Manufacturing Innovation Hub for automation, machine tool and semiconductors to open in Silicon Valley

March 7, 2024
Heidenhain readies acquisition to accommodate collaboration with A3, AMT and Semi

Heidenhain, provider of motion-control technology, acquired a Silicon Valley headquarters located in Fremont, California, making way for the 12,000-sq-ft Manufacturing Innovation Hub, which will house office space for Heidenhain’s regional sales and support staff, as well as a 6,000-sq-ft equipment demonstration lab.

Heidenhain will promote use of the facility with OEI/OEM partners seeking demonstration space in the Bay Area and will encourage collaborative projects across key market segments including machine tool, semiconductor and automation equipment applications.

“As a foundation company, we promote the development of innovative applications within our core markets, and we apply our motion-control technologies to emerging high-growth application segments,” said David Doyle, president and CEO of Heidenhain. “We represent 10 brands of products from within the Heidenhain Corporate Group, and each brand offers unique strengths. Our broad technology and product portfolio enables us to provide best-fit solutions to our customers for their application-specific needs.”

Heidenhain has systematically restructured its North American operations to redistribute sales and support staff and improve proximity to the customer base, Doyle explained. “This is the third expansion step in Silicon Valley over five years, and the new facility will enable hands-on demonstration and training capabilities, similar to those at our Heidenhain Technical Academies located in Traunreut, Germany, and Schaumburg, Illinois. We work closely with industry associations like Semi, the semiconductor industry association; Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT); and Association for Advancing Automation (A3), and we welcome their participation in this initiative, including invitations to their member companies.”

Doyle noted that expanding involvement with technical schools, development centers and universities is central to that objective. “We hope to educate and train the future industry workforce in the use of linear, rotary and angle encoder technology, control electronics technology and related system integration,” he explained, noting Heidenhain’s CNC programming software and integrated digital manufacturing technology, sold in conjunction with its OEM partner systems to the machine tool industry, is critical for expanding five-axis machining applications and supporting a growing user base at Silicon Valley companies, where precision and accuracy are in high demand.

“Silicon Valley, as a nexus of technological innovation, provides an unparalleled environment to foster integrative advancements,” said Doug Woods, president of AMT. “For AMT in particular, our commitment is to drive innovation, productivity and growth in manufacturing. The proposed center offers a unique opportunity to showcase the capabilities of modern manufacturing to a diverse audience, from potential clients and partners to policymakers and the next generation of engineers and innovators. This aligns with AMT's mission to promote manufacturing technology.”

Ajit Manocha, president of Semi, commented: “Heidenhain is a key supplier to front and back end-of-line semiconductor capital equipment companies, working to ensure next-generation semiconductors technology nodes and new advanced packing strategies are possible. The global investment in semiconductor technology and production capacity will leverage Heidenhain’s technologies throughout the industry. Their proposed Manufacturing Innovation Hub Connect will create collaboration opportunities with Semi and across the supply chain, and their commitment to education and training will provide partnership opportunities with the SEMI Foundation and support its goal to ensure the success of semiconductor workforce development initiatives.”

Jeff Burnstein, president, Association for Advancing Automation stated: “We welcome the opportunity to participate in collaborative initiatives like this, which enable our members to advance automation applications across different industry sectors. Advancements in automation and robotics are essential to the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing. Ultimately, optimizing system performance and automation together improves the return on capital investment for manufacturing technology end-users.”