National Instruments celebrates 25th anniversary

AUGUST 20--National Instruments Corp. (Austin, TX; www.ni.com) is celebrating its 25th anniversary by breaking down the wall between design engineers and manufacturing engineers.

AUGUST 20--National Instruments Corp. (Austin, TX; www.ni.com) is celebrating its 25th anniversary by breaking down the wall between design engineers and manufacturing engineers. By integrating hardware test tools with software measurement tools, NI has been able to automate nine steps on its PCB assembly floor, reduce equipment footprint by 25%, and improve test setup and runtimes by 35%, said NI manufacturing engineer Suresh Sundarababu in a keynote address that kicked off NI's 8th annual NI Week, the company's combined trade show, exhibition, and customer event.

"We have a testing paradox," said Paul Packebush, NI engineering group manager. Companies are looking to cut costs and improve product cycle times and are tempted to reduce product testing. But it is testing that provides the data to improve process technology, he said. This is a strategy NI would like to see the semiconductor industry take more advantage of, as chipmakers, electronics manufacturers, and tool OEMs look more and more to lower test and production costs through manufacturing execution and advanced process control software.

"One of our goals is to increase (product) visibility for the rest of the market," said Terry Duepner, a semiconductor industry veteran and a segment-marketing engineer for NI. "It's something we want to expand into and we're getting inquiries as well," she added. "It's a new application for existing technology."

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