Micron joins the WEF Global Lighthouse Network

Koen De Backer | February 2020

In advance of its 2020 meeting, the World Economic Forum welcomed Micron into its Global Lighthouse Network, a group of advanced manufacturers “that are showing leadership in applying the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to drive operational and environmental impact.”

For years, Micron has been helping clients integrate artificial intelligence (AI), big data analytics and the industrial internet of things (IIoT) into their factories. And now Micron’s factory is one of the first facilities in Singapore, along with Infineon, to be recognized by the Global Lighthouse Network.

In a recent interview with Channel News Asia, Manish Bhatia, executive VP of Global Operations, explained how Micron has been practicing what it preaches: “Our products enable new technology trends such as IoT, 5G, cloud computing and autonomous driving. Applying these technologies in our own manufacturing facilities demonstrates the enormous potential in driving business value. Industrial IoT and artificial intelligence are part of the biggest revolution since the advent of robotic manufacturing productivity 50 years ago.”

For Micron, this journey started with the need to “keep pace with the technological advancement of our semiconductor processes,” Manish said. “We wanted to provide higher-capacity, higher-performance, lower-cost and lower-power chips.”

This meant embarking on the same journey they guide clients through: “We started by focusing in 2014 on simple statistical analysis to improve our production processes. Following that, we developed more complex deep learning and AI capabilities to draw insights from our data. Most recently, we introduced IoT sensors — like cameras and acoustic sensors — to gather even more data that allows us to further improve our production processes.”

The Singapore factory plays a critical role in developing leading-edge NAND. Micron’s Singapore presence, composed of two wafer-fabrication facilities and one assembly and test facility, serves as the base for worldwide operations. With over 500,000 square feet of cleanroom space, the location is also a designated NAND Center of Excellence, driving the implementation of the company’s leading-edge 3D NAND production for use in mobile phones, solid-state drives, digital cameras and more. Micron employs approximately 8,000 people in Singapore.

The World Economic Forum says the results of the Singapore transformation have been spectacular: Micron’s “semiconductor fabrication facility has integrated big data infrastructure and IIoT to implement artificial intelligence and data science solutions, raising product quality standards and doubling the speed at which new products are ramped.”

Below are notable achievements that Micron was recognized for:

  • Automation of production and maintenance produced a 4% tool availability improvement
  • The IIoT-enabled smart factory led to a 22% scrap and product downgrade reduction.
  • Advanced analytics for process optimization with OEMs reduced time to ramp new products by 50%.
  • Deep learning optical-defect detection created a 2% yield improvement
  • The integrated deviation management platform reduced time to resolve quality issues by 50%.

Micron was a natural choice for the Global Lighthouse Network, an organization whose creation is timely. The World Economic Forum points out that “global production industry is lagging in its adoption of Fourth Industrial Revolution manufacturing technologies, with more than 70 per cent of companies stuck in pilot-phases … [There is] a need for a neutral learning platform to showcase top-use cases, roadmaps and organizational approaches to adopting and scaling technologies from which other companies globally could benefit.”

As part of the Global Lighthouse Network, Micron will be able to share knowledge and best practices with peers, support new partnerships and help other manufacturers deploy technology, adopt sustainable practices and transform their workforces. We can all build on this community of like-minded organizations, levering technology to improve efficiencies and promote sustainability.

This recognition from the World Economic Forum is a win-win. We look forward to joining the club of lighthouse factories around the world and to helping propel the entire global manufacturing industry into the Fourth Industrial Revolution. At Micron, we are at the forefront of this transformation and welcome the opportunity to serve as a lighthouse.

VP, Smart Manufacturing & AI

Koen De Backer

Koen De Backer is the Vice President of smart manufacturing and artificial intelligence at Micron Technology. He is responsible for driving Micron's smart manufacturing initiatives and digital operations including capabilities with IoT, artificial intelligence, advanced analytics, cognitive computing and machine learning to enhance our business, global operations and product development.