EMSNOW Mexico: Juan Carlos Jaime, Bright Machines Shares Insights on Manufacturing in Mexico

Juan Carlos Jaime is Strategic Business Development Manager at Bright Machines in Mexico. He has spent his career in the manufacturing industry in Mexico, working with companies like Flex, Nordson and currently Bright Machines. We caught up with Juan to hear his insights into this very critical geography for EMS. 

EMSNOW: Tell us about yourself and your role with Bright Machines.

I have a strong background in Electronics Engineering and Business Administration. I obtained Master’s Degree in Business Administration after completing my Bachelor’s Degree in Electronics Engineering.

My primary focus has been on providing customers in the manufacturing industry with the latest and most advanced technologies in machinery, equipment, and automation solutions. Throughout my career, I’ve had the opportunity to travel extensively across Mexico and other countries, meeting with customers and identifying their unique needs, and then working closely with my team to create tailored solutions that meet those needs.

My experience in technical sales has given me an in-depth understanding of the manufacturing industry, including the latest trends, technologies, and best practices. I am passionate about leveraging my expertise to help organizations achieve their goals and drive growth through innovative solutions.

EMSNOW: Tell us about Bright Machines. Explain the concept of ‘software first’ manufacturing.

Bright Machines is a technology company that provides a platform for “software-defined manufacturing,” which combines the power of software with the speed and precision of automation to create a more flexible and efficient manufacturing process.

In essence, “software-first” manufacturing is about leveraging software to make manufacturing more agile, efficient, and cost-effective. With Bright Machines, manufacturers can quickly create new products and adjust production processes without expensive retooling or hardware changes. In addition, by using software to control the manufacturing process, Bright Machines enables manufacturers to respond more quickly to changing market demands and produce products faster, with higher quality, and at a lower cost.

EMSNOW: How long has Bright Machines been operating in Mexico? What are your activities, where are your offices, and so on?

Bright Machines has been operating in Mexico since 2018, and we are proud to say that we have established our largest integration hub in Guadalajara. Over the years, we have expanded our activities to serve our customers in North America better. As a result, we recently opened a new building in the Guadalajara Technology Park, located in Zapopan, Jalisco.

Our new facility boasts cutting-edge technology and an expanded team of experts dedicated to designing and integrating fully automated assembly lines for our customers. We are committed to providing our customers with the highest quality products and services, and our operations in Mexico allow us to do just that.

EMSNOW: Who are Bright Machines’ main customers in Mexico? How has your business grown there?

Bright Machines’ customers in Mexico are contract manufacturers and OEMs, particularly multinational companies that have established manufacturing operations in the country due to its proximity to the United States. As a result of high shipping and freight costs, ongoing supply chain disruptions, concerns about emissions, and growing geopolitical risks, manufacturers are rethinking how and where to build products. As a result, they are increasingly considering reshoring operations to the U.S. and Mexico, prompting a growing demand for Bright Machines’ automation technology.

Our automation technology is built on a common software platform, allowing customers to replicate their assembly lines in places like Mexico quickly. Bright Machines’ Microfactories also provide customers the flexibility and speed needed to meet increased production demands while avoiding the challenges of integrating new lines and dealing with labor shortages. As a result, we have seen significant growth in our business in Mexico as more customers seek to leverage the benefits of our technology.

We are committed to working closely with our customers to help them address their manufacturing needs and stay responsive to changing market demands. By offering innovative solutions that enable customers to think globally but build locally, Bright Machines can continue to play a key role in the growth and success of manufacturing companies in Mexico and beyond.

EMSNOW: What do you see as the strengths of the manufacturing industry in Mexico from your company’s perspective?

From our company’s perspective, we see several strengths in the manufacturing industry in Mexico. First and foremost, Mexico’s strategic location makes it an ideal place for manufacturing operations in North America, given its proximity to the US market. 

The country’s greatest strength lies in its people. The Mexican workforce is well-prepared and qualified to manufacture best-in-class products for the electronics industry. In addition, they possess the necessary technical skills and knowledge to produce high-quality goods efficiently and effectively, which is critical to our company’s success.

