Juan Carlos Jaime, Light Machines EMSNow
Bright Machines is an innovative pioneer in the intelligent manufacture of complete stacks. We caught up with Juan Carlos Jaime to get an update on Bright Machines’ operations in Mexico.
EMSNOW: Please tell us about yourself. What is your background and your role within your company?
For the past 14+ years, I’ve specialized in technical sales and engineering across industries, and today I use those skills as a Business Development Specialist at Bright Machines. Previously, I worked as a service and sales engineer at Nordson Corporation, and earlier in my career I worked as a materials engineer at Flex.
I joined Bright Machines in 2020, where I focus on customer development in the Mexican market; this includes demonstrating our Bright Machines micro-factory and developing solutions and strategies based on individual customer requirements.
I always take an enthusiastic and customer-focused approach in my engagement with clients, and consider myself an expert in the challenges and different requirements of the manufacturing industry in Mexico.
EMSNOW: Tell us about your company and its history in Mexico.
Bright Machines is a technology company pioneering an innovative approach to full-stack smart manufacturing. It relies on intelligent software and robotics to fundamentally change the flexibility, scalability and economy of production. Founded in 2018, Bright Machine has over 300 employees worldwide and is headquartered in San Francisco and operates R&D centers in the United States and Israel, with additional field operations in North America, Asia and in Europe. Additionally, we have an engineering team in Guadalajara and will expand our integration center in the city later this month.
Some of our earliest customers are in Mexico and we are proud to be part of the vibrant manufacturing community there.
EMSNOW: What do you see as the benefits of your company’s business strategy to serve customers in Mexico?
Bright Machines serves manufacturing customers in Mexico, many of which are multinational corporations that have established manufacturing operations in Mexico due to its proximity to the United States and lower costs. Manufacturers are reconsidering how and where to make their products due to high shipping and freight costs, continued supply chain disruptions, concerns over emissions, and growing geopolitical risks. They must think globally to meet customer needs, but build locally to stay responsive to changing market demands. This prompted manufacturers to “relocate” their operations to the United States and Mexico.
Bright Machines’ automation technology is built on a common software platform, so customers can quickly replicate their assembly lines in places like Mexico. We continue to work with our customers on relocation to Mexico to bring us closer to markets and realize other long-term economic and environmental benefits. Our Bright Machines micro-factories also allow customers to meet increased production demands with flexibility and speed, avoiding the challenges of integrating new lines and managing labor shortages. At each stage, we ensure that all required quality standards are met.
EMSNOW: What are the strengths of the electronics industry in Mexico?
Electrical machinery is one of Mexico’s most important exports. Some reasons include proximity to the US market, lower labor costs, open trade agreements, and government incentives. However, I think the biggest strength of the industry is in the people; we have proven over the years in Mexico that our employees are well prepared and qualified to manufacture best in class products for the electronics industry. As the relocation trend continues, I expect electronics manufacturing in Mexico to maintain a favorable growth rate.
EMSNOW: What are the current challenges to doing business here?
The biggest challenge is that most companies come to Mexico looking for low-cost labor without thinking about the efficiency, operating rates, and quality standards that are an inherent part of smart automation. .
Another challenge for our customers is to identify the best time to implement automation; they may struggle with the demands of their customers to increase production. We make the decision easier with our flexible, scalable and easy-to-deploy micro-factories.
EMSNOW: What are the global electronics industry trends impacting the industry in Mexico?
The adoption of Industry 4.0 and IoT are hot trends in Mexico. In general, I think the industry is exploring the benefits of modern technology based on machine learning, computer vision, and robotics. However, I have heard that companies struggle to implement these technologies due to the incompatibility of outdated equipment and the complexity of upgrading.
But our approach is different. Our Brightware platform, software for line operations that provides visibility into operations and production, is integrated into our micro-plants, enabling line tracking of production data such as OEE, FPY , UPH and other KPIs for continuous improvement and traceability purposes.
EMSNOW: How has your company weathered recent supply chain disruptions?
One of Bright Machines’ main goals is to help our manufacturing customers overcome supply chain disruptions. Bright Machines offers flexible micro factories that can be quickly set up almost anywhere. This allows companies to move production from countries like China to Mexico, where products will be closer to the US market and less likely to be caught up in supply chain delays. Also, suppose a company needs to change a product or the quantity produced due to supply chain or schedule issues. In this case, it is easy to reschedule the micro-factories, thus saving a company from having unnecessary inventory.
EMSNOW: What are the industry’s most important end-market sectors in Mexico right now, and which will drive growth over the next five years?
Mexico’s main electronics manufacturing markets are automotive, aerospace, and medical devices. The one that I think will lead the growth will be automotive. Unfortunately, it has been significantly impacted by the pandemic, supply chain disruptions, and semiconductor shortages. Due to this shortage of production, the automotive sector has not been able to standardize its production to meet the demand for new vehicles; for this reason, I have heard that companies are preparing for strong production growth in the coming years.
EMSNOW: How does your flexible manufacturing solution apply to the automotive and medical end markets?
Our name embodies the work we do to provide the intelligence needed to run modern manufacturing operations. By bringing together both the “brain” and the “muscle” in an integrated end-to-end solution, we can tackle the assembly and inspection stages that require a degree of flexibility, adaptability and dexterity that has always been out of reach of machines. . We apply this technology to all industry verticals, including automotive components and smaller medical devices.
EMSNOW: We hear that semiconductor manufacturing is coming to Mexico. Is your solution applicable to these situations?
Due to the size of semiconductors, our solution does not currently apply to the manufacture of these chips. Nonetheless, I think this is great news for the EMS industry in North America. By manufacturing these components locally, markets impacted by supply chain disruptions will have faster resources to ramp up production. At Bright Machines, we are focused on automating the final assembly of electronic products, so with increased availability of semiconductor components, we can help our customers produce a wide variety of products with speed and flexibility.