Ensuring Effective Big Data Acquisition Improves Product Manufacturing Quality

Recently, Mike Weir, a 20-year veteran of enterprise test automation and Enterprise Data Architect at Optimal+ shared his thoughts on how “Ensuring Effective Big Data Acquisition Improves Product Manufacturing Quality” in EBN.  In this article, Mike discusses the benefits of collecting usable data across disparate supply chains, mapping and harnessing data, and deriving valuable insights from big data that will improve overall manufacturing quality in the semiconductor and electronics industries.


Quality Failure Brings Takata Corporation’s 84 Year History to Bankruptcy

Described by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as “the most significant safety issue in the history of the United States,” the massive global recall of Takata’s air bag inflators has driven this established Japanese company to declare bankruptcy. This is a cautionary tale with particular relevance today for an industry on the verge of producing autonomous or “self-driving” vehicles that are extremely dependent on electronics quality.
As this June 25th Bloomberg article, “Roiled by Airbag Recall Crisis, Takata Files for Bankruptcy” suggests, the commercial exposure goes well beyond Takata. Over the last eight years, the recall requirement in the U.S. alone affects 43 million vehicles from brands including GM, Honda and Volkswagen, with only 38 percent of these vehicles retrofitted, leaving 27 million vehicles yet to be corrected and still vulnerable to failure.

This is a prime example of the need for greater in-depth quality management throughout the global supply chain. The complexity of manufacturing vehicles via a massive global supply chain has been daunting, and the rapid growth of electronics to replace hydro-mechanical components to perform fundamental tasks such as steering and braking has made quality testing a mission-critical assignment. To meet the quality expectations that the marketplace will demand, the automotive industry needs to broadly adopt big data product analytics to automatically monitor and correct product quality issues across all aspects of its global supply chain, especially when it comes to electronics.

The time to focus on electronic product quality is now, as the stakes will only get higher.

SEMICON West 2017 is Underway

The biggest exhibition in the US for the semiconductor industry is going on this week at Moscone Center in San Francisco. SEMICON West is underway with many great topics that touch on big data analytics and the growing need for quality management in manufacturing operations. The SMART automotive program has many leaders in the automotive industry presenting on ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) including two of our customers: NVIDIA and Qualcomm. SMART manufacturing is another timely topic, discussing traceability across the global supply chain. If you liked this program, you can also hear our Data Scientist, Dan Sebban, talk about our vision for how semiconductor and electronics companies can collaborate using their manufacturing data to create a win-win for both sides. He is presenting on a “Supplier Quality Network” at TestVision2020 on Weds at 11:05am in the Marriott Marquis Hotel. And finally if you are interested on how data can be shared across the supply chain, here is an interview with our CTO, Michael Schuldenfrei from semiengineering.com.

McKinsey Sees Opportunities Ahead for Fabs that Embrace Big Data Analytics

Semiconductor fabs are under significant pressure to increase efficiencies and get quality products to market in less time. In parallel, they face ever-growing complexities in managing the production environment, which make that goal even harder to achieve. According to a recent McKinsey & Company article:

  • Test and verification times during the design process have shown an industry-wide increase of 50%.
  • The NPI process can involve 12-18 months of debugging before a new product is ready for ramp up.
  • 30% of capital expenditures during assembly and test relate to tests that do not add value – but are nonetheless necessary.

All of this points to the need for a fresh disruptive approach to advanced analytics that can help close the gap between reducing time-to-market and increasing product quality.

 In their recent article “Reimagining fabs: Advanced analytics in semiconductor manufacturing”, McKinsey & Company tackle the subject of transforming efficiencies in the fab head-on. Through interviews with leading analytics vendors, including two Optimal+ executives, CTO Michael Schuldenfrei and VP of Business Development Yitzhak Ohayon, the article addresses the exciting opportunities that advanced data analytics present to fabs in transforming the manufacturing supply chain.

We are proud to help make it happen – and to be included by McKinsey in their article. Read the full article here.


What we do with IoT analytics is really cool. Just ask Gartner.

It’s not every day that big data analytics for semiconductor and electronics manufacturing gets the cool label. But that’s precisely what Gartner did in recognizing Optimal+ as a Cool Vendor in IoT Analytics for 2017.

So what’s so hot about our offering that that we get kudos for being cool?

We may be living in the age of the Internet of Things (IoT) but its success ultimately hinges on assuring the Quality of Things (QoT). Bottom line, no one wants an expensive piece of technological wonder that leaves them wondering why they bought it in the first place. With so many embedded sensors in IoT devices carrying on conversations with each another, quality is not a nice-to-have extra – it’s mission critical.

And that’s why Optimal+ is so cool. Because cool is about creating a multi-industry digital thread to give semi and electronics brand owners “cradle-to-grave” visibility into their manufactured products. Cool is correlating data and drawing actionable insights between tests from any facility and any phase of manufacturing. Cool is enabling backwards and forwards feeding of data so that the DNA of any product with electronic content is fully traceable. Cool is preventing panic and massive recalls because you can target the specific problem, down to a faulty board or bad wafer lot.  Cool is having the peace of mind that comes with brand protection, because you know you have your Quality of Things covered.

Cool is also about recognition. If you haven’t read the Gartner report yet, check it out.