Industry News, Trends and Technology, and Standards Updates

The Smart Factory in the Cloud

Posted by Mike Motherway: Product Owner and Application Manager on Aug 14, 2019 11:30:00 AM

cloud-computing-1There are some of us in the software development community who recall when cloud computing was not much more than a marketing buzzword, mocked by many developers with first-hand experience at the pace of change in the internet age, but maybe not quite enough experience to know better. Today, cloud-enabled architectures are so commonplace that it’s the alternatives that must be defended in most quarters. Although not necessarily in manufacturing.

In parallel to cloud computing, Industry 4.0 and Smart Manufacturing are happening, and the effects are becoming more apparent and impossible to ignore. Fewer people are mocking I4.0 and Smart Manufacturing as buzzwords. More often, they are being better defined as a set of useful principles and applied to real-world problems with exciting results.The confluence of I4.0 and cloud computing is a rather rare intersecting set. For many manufacturers, it’s a bit much. Those of us working in this area understand the famous quote (mis)attributed to Mahatma Gandhi: “First they ignore you, then they mock you, then they fight you, then you win.” The fight is underway; the confluence of cloud computing and Smart Manufacturing are the focus of this writing.

During the Industry 3.0 changes, when computers were introduced in a significant wayts themselves all changed. Now that Industry 4.0 is upon us, it is the networking of these machines that is driving the change. The network effect is easy enough to understand, but the resulting change is bound to have ripple effects across the industry that will be hard to predict.

Something similar happened a decade ago with cloud computing. At first, the strategy and benefits were understood as simply renting compute power from a third party. “Cloud is just someone else’s computers” was a common refrain among IT professionals. This was true enough at first, when moving to the cloud was done as a “lift-and-shift” strategy. This meant you should take one app, run it on similar platforms in the cloud, save a few bucks, repeat. However, very quickly some very innovative companies realized that the flexibility, scalability and number of new services provided by public cloud vendors meant that applications would have to be re-architected to exploit these possibilities. The software industry is still discovering all the possibilities of the resulting SaaS models. Salesforce, Netflix, Amazon and a few others saw the possibilities, built their apps and services, and the rest of us are still learning.

digital-padlock-securityAt Cimetrix we have some experience working with manufacturers who are stepping into this area of I4.0 / cloud confluence. Our sense is that the conversations occur along the similar lines of pursuit. The first topics of conversation revolve around fear – security being the chief concern. How can a factory allow its data to leave the four walls? Two recent events have made this argument easier to overcome: TSMC had to shut down a major part of its operations in the summer of 2018 when a computer virus, installed on a new tool, spread to many other hosts. Hundreds of millions of dollars in shipment delays and other costs resulted from a breach of what had previously been thought to be a secure factory environment. On the cloud side: The Capital One breach, where one million social security numbers were stolen, had initial headlines that related it to the Amazon cloud. Since then, the bank has admitted fault and it has become clear that AWS services are secure.

Two critical elements important to the security argument are 1) employing talented security professionals and 2) deploying critical security patches as soon as vulnerabilities are discovered. The public cloud vendors recognized this long ago and hence their data centers employ security measures beyond the affordability of most business. Factories that continue to host their applications on premises, as opposed to the cloud, are increasingly competing with cloud vendors for security talent. These cloud vendors have massive scale and are still growing at ~40% per year. The result of this is that your apps and data are increasingly safer in the cloud than on an “on-prem” server.

Red_smart_factoryOnce these fears are assuaged the next line of reasoning tends towards identifying opportunities. This is where Cimetrix is uniquely positioned. We have the expertise to connect factory equipment, get the data into the cloud, and show our customers how to begin exploiting these technologies. Very often the first step is simply to connect as much factory equipment as possible, get a few simple messages, and expand later. This option has proven very fruitful for distributed supply chains that utilize contract manufacturing and outsourcing. Knowing the rate at which equipment is being utilized, which can be done with as few as two simple messages, can be extremely useful. Negotiating capital budgets for new products tends to improve when utilization rates for existing equipment are well known to all parties. The ROI for projects like this tends to be of the scale of months or weeks, not years.

