Optimal+: Refining Electronics Manufacturing Through Lifecycle Analytics

Optimal+: Refining Electronics Manufacturing Through Lifecycle Analytics

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Michael Schuldenfrei, Technology Fellow, Optimal+Michael Schuldenfrei, Technology Fellow
A significant part of innovations incorporated in cars over the last few years are driven by electronics. However, in 2017, a leading automobile manufacturer stated that 22 percent of its warranty costs stem from electronics components failure. Car recall rates have tripled recently, and a majority of them have been those that were electronics-dependant to a higher degree. Because electronics product manufacturers rely heavily on third-party electronics component manufacturing partners spread globally, concerns abound over component quality. As electronics component suppliers use different measurement parameters and systems, there are growing cases of product failures, resulting in annual losses of more than millions of dollars for companies in the automotive, consumer electronics, and data center industries.

Coming from a rich semiconductor industry background—with a history in PCB assembly and electronic control units—Optimal+ helps companies from the automotive, data center, and consumer electronics industries to practice smart manufacturing with high levels of reliability and efficiency. Unlike the competitors who provide analytics at the machine level, Optimal+ offers product-level analytics solution, life cycle analytics, which guarantees early detection of faulty electronics component in a board, faster troubleshooting, and improved time to market of quality products.

Michael Schuldenfrei, Technology Fellow at Optimal+, highlights that they have set a new standard in enabling visibility across the electronics supply chain. The company’s unique approach of getting involved early into the component or product manufacturing and overlaying an analytics layer on quality real-time data has delivered great results for its clients. The benefits include anomaly detection, yield and efficiency improvement, and threat prevention which improves the overall performance of the customer’s manufacturing operations.

Our ability to run analytics at the edge device and take action in near real time separates us in the market

Integrated with many of the manufacturing facilities globally, Optimal+’s analytics solution continuously collects data in real time from all the machines, equipment, and Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) involved in the production. The collected data is harmonized and analyzed for errors. In case anomalies are detected, corrective actions and alerts are triggered automatically on the equipment or in the MES . Doing so, Optimal+ brings reliability in manufacturing as it ties analytics results to manufacturing and prevents shipping of faulty products.

In a decentralized manufacturing ecosystem, it may so happen that components or chips under production may be wrongly labeled as faulty because of the ill-performing or inaccurately configured equipment that conduct an incorrect evaluation. The company identifies the incongruence in the set-up of the machines and provides insights that aid teams to ensure that the systems are perfectly optimized and that the set up works optimally. By reducing the variance between different machines, Optimal+ allows manufacturers to reduce the yield loss and produce products in high volume confidently. Besides, the analytics solution makes accurate predictions for component testing outcomes as well. “Our ability to run analytics at the edge device and take action in near real-time separates us in the market,” says Schuldenfrei.

Most of the top semiconductor chip and electronics board manufacturing companies leverage Optimal+’s life cycle analytics solution to improve their operational efficiency. Through the product-level analytics solution, major semiconductor chip design companies improve the traceability of their products. “Our clients easily trace which chip goes into which board during production,” says Schuldenfrei.

Over the next two years, Optimal+ plans to collect telemetric data from in-use components and correlate the impact on performance due to manufacturing parameters. The company’s expansion plan is aimed at contributing to a centralized data hub where product manufacturers can monitor the performance of component manufacturers.