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Archived press releases

12/02/2015:PEER Group to introduce Remicus in Japan

PEER Group to introduce Remicus in Japan

Kitchener, Ontario – December 2, 2015

Remicus™ will enable you to provide a higher standard of service to your fab customers while reducing your support costs.

Remicus is the newest addition to PEER Group’s expanding portfolio of connectivity software products for the semiconductor, solar/PV, LED, MEMs, and electronics industries. It provides secure, scalable remote access to deployed equipment and equipment data. Remicus enables the human cloud, allowing distributed teams to collaborate on equipment installed in the field.

“We have already introduced Remicus to dozens of interested OEMs at SEMICON West and Europa, and will continue demos at SEMICON Japan this month. We invite you to schedule your meeting at booth 2304,” says Bill Schmalz, director of global OEM sales for PEER Group.

“Our Japanese software distributor – Mizuho Information and Research Institute – will join us to provide Japanese translation during your demo, if needed,” Schmalz continues.

In the meantime, watch this short video to learn more about Remicus:

Click here to watch Remicus video

Contact sales.remicus@peergroup.com to schedule your demo at booth 2304.

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides innovative factory automation software solutions and consulting services to the semiconductor, photovoltaic, and electronics industries. The world’s best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management, and process control problems. With more than 100,000 licenses shipped, we are the leading supplier of equipment connectivity and testing products to automated factories around the globe. Our products and services help lower the cost of automation for high-volume manufacturers and their equipment suppliers. PEER Group is recognized on the following listings: Great Place to Work’s Best Workplaces Canada, Branham300, Deloitte Technology Fast 50, and Deloitte Technology Fast 500.

Contact

Heidi Marr
Manager, Marketing Services and Corporate Communications
Heidi.Marr@peergroup.com
+1 519-749-9554

09/30/2015:Video: Remicus enables secure remote connectivity

Video: Remicus enables secure remote connectivity

Kitchener, Ontario – September 30, 2015

PEER Group® is pleased to announce the official launch of our remote connectivity product, Remicus™.

Remicus™ is a cloud-based infrastructure that provides secure, scalable remote access to deployed equipment and equipment data. It enables the human cloud, allowing distributed teams to collaborate on equipment that is installed in the field.

“During Semicon West 2015, Remicus demonstrations generated a huge amount of interest within the OEM community,” says Bill Schmalz, director of global OEM sales for PEER Group. “Tool makers are excited about the secure communication tunnel designed to protect their IP as well as fab information.”

OEMs who use Remicus can provide a much higher standard of service to their fab customers, while reducing support costs. We invite you to watch this short video to learn more.

Click here to watch Remicus video

Book your demo

PEER Group will be hosting Remicus product demonstrations at Semicon Europa, Booth 1242. Contact sales.remicus@peergroup.com to schedule your demo. 

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides innovative factory automation software solutions and consulting services to the semiconductor, photovoltaic, and electronics industries. The world’s best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management, and process control problems. With more than 100,000 licenses shipped, we are the leading supplier of equipment connectivity and testing products to automated factories around the globe. Our products and services help lower the cost of automation for high-volume manufacturers and their equipment suppliers. PEER Group is recognized on the following listings: Great Place to Work’s Best Workplaces Canada, Branham300, Deloitte Technology Fast 50, and Deloitte Technology Fast 500.

Contact

Heidi Marr
Manager, Marketing Services and Corporate Communications
Heidi.Marr@peergroup.com
+1 519-749-9554

09/30/2015:Remicus 1.2 product launch

Remicus 1.2 product launch

30 September 2015

PEER Group officially launched the new remote connectivity product, Remicus™. To read about its features, see the product release notes.

07/09/2015:PTO's RECIF EFEM support means more automation flexibility

PTO's RECIF EFEM support means more automation flexibility

Kitchener, Ontario - July 9, 2015

The PEER Group Inc. is pleased to announce that PTO™ – the world’s most popular tool automation software platform – now supports the RECIF 450/300mm atmospheric equipment front end module (EFEM).

As a result of our off-the-shelf drivers and other built-in support, PTO greatly reduces your effort to provide complete tool automation.  

“We continuously expand PTO’s capabilities providing more automation solution benefits to our user community. With PTO’s extensive and evolving list of plug-and-play hardware automation components, OEMs can independently select and change out tool hardware components and be confident that their automation software platform, PTO, will support their new hardware design,” says Bill Schmalz, Director of Global OEM Sales at PEER Group. “Adding the new RECIF EFEM hardware to our library of industry-standard components is beneficial to our customer base and provides additional hardware design flexibility.”

“RECIF sees the integration with PTO as a key and very positive achievement,” says Alain Jarre, Chairman and CEO at RECIF Technologies. “It was a must for our new EFEM 450/300 platform to be compatible with PTO.”

PEER Group’s sales team will be hosting PTO demonstrations at SEMICON West: Booth 1922, South Hall. Contact sales@peergroup.com to schedule your meeting and to learn more.

About RECIF Technologies

RECIF designs, manufactures, distributes, and maintains robotic handling equipment for highly-sensitive environments dedicated to the semiconductor industry.

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides innovative factory automation software solutions and consulting services to the semiconductor, photovoltaic, and electronics industries. The world’s best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management, and process control problems. With more than 100,000 licenses shipped, we are the leading supplier of equipment connectivity and testing products to automated factories around the globe. Our products and services help lower the cost of automation for high-volume manufacturers and their equipment suppliers. PEER Group is recognized on the following listings: Great Place to Work’s Best Workplaces Canada, Branham300, Deloitte Technology Fast 50, and Deloitte Technology Fast 500.