After proving the ROI this way, with only a few simple messages, the next steps typically involve gathering more data. This is where the real power of cloud computing can be brought to bear. Smart factory computing implies the application of intelligence at the factory level to create a dynamic production environment where reducing costs and improving quality happens extremely quickly. Machine learning and very good AI tools are being developed now by the public cloud companies and to this author seem to be perfectly suited to factory data. “Big data” doesn’t get much bigger than the myriad of sensors already at work in a typical factory, pumping out immense amounts of data. Getting this data into the cloud and closing the loop back to factory equipment will benefit the first adopters in ways similar to the early cloud computing innovators.

Ten years ago innovative companies made a kind of leap, and re-architecting applications for the cloud brought large benefits. We see a similar leap coming for manufacturers who are willing to innovate with the help of these new cloud services. It’s not difficult to imagine how Amazon’s ecommerce engine has benefited from customer data to recommend just the right brand of beer to an on-line buyer of a Manchester United t-shirt. A data scientist I knew once said, “the algorithm says that when it’s raining in England we should recommend this beer. I don’t care why as long as it sells.” This same algorithm is on its way to a factory near you. Although instead of online conversions of browsers into buyers, these algorithms will be tweaked to focus on yields, cycle times, and utilization rates.

There are many other arguments for cloud computing which we ignore here. Arguments in favor of availability, scalability, compliance, ease of deployment, etc. These are all true but better addressed in many other venues. This is likewise the case for Industry 4.0; it is a younger sibling topic as compared to cloud computing, but still better fleshed out in other writings. We at Cimetrix are confident that when we look back 10 years from now, the companies that innovate best at this confluence of technologies will realize an immense potential. 

To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, please click below.

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Topics: Doing Business with Cimetrix, Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0

Cimetrix Blog Series Round-up

Posted by Kimberly Daich; Director of Marketing on Aug 8, 2019 12:08:59 PM

For the last couple of years, we have published a number of beneficial series in this forum to help contribute to the understanding of many of the standards in the manufacturing industry. In case you missed some of them, we are going to re-cap and link to the most popular today.

GEM Features and Benefits

This series features 15 separate posts with videos and information on some of the most important aspects of the GEM (SECS/GEM) standard. This series is one of our most popular ever and was written by a number of the Cimetrix engineering team who have studied and practiced GEM for many years.

EDA Application and Benefits in Smart Manufacturing

With the adoption of the latest SEMI EDA (Equipment Data Acquisition, also known as Interface A) standards accelerating significantly over the past 2 years, we felt it was time to highlight the applications across the industry that make the best use of these standards, and the specific manufacturing benefits that result. 

Models in Smart Manufacturing

In this series, we highlighted the importance of explicit and standardized models in the context of equipment communications interfaces and some of the “smart” factory applications they support. 

EDA Testing

Since the EDA/Interface A adoption process has now clearly reached critical mass, we must seriously address the question “How are we going to test the equipment and systems that incorporate these standards?” This is an excellent question, and one that has a multi-part answer, which is addressed in this 6-part series.

These, and many others including a the Cimetrix Book Club and Meet-the-Team series are some of what you can find on our blog. Be sure to subscribe today!

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Topics: Industry Standards, Doing Business with Cimetrix, SECS/GEM Features & Benefits Series, EDA in Smart Manufacturing Series, EDA Testing Series, Meet Our Team, Book Club

Resources Round-up: Videos

Posted by Kimberly Daich; Director of Marketing on Aug 3, 2019 1:28:00 PM

Resource Center-1The Cimetrix Resource Center is a great way to familiarize yourself with standards within the industry as well as find out about new and exciting technologies.

Our resource center features information about equipment connectivity and control, data gathering, GEM (SECS/GEM)EDA/Interface A, and more. These standards are among the key enabling technologies for the Smart Manufacturing and Industry 4.0 global initiatives that are having a major impact on the electronics assembly, semiconductor, SMT and other industries. Manufacturers and their equipment suppliers must be able to connect equipment and other data sources, gather and analyze data in real time, and optimize production through a wide variety of applications. The videos and video series featured in our resource center provide in-depth coverage of the some of these concepts.  Some of our featured videos are below.

