Exclusive Interview With The President And CEO: Cimetrix Incorporated (CMXX) - Robert H. Reback
June 13, 2012 - The Wall Street Transcript has just published Business and Application Software Report offering a timely review of the sector. This Special Report contains expert industry commentary through in-depth interviews with public company CEOs, Equity Analysts and Money Managers. Please find an excerpt below.
Robert H. Reback, President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Cimetrix Incorporated, has served as a Director of the company since July 2002. He joined Cimetrix as Vice President of Sales in January 1996, was promoted to Executive Vice President of Sales in January 1997 and became President in June 2001. Before Cimetrix, Mr. Reback was the District Manager of FANUC Robotics' West Coast business unit from 1994 to 1995. From 1985 to 1993, he was Director of Sales/Account Executives for Thesis, Inc., a privately owned supplier of factory automation software, and was previously a Senior Automation Engineer for Texas Instruments Inc. Mr. Reback earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering and an M.S. in industrial engineering from Purdue University.
TWST: May we start with a brief introduction of Cimetrix?
Mr. Reback: Cimetrix (CMXX)is a software products company. We enable the smart, connected factory, and we serve the semiconductor, the photovoltaic - PV - and the high-brightness LED markets, primarily. We sell products and services to makers of the capital equipment that goes into these factories worldwide.
TWST: Would you comment on the depth of Cimetrix's solutions and share with us a few examples highlighting key features?
Mr. Reback: The semiconductor industry started to move from using 150-millimeter and 200-millimeter wafers to 300-millimeter - 12-inch - wafers around the year 2000. The industry moved to larger wafers in order to reduce the overall production cost of each chip on the wafer. When that happened, the stack of wafers became so heavy that humans could no longer transport them through the fabrication facilities. The leading chip makers, companies like Intel and Samsung, pushed equipment suppliers to move to 300-millimeter products. They also incorporated robotics and automated material-handling systems that transported the materials in their facilities. This movement toward the use of 300-millimeter equipment marked a sea change for the industry in bringing about a greater level of automation on the floor of the fabrication facility. In my opinion, these factories today are some of the most advanced factories in the world. Number one, they absolutely have to be extremely clean because you're making advanced computer chips. Second, these factories run without human intervention - they are completely automated, running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. All of the equipment has to connect to the factory-level software. The factory has to be able to remotely start and stop the equipment, as well as monitor data to make adjustments. All of that has to be done without humans. When we saw that transition to 300 millimeter, we saw an opportunity for Cimetrix to get involved and help capital equipment suppliers develop the software that enables their equipment to connect to the factory. Since, with the move to 300-millimeter wafers, there was an inherent requirement for the equipment to be even more reliable and productive than it already was. We decided to partner with the equipment makers to achieve that goal, as well. In fact, our success in the development of efficient control and connectivity of equipment is vital to our customers. Any imperfections in the products created on this equipment results in significant and costly losses. Cimetrix software, therefore, is critical for the supply chain of our three addressable markets.
TWST: What is the size of the market Cimetrix is addressing?
Mr. Reback: The markets we're addressing have grown to $200-$300 million, because we've expanded our product line. Initially, when our product lines focused on factory connectivity used by equipment companies selling solely to semiconductor manufacturers, we served a market that was approximately $50 million in software and related engineering support per year. That market size allowed us to grow profitably. Since then, we have moved into adjacent markets, like the photovoltaic and the high-brightness LED markets. In addition, and perhaps more important, we invested in our software capabilities to expand our product line to offer more software to the equipment suppliers. Beyond the initial connectivity capability, we developed software that controls the capital equipment - or equipment control in the industry parlance.
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