Critical Manufacturing: MES for High-tech Manufacturing
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Critical Manufacturing: MES for High-tech Manufacturing

Francisco Almada-Lobo, CEO,, Critical ManufacturingFrancisco Almada-Lobo, CEO,
The conventional wisdom holds that as technology continues to advance, the world will get smaller. This is especially true for manufacturing industry in present time. The industry, which is conventionally reluctant to espouse new trends, is now proactively adopting cloud, big data, Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), and other modern technologies. This technological transformation is not only bringing different machines on a shop floor closer but also the geographically distributed manufacturing processes. Being an extremely critical part of the manufacturing industry, Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) has played a major role in this transformation by delivering a comprehensive and real-time view of data across distributed operational and production systems. Critical Manufacturing which provides automation and manufacturing software for high-tech industries believes that MES continues to play a critical role in the manufacturing IT’s landscape, however, a completely new generation of MES is required to cope with the new challenges created by Industry 4.0. “We are committed to creating a business which revolves around the development of a new disruptive MES for high-tech manufacturing,” expresses Francisco Almada Lobo, CEO of Critical Manufacturing.

Critical Manufacturing created cmNavigo, a next generation MES for empowering organizations by replacing legacy systems with modules that can ensure competitiveness. It provides customer complete flexibility in managing materials, equipments, containers, consumables and durables used in production cycle by ensuring quality of R&D, operations, engineering and manufacturing business intelligence. One of the most important aspects of cmNavigo is its modularity. There are approx 30 modules covering functions ranging from ERP integration to automation, equipment integration, shop-floor execution, process control and management of all manufacturing business processes. The company allows the customer to decide the suitable module depending on the complexity of the operation or process.

In an implementation highlight, the company worked with Austria Technologie & Systemtechnik (AT&S), a global high-end printed circuit board provider, to operationalize its newly opened production site in Chongqing, China.


We are committed to creating a business which revolves around the development of a new disruptive MES for high-tech manufacturing


As the new production facility was inadequate to handle all of the product data and required automated information flows to manage workflow efficiently, Critical Manufacturing helped AT&S by installing an integrated MES system. Thus, “We could meet all the advanced manufacturing facility requirements of AT&S’ clients,” says Almada Lobo.

Alternatively, the Critical Manufacturing team has also noticed that manufacturers are trying to efficiently record shop-floor transactions including material movements or equipment state changes, and accurately deliver real-time data using legacy solutions. The company addresses this complexity by designing fabLive, a customizable real-time virtual window, which allows end-users to create and define visual rich indicators that can be shared with any other users of the system. Almada Lobo further identified, “Although the benefits of MES are well-documented, manufacturers often come across financial or other resource constraints while implementing a complete solution.” fabLive allows customers to design the physical layout of the plant and monitor the equipment in real time with updates delivered using a publish/subscribe mechanism. Along with fabLive, Critical Manufacturing also provides a dashboard, which allows end users to create and define visual rich indicators, updated in real-time that can be shared with any other users of the system.

The company has also significantly invested in IIoT for driving Industry 4.0 forward. The team at Critical Manufacturing applies its years of experience in semiconductor industry to provide equipments an interface that allows the various layers to communicate with each other. For the future, Almada Lobo foresees, “Industry 4.0 will not be a reality overnight. For this, the existing systems must allow manufacturers to run the whole factory floor without human operation. We are working towards realizing such an ambition.”