Printed Circuit Boards, HDI, IC Substrates

New Industry 4.0 uses mean PCB manufacturers must focus operational excellence efforts on the challenges of high mix and complete traceability.


New applications in IoT, communication, automotive, medical and aerospace bring higher product complexity, high mix, as well as cost, and agility to deliver. At the same time, pressures mount from material availability and cost, regulatory requirements and handling constant change and traceability requirements.

With an array of complex products moving through a demanding manufacturing environment. PCB manufacturers need more than manufacturing visibility. With mistakes now more costly, companies need a flexible manufacturing system capable of connecting to the latest IoT and automation as well as office-based systems.


Critical Manufacturing MES for PCB addresses the unique challenges of all segments of the PCB industry: high-density interconnect (HDI), IC substrates, and commodity PCBs. At a time when copper foil and substrate glass materials can be expensive, Critical Manufacturing MES supports facilities in delivering perfect quality to the most demanding specifications and full reporting on all processes, whether traditional or additive manufacturing.

Achieve full traceability and a 3D digital twin for instant views of equipment status

Leverage Industrial IoT with a distributed architecture designed for Industry 4.0

Boost flexibility to easily model lines for high-mix, low volume, frequent changeovers

Speed new product introduction by improving quality and yield in a way that’s visible to engineering, production and R&D

Speedy, confident decisions leveraging all information for continuous improvement


Ability to compete effectively, respond to customer requirements, deal with constant change, and deliver the highest quality and reliability even for complex new and regulated products.

Become Industry 4.0 ready, where Smart equipment and IoT enabled products can help guide the production process. Critical Manufacturing MES is designed to work with all of the new IoT protocols for integration and automation and to share intelligence across enterprise-wide systems.

Our advanced manufacturing execution and intelligence capabilities enable you to improve decision-making and manufacturing flexibility. With a complete set of easily configurable and smoothly integrated modules fulfilling the most challenging Agility, Visibility and Reliability requirements.

Agility: Improve yield, production flexibility and equipment utilization with an integrated process, materials management and advanced manufacturing intelligence system

Visibility: See the current state of production in a 3D live digital twin, improve real-time decision-making in complex and variable production environments

Reliability: Improve NPI confidence with automation, control, closed-loop quality management and traceability exceeding the highest customer standards and specifications

Case study

An integrated approach to traceability for a fresh start. AT&S MES project for new substrate facility.
by Julie Fraser, Iyno Advisors

Austria Technologie & Systemtechnik Aktiengesellschaft (AT&S), a leader in the high-end printed circuit board (PCB) market, was building a new plant in China to manufacture integrated circuit (IC) substrates, not PCBs. AT&S recognized that their new substrate production facility would need effective automated information flows to handle all of the data for their products.

This case study showcases Critical Manufacturing MES selection factors by AT&S and the main aspects considered in the project:

business challenges,

structured approach,

project team,

project plan,

selection process.


The Reality of the Early Journey to Industry 4.0: Lessons from AT&S

Many manufacturers are on their journey to Industry 4.0. Listen to what you can expect from Alois Schacherl, Group Manager IT Manufacturing Services for AT&S, a leading manufacturer of high end advanced printed circuit boards (PCBs) worldwide. Alois has led the AT&S journey, first implementing MES in a plant in Chongqing China and since then in Hinterberg Austria.

Tune in to learn:

Why MES is the foundation of Industry 4.0 and how to select one that is Industry 4.0 ready

Considerations for a building a digital factory in a high mix plant with 1000s of products

What benefits the New MES delivers in different plants

Ways AT&S is preparing for predictive maintenance

How to minimize the challenges of equipment integration, process understanding, and scenario mapping

How MES helps to overcome the Industry 4.0 skills shortage
See Webinar