Industry News, Trends, and Technology, and Standards Updates

President's letter to our shareholders, customers and employees

Posted by Bob Reback: Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer on Jan 17, 2018 11:00:00 AM

Cimetrix-Bob Reback copy.jpgWow – what a great year for Cimetrix and exciting time for our industry!

The president and CEO of Applied Materials recently said, “This is the most exciting time in the history of the electronics industry.” The race is on for faster/better/cheaper devices, cloud computing, autonomous vehicles, Big Data, artificial intelligence, the “Internet of Things” and more. This means the world needs not only a lot more computer chips, but also innovations in chip design, packaging and electronics assembly. The fast moving (and giant) electronics companies driving these trends are also pushing to get far more data from the factory floor to support their “Smart Manufacturing” and “Industry 4.0” initiatives.

2017 was a record setting year for Cimetrix. Revenues increased 34% year-over-year. The Company continued to operate profitably on a quarterly basis with operating income over 10% for the year. We invested heavily in R&D to pursue new technologies and products for long-term growth while strengthening our balance sheet with solid increases in cash and stockholders’ equity.

Going Forward

Cimetrix is uniquely positioned as the world leader in developing and using standards that connect manufacturing equipment to factory software systems. We are second to none in knowledge of “equipment connectivity” standards. We chair the relevant global standards committees, and are well known throughout the industry as experts in this vital domain. In addition, our products are used worldwide in hundreds of thousands of equipment connections. We recently expanded the Cimetrix team with some great new employees located around the world to better serve our growing international customer base, which now includes over 30 factories in Taiwan and China.

Based on what we see, the industries we serve will continue to expand their usage of equipment connectivity standards such as the Generic Equipment Model (GEM) to integrate more equipment into their factory systems, while the more advanced semiconductor manufacturers will accelerate their adoption of the latest Equipment Data Acquisition (EDA) connectivity standards.

While we are very bullish on the longer-term trends for our industry and Cimetrix, it is always a little difficult to forecast short-term results. For 2018, industry analysts are currently predicting a single-digit percentage increase in semiconductor capital equipment spending. While you might think we would be satisfied with another year like we had in 2017, we expect to perform better than the overall industry in 2018 for a number of reasons. First, the “design wins” we worked so hard to earn in prior years should lead to market share gains that result in higher percentages of equipment using Cimetrix software products. Second, we believe the adoption rate will accelerate for the newer EDA equipment connectivity standards, where Cimetrix products are the most proven and widely used in the industry. Lastly, we believe our reputation for providing the highest levels of technical support to customers worldwide, especially in the Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese and Chinese markets, will enable us to continue winning new customers.

From all of us at Cimetrix, we thank our customers and shareholders for the faith and confidence they have placed in our products and our team. We will continue to strive for excellence in satisfying our worldwide base of customers and delighting them with innovative new products. 

Topics: Doing Business with Cimetrix, Working at Cimetrix, Cimetrix Culture, Global Services, Investor News

Meet the Team Series: Ranjan Chatterjee, VP & GM, Smart Factory Business

Posted by Cimetrix on Jan 3, 2018 11:24:00 AM

Ranjan-chatterjee.jpegJoin us as we meet the Leadership Team of Cimetrix in our “Meet the Team” series.

Ranjan Chatterjee—Vice President & General Manager, Smart Factory Business—joined Cimetrix at the first of 2016. Previously he had worked as the General Manager for Motorola Solutions — Software Solutions from 2007 to 2015, and as the Manager — Automation Systems Business Unit at Motorola — Global Software Group. He originally started with Motorola Corporation in 1989. With over 25 years in the technology industry, Ranjan has a natural ability to identify market opportunities, define and create winning products and strategies, and formulate unique go-to-market software business models. He has degrees in Computer Science from both the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University.

What brought you to Cimetrix originally?

I started working with Cimetrix for PC-based open architecture machine control software products for factory automation when I was at Motorola. It evolved to co-developing and deploying communications products for factory automation across all of our factories worldwide with thousands of machines.

What's your favorite thing about working here?

We are creating software products and deploying capabilities at the most sophisticated and expensive factories in the world. We are participating and evolving the way electronic products are made worldwide. We are enabling thousands of machines to be connected and delighting hundreds of customers. We are punching above our weight. I am very proud of that.

What do you think makes a great VP and GM of the Smart Factory Business?