Be sure to stop by our Resource Center any time or download the white papers directly from the links in this posting.

Resources

Topics: Industry Standards, SECS/GEM, EDA/Interface A, Doing Business with Cimetrix, Programming Tools, Photovoltaic/PV Standards, Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0

EDA Best Practices Series: Specifying and Measuring Performance and Data Quality

Posted by Alan Weber: Vice President, New Product Innovations on Aug 1, 2019 12:14:00 PM

The old adage “You get what you pay for” doesn’t fully apply to equipment automation interfaces… more accurately, you get what you require, and then what you pay for!

This is especially true when considering the range of capability that may be provided with an equipment supplier’s implementation of the EDA (Equipment Data Acquisition, also known as Interface A) standards. Not only is it possible to be fully compliant with the standard while delivering an equipment metadata model that contains very little useful information, the standards themselves are also silent on the topics of Performance and Data Quality.  So you must take extra care to state these requirements and expectations in your purchase specifications if you expect the resulting interface to support the demands of your factory’s data analysis and control applications. Moreover, to the extent these requirements can be tested, you should describe the test methods and tools that you will use in the acceptance process to minimize the chance of ugly surprises when the equipment is delivered.

We have covered the importance of and process for creating robust purchase specifications in a previous posting. This post will focus specifically on aspects of Performance and Data Quality within that context.

Scope of Performance and Data Quality Requirements

From a scope standpoint, Performance and Data Quality requirements are found in a number of sections in an automation specification. The list below is just a starting point suitable for any advanced wafer fab – your needs may extend and exceed these significantly.

Here are some sample requirements that pertain to the computing platform for the EDA interface software:

  • The interface computer should have the capability of a 4-core Intel i5 or i7 or better, with processing speed of 2+ GHz, 8 GB of RAM, and 500 GB of persistent storage with at least 50% available at all times.
  • The equipment must monitor key performance parameters of the EDA computing platform such as CPU utilization (%), memory utilization (GB, %), disk utilization (GB, %) and access rate, etc. using system utilities such as Perfmon (for Windows systems) and store this history either in a log file or in some part of the equipment metadata model.
  • The network interface card must support 1 GB per second (or faster) communications.

In the area of equipment model content, the following requirements are directly related to interface performance and data quality:

  • The equipment should make the EDA computing platform performance parameters available as parameters of an E120 logical element that represents the EDA interface software itself.
  • The supplier must provide a written description of the update rates, recommended sampling intervals, normal operating ranges and behaviors, and high/low/rate-of-change limits for all key process parameters. These will be used to design data quality filters in the data path between the equipment and the consuming applications/users.
  • Equipment parameters provided through the EDA interface must exhibit a number of data quality characteristics, including, but not limited to: an internal sampling/update rate sufficient to represent the underlying signal accurately; timing of trace reports that is consistent with the sampling interval within +/- 1.0%; values in adjacent trace reports must contain then-current values at the specified sampling interval; and rejection of obvious outliers.

Advanced users of the EDA standards are now raising their expectations for the equipment to provide self-monitoring and diagnosis capability in the form of built-in data collection plans (DCPs), as expressed in some of the following requirements:

  • The supplier must provide built-in DCPs to support common equipment performance monitoring, diagnostic, and maintenance processes that are well known to the supplier. Documentation for these DCPs must define their purpose, activation conditions, interface bandwidth consumed, and the types of analysis the collected data enables.
  • The supplier must describe the operating conditions that can lead to a PerformanceWarning situation for the EDA interface.
  • The supplier must describe the algorithms used to deactivate DCPs under PerformanceWarning conditions. These might include LIFO (i.e., the last DCP activated is the first to be deactivated), decreasing order of bandwidth consumed or “size” (in terms of total # of parameters and # of trace/event requests), etc.

