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Yokogawa participates in Lunar Industry Vision Council and jointly submits recommendations to the Government of Japan

Yokogawa Electric Corporation announces that, as a participant of the Lunar Industry Vision Council, it has worked with other members from government, academia, and industry to formulate a vision for a lunar industry, prepare a number of recommendations, and jointly submit them for the consideration of Inoue Shinji, Japan’s Minister of State for Space Policy.

Over the years, Yokogawa has utilised its strengths in measurement, control, and information to support industries and the infrastructure that society depends on. Plants are one element in our industrial infrastructure that have an extremely large impact on the environment and society, so efficient, safe, and secure operations even in harsh environments are extremely important.

With the growing interest in the space industry and in lunar commercial activities, Yokogawa has designated in its long-term business framework that the space field will be an area for future exploration, and the company is actively considering future business opportunities on the moon.

Examples of relevant Yokogawa strengths include a strong lineup of equipment that measures physical quantities such as power, voltage, current, light, and pressure with high accuracy, and advanced sensing technology with high performance and network capabilities. Moreover, Yokogawa has not only built up a long track record in providing distributed control systems for the monitoring and control of plant production equipment and operations, but has also acquired know-how on the optimal management of equipment throughout the plant life cycle. Additionally, by drawing on the latest digital technologies, including industrial IoT, AI, and big data, as well as its extensive domain knowledge, the company has developed a deep understanding of how to optimise operations. Moving forward, Yokogawa is looking to apply these strengths in the extreme environment of space.

Yokogawa will engage in co-creation with a range of partners to introduce self-sustaining, resource-saving technologies and comprehensive recycling solutions to enable a circular economy in space, where the air, water, food, and power needed to sustain human life are in extremely short supply, while also aiming to improve the global environment in line with the SDGs.

As it is anticipated that many different industries will expand their activities beyond the Earth, Yokogawa will continue to work with the Lunar Industry Vision Council to strengthen cooperation toward the goal of building an internationally competitive industrial base.

Official statement by the Lunar Industry Vision Council

“Since the beginning of history, human beings have expanded their sphere of existence and economic activity through the exploration of new frontiers. In the near future, humans will expand their presence beyond Earth, including near and on the Moon, and a new lunar economic system will be realised. Governments and private companies worldwide are aware of this momentum. As such, legislation is underway to support commercial activity on the Moon; scientists and academics are preparing instruments for lunar research and development; and private companies are creating new services and roadmaps to build an economic connection between the Earth to the Moon.

With this in mind, the Lunar Industry Vision Council was formed with the primary objective to realise lunar exploration activities centered on industrialisation in Japan. As such, the council convened thirty companies and organisations from across Japan to explore this effort and executive upon its objective. Following several months of dialogue and study, the council has compiled a report consisting of six resolutions and seven policy recommendations to be presented to the Japanese government.

The council is proud to announce that, on July 13, 2021, the report, which is titled, “Lunar Industry Vision: Planet 6.0” was respectfully submitted to and duly received by Minister of State for Space Policy Inoue Shinji. It is with great honor that the council may conclude this undertaking. It is the council’s strong will and anticipation that this activity will lead to a “Lunar Industrial Revolution,” creating a private sector-led lunar industry that can provide benefit to Earth.”

Łukasiewicz – Institute Microelectronics and Photonics chooses Tektronix for semiconductor testing at very low currents

The Łukasiewicz Research Network – Institute of Microelectronics and Photonics has chosen to use measurement instrumentation from Tektronix and Keithley to investigate the current and voltage characteristics of wide-bandgap semiconductors.

Based in Warsaw, Poland, the Łukasiewicz – Institute of Microelectronics and Photonics conducts scientific research and development work in areas such as micro- and nanoelectronics, optoelectronics, materials engineering and power electronics. The Institute works with the country’s entrepreneurs and seeks to help the Polish economy by implementing and distributing the results of these projects.

In a recent project, the Institute sought to develop a new generation of pioneering devices and materials based on wide-bandgap semiconductors such as GaN, SiC, Ga2O3 and others for power electronics, with particular applications in fast charging stations for electric cars.

PhD Eng. Andrzej Taube of the Łukasiewicz – Institute of Microelectronics and Photonics says: “We found the biggest challenge the project posed was meeting the stringent requirements for the functionality and flexibility of the system when measuring semiconductor devices, which were in the form of both on-wafer chips and in TO-220 and TO-247 packages. “The project also required a variety of measurement procedures with some current measurements in the femtoAmp range.”