We have created a business to meet the needs of our customers by providing solutions that take advantage of the growing needs of our customers for solutions. Our customers are asking for collecting data, analyzing it and help in making decisions using analytical tools in a cost efficient manner. As leader of this business, I need to enable my team and the company to deliver this vision to delight our customers. This is a great opportunity to serve our customers.

Do you have a favorite quote or saying? Why?

I have a lot of quotes that I like depending on the context, mood and company. One quote that is applicable to this forum – “The only constant is change”. We need to be able to embrace change and be able to lead this momentum called Industry 4.0.

How do you deal with challenges that come up in your work life?

I like to Collect Data (listen to as many people as possible), Analyze (get feedback from as many people as possible) and Act. Sometimes a good nap helps also.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like reading. I use most of my free time reading.

What's the best thing that's happened to you in your time working at Cimetrix?

I love robotics and software and working at Cimetrix helped me get back to doing both. The management and team at Cimetrix have an innate desire to be the best at both. The timing and desire to pursue both at Cimetrix is the best thing that has happened.

Learn more about our leadership team by clicking below:

Leadership Team

 

Topics: Doing Business with Cimetrix, Working at Cimetrix, Cimetrix Culture

Meet the Team Series: Brian Rubow, Director Client Training and Support

Posted by Cimetrix on Dec 21, 2017 11:03:00 AM

Cimetrix-Rubow_Rubow_copy.jpgJoin us as we meet the Leadership Team of Cimetrix in our “Meet the Team” series.

Brian Rubow is the Director of Client Training and Support for Cimetrix. He is well-known within the industry due to his involvement with the SEMI standards committees. He currently serves as the co-chairs for the North America Information and Control Committee, the North America GEM300 Task Force, and the North America DDA Task Force. Brian has Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree and a Master of Science in Manufacturing Engineering degree both from Brigham Young University.

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What brought you to Cimetrix originally?


I was actually still a student at BYU earning my Master's Degree and one of my professors was one of the founders of Cimetrix. He brought me in to do work in Robotics, which was the original direction of Cimetrix. I was really excited to join Cimetrix because Robotics was an area in which I enjoyed working.


What's your favorite thing about working here?

I enjoy working with customers. I find it fulfilling to see the problems they have and help to solve the issues. I also travel quite extensively to client sites and I like seeing all the different kinds of equipment and technology being used across the world.

What do you think makes a great Director of Client Training and Support

First of all, I believe leaders should be as hands-on as possible with their team. I need to understand what my staff is working on in order to understand their needs and give them support as a manager. And all our Client Training and Support staff are engineers who have to know how to use the products in order to be able to solve the various issues that may arise. The Cimetrix Support staff are all very knowledgeable and about the products, but they also have to know how to work and communicate with people around the world. 

Do you have a favorite quote/saying? Why?

I don’t have a favorite quote, but I am a daily reader of the comics Dilbert and Zits. I also loved Calvin and Hobbes, especially when I was younger.

How do you deal with challenges that come up in your work life?

I am very methodical when it comes to solving problems. I try to understand the problem first, which means I spend a lot of time listening to problems. A common tendency might be to throw out an answer before understanding the problem thoroughly, but I try to really understand the root of the problem before determining a path to solution. I find this saves time in the long run even if it takes a little longer to get to the solution at first.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I have quite a few hobbies I enjoy. I am a bee keeper (which is only sometimes fun!). I’m also a father of 8 children which keeps me very busy. My family enjoys playing board and card games together. My boys and I like to play games with a lot of strategy involved and we can be extremely competitive! I also enjoy cycling, listening to audio books and woodworking.

What's the best thing that's happened to you in your time working at Cimetrix?

I think it’s been fun representing our company in the Industry Standards groups I’ve been involved with throughout my years at Cimetrix. I have enjoyed playing an industry leadership role and helping bring about change that affects such a wider variety of companies and people.

Learn more about our leadership team by clicking below:

Leadership Team

Topics: Doing Business with Cimetrix, Working at Cimetrix, Cimetrix Culture

Cimetrix has a Strong Presence in Europe: Wrap-up of SEMICON Europa and Productronica 2017

Prod_wrap_5.pngCan you think of a better place to spend time with customers and partners than Munich, Germany during Productronica and SEMICON Europa trade fairs? SEMICON Europa has had dwindling attendance in the past few years, even in a hot semiconductor market, so SEMI decided to combine with the robust Productronica for 2017.  It was a great decision.  This trade fair had 8 full and busy halls as a result; with high spirits from all attendees.  Four of the Productronica halls were dedicated to the SMT industry (Surface Mount Technology) which is part of what we call Electronics Assembly.  This industry is wrestling with moving to Smart Manufacturing and Industry 4.0.  What better way to learn than to have SEMICON Europa next door?  SEMICON Europa occupied 1.5 halls filled with many of our current customers. 