Because of the power and complexity of the DCP structure defined in the EDA standards, it is not sufficient to specify the raw communications performance requirement as a small number of isolated criteria, such as total bandwidth (in parameters per second) or minimum sampling interval. Rather, since the EDA interface must support a variety of data collection client demands for a wide range of production equipment, these requirements should be expressed as combinations of sampling interval, # parameters per DCP, # of simultaneously active DCPs, group size, buffering interval, response time for ad hoc “one-shot” DCPs, maximum latency of event generation after the related equipment condition occurred, consistency of timestamps in trace reports with the specified sampling interval, and perhaps others.

Moreover, some equipment types may have more stringent performance requirements than others, depending on the criticality of timely data for the consuming applications… so there may be process-specific performance requirements as well.

Measurement and Testing

Methods for measuring and testing the above requirements should also be described in the purchase specifications so the equipment suppliers can know they are being successfully addressed during the development process and can demonstrate compliance before and after shipping the equipment. Clarity at this phase saves time and expense later on.

Examples of such requirements include:

  • The supplier must test the EDA interface across the full range of performance criteria specified above and provide reports documenting the results.
  • An earlier requirement states that the EDA interface must be capable of reporting at least 2000 parameters at a sampling interval of 0.1 seconds (10Hz) with a group size of 1, for a total data collection capacity (bandwidth) of 20,000 parameters per second. In addition to this overall bandwidth capability, the supplier must demonstrate that this performance is possible over a range of specific data collection deployment strategies, meaning different #s and sizes of DCPs, different sampling intervals, group sizes, etc. without causing the EDA interface to reach one of its “Performance Warning” states or overstress its computing platform. To this end, all combinations of the following data collection configuration settings must be run for at least 15 seconds each; assuming the equipment has n processing modules:
    • Trace intervals (in seconds): 1, 0.5, 0.2, 0.1 (and 0.05 if possible)
    • # of parameters per DCP: 10, 50, 100, 250, 500, 1000 (and 2000 if possible)
    • # of DCPs: 1, 2, 3, … to n
    • Group size: 10, 5, 2, 1
  • The test client should be run on a separate computing platform with sufficient computing power to “stay ahead” of the EDA interface computer; in other words, the EDA interface should never have to wait on the client system.
  • Test reports should indicate the start and stop time of each iteration (i.e., one combination of the above settings), and verify that the timestamps of the data collection reports sent by the EDA interface are within +/- 1% of the value expected if the samples were collected exactly at the specified trace interval.
Performance parameters of the EDA interface platform should also be monitored during the tests and included in the report. These parameters should include memory usage, CPU processing load, and disk access rate (and perhaps others) for all processes that constitute the EDA interface software.

This approach is shown in tabular form for a 2-chamber tool (see below); since Group Size does not (or should not) impact the effective parameters per second rate, it is not shown in the table.edabest-measure-1
  • A summary report for all performance tests that show acceptable message generation and transmission timing across the full range of data collection test criteria must be available.
  • Detailed SOAP logs for specific performance tests must be available on request.

In Conclusion

Red_smart_factory-TW

We hope you now have some appreciation for the importance of solid requirements in this area, and can accurately assess how well your current purchase specifications express your actual needs. If you want to know more about a well-defined process for improving your specifications, or have any other questions regarding the status and outlook of the EDA standards, and how they can be implemented, please contact us.

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Topics: Industry Standards, EDA/Interface A, Doing Business with Cimetrix, Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0, Cimetrix Products

Resources Round-up: Ebooks

Posted by Kimberly Daich; Director of Marketing on Jun 19, 2019 11:23:00 AM

Resource Center-1The Cimetrix Resource Center is a great tool for anyone who wants to learn more about industry standards including Equipment Connectivity and Control, data gathering, GEM (SECS/GEM)EDA/Interface A, and more. These standards are among the key enabling technologies for the Smart Manufacturing and Industry 4.0 global initiatives that are having a major impact on many industries. Manufacturers and their equipment suppliers must be able to connect equipment and other data sources, gather and analyze data in real time, and optimize production through a wide variety of applications. The free eBooks listed below provide in-depth coverage of the some of these concepts.  They have been written by technical experts who have participated in and led the standards development processes for more than two decades.