Contact

Heidi Marr
Manager, Marketing Services and Corporate Communications
Heidi.Marr@peergroup.com
+1 519-749-9554 

07/06/2015:Enable tool experts to manage manufacturing equipment via the web

Enable tool experts to manage manufacturing equipment via the web

Kitchener, Ontario -  July 6, 2015

In today’s competitive marketplace, fabs expect OEMs to provide continuous improvements on uptime and yield. In response, OEMs are looking for ways to meet these demands in a cost-effective manner.
 
PEER Group—the leading supplier of semiconductor automation software—has combined our unique expertise with equipment connectivity and factory automation to develop a new product that will enable OEMs to provide best-in-class service to their fab customers.
 
We would like to introduce you to the newest addition in our product portfolio: Remicus™. Its cloud-based infrastructure enables secure, scalable remote access to equipment and equipment data, empowering geographically-dispersed experts.
 
Pronounced reh-Me-cuss, the name is a combination of “remote” and a play on the Latin word for friend, amicus. Remicus enables the human cloud whereby a distributed team works together efficiently towards a common goal. Local service technicians in a fab collaborate with tool experts at OEM headquarters. Imagine an OEM having the ability to support all deployed equipment, regardless of location.
 
Remicus provides a secure communication tunnel designed to protect both fab information and equipment-maker IP and meets the requirements of the most highly-secured corporate networks. Our flexible solution is based on cloud technology for scalability, meeting the peak data throughput needs of the largest to the smallest OEMs.


Our sales team will be hosting Remicus demonstrations at Semicon West: Booth 1922, South Hall. Contact sales.remicus@peergroup.com to schedule your meeting and to learn more.

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides innovative factory automation software solutions and consulting services to the semiconductor, photovoltaic, and electronics industries. The world’s best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management, and process control problems. With more than 100,000 licenses shipped, we are the leading supplier of equipment connectivity and testing products to automated factories around the globe. Our products and services help lower the cost of automation for high-volume manufacturers and their equipment suppliers. PEER Group is recognized on the following listings: Great Place to Work’s Best Workplaces Canada, Branham300, Deloitte Technology Fast 50, and Deloitte Technology Fast 500.

04/22/2015:PEER Group jumps 24 spots on Branham300

PEER Group jumps 24 spots on Branham300

Kitchener, Ontario - April 22, 2015

The PEER Group Inc. announced today it moved to #121 on the 2015 Branham300 listing, up from #145 last year, due to outstanding financial results in 2014. The thriving privately-owned company saw 23% growth in 2014, ending the year with record revenue of $21.2M.

“PEER Group has doubled revenues in the past five years. We are committed to steady, self-financed, and profitable growth,” says Mike Kropp, president and CEO. “I attribute our success to an incredible team focused on agility and innovation. I’d like to thank each of our employees for their contributions and our customers for placing their trust in our capabilities.”

The Branham300 is the definitive listing of Canada’s top Information and Communication Technology (ICT) companies as ranked by revenues. PEER Group, which employs 140 worldwide, has been climbing the list for the past four years, first appearing at #179 in 2012.

About Branham300

Over the past 23 years, the Branham300 has grown to become known as the most comprehensive and trusted source of information on the health of the Canadian ICT Industry. As a well respected ranking of both publicly traded and privately held companies, the Branham300 receives tremendous attention with comprehensive details on its website (www.branham300.com) and through national media outlets. Recognition on the Branham300 listing has provided both up-and-coming firms and established ICT veterans with increased market exposure and brand awareness, while in many cases also opening the door to new business opportunities, both domestically and abroad.

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides innovative factory automation software solutions and consulting services to the semiconductor, photovoltaic, and electronics industries. The world’s best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management, and process control problems. With more than 100,000 licenses shipped, we are the leading supplier of equipment connectivity and testing products to automated factories around the globe. Our products and services help lower the cost of automation for high-volume manufacturers and their equipment suppliers. PEER Group is recognized on the following listings: Great Place to Work’s Best Workplaces Canada, Branham300, Deloitte Technology Fast 50, and Deloitte Technology Fast 500.

Contact

Heidi Marr Manager, Marketing Services and Corporate Communications
Heidi.Marr@peergroup.com
+1 519-749-9554

04/10/2015:PEER Group continues to be one of Canada's Best Workplaces

PEER Group continues to be one of Canada's Best Workplaces

Kitchener, Ontario - April 10, 2015

Great Pace To Work logo

The PEER Group Inc. announced today that it continues to be one of the Best Workplaces in Canada for the third consecutive year. This list, compiled by the Great Place to Work® Institute, appears today in a special national report in The Globe and Mail.

PEER Group’s leadership team knows that being a great place to work means building a workplace full of great people and arming them to do great things. The company is committed to maintaining a workplace culture based on mutual respect and trust.

“We seek out the best and the brightest; individuals who are capable of continuous learning, strategic thinking, and technological innovation,” says Janice Retterath, director of HR and administration. “We cultivate solid processes and provide meaningful work to keep our employees engaged. I call our team ‘heroic’ – it consists of planners, optimizers, and adventurers. Together, we are amazing,” she continues.

“PEER Group works with the biggest names in the semiconductor manufacturing industry and in our 23 years of business, we have developed a solid reputation for success. I’m very proud of our employees who work together to push the envelope in technological innovation on a daily basis,” says Mike Kropp, president and CEO.

Jose Tolovi Neto, managing partner of Great Place to Work Canada says: “As the marketplace continues to be highly competitive, The PEER Group Inc., now on their 4th year as a Best Workplace, is well-equipped to stay ahead of the competition by creating a workplace that boasts a culture of trust, boosts productivity and ultimately increases their business performance.”

PEER Group has an enviable retention rate; 30% of employees have been with the company for ten or more years, indicating that PEER has established a welcoming and nurturing environment in which to work. “We support our team members on their individual career paths. This year, we created some new roles to broaden our leadership group, provide strategic succession planning, and continue meeting the challenge of drawing upon each team member’s unique strengths,” says Retterath.  