Prod_wrap_6.jpg

Cimetrix decided to place our booth in one of the four SMT halls because we have a lot to offer the SMT industry in their migration to Smart Manufacturing.  We had many visitors and discussions on how Cimetrix can help.  There are a variety of ways used in SMT to gather equipment data including older “one way” standards, GEM, and several proposed new standards and our 25+ year heritage in semiconductor equipment automation ideally positions Cimetrix to help customers think through these options.  We also brought extra staff to the show so we could spend time in the SEMICON Europa halls having scheduled meetings with our major European equipment suppliers and factories.  Several new opportunities were brought to our attention and updates/planning for 2018 were discussed. 

By far, the dominant theme at the show was Industry 4.0 and Smart Manufacturing.  There were many excellent presentations in the Tech Arenas; and almost every booth had posters on the move to Smart Manufacturing.  Of note were presentations by Dr. Jan Rothe from GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Jorg Richstein from Jabil discussing their automation plans for SMART Manufacturing; and Dr. Martin Schellenberger from Fraunhofer with a comprehensive set of steps to help companies understand Smart Manufacturing and the steps to get there. 

Prod_wrap_8.png

As a company that focuses on helping manufacturers achieve their automation goals, it is hard not to come away from Munich excited about the next 5 years in electronics manufacturing. 

Prod_wrap_4.pngProd_wrap_7.jpg

 

Topics: SEMI, Doing Business with Cimetrix, Events, SEMICON, Productronica

29th Advanced Process Control Conference Retrospective: Still serving the industry’s APC community after 25+ years

Posted by Alan Weber: Vice President, New Product Innovations on Nov 8, 2017 10:43:00 AM

APC 2017 Conference Austin TXAustin, Texas was the site of this year’s conference, going back to its roots after almost 30 years. Because of its unique focus on equipment and process control technology for the semiconductor industry, and the consistently high quality of its technical content, this conference continues to attract both industry veterans and newcomers to this domain, with this year’s attendance over 160.

APC2017_2-557375-edited.jpgAPC2017_3.jpg

Cimetrix has been a regular participant and presenter at this event, and this year was no exception. Alan Weber made a presentation entitled “ROI-based Approach for Evaluating Application Data Collection Use Case Alternatives” that was jointly developed with Mark Reath of GLOBALFOUNDRIES. The key message of this talk was that data collection should not be viewed as an all-or-nothing proposition but rather a spectrum of alternatives within which an approach can be chosen that best fits the problem to be addressed. As examples, the presentation described specific FDC use cases that resulted in significant savings through reduced false alarm rate and fewer/less severe process excursions. For a copy of this presentation, follow the link at the bottom of this posting.

apc2017_5.pngBoyd Finlay’s (GLOBALFOUNDRIES) keynote presentation was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the conference. His presentation, “Raising the Bar: Foundry Expectations for Equipment Capability and Control,” painted a compelling picture of how future semiconductor manufacturing equipment must be able to support the growing demand for semiconductors in almost all aspects of modern life, especially in self-driving cars and their supporting infrastructure. For example, one of the specific expectations is that “Fab engineers expect fully integrated instrumentation on and around equipment to provide well established unambiguous high-volume manufacturing sensor supporting BKMs (best-known methods).” This presentation is well worth your time to review regardless of your job function in the industry, so follow the link below for a copy.

Samsung also offered some very interesting insights in a presentation titled “Wafer Level Time Control for Defect Reduction in Semiconductor Manufacture FABs.” It correlated defect densities to position in the FOUP and explained 2 sources for these: 1) outgassing of wafers after certain kinds of processes (which can be addressed with N2 purging), and 2) the difference in post-process waiting time, which must now be considered at the individual wafer level rather than the lot as a whole.