Be sure to stop by our Resource Center any time or download the white papers directly from the links in this posting.

Resources

Topics: Industry Standards, SECS/GEM, EDA/Interface A, Doing Business with Cimetrix, Programming Tools, Photovoltaic/PV Standards, Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0

Meet the Front Office Team: Jake Strong

Posted by Cimetrix on Jun 12, 2019 11:30:00 AM

cimetrix-jake-strong-controllerIt's time to meet the folks that keep Cimetrix running - our Front Office team! Meet Jake Strong,  Cimetrix Controller. Read on to learn a little bit more about Jake.

How long have you worked at Cimetrix?

I've been at Cimetrix for 4 years and 4 months.

What is your role at Cimetrix?

Controller

What drew you to Cimetrix originally?

I was coming from a company where my role was highly specialized and I was looking to work for a company where I could have a more involved and comprehensive role in the accounting department. Cimetrix provided me with that opportunity. In addition, once I had my first interview, I was immediately drawn in by the friendliness of the admin team and impressiveness of the executive team.

What do you enjoy most about the work you do?

I really enjoy the people with whom I work. I also enjoy that my position enables me to work with all of the other departments within Cimetrix; that gives me the opportunity to work with nearly every employee and to be involved with all aspects of the company.

What do you find to be most challenging about your job?

A result of working in a role that touches so many other parts of the company is that I frequently come up against projects that are unrelated to any of my previous work experience. However, this has enabled me to gain a lot of valuable exposure to areas beyond just accounting and to develop critical thinking and research skills that will serve me in all of my professional life.  

What are your top 3 favorite books and/or movies?

Ever since streaming TV took off I have been watching fewer and fewer movies. So, I’ll give you my top 3 TV series: Seinfeld, Game of Thrones and VEEP.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like to be outdoors as much as possible. During the summer I spend a lot of time at the pool or paddle boarding at the lake with my wife and 3 kids. We also like to camp, hike and explore all of the amazing state and national parks that Utah has to offer; in the winter I snowboard while I wait for summer to start again. I also like to gather around good food and sporting events with my family and friends.

Topics: Doing Business with Cimetrix, Cimetrix Company Culture, Meet Our Team

Cimetrix had a great showing at SEMICON Southeast Asia!

SEMICON-SEA-Asia-2018Cimetrix just finished exhibiting at SEMICON Southeast Asia for the first time. And a grand entrance it was. Located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, this is one of the regional SEMICON shows put on by SEMI, a global industry association serving the manufacturing supply chain for the electronics industry. Southeast Asia is a hotbed for semiconductor backend and PCBA (SMT) industries. With our new employee Raymund Yeoh located in Penang, Malaysia; combined with our distribution partner Electrotek based out of Singapore, Cimetrix now has a strong presence to support Industry 4.0 adoption in Southeast Asia. 

semicon-sea-post-1-1By working closely with SEMI, Cimetrix had a new booth in the SEMI Smart Manufacturing Pavilion and an impressive demonstration in the SEMI Smart Manufacturing Journey.

Our new booth emphasized (1) our global reach as the world’s largest supplier of equipment connectivity and control software, (2) our new SapienceTM factory side platform which has beta installations at select major EMS and electronics manufacturing sites, and (3) our new EquipmentTestTM connectivity tester designed to make equipment connectivity easier than ever before.

booth-semi-sea-1Our booth was extremely busy the whole time with demonstrations of Sapience and EquipmentTest. We gave out vouchers for free copies of EquipmentTest to booth visitors which generated excitement and will increase learning for GEM connectivity in Southeast Asia. It was interesting to see the number of factory engineers and managers who visited us seeking help with getting their equipment connected for traceability and OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness). And we had the answers. Right next door to our booth was the SEMI Smart Manufacturing Journey which had guided tours demonstrating the use of Industry 4.0 throughout the electronics manufacturing supply chain. Our job was to demonstrate data collection using standards from live equipment in real time displaying OEE charts and data for each tour to witness. Setting this up can take months in a factory. Our Smart Factory Business Team is out to turn this problem upside down. They connected to all 4 live equipment in one day and were ready to go at the start of the show. And we are ready to do that in factories too. 