About the Great Place to Work® Institute

Great Place to Work® Institute is a global research and management consultancy with expertise on workplace transformation and a presence in more than 50 countries worldwide. Their mission is to improve society by creating better workplaces. They are best-known for their global Best Workplaces Program, which they produce in conjunction with prestigious media partners such as the Globe and Mail, the Financial Times and Fortune. With more than 5,500 organizations surveyed every year across the globe, the program is the world’s largest of its kind. They believe passionately that any company or organization can become a great place to work. Their mission is to help companies do it.

About the Best Workplaces in Canada listing

The Best Workplaces competition is based on two criteria: two-thirds of the total score comes from a 58-statement survey completed by a random selection of employees, along with open-ended comments about the organization; the remaining score comes from an in-depth review of the organization’s culture, including an evaluation of HR policies and procedures. This offers a rigorous representation of the organization from an employee perspective and an overall portrait of the workplace culture. Together, they provide crucial data relative to the five trust-building dimensions of a great place to work: credibility, respect, fairness, pride, and camaraderie. More than 60,000 employees participated in the 2015 “Best Workplaces in Canada” survey.

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides innovative factory automation software solutions and consulting services to the semiconductor, photovoltaic, and electronics industries. The world’s best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management, and process control problems. With more than 100,000 licenses shipped, we are the leading supplier of equipment connectivity and testing products to automated factories around the globe. Our products and services help lower the cost of automation for high-volume manufacturers and their equipment suppliers. PEER Group is recognized on the following listings: Great Place to Work’s Best Workplaces Canada, Branham300, Deloitte Technology Fast 50, and Deloitte Technology Fast 500.

Contact

Heidi Marr
Manager, Marketing Services and Corporate Communications
Heidi.Marr@peergroup.com
+1 519-749-9554

01/29/2015:PEER Group continues to simplify complex automation

PEER Group continues to simplify complex automation

Kitchener, Ontario - January 29, 2015

New tool development can be costly and challenging for OEMs. PEER Group has developed software products that enable you to focus on your tool's processes instead of on tool automation and hardware control. By utilizing our products as part of your new tool development, your deployment challenges will be minimized, time to market accelerated, and long-term maintenance costs reduced.

Leverage the simplicity of our complete automation software solution

One of the things we do is ensure that our PTO™ product—the world’s most popular tool automation software platform—provides built-in support to enable ease of use. It includes a graphical configuration manager and pre-configured charting. PTO also includes a library of industry-standard plug-and-play automation drivers for all major hardware components provided by the industry’s hardware vendors. For example, PTO provides an off-the-shelf automation software solution for OEMs using Brooks Automation’s vacuum and atmospheric wafer transport systems. As a result of our off-the-shelf drivers and other built-in support, PTO greatly reduces your effort to provide complete tool automation.

Visit us at SEMICON Korea, Booth 5750 (Hall D)

Drop by our booth next week to learn how PEER Group’s products can help you focus on your core competencies, making your next tool deployment the most cost-effective.

PEER Group to represent Canada on South Korean trade mission

PEER Group has been selected to join the Honorable Ed Fast, Canadian Minister of International Trade, on a trade mission in Seoul February 8-11. Bill Schmalz, director of Global OEM sales, will act as an ambassador for Canadian technology businesses and will meet with Korean industry leaders. This trade mission is part of the recent Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement.

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides innovative factory automation software solutions and consulting services to the semiconductor, photovoltaic, and electronics industries. The world’s best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management, and process control problems. With more than 100,000 licenses shipped, we are the leading supplier of equipment connectivity and testing products to automated factories around the globe. Our products and services help lower the cost of automation for high-volume manufacturers and their equipment suppliers. PEER Group is recognized on the following listings: Great Place to Work’s Best Workplaces Canada, Branham300, Deloitte Technology Fast 50, and Deloitte Technology Fast 500.

In Korea, PEER Group works with a local distributor, ELIM Technologies. 
 

Contact

Heidi Marr
Manager, Marketing Services and Corporate Communications
Heidi.Marr@peergroup.com
+1 519-749-9554

01/28/2015:Microsoft recognizes excellence by renewing PEER Group's gold application development competency

Microsoft recognizes excellence by renewing PEER Group's gold application development competency

Kitchener, Ontario - January 28, 2015

Microsoft Partner logoThe PEER Group Inc. is pleased to announce that we have successfully renewed into the Microsoft Partner Network retaining our Gold Application Development competency for 2015. Microsoft has recognized that PEER Group continues to demonstrate “best-in-class” customer commitment and market leadership through technology success.

Read more about the Microsoft Partner Network and PEER Group’s initial Gold Application Development Competency achievement in 2013.

11/13/2014:PEER Group ranks on Deloitte Technology Fast 50 and Fast 500 lists

PEER Group Ranks on Deloitte Technology Fast 50 and Fast 500 Lists

Kitchener, Ontario - November 13, 2014

Deloitte Technology Fast 50 logoThe PEER Group Inc. announced today that it has ranked #33 on the 2014 Deloitte® Technology Fast 50™ listing which recognizes the Canadian technology companies with the highest revenue growth over five years. PEER Group also appears at #321 on the 2014 Deloitte Technology Fast 500™ North American listing, an annual ranking of the 500 fastest-growing technology, media, and telecommunications companies throughout the United States and Canada. Deloitte will celebrate the regional rankings tonight at a special awards reception held at The Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. PEER Group's Robert Harris and Susan Hoskins will attend.