This conference and its sister conference in Europe are excellent venues to understand what manufacturers do with all the data they collect, so if this topic piques your interest, be sure to put these events on your calendar in the future. In the meantime, if you have questions about any of the above, or want to know how equipment connectivity and control fit into the overall Smart Manufacturing landscape, please contact us!

Boyd Finlay's presentation

Alan Weber's presentation

 

Topics: Equipment Data Acquisition, Doing Business with Cimetrix, even

Meet the Team: David Warren, Director of Software Engineering

Posted by Cimetrix on Nov 1, 2017 11:03:00 AM

CIM_2017-6600.jpgJoin us as we meet the Leadership Team of Cimetrix in our “Meet the Team” series.

David Warren is the Director of Software Engineering for Cimetrix where he manages a team of software engineers that develop the company’s product line and improve and maintain existing products. David has over 20 years of total experience and expertise as a software developer. He started with Cimetrix in 1994 and has also worked at Design Synthesis and Philips. David has helped create, develop, and maintain software products for factory automation for many different industries including semiconductor, packaging, surface-mount technology, assembly, and CNC machining. He holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Brigham Young University.

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What brought you to Cimetrix originally?

Cimetrix was a robotics company when I joined, almost fresh out of school.  For me, working with robots was a dream job, combining my passions for mechanical engineering and computers.  Today’s emphasis on connectivity and equipment control is just as fascinating!

What's your favorite thing about working here?

I can’t narrow it down to just a single favorite thing.  I love the industry we are in, being able to make a difference in the world, and definitely the people.

What do you think makes a great Director of Software Engineering?

That’s a good question.  The mission of Software Engineering is to make great products—and there is a lot that goes into making that possible.  I believe the vast majority of software engineers have a desire or even a need to create great products, so it’s probably more accurate to reverse that—what is preventing us from making great products?  A great Director of Software Engineering can recognize and remove impediments, whether that is getting better requirements, changing processes, making sure there is adequate time, training, or anything else.  In short, like great point guards and quarterbacks, they make everyone around them better.  That’s the kind of person I want to be.

Do you have a favorite quote or saying? Why?

K.I.S.S., or Keep It Simple, Stupid.  For whatever reason, getting the right level of simplicity is never simple and seemingly undervalued.   If you have something simple and are thinking about adding some complexity or have something complex that might be simplified with a little more work, it is good to have a reminder of the value of simplicity.

How do you deal with challenges that come up in your work life?

A brief moment of panic followed by a flurry of hard work—just kidding.  Though difficult in the moment, taking the time to understand the challenge, going beyond the initial presentation and discovering the underlying problem often can turn a challenge into an opportunity.

What do you like to do in your free time?

My family knows whenever I’m asked, “what did you like most about …”, my answer is always “spending time with my family”.  It’s absolutely true, though.  Whether we are camping, four-wheeling, hiking, working in the yard, or just hanging out, I like spending time with my family!

What's the best thing that's happened to you in your time working at Cimetrix?

I’ve been fortunate enough to participate in many amazing technological achievements here at Cimetrix, but the very best thing is the people.  I can’t count the number of times someone has taken the time to help me grow both professionally and personally.  The mentoring I’ve received is without question the best thing that’s happened to me.

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Topics: Doing Business with Cimetrix, Working at Cimetrix, Cimetrix Culture, Software

Implementing CIM300

Posted by Brent Forsgren on Oct 26, 2017 11:34:00 AM

I have fond memories as a kid spending Saturdays working on the family cars with my dad. We would dive in to taking things apart and putting them back together again. Whatever the problem was we could figure it out and fix it. With cars from the 1960s and 1970s, there wasn’t too much risk with this approach to car repair. Today, I still like to do my own car repairs when I can. But cars nowadays are far more complicated and compact. I have learned that I can’t just jump in and wing it with any hope of getting it done right or in a timely manner. My experience has taught me to rely on the experience of others, learn from their lessons and save myself from late nights asking, “what have I gotten myself into?”

Cimetrix CIM300TM tool kit out of the box has already implemented a lot of the GEM 300 work for you. Notice I said “a lot” and not “all” of the work for you. To complete your GEM 300 application, your software will have to integrate with CIM300. The GEM 300 standards can be quite complex and some of the scenarios have intricate details. CIM300 provides a rich set of APIs and callbacks to help you implement a compliant GEM 300 solution. The key to success is knowing how to use the APIs and callbacks for the different GEM 300 scenarios.