In addition, dynamic characterization of GaN power semiconductor devices presents specific challenges not encountered with other semiconductors. This involves a complex test setup to retrieve key figures such as dynamic RDS (on) or the capacitance value between the terminals. The customer also specified the need for automatic switching between high-voltage and high-current measurements without re-cabling which Tektronix equipment was able to provide.

The Łukasiewicz – IMiF chose devices from the 2600 Series of Source Meter Units (SMUs) to measure current-voltage characteristics in a wide range of voltages (up to 3kV) and current, extending from the femtoAmp range up to 50A. This series of SMUs are designed specifically to characterise and test high voltage/current electronics and power semiconductors, such as diodes, FETs, and IGBTs, high brightness LEDs and DC-DC converters.

Moreover, 2600 Series Source Measure Units, along with an ATV HV switch and Tektronix MDO3034 digital oscilloscopes, will be used to meet the need for dynamic RDS (on) measurements of GaN power transistors.

Tektronix not only supplied equipment to the Institute, but was also advised the researchers on effective measurement techniques. Dr inż. Taube says: “We received technical advice for measurements of very low current levels, below 10-14 A with good resolution.”

PhD Eng. A.Taube added: “I can definitely recommend Tektronix and Keithley products due to the wide measurement ranges of various electrical quantities, a wide and unique range of measurement procedures offered and their ease of use and configuration. They also offer the flexibility to expand the system with new measurement possibilities in the future, as well as good price, quality and quick and trouble-free help and technical advice.”

Maria Heriz, Present EMEAI, Tektronix, commented: “At Tektronix, we are dedicated to supporting our customers throughout all their endeavors. We are delighted to have been able to provide the Lukasiewicz – Institute of Microelectronics and Photonics with not only high-quality equipment to match their requirements, but also high-level technical advice to benefit their project and ensure innovative work can continue.”

INSPECTRA – Bringing fresh ideas to food quality inspection

Inndeo, a Spanish company founded in 2016, uses Specim’s hyperspectral imaging technology to improve the quality inspection processes in the food industry by increasing automation. With this new technology, they can detect contamination and defects in the production lines and characterise different food quality parameters.

From opportunity to an industrial partner

In 2014, Daniel Artal and Emilio J. de la Red found a business opportunity to integrate new technologies into quality inspection automation. They learned that the industry manages these duties with traditional manual labor and machine vision equipment with limited detection capabilities. So they founded Inndeo in 2016, and in 2018 started to work with hyperspectral imaging to detect more complex contamination problems.

Currently, they develop and manufacture machine vision solutions for the food industry under the INSPECTRA brand. With their approach of selecting the most appropriate technologies to solve their customer’s quality problems and automate their production processes, they have gathered a clientele consisting of large Spanish food producers, especially in the meat sector.

Replacing manual labor and old equipment with sensor fusion

Today, food producers’ main fear is losing brand image above all the costs and repercussions of quality failures. The solutions companies use in the food sector are X-ray equipment, metal detectors, and even manual operators for certain defects. There are some artificial vision machines on the market, but most of them cannot detect defects beyond a comparison of a colour palette.

INSPECTRA’s advantage is their integration of different technologies, sensor fusion, to improve the detection capabilities. One of the benefits is the digitalised quality and production data from the production lines. This high amount of data allows companies to apply BI techniques to rate their providers’ quality and detect production inefficiencies to improve their productivity.

Advancing from detecting defects and contamination to quality parameters

The main challenge was to choose the most suitable vision technology for each of their equipment to capture and process the images online.

Hyperspectral imaging allowed them to perform the most complex contamination detection outside the visible light spectrum. Like melted grease in the heat-sealed area of packages, it goes undetected by the human eye and other inspection technologies.

“The main reason we decided to implement hyperspectral imaging technology in our equipment was that no other technology was able to detect particular contamination and defects in the products and also characterise different quality parameters of the food,” Emilio J. de la Red, Chief Technical Innovation Officer of INSPECTRA, commented.

An added benefit was that they could classify different quality parameters from the food products with hyperspectral imaging.

The capture of hyperspectral images and the compose of chemical images requires a high load of computation. Moreover, integrating all that software in a robust machine that needs to work three shifts per day in a harsh environment was a challenge that required much hard work.

