Optimal+ touts Global Ops for Electronics, IBM Watson collaboration at Apex Expo

Feb. 19, 2017

San Diego, CA. Optimal+ highlighted its Global Ops for Electronics software at IPC Apex Expo. The software, which complements the company’s original semiconductor capability, was first presented at NIWeek last summer. At the time, the company described Global Ops for Electronics as the foundation of a comprehensive platform for electronics companies developing end-market products (smartphones, networking servers, data servers, or automotive systems to collect, analyze, and act on manufacturing and in-use data across a distributed supply chain.

Also at Apex, Optimal+ highlighted a recent initiative undertaken in conjunction with IBM to provide insight on how big-data product analytics can provide value-chain visibility and brand protection for electronics products. That initiative was first disclosed at CES 2017 in January.

In a phone briefing after CES but before Apex, VP of business development Kiki Ohayon said electronics companies face a growing need for analytic solutions that combine data collection and analysis with product and component manufacturing data and in-field performance data. The goal is to identify complex composite product issues that can result in brand damage to global OEMs.

Ohayon described how Optimal+ is integrating the IBM Watson IoT Platform with the Optimal+ Manufacturing Intelligence IIoT Platform to provide electronics OEMs with complete value-chain visibility for any electronic product from cradle to grave and enabling the prevention and detection of composite manufacturing issues before catastrophic brand damage can occur. He cited the Samsung Note7 recall as “a strategic warning” that a “0.005% failure rate can have disastrous consequences.”

With respect to automotive applications, Ohayon cited J.D. Power estimates that the industry is experiencing a 3% year-over-year decline in vehicle dependability, with audio, communication, entertainment, and navigation (ACEN) being particularly problematic. In addition, he said, the industry is shifting from three-year warranty exposure today with ACEN devices to 15-year liability exposure as ADAS systems proliferate. Any weak link—chip, board, system, car—can break the chain of quality.

Quality, Ohayon said, is traditionally defined in terms of pass/fail but is instead a continuum, with failures that appear to be stochastic perhaps being systematic. He advised examining the full range of product data across all stages of production—including parametric data, environmental conditions, machine data, and repair/rework data—to develop a quality index based on “device DNA.” The goal, he said, is to progress “from the voice of the machine to the voice of the product.”

The initiative with IBM, Ohayon said, leverages the Optimal+ manufacturing intelligence solution with IBM Watson in-use analytics. In the short term, the initiative will track quality issues back to root causes at the component and manufacturing level and assign warranty claims. Medium-term efforts will uncover root-cause and recurring quality issues and provide correlation with manufacturing parameters. Long-term goals include optimizing the selection of design options, vendors, and manufacturing partners.

OCM, OEM silos

Also at IPC Apex Expo, Optimal+ SQN (Suppliers Quality Network), which bridges the data devide between semiconductor and electronics companies working in silos. SQN, the company said, helps OEMs and OCMs rapidly identify root causes, facilitate adaptive test, and initiate targeted recalls.

SQN involves collecting board-test data at a board-assembly contract manufacturer and feeding it back to the OCM, which in turn feeds forward relevant chip test data for augmented analytics.

Optimal+ joins IIC

Finally, Optimal+ announced it has joined the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC). David Park, VP of worldwide marketing, said, “The Industrial Internet of Things will have a tremendous impact on industries worldwide. The application of smart manufacturing, combined with the collection and analysis of in-use/field-stage data, will deliver powerful insights to brand owners and enable them to achieve dramatic improvements in manufacturing operations. Optimal+ is pleased to join the IIC and looks forward to working with the organization to enable brand owners and their suppliers to measurably improve operational performance and product consistency across the global supply chain.”

Dr. Richard Soley, executive director, Industrial Internet Consortium, said in a press release, “With the explosion of IoT devices entering the market, high-quality solutions are critical to electronics and semiconductor manufacturers, especially those outfitting autonomous vehicles.  Optimal+ expertise is a welcome addition to the Industrial Internet Consortium as we further the growth of the industrial Internet.”

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