mike-semi-sea-tourHere is Mike and Jesse giving a demonstration to a tour group. The equipment is located right behind the crowd for all to see; with Sapience displaying data and the crowd taking pictures. SEMI did a great job organizing this. We had top government officials, factories, equipment manufacturers, electronics distributors and universities come through the tours. We also exceeded expectations by adding artificial intelligence to the demonstration. Amazon Alexa was integrated into Sapience which allowed us to ask Alexa which factory was most productive last week. Alexa and Sapience analyzed the data and gave the answer to the tour crowd.

We have many new opportunities to follow up; and we will be working with SEMI on how to help companies in Southeast Asia learn and adopt Industry 4.0.

Following the show, our team spread out to visit the rapidly growing Cimetrix customer base in Penang, Korea, India and China with support from our local teams. See you next year in SEMICON Southeast Asia!

Buy EquipmentTest Today

 

Topics: Doing Business with Cimetrix, Events, Global Services, Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0, Cimetrix Products

Getting Your Software Engineering Resume Noticed

Posted by Brice Laris MPC, CPLP; Human Resources Manager on May 16, 2019 10:30:00 AM

Show your Talent card with colorful background with defocused lightsAsk ten different people and you will be told ten different ways to write your resume. Some people say education should be up front, others say to focus on your job history, but the reality is you need to write your resume for those who are going to read it. Your resume isn’t a story about what a wonderful and diverse person you are, it needs to provide information quickly and concisely about your ability to do the job. As a software engineer, the temptation is to write your resume for other engineers, which you should, but you also need to think about everyone who will see your resume. There are three people you should keep in mind when writing your resume:

  1. The Human Resources person who will initially look at your resume
  2. The Hiring Manager who will ultimately decide who to interview and hire
  3. The Potential Co-Workers on your team, who may contribute to the hiring decision and be involved in the interview

The Human Resources person will most often be the first person who will review your resume. That person will be looking to see if you meet the minimum requirements for the position, such as:

  • Do you have the required education?
  • Do you have the years of experience?
  • Have you worked in this industry before or something similar?

Back view of modern programmer sitting and writing code in dark roomSometimes the HR person looking at your resume will be familiar with a few software engineering terms, but their degree is often in a non-technology field. So, the easier you can make it for the person to determine the answers to the above three questions, the better. If your degree is in computer science or a related degree, put that before your job history. This is often an easy hurdle that HR uses to determine who is qualified and who is not, so get it out of the way immediately. As part of your education, list the programming languages you studied and which ones you are proficient in. You might even put in a sentence or two about how any class projects relate to the position you are applying for. 

BS – Computer Science, Westminster College                      Graduation Date: 6/1/2018
              
Proficient in: C++, C#, Java
               Studied: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Visual Basic
               Completed class project with C# to create an application to manage multiple devices.

Notice in the above example that Amazon Web Services (AWS) is spelled out. Don’t assume your HR person knows all of the common abbreviations in the industry. Spell them out on first usage with the abbreviation in parenthesis. Then you can just use the abbreviation going forward. 

Now it is time for work history on the resume. You will want to demonstrate the experience you have that is related to the position. Your job as a stock boy at House of Fabrics when you were a teenager can be left off. When listing job history put the name of the company, years worked, a short sentence about what the company does, and three or four bullets that illustrate experience you obtained that qualified for the position you are applying for. If you are struggling with how to describe the company, look it up on Wikipedia.com. They will often have a one sentence description written for you that you can borrow.