“Our inclusion on these lists is a significant endorsement from one of the largest professional services firms,” says Mike Kropp, president and CEO of PEER Group. “Although this ranking demonstrates our exceptional financial results, PEER Group is much more than strong financials. We are focused on delivering an extraordinary customer experience and are dedicated to technological innovation in our field. Success is a group effort and I’d like to thank each of our employees for his or her contribution to our achievements. I am extremely proud of our team.”

To be eligible for the Canadian Fast 50 program, a company must have been in business for at least five years, have revenues of $5 million+, own proprietary technology, and be headquartered and perform R&D activities in Canada. Deloitte’s teams of technology experts conduct extensive interviews with candidates across the country and evaluate companies based on several criteria including competitive advantage, market attractiveness, management effectiveness, and financial performance.

About the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 and Fast 500 Programs

The Deloitte Technology Fast 50™ is Canada’s pre-eminent technology awards program and celebrates world-class leadership, innovation and excellence in the technology sector. The Deloitte Technology Fast 500™ is an annual ranking of the 500 fastest-growing technology, media, and telecommunications companies in the United States and Canada. The Technology Fast 500 is based on percentage of revenue growth over five years. Combining technological innovation, entrepreneurship and rapid growth, Technology Fast 50 and Fast 500 companies span a variety of industry sectors and are leaders in hardware, software, digital media, telecom and emerging areas such as clean technology.

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides innovative factory automation software solutions and consulting services to the semiconductor, photovoltaic, LED and other high-technology industries. The world’s best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management, and process control problems. With more than 100,000 licenses shipped, we are the leading supplier of equipment connectivity and testing products to automated factories around the world. Our reliable products and services help lower the cost of automation for high-volume manufacturers and their equipment suppliers. PEER Group is recognized on the following listings: Great Place to Work’s Best Workplaces Canada, Branham300, Deloitte Technology Fast 50, and Deloitte Technology Fast 500.

Contact

Heidi Marr Manager, Marketing Services and Corporate Communications
Heidi.Marr@peergroup.com
+1 519-749-9554

09/23/2014:PEER Group presenting Agile Automation - SEMICON Europa

PEER Group presenting Agile Automation - SEMICON Europa

Kitchener, Ontario - September 23, 2014

William SchmalzThe PEER Group Inc. is pleased to announce that William (Bill) Schmalz, director of global OEM sales, will be presenting at SEMICON Europa during the Fab Productivity sessions.
 
Title
: An Agile Approach to Automation Software for Tool Control
Date
: Tuesday, October 7 at 16:10
Location
: TechARENA 1
 
Michael Arnold, PEER Group’s managing director in Europe, is the chair of the Semiconductor Technology Programs Committee (STC) and will be moderating the Tech Arena on Fab Productivity, starting at 13:30. The Fab Productivity sessions will cover various aspects of advanced manufacturing such as automation optimization, equipment performance, and innovative manufacturing techniques.

“As our director of global OEM sales, Bill has forged many partnerships with both fabs and OEMs, helping to make PEER Group a global leader in factory automation software. We’re excited that he is speaking at this important industry tradeshow,” says Mike Kropp, president and CEO of PEER Group.
 
PEER Group knows that as fabs strive for more productive manufacturing processes, OEMs are forced to become more agile in the deployment of their tools. Current methods of tool automation and control development cause tension between cost-effective tool development and long-term maintainability when faced with the requirement of agility.
 
“I will be presenting our suite of off-the-shelf tool automation development products architected specifically for the semiconductor tool maker to enable agility and cost-effective maintainability,” says Schmalz. “Using our products, OEMs can meet the fab’s needs for productive manufacturing while reducing turnaround times, time to market, and cost of ownership.”

SEMICON Europa 2014 bannerWe invite you to join Bill on October 7 to learn how PEER Group’s product team has designed our OEM product suite to help tool builders become more agile and cost effective at developing and supporting next-generation tool development.
 
While at SEMICON Europa, be sure to visit us at booth 261.

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides innovative factory automation software solutions and consulting services to the semiconductor, photovoltaic, and electronics industries. The world’s best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management, and process control problems. With more than 100,000 licenses shipped, we are the world’s leading supplier of equipment connectivity and testing products to automated factories around the globe. Our products and services help lower the cost of automation for high-volume manufacturers and their equipment suppliers.

Contact

Alison McKenzie, Product Manager
Alison.McKenzie@peergroup.com
+1 519-749-9554

04/22/2014:PEER Group moves up the rankings as one of the Top 250 Canadian Technology Leaders

PEER Group moves up the rankings as one of the Top 250 Canadian Technology Leaders

Kitchener, Ontario - April 22, 2014

The PEER Group Inc. announced today that it has been recognized as one of Canada’s leading technology companies in the 2014 Edition of the Branham300. PEER Group is ranked 145, up 11 positions from 2013 rankings.

Branham300 2014 Edition logo

For 21 years now, the Branham300 has highlighted the top Canadian and Multinational Information and Communication Technology (ICT) companies operating in Canada, as ranked by revenues. It illustrates the depth and breadth of innovative technologies developed in Canada and is widely considered to be a leading source of intelligence on Canada's ICT industry.

“Our industry-leading communication and control software automates the complex manufacturing equipment used to produce the electronic devices in the market today. Our solutions give our customers the competitive advantage of reduced time to market, reduced costs and increased equipment reliability”, said Mike Kropp, president and CEO.

About Branham Group Inc.

Branham Group Inc. is a leading industry analyst and strategic marketing company servicing the global Information and Communication Technology (ICT) marketplace. Branham Group assists ICT Technology companies and related institutions in achieving market success through its custom consulting services (Planning, Marketing and Partnering), and through its multi-client research subscription programs (Digital Health, Green IT and Cloud). Branham also produces an annual listing of the top ICT companies in Canada and monitors over 450 Digital Health vendors. For more information regarding Branham Group, please visit branhamgroup.com.