Both the use and the configuration of Specim cameras are simple in everyday life. They have the advantage of usability of a conventional camera despite being cameras with specific technology. The tricky part comes later, after the image capturing; the most challenging part is processing the images, associating the different spectral signatures, and obtaining the images in different tones according to the chemical composition.

Selecting the right partner

To succeed in integrating hyperspectral imaging into industrial equipment, INSPECTRA needed to choose the right partner. Specim is the world’s leading provider of hyperspectral imaging and is selected by numerous research laboratories, including world-renowned centers. This gave them the confidence to start the collaboration. The decision was easy when they learned the features and benefits Specim offered as a supplier.

“We have tested other suppliers for different types of technologies, but for hyperspectral imagining technology, we have trusted Specim since our beginning. We continue to work with them as a supplier to this day because they have always offered us the best solutions and have solved our problems very quickly whenever we have needed them,” added Emilio J de la Red.

Excellent results

Specim technology has allowed them to detect different types of defects and contaminations, undetectable to the human eye and other technologies. They have successfully used hyperspectral imaging in many various applications:

  • Contamination of heat-sealed packages
  • Contamination in shrimp and different fish production lines
  • The freshness of different products, meat, fish, vegetables
  • Contamination and quality of wool
  • Composition and contamination detection of various minced meats
  • Quality and contamination detection in pork meat

For example, they use Specim FX17 cameras, available from Quantum Design UK & Ireland, to classify different defects from the meat samples. Detecting PSE (pale, soft, and exudative) defects from the meat samples are difficult to see with the naked eye. The same goes for both bones and tendons.

“Yes, the solution met our expectations because we could superficially detect defects in meat samples that were difficult to distinguish due to the similarity with shades in certain parts of the meat through this technology. In addition, this technology allows us to know the different chemical components of each product or element and thus assign them a different colour depending on their chemical composition,” explained Emilio J de la Red.

“We could detect foreign bodies, bleeding, PSE, tendons, bones, and cartilage in the samples without any problems. The only challenging defect is the holes in the meat. Hyperspectral cameras see the hole as an area of flesh (same material) but with shadow (less brightness).”

Endless amount of applications

The experience of working with Specim has been very satisfying for INSPECTRA. Both the cameras and the technology are easy to use and adapted perfectly to the different applications.

For the future, INSPECTRA is looking for native software from Specim, as the full integration into their machines has proven to be challenging with third-party software. However, given the multiple applications of the developed chemical image analysing technology, they will apply it to developing new equipment to detect contamination and quality inspection of many different food items. In addition, in the long-term future, they may build products with this technology for other sectors.

When asked what Emilio J. de la Red would like to say to other companies looking for a technology partner, he concluded: “We would advise choosing Specim as a supplier of hyperspectral vision technology if they want to choose a supplier with solid experience, who offers a wide range of products to choose the technology that best suits their needs and offers excellent service and response time.”

Disinfection of high touch/traffic areas

SteriLumen was founded in 2016 with the goal of helping hospitals combat HAIs (healthcare associated infections) with their patented UVC-based disinfection solutions. Each year millions of people contract an infectious disease from a hospital, assisted living, long-term care facility, or other healthcare environment; and nearly 100,000 die. These infections cost the healthcare industry billions in lost reimbursements and fines each year. With the onset of the pandemic, these facilities quickly started seeing their profits slide into the red.

At its founding SteriLumen focused its efforts on disinfection of high-touch and high-traffic surfaces and sink drains. These areas are particularly susceptible to harbouring germs and bacteria that can be easily transferred from one person to the next. Manually cleaning these surfaces multiple times a day is neither practical nor as efficient as a disinfection system that is always working.

For disinfecting high-touch surfaces, SteriLumen launched its Lumicide Ribbon, a connected, configurable platform that can be seamlessly integrated into new spaces, or retrofitted into existing ones. The Lumicide Ribbon system is designed to always be on, providing maximum germicidal irradiation to the surface it’s disinfecting. Since UVC light is harmful to people, the Lumicide system has a dual, redundant motion sensor integrated into it ensuring that the system is switched off when someone approaches. Here, Don Simmons, Chief Engineer at SteriLumen, explains why they selected the ILT2400 UVGI Light Measurement System.

