Critical Manufacturing: Building Blocks Toward Smart Manufacturing
Francisco Almada Lobo, Co-Founder & CEO
In underpinning today’s world of the “electronic paraphernalia,” semiconductors have become a crucial component in the spectrum of gadgets that power modern life. With the growing number of electronic and IoT (Internet of Things) connect devices, manufacturers of semiconductors and electronics components are constantly under pressure to meet the increasingly complex requirements of their customers while keeping costs of production at bay. Without any doubt, advancements in the field of automation and IT integration have been a major part in scaling manufacturing processes. Of particular importance is the adoption of modern manufacturing execution systems (MES) that are the foundation of the digital transformation required to achieve industry 4.0. Over the years, companies have adopted MES in order to reduce the amount of operator support needed, and to have better process control and production visibility. “MES is continuously evolving toward occupying the full space in the manufacturing shop floor so that it can map all the physical and business processes, completely,” asserts Francisco Almada Lobo, the CEO of Critical Manufacturing. Dedicated to empowering manufacturers of complex, high-tech discrete products with manufacturing execution and intelligence systems in order to achieve their desired goals is Critical Manufacturing. The company primarily focuses on providing leading-edge manufacturing execution and equipment/automation software for industries such as Semiconductor, Electronics assembly and Medical Devices.
Lobo mentions that the fourth industrial revolution demands an extensive amount of flexibility and mobility. To help manufacturers cope with the pace and the reality of constant change, the company focuses on driving production efficiency through easy-to-implement solutions that will support both their existing and future infrastructure.
We have developed a “Manufacturing Digital Twin,” where everything that’s happening on the shop floor at all levels can be presented in real time
The approach not only provides clearer insight and guidance but also emphasizes on reducing additional costs and meeting market demands effectively. “We provide configurability and mapping capabilities to account for both manual and automatic inputs from equipment or IoT devices. We have also developed a “Manufacturing Digital Twin,” where everything that’s happening on the shop floor at all levels can be presented in real-time,” says Lobo. Thus, the company’s MES serves as the essential block for enabling smart manufacturing while being Industry 4.0-ready for advanced requirements such as utilizing the power of augmented and virtual reality.
The company recently helped two of its medical device clients—that manufacture medical equipment such as needles, catheters, and MRI machines— in their effort to be compliant with stringent FDA regulations. The clients were engaged in the manufacturing of highly complex products which involved a lot of manual processes. To solve their challenges, Critical Manufacturing’s early detection capabilities allowed them to identify bottlenecks and production inefficiencies and eliminate paper-based manual processes. This helped their clients to reduce scrap, increase production efficiency, improve product quality and gain real-time intelligence for better decision making. The client also benefitted from greater flexibility for quick changeovers so that the products could be introduced to market faster.
The company is also currently engaging large enterprise clients to manage their manufacturing implementations in multiple sites across the globe. Critical Manufacturing ensures continuous investments in its R&D resources to bring the most advanced Industry 4.0-ready products and solutions to market. Additionally, the company has engaged with ASM Pacific Technology—an equipment manufacturing company—in a strategic investment plan. “Our combined knowledge and resources will accelerate our roadmap for bringing strong business value and competitive advantage to our current customers and innovative manufacturers across our industry segments,” concludes Lobo.