SK Hynix - Software Engineer                                                     January, 2001 – March, 2016
               Semiconductor supplier of dynamic random access memory chips and flash memory chips.
               - Developed C++ application that laser measures the drill depths of holes in circuit boards.
               - Worked on a team to create a database of company products that could be accessed via AWS.
               - Interacted with customers on installation of support software products, customized in C#.

Finally, if there are particular projects, applications or accomplishments that speak to your ability to perform the job desired, list those in a heading called “Accomplishments.” Remember, the HR person doesn’t care if you were an Eagle Scout, Student Body President or Employee of the Month three times in a row. They are looking to see if you can do the job. Look at the job description and determine if any of the accomplishments you have achieved relate. If so, include them in a couple of sentences.

Accomplishments
- Served on the board of directors of semi.org, and worked with 14 companies on implementation of Generic Equipment Model (GEM) standards.Above view of young consultant shaking hands with her client

The second person who will look at your resume is the hiring manager. They are going to be focused on can you do the job required. While the HR Person may understand in general terms what the job does, it is the hiring manager who is closest to the job and can make the judgment call as to who can do the job. The hiring manager is going to be looking to see if you have performed similar work elsewhere of if dissimilar work could actually be translated into similar skills at the new employer. You might illustrate this by putting adding another bullet that illustrates this.

IKEA – Computer Support Technician                                      March, 2016 – June 2018
Designs and sells ready to assemble furniture, appliances and home accessories.
- Provided technical support for store operations employees with desktop and Point of Sale (POS) software.
- Developed enhancement in C#, to POS software, to allow for the automation of the credit card reconciliation process on a nightly basis. This software was required to operate with no user intervention and pull the databases of over 100 stores across the world.

So, while the software enhancement above didn’t make microchips, it did demonstrate your ability to create software with no user interaction, automation, via networking, authored in C#. If you are applying outside of your industry, these explanations become critical so that the hiring manager still considers you a viable candidate.

As with the HR Person, don’t assume the hiring manager was an engineer. Some companies will promote people who are good managers, but not necessarily skilled in the area they are managing. If you can demonstrate your ability to clearly communicate to a layperson, this will be another point in your favor.

Learn about all the career possibilities at Cimetrix!

Careers

Topics: Doing Business with Cimetrix, Cimetrix Company Culture

Cimetrix is Exhibiting at SEMICON Southeast Asia

Posted by Kimberly Daich; Director of Marketing on May 1, 2019 8:49:00 AM

SEMICON2019 WEB BANNER- 200SEMICON Southeast Asia is coming up at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) in Kuala Lumpur on May 7-9. Cimetrix is exhibiting at the show this year for the first time ever! In addition, we are pleased to announce our sponsorship of the new SMART Manufacturing Journey at the Global Pavilion. If you are attending SEMICON Southeast Asia this year, please stop by to see us at our Booth (#528) or meet with our team in the Pavilion.

Petronas_Panorama_IISEMICON Southeast Asia has become an important exposition for the electronics industry in Southeast Asia, so we are excited to be exhibiting. In the booth you can see all of our connectivity and control products in action. A few short steps away is the Smart Manufacturing Journey, where you can hear one of our industry experts speak at the Smart Manufacturing Pavilion. 

In particular, Ranjan Chatterjee, VP & GM Smart Factory Business at Cimetrix, will share his thoughts on the "Consolidation of the Electronics Supply Chain and its Impact on a Data-driven Deployment Strategy for Smart Manufacturing" at the Technology Innovation - Smart Manufacturing & Smart Data Forum at 3:50pm on Tuesday, 07 May. 

If you'd like to schedule an appointment, please fill out our events meeting form by clicking below. Otherwise, we hope you'll drop by and see us during the show!

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Topics: Doing Business with Cimetrix, Events, Global Services, Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0

The 19th Annual European APC Conference is in the books!