For Don, the selection of the ILT2400 was multi-fold. Prior to purchasing the radiometer, SteriLumen had been relying on software modelling to predict where the UV light was going, and at what threshold a person would be exposed to UV hazard when the device was on. On top of that, they were relying on outside testing services to validate that their system was emitting the proper amount of light, or dose, to effectively inactivate germs. These tests are expensive and time consuming, and not conducive to iterative development, ongoing improvement, and tight time lines.

“I had always worked places that had testing and validation tools on-site, and I knew if we were going to effectively meet our engineering objectives, we would need that capability here as well,” explains Don. “The addition of the ILT2400 enabled us to pull that capability in-house, saving us an enormous amount of time and resources in outside testing services,” continued Don.

With the onset of Covid the market has been flooded with all kinds of UVC devices making all kinds of claims regarding disinfection. For SteriLumen they back their claims up with data – and lots of it. Often going beyond the regulatory requirements, SteriLumen was looking to show that their system was both effective at inactivating pathogens, and safe from being a UV hazard. SteriLumen’s Lumicide systems have been UL tested for efficacy and are currently being investigated for adherence to UL8802.

Don explained: “When we received the data back from UL, our numbers were almost an exact match. There were no surprises. This gave us the confidence we would pass biological efficacy testing, which costs many thousands of dollars more, before we sent the system in.”

SteriLumen makes their independently conducted efficacy tests available upon request.

The ILT2400 not only helped SteriLumen with their development and regulatory and efficacy test preparation, it also enabled them to effectively evaluate new components from potential suppliers. As Don puts it: “We would receive in chips from all kinds of suppliers, claiming all kinds of things. We had to rely on their specifications without being able to verify them, and for us, that just wasn’t good enough.”

When explaining why he ultimately chose ILT for his meter, Don said: “Simple. I was already familiar with ILT having used your equipment previously, you’re a local company, and you have great tech support.”

Since buying their ILT2400 meter, SteriLumen also acquired Akida LLC, makers of the Airocide product line, to address air-borne pathogens such as coronavirus.

“This system,” Don explains, “is very different from the Lumicide. It uses a totally different light engine, with totally different properties. I’m just starting to get my arms around this system from an engineering perspective, but what’s been helpful is that with the addition of a second detector calibrated for that source type, the ILT2400 can validate both.”

Find out more about the ILT2400, available from Quantum Design UK & Ireland, here : https://qd-uki.co.uk/light-measurement/international-light-ilt2400-light-meter/

Global distributor Mouser Electronics adds record 62 new manufacturers in first half of 2021

Mouser Electronics, Inc., the industry’s leading New Product Introduction (NPI) distributor, continues to expand its line card by adding 62 new manufacturers to date in 2021. With more than 1,100 manufacturer brands, Mouser now offers an even wider range of product options for its global customer base of design engineers, component buyers, procurement agents, educators and students.

“With 62 new component manufacturers added in just the first half of the year, Mouser is strongly committed to maintaining our focus on NPIs while giving our customers the widest product selection in the industry,” said Jeff Newell, Mouser Electronics’ Senior Vice President of Products.

Mouser’s Global Distribution Centre handles a massive inventory of more than 1.1 million unique SKUs for semiconductors and electronic components across all product categories, including embedded, connectors, optoelectronics, passives and more. In recent years, Mouser has strengthened both of its embedded and sensors lineups to enhance its Internet of Things (IoT) product offerings.

Among the new manufacturer partners Mouser has added in 2021 are:

  • Acconeer, a leading supplier of 3D sensors and pulsed, short-range radar technologies.
  • CITEL, providing surge protectors that keep sensitive electronics safe and operations uninterrupted.
  • LORD, a leader in the management of vibration, noise, and motion control.
  • MultiTech, a leading global supplier of IoT devices and services, including sensor, authentication, and communications solutions.
  • Quectel, supplier of 5G, LTE, LTE-A, LPWA, Automotive, Android Smart, UMTS/HSPA(+), GSM/GPRS, and GNSS modules.
  • QuickLogic, a developer of embedded FPGA IP; ultra-low-power, multi-core, voice-enabled systems-on-chips (SoCs); and endpoint artificial intelligence (AI) solutions.
  • Telink Semiconductor, a fabless IC design company that develops low-power radio frequency and mixed signal system chips for IoT applications.

To see Mouser’s newest manufacturer partners, visit https://www.mouser.com/new-manufacturer/.