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides innovative factory automation software solutions and consulting services to the semiconductor, photovoltaic, LED and other high technology industries. The world’s best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management, and process control problems. With more than 100,000 licenses shipped, we are the leading supplier of equipment connectivity and testing products to automated factories around the world. Our innovative and reliable products and services help lower the cost of automation for high-volume manufacturers and their equipment suppliers.

Contact

Alison McKenzie
alison.mckenzie@peergroup.com
+1 519-749-9554

 

04/17/2014:PEER Group ranks number thirteen in Globe and Mail best workplaces in Canada

PEER Group ranks number thirteen in Globe and Mail best workplaces in Canada

Kitchener, Ontario – April 17, 2014

Best Workplaces Canada 2014 logo

The PEER Group Inc. announced today that it ranked #13 on the Globe and Mail "Best Workplaces in Canada" list for 2014. New this year, PEER Group also received a special "Camaraderie Award." For PEER Group, this means enjoying and working together successfully as a team while creating a family environment of trust and support. Only 6 companies in Canada were recognized in this category. The Best Workplace in Canada list, and related stories, appeared in a special national report on Thursday April 17th, 2014 in The Globe and Mail.

PEER Group’s great workplace is created on a foundation of balance – the three-legged stool of challenging work, customer success and personal growth for employees.  People want to know that they’re making a difference, whether it’s helping a customer launch a new product successfully, creating new software and processes that are a game-changer in the industry or being there to support their family and encourage their triumphs.  PEER Group is committed to growing its family and making its work environment a source of pride, camaraderie and success for everyone. 

“We have learned that the path to personal success is not always a straight line and finding ways to support that journey is key to having people excel and build a career at PEER Group.  Thirty percent of our employees have been here more than 10 years; a milestone that we celebrate with this growing group,” said Mike Kropp, president and CEO of The PEER Group. “We are committed to providing our employees with the opportunity to develop and grow as they mature from new grads to moms and dads to grandparents.  We want there to always be something new to learn and achieve."

This list of “Best Workplaces in Canada” is compiled by Great Place to Work® Institute Canada.  The competition process is based on two criteria: two-thirds of the total score comes from a 58-statement survey completed by a random selection of employees, along with their open-ended comments about their organization; the remaining one-third of the score comes from an in-depth review of the organization’s culture, including an evaluation of HR policies and procedures. This offers a rigorous representation of the organization from an employee perspective, and an overall portrait of the workplace culture. Together, they provide crucial data relative to the five trust-building dimensions of a great place to work®: credibility, respect, fairness, pride, and camaraderie.

This year, more than 60,000 employees participated in the 2014 “Best Workplaces in Canada” survey.

About the Great Place to Work® Institute

Great Place to Work® Institute is a global research and management consultancy with expertise on workplace transformation and a presence in 46 countries worldwide. Our mission is to improve society by creating better workplaces. We are best-known for our global Best Workplaces Programme, which we produce in conjunction with prestigious media partners such as the Globe and Mail, the Financial Times and Fortune. With more than 5,500 organizations surveyed every year across the globe, the programme is the world’s largest of its kind. We believe passionately that any company or organization can become a great place to work. Our mission is to help you do it.

About PEER Group

The PEER Group Inc. provides innovative factory automation software solutions and consulting services to the semiconductor, photovoltaic, LED and other high technology industries. The world’s best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management, and process control problems. With more than 100,000 licenses shipped, PEER Group is the leading supplier of equipment connectivity and testing products to automated factories around the world. Their innovative and reliable products and services help lower the cost of automation for high-volume manufacturers and their equipment suppliers.

Contact

Janice Retterath, Director, HR and Administration
janice@peergroup.com
+1 519-749-9554

01/29/2014:PEER Group selects ELIM Technology as Korean distributor

PEER Group selects ELIM Technology as Korean distributor

Kitchener, Ontario – January 29, 2014

ELIM logo

The PEER Group Inc., a global leader in factory automation software for the semiconductor, solar, and other high-technology industries, announced today that it has selected ELIM Technology as its distribution partner in Korea. ELIM Technology, headquartered in Hwaseong-Si, Gyeonggi-Do, Korea provides high quality products and services to the Korean semiconductor and LED markets, serving IC manufacturers and equipment suppliers. As an equipment maker and reseller, ELIM Technology brings a wealth of equipment automation experience which will help them provide equipment automation software solutions to the OEM market in Korea.

ELIM Technology will now provide PEER Group’s automation software products including the industry-leading tool automation software application PEER Tool Orchestrator (PTO™), the next generation equipment connectivity solution EIB™ OEM, as well as the PEER FACTORY® Acceptance Tester (PFAT™) equipment software automation testing application.

“We are excited to build our relationship with ELIM Technology. They have excellent equipment knowledge combined with software development capabilities. Their strong end-user network along with prior experience deploying PTO in Korea as an OEM distributor makes ELIM Technology well-suited to provide automation software solutions to Korea, based on PEER Group products,” says Mike Kropp, president and CEO of PEER Group.

During the past five months, ELIM engineers have received training on PEER Group’s products and are fully prepared to provide product implementation and technical support to the customer base in Korea. “With PEER Group products, we are able to offer our customers complete solutions for equipment automation,” says YongWoo Lee, senior director sales and marketing.

Effective immediately, ELIM Technology will have full responsibility for all sales, service, and support relationships with PEER Group’s customers in Korea.

About ELIM Technology

ELIM Technology creates value with passion. They have developed and provided the best quality products and services in the semiconductor and LED markets based on their advanced technology. Recently, they started their solar business, one of renewable energy projects to contribute to a better environment. ELIM Technology is steadily growing, while enjoying changes and challenges and is motivated to boost customer satisfaction and be a world leader. Learn more at www.elim-tech.com.

