive to smart manufacturing

By Ayo Kajopaiye, Collaborative Technology Platforms, SEMI

What does Smart Manufacturing mean for the future of the electronics manufacturing supply chain?  SEMI members hold many different perspectives, but one thing is clear ─ the impact of Smart Manufacturing will be huge. SEMI is fully involved with many of the activities that center on Smart Manufacturing.

During the North America Standards meetings that took place at SEMI’s new Headquarters in February, the Automation Technology Committee Chapter in Taiwan was successfully chartered.  K.C. Chou, co-chair of the new Committee, believes in SEMI’s role, saying, “SEMI has a strong reputation for successful standardization which is why the Taiwan PCB industry has selected the global SEMI Standards platform to develop consensus on equipment communication and other manufacturing areas where standards are needed to drive down cost.”

What does the formation of this Committee mean for Smart Manufacturing in the PCB industry? “The industry can now use the Committee to drive consensus on how to adopt GEM technology so it can be implemented consistently” says Brian Rubow, director of Client Training and Support at Cimetrix. “Without these standards agreed upon, every equipment that needs to be integrated may have to have different technology adopted, making the process more difficult just to create a line that will produce their product since a lot of custom integration has to be done. However, once a standard is adopted, instead of spending time dealing with protocols, communication methods and messaging scenarios, they will be able to be a lot more productive and focus on building products and not worry about integrated equipment” he continues.

Next steps

The next step for the new Committee is to propose a ballot for distribution that will address adoption of GEM technology. “Anyone who is interested in this technology, now is the best time to get involved and get their ideas into the collaboration,” Rubow adds. He expects the balloting process to begin over the next quarter.

Many other Smart Manufacturing Programs

SEMI also has a Smart Manufacturing Initiative that is being led by a group of industry leaders through the SEMI Smart Manufacturing Advisory Council. This Council works closely with the Smart Manufacturing Special Interest Group which consists of a broader group of members across different regions as they focus on facilitating collective efforts on issues related to smart manufacturing. Also, members that are part of this group are connected to information and resources that can help with the implementation, supply, services or research of smart manufacturing systems. SEMI plans to continue to play an essential role in the emergence of Smart Manufacturing in the electronics industry.

For questions regarding the Smart Manufacturing Special Interest Group and Advisory Council please contact Tom Salmon, VP of Collaborative Technology Platforms – tsalmon@semi.org or 408-943-6965.

Also be sure to take a look at SEMI’s Smart Manufacturing Central webpage for information related to Smart Manufacturing – www.semi.org/en/smart-manufacturing-central

SEMICON West 2017

Smart Manufacturing topics (Manufacturing, Automotive, and MedTech) will be covered at SEMICON West 2017. Under the “Programs” tab at the top, visit the “Agenda at a Glance” (filter listings to Smart Topics).  Learn more and register now.

Other SEMI shows will also feature Smart Manufacturing topics, including SEMICON Taiwan (September 13-15 in Taipei), SEMICON Europa (November 14-17 in Munich), and SEMICON Japan (December 13-15 in Tokyo).

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