Tractors can ‘Plough On’ ahead thanks to Contrinex’s Inductive sensors

Modern tractors are complex, very flexible and capable machines which are constantly being developed over the century since they replaced the traction engine. Contrinex’s rugged inductive sensors, available from PLUS Automation, are utilised by a family of tractors that offer their drivers the choice between all-wheel steering for example on difficult terrain and two-wheel steering for on-road use when moving between fields or hauling loads for example.

When two-wheel steering is selected, the front wheels are used for steering and the rear axle is locked in the straight-ahead position. To ensure the precise alignment of the rear axle and the tractor’s steering geometry, Contrinex’s inductive sensors are trusted to detect the straight-ahead position accurately and reliably. The sensor was selected because of its robustness and long sensing distance which remove the possibility of the sensor being accidentally damaged.

CUSTOMER APPLICATION

A family of exceptionally versatile multi-purpose tractors provide four-wheel drive and the choice to switch between front and all-wheel steering. This added complexity needs to be absolutely reliable, on all types of terrain and in all weather conditions, because it is not uncommon for tractors to work many long days, perhaps for 18 hours or more over consecutive days at busy times like at harvest.

All-wheel steering is advantageous on extreme terrain or where increased manoeuvrability is required, for example, loading and unloading in a congested farmyard or barns. However, the default two-wheel steering configuration using the front wheels is best suited for faster driving for example for hauling on the road, where the rear axle is locked in the straight-ahead position to prevent misalignment of the rear wheels.

A rugged, reliable and accurate sensor system is required to detect the straight-ahead position of the rear axle before it is locked. The sensor must withstand significant mechanical shock and vibration and also be impervious to water ingress. Additionally, it should accommodate the extremes of temperature experienced during all-year-round operation.

CUSTOMER SOLUTION

Despite the application being a demanding one, inductive sensors from the Contrinex ‘Basic’ range, the 600 Series are rugged, reliable and able to accommodate the required extremes of temperature.

An M8-sized sensor, in a V2A/AISI 303 stainless-steel body with vacuum-encapsulated electronics, is well suited to this cost-sensitive but mechanically demanding environment, and it is rated for operation at temperatures between -25oC and 70oC.

The sensor is mounted immediately below one end of the rack and detects the position of a narrow flange attached to each end of the vehicle’s hydraulic power-steering rack. A sensing distance of 2mm eliminates any possibility of accidental collision with the flange the flange as it passes over the sensing face.

The sensor selected has a PNP output with an integral M8 connector and is connected to the vehicle’s central controller via a flexible PVC-sheathed cable. Adding the sensor requires minimal modification to the vehicle’s control systems, and maintenance is simple and speedy.

The sensor detects the straight-ahead position of the vehicle’s rear axle repeatably and accurately, ensuring the correct, reliable engagement of two-wheel steering. Contrinex inductive sensors provide the customer with a cost-effective fit-and-forget solution to a challenging problem.

Analog Devices recognised by General Motors as winner of coveted Overdrive Award

Analog Devices, Inc. has been recognised as a GM Overdrive Award winner in General Motors’ 29th annual Supplier of the Year awards. Analog Devices was one of only 26 companies to be selected as an Overdrive winner in 2020.

First presented in 2012, GM’s Overdrive Award is a distinction reserved for suppliers who display outstanding achievement within GM’s Global Purchasing and Supply Chain organisation’s key focus areas, including sustainable value streams, total enterprise cost and profitability, safety, launch excellence, accelerating innovation and nurturing relationships.

“Analog Devices has enjoyed a long and productive business relationship with General Motors,” said Vincent Roche, President and CEO of Analog Devices. “We are excited to receive the prestigious GM Overdrive Award for our wireless battery management system. This ADI technology delivers maximum flexibility for GM’s Ultium platform and enables General Motors to scale its electric vehicle fleets into volume production across a wide range of vehicle classes. The ADI team looks forward to future endeavours with General Motors.”

As part of the annual awards, GM also recognised 122 companies as a Supplier of the Year for consistently exceeding GM’s expectations, providing customers with innovative technologies and among the highest quality in the automotive industry. The recognition is for supplier performance in the 2020 calendar year.

“As GM works to achieve a future with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion, we are proud to have innovative and dedicated suppliers around the world as partners in this mission,” said Shilpan Amin, GM vice president, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain.