Furthermore, as the trend of reshoring continues, we anticipate that manufacturing in Mexico will maintain a favorable growth rate. The country’s good business climate and highly skilled workforce make it an ideal location for our manufacturing operations. We have leveraged these strengths to best serve our customers.

EMSNOW: Where do you see the best opportunities for growth in Mexico? Which areas are going to be most important?

I believe that the best opportunities for growth in Mexico lie in the manufacturing of lithium batteries. This industry has enormous potential in producing essential components for electrical products, including vehicles, drones, and energy storage systems. Mexico is already ranked ninth in the world in terms of lithium reserves, making it an attractive location for companies like Tesla to build new manufacturing plants. 

Bright Machines specializes in automated assembly processes for BESS or Battery Energy Storage Systems. Recently, we partnered with Viridi Parente Inc. to deploy Bright Machines Microfactories designed to be flexible, modular, and scalable. Through this partnership, we aim to support Viridi’s efforts to manufacture sustainable products at scale while achieving their assembly and environmental goals. As a result, I believe that Mexico’s lithium battery manufacturing industry, coupled with automation technology, presents significant opportunities for growth and development in the coming years.

EMSNOW: Will Mexico attract semiconductor manufacturers? Will there be enough engineers to go around? 

Mexico is increasingly becoming a preferred nearshore destination for semiconductor manufacturers to overcome disruptions in the global supply chain. However, some things could still be improved in areas like testing and packaging. In addition, when it comes to the availability of engineers, it’s still being determined whether there will be enough to meet the demands of the growing semiconductor manufacturing industry. Currently, this sector employs 2 million people worldwide, and it’s expected to grow to 3 million by 2030.

According to Forbes, Mexico produces over 130,000 computer science graduates yearly, which could be even higher when including other math and science graduates. In comparison, the US only has 65,000 graduates annually. Nonetheless, it needs to be clarified how many engineers the semiconductor companies will require and how many positions will be available. However, I believe that Mexican engineers can take advantage of educational programs, courses, and training in related areas to seize potential opportunities in this industry.

Overall, Mexico’s potential to attract semiconductor manufacturers is significant, and the country has a vast pool of talented graduates in the math and science fields. However, it remains to be seen how the demand for engineers will evolve, and the industry’s growth trajectory will depend on factors like investment, innovation, and infrastructure development.

EMSNOW: Will the disruptions of the last 6 months continue, or do you see things becoming more stable in the coming quarters?

I believe the disruptions we’ve experienced over the last six months will continue for the foreseeable future. While many companies are exploring alternative manufacturing options like reshoring and nearshoring, these efforts take time and resources to prepare, build and set up operations.

For example, we’ve seen some promising developments in the semiconductor and battery manufacturing industry coming to Mexico, but deployment and ramping up of these operations will take time. It’s important to note that to expedite the process, companies can leverage new trends in AI, machine learning, and intelligent manufacturing solutions.

In summary, while we may see some stability in certain areas in the coming quarters, it’s important to anticipate continued disruptions and plan accordingly. Companies that invest in innovative solutions and stay agile will be better positioned to weather the ongoing challenges.

EMSNOW: How can EMS companies prepare for the growth that’s expected in the Americas from the trend of regionalization?

EMS companies can prepare for the expected growth in the Americas from the trend of regionalization by implementing new technologies that can streamline their operations and increase efficiency. Specifically, companies should focus on automated solutions that are flexible and easy to configure, as well as software platforms that can interact with AI and machine learning. By adopting these technologies, companies can reduce the time it takes to deploy assembly lines, increase throughput, improve quality, and reduce production costs. This approach will enable EMS companies to meet the demands of a growing market while maintaining high levels of productivity and profitability.

EMSNOW: What else would you like to say to the EMSNOW audience?

Thank you for taking the time to read this interview. I would also like to express my gratitude to EMSNOW for providing me with the opportunity to share my views. If you are interested in learning more about Bright Machines’ software-driven automation solutions, please feel free to contact me at juancarlos.jaime@brightmachines.com or connect with me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/juan-carlos-jaime-930b042/.

x Brown

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