The SEMI E87 Carrier Id Status state model, pictured below, is just one of many state models defined in the GEM 300 standards.

Carrier ID Status State Model for CIM300Figure 1 CARRIER ID STATUS STATE MODEL

There are several transitions in this state model and intricate conditions that determine which transition should be triggered. CIM300 supports this state model, but it requires interaction with your application to know which transition to make in the state model. In my experience, most people handle the happy path scenarios correctly, whether they're “winging it” or had formal training. However, I have rarely seen people handle the error scenarios correctly, without training on GEM 300 and CIM300. While understandable, error scenarios are often hard to follow and the implementation differences are subtle. The risk of doing it wrong in the software will execute the wrong transition in the state model, which in turn sends the incorrect event to the GEM host. The wrong event could really mess things up for the host. In both the happy path and error scenarios, the CIM300 API to call is the same:

CMSLib::CCxE87CMS::CarrierAtPort

However, how you specify the parameters to the call, it is different for each scenario. The differences in how you call the API will trigger different transitions in the state model. Our documentation for this one API call alone is longer than this entire blog post. That is how important it is to get it right. In addition to our product documentation, Cimetrix also provides CIM300 training and sample applications illustrating how to use our products.

I strongly recommend taking advantage of our CIM300 training. Training is the best first step to integrating CIM300 with your tool application. Training is typically a week long and provides an overview of the GEM 300 standards as well as hands-on experience using CIM300. The goal for Cimetrix in training is that by the end of the week-long training, clients have completed an implementation of a GEM 300 happy path scenario. That is, you receive hands-on experience using CIM300 to implement carrier verification (SEMI E87), creating and running a process job (SEMI E40) and control job (SEMI E94), tracking substrates (SEMI E90), and tracking equipment performance (SEMI E116).

Make sure you also leverage the sample applications that accompany CIM300. The sample applications provided with CIM300 give a jumpstart on integrating CIM300 with your own application. You can use the sample application as a reference for how to use our APIs and callbacks, copy/paste portions of the code into your own code, or use our application as a starting point for your own software. If you’re like me, you like having working source code you can refer to for concrete examples of how to do things and to see how things should work together.

If you dive right in and start implementing CIM300 without training or mentoring from an expert, you may find yourself spending a lot of late nights asking yourself, “what have I gotten myself into?” A little training goes a long way in simplifying the implementation!

Find out more about CIM300 or request a Technical Product Overview and/or Product Demo today!

Request CIM300 Resources

Topics: CIM300, Doing Business with Cimetrix, Software

Meet the Team: Alan Weber, Vice President, New Product Innovations

Posted by Cimetrix on Oct 5, 2017 1:20:00 PM

Cimetrix-Alan_Weber_copy.jpgJoin us as we meet the Leadership Team of Cimetrix in our “Meet the Team” series.

Alan Weber is currently the Vice President, New Product Innovations for Cimetrix. Previously he served on the Board of Directors for eight years before joining the company as a full-time employee in 2011. He has been a part of the semiconductor and manufacturing automation industries for over 40 years. He spent eight of those years as a Program Manager for SEMATECH, 18 as an Engineering Manager at Texas Instruments, and nearly 10 years as President of his own company, Alan Weber & Associates, Inc. Weber holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering from Rice University.  

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What brought you to Cimetrix originally?

I first met Bob Reback in the early 90s when he was working at Thesis, one of the leading semiconductor automation software companies at the time, and I was at Sematech, the research consortium tasked with charting a collaborative path to success for domestic semiconductor manufacturing industry. We were both at one of the early Advanced Process Control conferences, and as we talked, it was clear we shared not just a few interesting days in Dallas, but compatible visions for our respective organizations, basic value systems, and a genuine enthusiasm for working in this domain. We stayed in touch thereafter, crossing paths a few times over the next decade. When Bob took over the reins at Cimetrix and needed to re-populate the Board of Directors with industry expertise, he thought of me… and in 2002 I joined the Board.

Eight years later, after getting to know the entire management and technical team, we all agreed that working inside the company would be an ideal match, and I joined Dave Faulkner’s Marketing department.

What's your favorite thing about working here?

One aspect of the job here I especially enjoy is having a broad set of long-range objectives and the freedom to pursue them as I see fit. This works well both for me and Cimetrix because the current job requirements and my skills and experience are very well aligned.

What do you think makes a great VP of New Product Innovation?