“Throughout a challenging year, our suppliers have showed resilience and dedication in working toward our shared goal of long-term sustainability for our planet and the communities we serve, while meeting our present needs,” Amin said. “We are pleased with what we’ve accomplished together in the past year and we are excited by the opportunity that lies ahead.”

The 2020 Supplier of the Year and Overdrive Award winners were selected by a global team of GM purchasing, engineering, quality, manufacturing and logistics leaders. Winners were chosen based on performance criteria in Product Purchasing, Global Purchasing and Manufacturing Services, Customer Care and Aftersales, and Logistics.

Digital transformation is the key to evolving the manufacturing workforce, says InfinityQS

As younger workers enter the manufacturing sector, it is imperative that manufacturers enhance their digital transformation initiatives if they want to attract the best talent. This is according to Jason Chester, Director of Global Channel Programs at InfinityQS.

To become more agile and competitive, manufacturers need to accelerate the adoption of emerging and maturing technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), automation, analytics, and cloud computing. This will give rise to the evolution towards smart factories that are driven by data and intelligence, rather than merely sweat and labour, which will be key in attracting the right talent.

Jason comments: “Young people who are now entering the industry don’t want to be performing manual and laborious tasks on the production line, they would rather spend their time working with modern data analysis tools that can quickly convert critical shop-floor data into actionable insights to optimise their operations. However, despite the pandemic accelerating digital transformation initiatives across the world, the manufacturing sector is still lagging behind in comparison to other sectors.”

A recent study conducted by InfinityQS showed that 75% of manufacturers are still collecting their data manually, with nearly half still using paper checklists to record information.

Jason continued: “It’s not that manufacturers are outright refusing to embrace digital transformation but they are resisting due to fear of failure, change management, and perhaps the biggest problem – lack of talent. After all, if you introduce these technologies, you need people who understand how to use them effectively, so it’s a Catch-22. The solution that I propose is to think less about the now and more about the future of manufacturing.”

“The new manufacturing workforce are tech-savvy individuals who are used to having information at the click of the mouse or tap of the screen. Whereas previous generations needed to get comfortable with technology, today’s workforce has grown up with it. They expect to have the same real-time access to information on the job, on computers and mobile devices, not papers and checklists.”

Recently InfinityQS conducted its 2021 Annual Customer Satisfaction Survey which revealed that 52% of respondents have already or are exploring the option of adopting digital transformation initiatives.

Jason explains: “This shows that the increase, or planned increase, in digital transformation is largely down to the impact of Covid. What was once a long-term strategic vision became an urgent and necessary tactical response to the Covid firefight and while it’s great to see this increase, many manufacturers often write off an investment if it doesn’t show an immediate, big return.

“Manufacturers need to now truly capitalise on these new digital environments. To do this they must invest in, and recruiting new talent, into the workforce that can drive even greater levels of innovation. It is vital that manufacturers see this as a long term and permanent endeavour and not one that turns into a missed opportunity,” concluded Jason.

Brooks Instrument opens new manufacturing, service and applications support centre in Korea

Brooks Instrument, a leader in precision fluid measurement and control technology, has opened a new manufacturing and engineering center in Korea to expand production of its mass flow controllers used extensively in semiconductor manufacturing.

The new facility, located in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, significantly increases the company’s operational footprint in Korea. It includes a significantly larger Class 100 clean room manufacturing area, as well as increased space for engineering, service and sales support.

Brooks Instrument has operated in Korea for nearly 25 years. The company moved from its previous location in Korea to the larger Yongin facility to better serve the needs of the fast-growing semiconductor manufacturing sectors locally and throughout the Asia Pacific region.

“With the anticipated continued growth of the semiconductor industry, we wanted to relocate and expand our operations to provide increased local production capability, faster service and sales and applications engineering support,” said Hans Sundstrom, Global Semiconductor Business Unit Manager for Brooks Instrument.

The much larger facility will initially support production of the Brooks Instrument GF100 Series of mass flow controllers used in semiconductor and other critical gas flow control applications. The GF100 series is widely seen as the semiconductor industry thermal MFC standard for reliable, repeatable delivery of process gasses.

“Once the new production facility in Yongin reaches full scale, we will have increased our global production capacity by close to 30 percent,” Sundstrom said. “It will also serve as an additional location for manufacturing and parts inventory, complementing our facilities in the U.S. and Hungary, thereby further reducing the risk of a supply chain disruption for our customers.”