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides innovative factory automation software solutions and consulting services to the semiconductor, photovoltaic, and electronics industries. The world’s best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management, and process control problems. With more than 100,000 licenses shipped, we are the world’s leading supplier of equipment connectivity and testing products to automated factories around the globe. Our innovative and reliable products and services help lower the cost of automation for high-volume manufacturers and their equipment suppliers.

Alison McKenzie, Product Manager
Alison.McKenzie@peergroup.com
+1 519-749-9554

 

04/24/2013:PEER Group’s industry-leading solutions fueled growth in 2012 despite equipment spending decrease

PEER Group’s industry-leading solutions fueled growth in 2012 despite equipment spending decrease

Kitchener, Ontario - April 24, 2013

PEER Group reports increased revenue in 2012 and is positioned for continued growth in 2013.

Highlights

  • Total revenue increased 2% to $14.624M from $14.4M (CDN) despite a 16% decrease in semiconductor manufacturing equipment spending
  • Design wins increased 33% to 24 reflecting the high value our customers see in our product offerings
  • Record product and services sales from North American operations due to our growing customer base and our expanded footprint into related production applications within the manufacturing ecosystem
  • Increased employment to 122 at year end, positioning for continued growth in 2013
  • Established dedicated OEM sales and engineering team in Europe
  • Recognized as number 5 in the Top 50 Best Workplaces in Canada listed in the Globe and Mail newspaper
  • Ranked as number 156 in Branham 300’s Top 250 Canadian Technology Leaders, up 23 positions from previous year

“Fueling our growth globally has been the success of our factory and equipment automation and testing software products, as well as our development services for device manufacturers and equipment suppliers. Even with the market slowdown, our 24 design wins reflect the high value our customers see in our product offerings,” says Mike Kropp, president and CEO of PEER Group.

“Our continual investment in market-driven product development has resulted in our industry-leading product portfolio that provides customers with advancements in factory automation capabilities and technology reducing their overall automation development effort, cost and time to market,” continues Kropp. The creation of an integrated product stack, in which PEER Group products are designed to leverage other product capabilities, gives customers the ability to easily scale their solution, whether it is to adapt to different factory environments (GEM, GEM300, and Interface A (EDA)), tool automation or factory automation, without the worry of adverse product integration deficiencies. Regardless of whether customers use one or many PEER Group products, PEER Group’s product stack manages the complexities of equipment automation and gives customers the integration, technology and deployment capabilities and flexibility they need.

In 2012, PEER Group established a dedicated OEM sales and engineering team in its European headquarters in Dresden to support growth in its OEM business. PEER Group’s collaborative integration and implementation services team continues to achieve success, expanding its footprint in automation on and off the tool as well as into related production applications within the manufacturing ecosystem. PEER Group’s services expertise, both on tool and in the factory, accelerates delivery timelines and optimizes services and product team innovation. “With our innovative products, strategic services, collaborative customer relationships and conservative financial management we successfully adapt with market fluctuations and give our customers the long-term stability and partnership they need,” says Kropp.

2012 marked PEER Group’s 20th year in business. “We want to thank all of our valued customers and partners for their continued business over the past two decades,” says Kropp. “We look forward to continuing to work with our customers and exploring new challenges as manufacturing technologies evolve.”

About PEER Group

The PEER Group Inc. provides innovative factory automation software solutions and consulting services to the semiconductor, photovoltaic, LED and other high-technology industries. The world’s best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management, and process control problems. With more than 100,000 licenses shipped, PEER Group is the leading supplier of equipment connectivity and testing products to automated factories around the world. Their innovative and reliable products and services help lower the cost of automation for high-volume manufacturers and their equipment suppliers.

04/23/2013:PEER Group moves up the rankings as one of the Top 250 Canadian Technology Leaders

PEER Group moves up the rankings as one of the Top 250 Canadian Technology Leaders

Kitchener, Ontario - April 23, 2013

The PEER Group Inc. announced today that it has been recognized as one of Canada’s leading technology companies in the 2013 Edition of the Branham300. PEER Group is ranked 156, up 23 positions from 2012 rankings.

Branham300 2013 Edition logoFor 20 years now, the Branham300 has highlighted the top Canadian and Multinational Information and Communication Technology (ICT) companies operating in Canada, as ranked by revenues. It illustrates the depth and breadth of innovative technologies developed in Canada and is widely considered to be a leading source of intelligence on Canada's ICT industry.

“Our software is used to automate tens of thousands of complex manufacturing equipment in the supply chain of virtually every electronic product in the world today, including all major brands of PCs, smart phones and tablets. We help manufacturers improve the performance of their factories and, ultimately, increase quality and lower product costs,” said Mike Kropp, president and CEO of PEER Group. “Using our industry-leading software, companies can quickly implement communications and control strategies that reduce time to market, reduce cost, increase the ability to reconfigure equipment quickly and increase overall equipment software reliability," continues Mike.

About Branham Group Inc.

Branham Group Inc. is a leading industry analyst and strategic marketing company servicing the global Information and Communication Technology (ICT) marketplace. Branham Group assists ICT Technology companies and related institutions in achieving market success through its custom consulting services (Planning, Marketing and Partnering), and through its multi-client research subscription programs (Digital Health, Green IT and Cloud). Branham also produces an annual listing of the top ICT companies in Canada and monitors over 450 Digital Health vendors. For more information regarding Branham Group, please visit branhamgroup.com.

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides innovative factory automation software solutions and consulting services to the semiconductor, photovoltaic, LED and other high technology industries. The world’s best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management, and process control problems. With more than 100,000 licenses shipped, we are the leading supplier of equipment connectivity and testing products to automated factories around the world. Our innovative and reliable products and services help lower the cost of automation for high-volume manufacturers and their equipment suppliers.