Posted by Alan Weber: Vice President, New Product Innovations on Apr 23, 2019 10:34:00 AM

apcm20191Cimetrix participated in the recent European Advanced Process Control and Manufacturing (apc|m) Conference, along with over 150 control professionals across the European and global semiconductor manufacturing industry. This site of this year’s conference was Villach, Austria, a picturesque town nestled in the eastern Alps just north of the Italian border in the state of Carinthia. This region is home to a number of high-tech companies and institutions all along the semiconductor manufacturing value chain, and since it was the first time the conference was held in Villach, the local hosts rolled out the red carpet. apcm20192-2

This conference, now in its 19th year and organized by Silicon Saxony, is one of only a few global events dedicated to the domain of semiconductor process control and directly supporting technologies. As usual, the conference was very well organized, and featured a wide range of high-quality presentations, keynote addresses, and tutorial sessions. The supplier exhibits associated with this year’s event were especially numerous, as were the technical posters displayed in the exhibition area just outside the conference rooms.

As in many prior years, Cimetrix was privileged to present at this conference, as Alan Weber delivered a talk entitled “Addressing Connectivity Challenges of Disparate Data Sources in Smart Manufacturing.” The presentation highlighted the need for unifying data collection concepts—like explicit equipment models and generic structures for data collection plans—are increasing necessary for maintaining the fidelity of a factory’s “digital twin” in Smart Manufacturing settings where the number of data source types is growing. This presentation resonated with a number of the key conference themes, so if you want to know more, feel free to download a copy of the entire presentation from our web site.

apc20193-1Other highlights of the conference included:

  • An update by Otto Graf on the ambitious vision and progress of the BOSCH 300mm wafer fab now under construction in Dresden. In this talk he emphasized the role that digital technologies will play in bringing up the fab and climbing the yield ramp and other features of a wall-to-wall Industrie 4.0 implementation. apcm20194-1
  • “The Role of APC and Smart Manufacturing / Industrie 4.0 in New Reliability-Critical Markets“ by James Moyne (University of Michigan / Applied Materials) – James re-presented a number of the Smart Manufacturing technologies in the context of automotive industry requirements, especially the role that Subject Matter Expertise (i.e., people!) will play alongside other emerging technologies. He also pointed out that the Factory Integration chapter of the International Roadmap for Devices and Systems (IRDS) will be reorganized around the key tenets of Smart Manufacturing.

  • A thought-provoking invited talk from Dr. Roman Kern of the KNOW-CENTER titled “Possibilities and Challenges of Digitalization in the Semiconductor and Other Domains.” His key messages started with “Big Data is the new oil…. AI is the new electricity… and Data Science is the new lingua franca for leading global industries,” and then he went deeper into all of these.

  • Dr. Germar Schneider of Infineon Technologies built on the theme above in a practical setting with his “Chances and Challenges of Digitization in Semiconductor Fabs and Success Factors during the implementation” presentation. This was not only an in-depth look at some of the multi-year efforts at Infineon, but also included a summary of current digitization projects across the European manufacturing R&D community. 

  • apcm20195-1Another invited talk from BMW was delivered by Rainer Hohenhoff which covered “Product Data and Product Life Cycle Management in the face of new business models of the automotive industry.” In short, it discussed many of the ways a car company might make money even after people stop buying as many cars as they do today… and what collisions (pun intended) you could expect in the market as service companies like Google, Amazon, UBER, and others converge on the transportation consumer. 

There were poignant moments as well. After 19 years of personal dedication to this event, both Gitta Haupold of Silicon Saxony and Dr. Klaus Kabitzsch, Program Committee Chair from Technical University of Dresden are retiring. They will definitely be missed!

apcm20196-1The insights gained from these and the other 30+ presentations are too numerous to list here, but in aggregate, they provided an excellent reminder of how relevant semiconductor technology has become for our comfort, sustenance, safety, and overall quality of life. 

This conference and its sister conference in the US are excellent venues to understand what manufacturers do with all the data they collect, so if this topic piques your interest, be sure to put these events on your calendar in the future. In the meantime, if you have questions about any of the above, or want to know how equipment connectivity and control fit into the overall Smart Manufacturing landscape, please contact us!

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Topics: Industry Standards, Semiconductor Industry, Doing Business with Cimetrix, Events, Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0