The Yongin facility will also improve the company’s ability to provide rapid repair, maintenance and calibration support to customers in the region. The facility staff includes applications engineers ready to assist customers with expert support and insight on how to integrate Brooks Instrument mass flow technology with specific applications and advanced processes.

Jason Lee, Korea Country Manager at Brooks Instrument, added, “By relocating closer to our customers, we will have increased opportunity for collaboration, be able to learn more about their unique challenges and work with them to further enhance our technology to better meet their current and future needs.”

NI unlocks the power of test data and software at NI Connect

NI has announced its latest product advancements designed to fuel innovation across the production process, from testing and validation to R&D and design. NI unveiled these product advancements at NI Connect, a virtual experience dedicated to exploring how test and data analytics will shape the world’s newest innovations and provide engineers the information they need to make the next big breakthrough.

Today’s rapid pace of technology advancements requires increasingly complex products and more efficient product development. By leveraging a software-connected approach, organisations can unlock the value of test data to not only keep up with that pace but get there faster, smarter and with the right data insights to make informed engineering decisions.

NI’s software-connected approach creates a more complete enterprise data and insight chain, collecting and connecting the data that accelerates digital transformation, enabling customers to optimise every step of the product life cycle.

“A digital thread of data across each phase of the product life cycle delivers powerful insights to enhance product performance,” said NI CEO Eric Starkloff. “At NI, our software-connected approach unlocks the power of test, from early research to the production floor and beyond. We continue to aggressively invest in the technology to make this compelling vision a reality.”

As part of NI Connect, NI shared its latest product updates and innovations designed to help engineers and enterprises save time, reduce costs, gain data insights to help them innovate and ultimately get to market faster. Product advancements include:

  • Streamlined SystemLink Software Interface to Increase Efficiency — By connecting test systems and test data to enterprise outcomes, SystemLink software substantially accelerates each phase of the product life cycle. With a unified view of test operations in design validation and production environments, SystemLink manages and simplifies test scheduling, resource utilisation, system health and maintenance.​ The latest software enhancements include new UI customisation options, simplified product navigation and expanded asset health monitoring capabilities. The result is test insight acceleration, more efficient use of assets and reduced cost of test.
  • New LabVIEW 2021 to Improve Interoperability with Python and MathWorks MATLAB Software — Open-source software is increasingly important as systems become more diverse and complex. NI’s 2021 version of LabVIEW, the leading software platform for building test and measurement systems, features improved interoperability with Python and MathWorks MATLAB software, improved support for version control using Git and usability enhancements. These updates make it easier for engineers to connect disparate systems and hardware to accelerate innovation, especially in the design and validation environments.
  • New PXI Hardware Solution to Enable Software-Connected Workflow in a Smaller, Cost-Effective Package — Like open-source software, modular hardware is also increasingly important to flexibly connect with existing systems and workflows. PXI hardware delivers openness, software options, modularity and I/O coverage for customers seeking to develop adaptive and scalable systems. NI’s first 2-slot PXI chassis delivers these benefits in a smaller, more cost-effective package. Modular hardware like PXI enables a software-connected workflow to achieve better results.

NI also announced new products to enable the fast-moving technology behind ADAS and wireless:

  • NI Collaboration with Seagate to Deliver First-of-Its-Kind In-Vehicle Edge Storage and Data Transfer Service — The next generation of autonomous vehicles requires more real road data than ever before, making efficient data storage exceedingly important. NI and Seagate Technology Holdings, a world leader in data storage infrastructure solutions, announced a new collaboration to enhance data storage services, including a first-of-its-kind advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) record offering. This in-vehicle data storage as a service (STaaS), powered by  Seagate’s Lyve Mobile edge storage and data transfer service, enables original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers to modernise their data storage strategy from self-managed to STaaS, leading to reduced costs and efficient storage.
  • NI Ettus USRP X410 Software Defined Radio Platform to Accelerate Wireless Innovation — The next generation of wireless technologies, 5G and 6G, are poised to transform the way people and systems connect, making test data insights that much more important. Because wireless technologies are becoming increasingly complex, advanced tools to support research and prototyping are needed. The new NI Ettus USRP X410 Software Defined Radio Platform is high performance and fully open source, allowing engineers to achieve a faster time to prototype and accelerate wireless innovation

To learn more about the latest trends in test and data analytics, and to hear more about the newest product advancements from NI, attend or watch NI Connect on demand.