Contact

Alison McKenzie, Product Manager
alison.mckenzie@peergroup.com
+1 519-749-9554

04/10/2013:PEER Group ranks number five in Globe and Mail best workplaces in Canada

PEER Group ranks number five in Globe and Mail best workplaces in Canada

Kitchener, Ontario - April 10, 2013

Best Workplaces Canada 2013 logoThe PEER Group Inc. announced today that it is being recognized in the top 5 position of this year’s Best Workplaces in Canada. This list, and related stories, appeared in a special national report on Wednesday April 10th, 2013 in The Globe and Mail.

When Mike Kropp and Robert Harris formed PEER Group, it was important to them that people were energized to come to work every day because of their co-workers and their environment. When people join together, the group develops a personality. Our group is kind and caring, responsible and trustworthy, intelligent and motivated. This workplace personality attracts and retains employees and our customers come back to work with us time and again – they trust their success to us.

Our ‘secret sauce’ includes challenging work, great tools, evolving process practices, as well as clarity and transparency in communication. We rejoice in life milestones and family with the same zeal as impressive sales results. We celebrate our people. We listen to their ideas. We experiment with improvements. We are committed to growing our PEER Group family and making our work environment a source of pride, camaraderie and success for all of us.

“After 20 years in business, I continue to be energized by working with our team who inspires the trust and admiration of our customers as well as their co-workers. I want to thank our employees for their creativity, teamwork and passion. Together, we all strive to achieve a common goal, to continuously improve our company and to create an environment everyone enjoys working in,” said Mike Kropp, president and CEO of The PEER Group.

This list of “Best Workplaces in Canada” is compiled by Great Place to Work® Institute Canada. The competition process is based on two criteria: two-thirds of the total score comes from a 58-statement survey completed by a random selection of employees, along with their open-ended comments about their organization; the remaining one-third of the score comes from an in-depth review of the organization’s culture, including an evaluation of HR policies and procedures. This offers a rigorous representation of the organization from an employee perspective, and an overall portrait of the workplace culture. Together, they provide crucial data relative to the five trust-building dimensions of a great place to work®: credibility, respect, fairness, pride, and camaraderie.

More than 57,000 employees participated in the 2013 “Best Workplaces in Canada” survey.

About the Great Place to Work® Institute

Great Place to Work® Institute is a global research and management consultancy with expertise on workplace transformation and a presence in 46 countries worldwide. Our mission is to improve society by creating better workplaces. We are best-known for our global Best Workplaces Program, which we produce in conjunction with prestigious media partners such as the Globe and Mail, the Financial Times and Fortune. With more than 5,500 organizations surveyed every year across the globe, the program is the world’s largest of its kind. We believe passionately that any company or organization can become a great place to work. Our mission is to help you do it.

About PEER Group

The PEER Group Inc. provides innovative factory automation software solutions and consulting services to the semiconductor, photovoltaic, LED and other high technology industries. The world’s best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management, and process control problems. With more than 100,000 licenses shipped, PEER Group is the leading supplier of equipment connectivity and testing products to automated factories around the world. Their innovative and reliable products and services help lower the cost of automation for high-volume manufacturers and their equipment suppliers.

Contact

Janice Retterath, Human Resources Manager
janice@peergroup.com
+1 519-749-9554

03/13/2013:PEER Group and MKS Instruments simplify equipment automation and control

PEER Group and MKS Instruments simplify equipment automation and control

Kitchener, Ontario - March 13, 2013

PEER Group® and MKS Instruments® announced today the launch of a joint solution that delivers equipment automation, hardware control and host connectivity. Tool automation development time is reduced by pairing the industry’s most flexible software automation platform, PEER Tool Orchestrator (PTO™), with ECM2 process control platform that reduces overall device controller complexity. This joint automation solution will be showcased at tradeshows throughout the year. The first opportunity to see a demonstration will be at SEMICON China and will be followed by SEMICON West as well as many others.

Simplify your Equipment Automation and Control Architecture

PTO significantly reduces tool automation effort. Equipment makers can develop, adapt and deploy quality equipment software solutions in less time than ever before. OEMs use PTO to manage all activities on the equipment. It provides unprecedented flexibility for host communications, visualization, device integration and coordination. PTO takes your tool from lab to production faster than any other solution on the market.

MKS Instruments’ ECM2 process control platform can be implemented as a complete tool process control platform for a single location or for a complete manufacturing line in LED, Solar and Semiconductor markets. By unifying multiple control solutions in one box the ECM2 simplifies complex control architectures, providing fast and deterministic device control while reducing the OEM’s time to market. 

The integrated automation solution demonstrates the ease at which tag-based devices, such as the ECM2 controller, can be integrated into the PTO platform, simplifying device communications and visualization. With ECM2, deterministic control of multiple devices is demonstrated, which simplifies equipment controller architecture. Together, PEER Group and MKS Instruments products reduce the time required to automate your equipment and provide you the needed flexibility for your tool design.

PTO Vacuum Control Visualization
PEER Tool Orchestrator (PTO): Vacuum Control Visualization


 Centralized Device Controller
 EMC2: Centralized Device Controlloer 
This is a test

About MKS Instruments

MKS Instruments, Inc. is a global provider of instruments, subsystems and process control solutions that measure, control, power, monitor and analyze critical parameters of advanced manufacturing processes to improve process performance and productivity. Their products are derived from core competencies in pressure measurement and control, materials delivery, gas composition analysis, control and information technology, power and reactive gas generation, and vacuum technology. Primary served markets are manufacturers of capital equipment for semiconductor devices, and for other thin film applications including flat panel displays, solar cells, light emitting diodes, data storage media, and other advanced coatings. MKS Instruments also leverages technology in other markets with advanced manufacturing applications including medical equipment, pharmaceutical manufacturing, energy generation, and environmental monitoring. Learn more at http://www.mksinst.com/.