A large part of this role requires an understanding of the technology and market trends that affect our industry, so it’s important to have sufficient breadth and depth of knowledge to see the big picture and spot these trends. International experience is also key, since the industries we serve are increasingly global.

Do you have a favorite quote/saying? Why?

I have favorite sayings for lots of situations, but I suppose the one that’s universally applicable is “Live every day.” This helps me find joy and gratitude in almost everything I do.

How do you deal with challenges that come up in your work life?

I first step back and ask myself the question “What’s the best use of my time right now?” and see if the answer helps me decide what to do next to address a particular challenge.

If that doesn’t work, I ask another question: “What’s the absolute worst thing that could happen in this situation, and what impact would that have?” Then I assess the likelihood of this actually happening… which is usually very small. From this perspective, the fear of imagined negative consequences evaporates, and I can focus on the problem objectively without the emotional distractions.

If that still doesn’t work, I ask myself “How would Mac have handled this?” He was my mentor for many of the years I worked at Texas Instruments, and never seemed to get ruffled by any challenge that would arise… and there were plenty of examples to draw from.

What do you like to do in your free time?

First of all, I don’t believe there is such a thing as “free time.” We all get the same 24 hours a day to work with, and they are all equally valuable! That being said, I enjoy a variety of activities outside the office.

My wife of 40 years, Kathy Allen-Weber, and I enjoy travelling together, whether it’s visiting family in Texas, friends across the U.S. and Europe, or ticking global destinations off of our “bucket list.”

Music has been a big part of my life since I was very young. I sing and play guitar on the worship team at our church, perform with local choral groups whenever possible, and still play the flute from time to time. Kathy and I also like many genres of classical music, and are especially fond of opera.

I also like being outdoors, and Utah’s climate and scenery are ideal for this. I also still play a little tennis, and have recently taken up pickleball!

What's the best thing that's happened to you in your time working at Cimetrix?

One of the best things that happened to us over the last five years was the move to Utah. Both being Texas natives, Kathy and I weren't sure how quickly Utah would feel like home, and were pleasantly surprised to find it was almost immediate. Moreover, moving from a big city (Austin) to a small town environment was like taking a 30-year step back in time—a refreshing transition at this point in our lives.

 

 

Topics: Doing Business with Cimetrix, Working at Cimetrix, Cimetrix Culture

Meet the Team Series: Dave Faulkner, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing

Posted by Cimetrix on Sep 27, 2017 11:09:00 AM

Cimetrix-Dave_Faulkner_copy.jpgJoin us as we meet the Leadership Team of Cimetrix in our “Meet the Team” series.

Dave Faulkner joined Cimetrix in August 1996 and serves as the Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing and serves on the Board of Directors. Prior to Cimetrix, Faulkner was employed from 1986 to 1996 as the Manager of PLC Marketing, Manager of Automotive Operations, and District Sales Manager for GE Fanuc Automation, a global supplier of factory automation computer equipment specializing in programmable logic controllers, factory software, and computer numerical controls. He earned a bachelor's in Electrical Engineering and a MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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What brought you to Cimetrix originally?

I worked for GE for 18 years and was constantly moving to new locations and new jobs.  It was a fabulous education in business and large company dynamics.  I had the chance to work in every major industry focused on automation.  Especially interesting was the car manufacturing industry.  It was also the time when Jack Welch ran GE so I learned from his leadership styles.  But big companies are hard to impact, cause change and make your own way.  When I turned 40 it was time for a change. A GE friend introduced me to Bob Reback and then next thing I knew my family was moving to Utah to join a small company on a journey to introduce PC based control for robotics. I was interested in this same topic at GE, so it was right up my alley. 

What's your favorite thing about working here?

I get the chance to work with companies and people all over the world.  Learning to do business in Europe, China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea and across the U.S. brings new challenges and fantastic people.  Every country/place is unique and I love trying to understand the motivations and customs of business in each country.  The more I know, the more I realize I don’t know. We have fabulous employees in each of these locations and learning from them is inspirational.  In addition to our international set of customers, think of the international make-up in our company.  We have employees from China, Vietnam, Japan, Russia, India, Korea, France, and even Texas.  At Cimetrix, we can learn so much about the world.

What do you think makes a great account manager and salesperson?

