October 12, 2021, PORTO, Portugal – IQE plc, the leading supplier of compound semiconductor wafer products and advanced material solutions to the global semiconductor industry, has selected Critical Manufacturing’s Manufacturing Execution System (MES) to replace legacy systems across its global business. Critical Manufacturing was selected following detailed technical discussions and evaluation based on its experience in the semiconductor industry, comprehensive functionality, and extensive configurability.
Keith Anderson, COO at IQE, commented, “The Critical Manufacturing MES has far-reaching capabilities to meet our production needs. This strategic project will transform our production with enhanced integrated process control, real-time visibility of global operations, and improved production efficiency. The system will support our goals for continuous process improvements, greater business agility, enriched quality assurance, and easier compliance.”
IQE will be installing the new MES at all its global production facilities. A core model will initially be deployed at its two facilities in South Wales, UK and then the system rolled out to IQE’s other global production sites in Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Taiwan. The configurability of the system means that IQE can use the same system model at all locations, providing it with standard processes and improved knowledge transfer across global sites.
Francisco Almada Lobo, CEO at Critical Manufacturing said, “We are delighted to be selected for this global project with a highly innovative manufacturer. IQE designs and manufactures compound semiconductor wafers or “epiwafers”, which are used in advanced electronic and photonic components, using a process called epitaxy. Our MES is specifically designed to handle highly complex processes and will enable IQE to continue to deliver world-leading quality with tight integration between applications and physical manufacturing equipment.”
The MES gives IQE the capacity to readily reschedule production needs, taking into consideration all production factors such as equipment setup and throughput time, manpower and materials availability. With its ability to integrate processes and systems, IQE will be able to increase the level of automation throughout its facilities. This will lead to improved production speed, reduced errors, and less need for manual interventions, thereby optimizing the utilization of IQE resources.
Almada Lobo continued, “Our MES solution is highly modular to deliver all the capabilities IQE requires, integrated into a single, unified solution with user configurable, intuitive graphical user interfaces. Users will have access to support their daily process routines through a single application, ensuring they have the correct information to carry out tasks swiftly and correctly.”
The MES will provide complete manufacturing traceability and visibility, ensuring correct information reaches relevant users to enable informed, fast, and error-free execution of processes. Advanced analytics and easy reporting tools will further support this digital backbone for the IQE business to reinforce strategic decision making and facilitate greater agility to respond to production or business disturbances.
The Critical Manufacturing MES supports smart manufacturing and is designed for connectivity to different protocols for legacy and new, Internet of Things (IoT) devices and production systems. It is fully designed to adapt and evolve with business demands to take IQE into the future.
Anderson concluded, “This is an exciting step for our business and part of our core automation and digitalization strategy. It gives us a platform to incorporate new technologies as they emerge and provides us with the capabilities to innovate cutting edge products and deliver world class service to our customers”.
Critical Manufacturing, a subsidiary of ASM Pacific Technology, provides the most modern, flexible and configurable manufacturing execution system (MES) available. Critical Manufacturing MES helps manufacturers stay ahead of stringent product traceability and compliance requirements; reduce risk with inherent closed-loop quality; integrate seamlessly with enterprise systems and factory automation, and provide deep intelligence and visibility of global production operations. As a result, our customers are Industry 4.0 ready. They can compete effectively and profitably by easily adapting their operations to changes in demand, opportunity, or requirements, anywhere, at any time. For more information, visit www.criticalmanufacturing.com
IQE is the leading global supplier of advanced compound semiconductor wafers and materials solutions that enable a diverse range of applications across:
As a scaled global epitaxy wafer manufacturer, IQE is uniquely positioned in this market which has high barriers to entry. IQE supplies the whole market and is agnostic to the winners and losers at chip and OEM level. By leveraging the Group’s intellectual property portfolio including know-how and patents, it produces epitaxy wafers of superior quality, yield and unit economics. IQE is headquartered in Cardiff UK, with c. 670 employees across nine manufacturing locations in the UK, US, Taiwan and Singapore, and is listed on the AIM Stock Exchange in London. For more information, visit http://iqep.com
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