EMSNOW Mexico: Juan Carlos Jaime, Bright Machines
Bright Machines is an innovative pioneer in intelligent full-stack manufacturing. We caught up with Juan Carlos Jaime to get an update on Bright Machines’ business in Mexico.
EMSNOW: Please tell us about yourself. What is your background and role within your company?
For the past 14+ years, I’ve specialized in technical sales and engineering across industries, and today I use these 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’m focused on customer development in the Mexico market; this includes demonstrating our Bright Machines Microfactory and developing solutions and strategies based on individual customer requirements.
I always take an enthusiastic and customer-oriented approach to my engagement with customers, and I consider myself an expert in the challenges and different requirements of the manufacturing industry in Mexico.
EMSNOW: Please tell us about your company and its history doing business in Mexico.
Bright Machines is a technology company pioneering an innovative approach to intelligent, full-stack manufacturing. It leverages intelligent software and robotics to fundamentally change the flexibility, scalability, and economics of production. Founded in 2018, Bright Machine has more than 300 employees worldwide and is headquartered in San Francisco and operates R&D centers in the U.S. and Israel, with additional field operations in North America, Asia, and Europe. In addition, we have a team of engineers in Guadalajara and will expand our Integration Hub in the city later this month.
Some of our first customers are in Mexico, and we’re proud to be a part of the vibrant manufacturing community in this country.
EMSNOW: What do you consider the advantages of your company’s business strategy for serving customers in Mexico?
Bright Machines serves manufacturing customers in Mexico, many of whom are multinational companies 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 build products because of high shipping and freight costs, ongoing supply chain disruptions, concerns about emissions, and growing geopolitical risks. They must think globally to address customer needs but build locally to stay responsive to changing market demands. This has prompted manufacturers to ‘reshore’ operations to the U.S. 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 customers on reshoring to Mexico to be closer to markets and realize other economic and environmental advantages over the long run. Our Bright Machines Microfactories also allow customers to meet increased production demands with flexibility and speed, avoiding the challenges of integrating new lines and dealing with labor shortages. At every step, we ensure 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 significant exports. Some reasons include proximity to the U.S. market, lower labor costs, open trade agreements, and government incentives. However, I think the industry’s biggest strength lies in the people; we have proven over the years in Mexico that our people are well-prepared and qualified to manufacture the best-in-class products for the electronic industry. As the trend of reshoring continues, I expect electronics manufacturing in Mexico to maintain a favorable growth rate.
EMSNOW: What are the current challenges of doing business here?
The biggest challenge is that most companies come to Mexico looking for low-cost labor without thinking about efficiency, run rates, and quality standards that are inherently part of intelligent automation.
Another challenge for our customers is identifying when the best time is to implement automation; they can struggle with their customer requirements for ramping up production. We make the decision easier with our flexible, scalable, and easy to deploy microfactories.
EMSNOW: What global electronics industry trends are impacting the industry in Mexico?
The adoption of Industry 4.0 and the IoT are hot trends in Mexico. In general, I believe that the industry is exploring the benefits of modern technology driven by machine learning, computer vision, and robotics. Nevertheless, I have heard that companies face challenges in implementing these technologies due to the incompatibility of obsolete equipment and the complexity of upgrading.
But our approach is different. Our Brightware Platform, software for line operation that provides operation and production visibility, is embedded in our microfactories, allowing line monitoring of the 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 core focus at Bright Machines is helping our manufacturing customers weather supply chain disruptions. Bright Machines offers flexible microfactories 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 U.S. market and less likely to get caught up in supply chain delays. Furthermore, suppose a company has to change a product or the amount produced due to supply chain or timing issues. In that case, it is easy to reprogram the microfactories, preventing a company from having wasted inventory.
EMSNOW: What are the most important end market sectors in the industry in Mexico now, and which ones will be the growth drivers for the next five years?
Mexico’s top electronics manufacturing markets are automotive, aerospace, and medical devices. The one that I expect to lead the growth will be Automotive. Unfortunately, it has been dramatically impacted by the pandemic, supply chain disruptions, and the semiconductor shortage. Due to this shortage of production, the automotive sector has not been able to normalize its production to meet the demand for new vehicles; for this reason, I’ve heard that companies are preparing for big growth in their production in the years to come.
EMSNOW: How does your flexible manufacturing solution apply to automotive and medical end markets?
Our name embodies the work we do to deliver the intelligence to run modern manufacturing operations. By bringing both “brains” and “brawn” together in an integrated, end-to-end solution, we can tackle the assembly and inspection steps that require a degree of flexibility, adaptability, and dexterity that have historically been out of reach for machines. We apply this technology across industry verticals, including automotive components and smaller medical devices.
EMSNOW: We hear that semiconductor manufacturing is coming to Mexico. Is your solution applicable to those situations?
Due to the size of semiconductors, our solution does not currently apply to manufacturing these chips. Nevertheless, I think this is excellent news for the EMS industry in North America. By manufacturing these components locally, the markets affected by the supply chain disruptions will have faster resources to boost production. At Bright Machines, we are focused on automating the final assembly of electronic products, so with better availability of semiconductors components, we can help our customers produce a huge variety of products with speed and flexibility.