I think this has to do with walking in our customer’s shoes, not selling them something.  Most of our customers have been our business partners and friends for 10 years or longer.  As an account manager, you have to understand how to make your customers successful both professionally and personally.  The revenue comes to us with this attitude.  While the account manager may lead the charge, this thinking permeates the company which is why we have so many long-term customers.  Heck, we have customers that come join us as employees!

Do you have a favorite quote / saying? Why?

I don’t, but I do search out a new quote every day.  It makes me think.  It makes me laugh.  Once a month, I find one that really hits home and I send it off to family and friends.  Einstein had some good ones.

How do you deal with challenges that come up in your work life?

I actually like a good crisis.  It stops you in your tracks and makes you think about how you got there.  What process needs work, why did I make an error, and how can I remain calm and think through the options.  Don’t let emotions take control, do the right thing, and do it quickly. Easy to say, hard to do.  Challenges are such learning experiences.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I’m somewhat of a speed demon.  I like to do things that involve speed.  Full speed on ice hockey skates, snow skiing in and out of bounds, full bore across the wake on a slalom ski, corners on my motorcycle, and my right foot might be a bit heavy in the car.  Those are my adrenalin outlets. My calming time will find me in a national park, on a river with a fly rod, enjoying a cup of strong coffee in a kayak, or being a plumber or tiler.  What can I learn next?

What's the best thing that's happened to you in your time working at Cimetrix?

Being part of building a great company.  We have something really special here at Cimetrix.  It took a lot of work by our whole team over the last 25 years.  Being part of that will be with me forever.  And the best is yet to come. Priceless.

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Topics: Doing Business with Cimetrix, Working at Cimetrix, Cimetrix Culture

Meet the Team Series: Bill Grey, Distinguished Software Engineer

Posted by Cimetrix on Sep 7, 2017 2:04:08 PM

Cimetrix-Bill_Grey_copy.jpgJoin us as we meet the Leadership Team of Cimetrix in our “Meet the Team” series.

Bill Grey holds the title of Distinguished Software Engineer at Cimetrix. He joined Cimetrix in 1999 and has filled multiple roles since that time. Grey has been developing software for more than 25 years in a variety of industries including Philips Broadcast Television Systems, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, and the U.S. Geological Survey. He specializes in Windows software development, Scrum/Agile development, software architecture, software processes, and the software life cycle.

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What Brought you to Cimetrix originally?

I had been working at Philips Electronics  when they shut down their division in Salt Lake City. Cimetrix was looking for a programmer to bring Windows programming into Cimetrix and I was able to fulfill that role

What's your favorite thing about working here?

Basically the people. The Cimetrix team is respectful, intelligent, honest and hardworking. As a group they follow the Cimetrix values and everyone is always willing to help each other.

What do you think makes a great software engineer?

You never "know everything" because the practice changes so quickly so it's important to have perseverance and the ability to learn.

What was the most interesting technical challenge that you’ve worked on at Cimetrix?

The most interesting technical challenge was our CIM300 product. It took many iterations of the SEMI standards over several years before the standards matured enough to be widely adopted. Dealing with different interpretations of gray areas of the standards, as well as industry requirements that were “more open” than the standards specified was a real challenge.

What is the next engineering project that you want to work on?

There are two interesting engineering projects I'd like to work on. The first is Requirements Engineering. Companies must cement how requirements are defined for new products and new product features. Processes, roles and responsibilities, and even education are required for the teams tackling Requirements Engineering. As we do a better job at defining requirements, more time will have to be spent in that phase. However, in the long run, it will reduce the amount of rework done, which is one of the biggest wastes of time in technology companies.

The second project is built-in product diagnostics. Being able to build into all our products self-diagnostics and potentially self-healing, the support team would see their workload reduced and of course it enables the customer to solve any issues without having to turn to outside help.

How do you deal with challenges that come up in your work life?

I tend to tackle thing from both sides.  I like to surround my problems and make them submit.  I like to work at the highest level for a bit, until some ideas start to come out, then I'll dive all the way through the solution to the bottom levels.  Somewhere in-between is the solution waiting to surrender

What do you like to do in your free time?

My hobby is hobbies. I have way too many to list from blacksmithing to guitars to woodworking. I change so often that I am truly a man of many talents and a master of none.

What's the best thing that's happened to you in your time working at Cimetrix?

I met my wife...I think that sums it up pretty well!

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Topics: Doing Business with Cimetrix, Working at Cimetrix, Cimetrix Culture