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APEX 2022 - Looking Back on a Refreshing Electronics Manufacturing Show

February 10, 2022

“Even though attendance was lower than some previous years due to COVID-19, we had fantastic discussions with potential customers that are looking for our specific

factory digitalization solutions.”

In this overview article, we'll summarize our participation to IPC's APEX 2022.

The Keith Bryant Show

In this interview with Keith Bryant, our CBDO (François Monette) and iTAC's CEO (Peter Bollinger) cover multiple subjects – ranging from Cogiscan's acquisition to the latest integration efforts developed with our two solutions.

Digital Factory for Electronics Manufacturing

Time 0:00 - In this interview, François starts by explaining why Cogiscan and iTAC were a perfect fit. While Cogiscan really concentrated its efforts on shop floor control and machine connectivity; iTAC on the other hand, decided to build a higher level MES. As Keith explains, those 2 parts are not only complementary, they are intrinsically linked together if a factory really wants to be more effective and efficient (factory control, asset utilization, prevention, etc.)

You can't really have a real Digital Factory without having both and now that factories are getting bigger and bigger, they all want to have a solution that can eventually do everything they need from the shop floor all the way to business KPIs for C-level executives. iTAC and Cogiscan together can do that for electronics manufacturers.
At Cogiscan, we've decided to build our solutions from the bottom-up, meaning that we've started at the machine level all the way up to the enterprise system. On the other hand, iTAC decided to go with the top-down approach, meaning they started with the higher-level enterprise system. While those are two distinct approaches, our two solutions integrate seamlessly together and that's what is creating our synergies.
— François Monette, Chief Business Development Officer at Cogiscan

More than just an MES

Time 3:04 - Peter then goes on to explain that iTAC now offers more than just an MES - they now have a MOM suite. Covering everything a factory needs: Planning and Scheduling, MES functionality & Analytics. The objective is to be able to do more than just provide visibility. They are helping clients predict what's going to happen before it happens in order for them to take action before hitting a problem. In other words, factories are now able to go from prediction to prevention.

In order to do that iTAC is now able to add AI (standard or client's algorithms) to their systems in order to optimize processes and machine utilization.

Smart Factory - Starting from the Equipment

Time 4:42 - François elaborates that for Cogiscan, connectivity goes back all the way to the equipment. We've been working for many years with the main equipment vendors (ASM, Juki, Universal Instruments, etc.) to create software that they can integrate into their machines in order for them to seamlessly integrate with one another. In many cases, their clients won't have to buy anything from us since our solution is already integrated into their machine.

Visibility for PCBA outsourcing - OEM

Time 6:20 - Nowadays, visibility is not only needed in a factory but sometimes across a more complex ecosystem. For example, some OEMs outsource part of their manufacturing and they want to have complete visibility regarding their supplier's production process (real-time order status, quality management for build requirements, etc.) With iTAC and Cogiscan's solutions, these companies are able to rely on a system that is fully integrated and provides that level of visibility and quality control.

From Design to the Final Assembly

Time 8:32 - For most companies, factory digitalization is not only for PCB assembly since those PCBAs are housed inside something such as in a cellphone, a car, an airplane, a heart monitoring device, etc. Therefore, most factories want a solution that can cover the whole process: from design to the final assembly. With iTAC and Cogiscan, factories are now able to have all the information they need in one place.
Our Team at APEX 2022
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