About PEER Group

The PEER Group Inc. provides innovative factory automation software solutions and consulting services to the semiconductor, photovoltaic, LED and other high-technology industries. The world’s best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management, and process control problems. With more than 100,000 licenses shipped, PEER Group is the leading supplier of equipment connectivity and testing products to automated factories around the world. Their innovative and reliable products and services help lower the cost of automation for high-volume manufacturers and their equipment suppliers.

02/21/2013:Adapt to manufacturing changes quickly with flexible hardware integration

Adapt to manufacturing changes quickly with flexible hardware integration

Kitchener, Ontario - February 21, 2013

As manufacturers experiment with material sizes and ramp up new technologies, they need the flexibility to increase their investment incrementally. It is becoming essential to integrate equipment that processes multiple material sizes and different technologies to adjust to the increase in demand for new products, to gain access to new markets and adapt to changes in existing markets. Bridge tools can process material of different sizes – such as 300mm and 450mm wafers – simultaneously. To minimize costs, an equipment platform needs to easily adapt to different form factors and material types depending on the manufacturer’s needs.

PEER® Tool Orchestrator (PTO™) is the world’s most popular automation software platform managing all tool activities beyond chamber process control and data analysis. PTO takes your tool from lab to production faster than any other available solution. PTO is part of PEER Group’s OEM Automation Suite which is the only integrated solution on the market that delivers complete equipment automation software for tool control, host communications and integrated testing. The suite provides unprecedented flexibility for host communications, visualization, device integration and coordination; using our suite, OEMs can develop, adapt, and deploy quality equipment software solutions in less time than ever before.

PTO’s latest release, version 5.3, advances hardware automation control, reducing the time and cost to adapt equipment for technology changes.

Advancing Hardware Automation Control

PTO quickly automates a variety of tool topologies, with different host automation communications and material processes. Its flexible architecture gives equipment makers control over the material sizes and types processed by their automation solution. Bridge tools are now dynamically configurable at runtime through a variety of mechanisms including info pads, data from the host or the equipment’s user interface. As equipment adapts to new wafer sizes, PTO accelerates this transition and provides the processing flexibility that device manufacturers demand.

Largest Library of Hardware Drivers

Hardware selection is a key decision which impacts the overall cost, quality and performance of your equipment. Your hardware decision should not be limited by your automation software. With PTO, we have made hardware changes as easy as selecting a new device within our configuration application. Because PTO’s library of hardware drivers is the largest in the industry, you are able to quickly adapt your automation solution as you adjust your equipment design over the lifetime of the tool. The list of hardware drivers included in PTO is expanding continuously, reducing the time needed to automate your equipment and providing the flexibility to integrate into any automated manufacturing environment.

As hardware changes, PTO limits the impact it has on your automation solution in terms of communications, data visualization and hardware control. Generic hardware services ensure differences at the protocol layer do not impact high-level configuration and equipment control. PTO’s generic tag access service is the newest example of this where tag-based communication protocols such as OPC and Modbus, as well as any user-defined tag-based protocol details, are isolated allowing implementers to focus on their control logic.

By utilizing PEER Group’s OEM Automation Software Suite, engineering teams benefit from reduced integration time, increased long-term tool development flexibility and increased equipment software reliability. The OEM Automation Software Suite makes it possible to manage the cost of change while achieving higher customer satisfaction.

For a demo of PTO 5.3, email support.pto@peergroup.com and one of our sales engineers will contact you.

02/06/2013:PEER Group achieves a Microsoft Gold Application Development Competency

PEER Group achieves a Microsoft Gold Application Development Competency

Kitchener, Ontario - April 10, 2013

PEER Group demonstrates best-in-class capability and market leadership through demonstrated technology success and customer commitment.

PEER Group, today announced it has attained a Gold Application Development competency, demonstrating a “best-in-class” ability and commitment to meet Microsoft Corp. customers’ evolving needs in today’s dynamic business environment and distinguishing itself within the top 1 percent of Microsoft’s partner ecosystem.

To earn a Microsoft gold competency, partners must successfully complete exams (resulting in Microsoft Certified Professionals) to prove their level of technology expertise, and then designate these certified professionals uniquely to one Microsoft competency, ensuring a certain level of staffing capacity. They also must submit customer references that demonstrate successful projects (along with implementing a yearly customer satisfaction study), meet a revenue commitment (for most gold competencies), and pass technology and/or sales assessments.

Since becoming a Microsoft partner in 1996, PEER Group has consistently met the highest requirements demanded by the Microsoft Partner Network. Having previously attained competencies for both the Gold Independent Software Vendor and Silver Software Development, PEER Group continues to strengthen its position as a technology leader. “The Microsoft Gold Application Development Competency demonstrates our commitment to helping our customers produce leading-edge solutions that improve operational performance and run reliably in production,” said Susan Hoskins, vice president of engineering for PEER Group.

“By achieving a gold competency, partners have demonstrated the highest, most consistent capability and commitment to the latest Microsoft technology,” said Jon Roskill, corporate vice president, Worldwide Partner Group at Microsoft Corp. “These partners have a deep expertise that puts them in the top 1 percent of our partner ecosystem, and their proficiency will help customers drive innovative solutions on the latest Microsoft technology.”

The Application Development competency provides partners with the resources, tools, training and support required to differentiate their business as a trusted expert in application development. From custom-built applications to broadly available software solutions, and from on-premise applications via hybrid solutions to pure cloud services, the Application Development competency allows partners to take advantage of the marketplace momentum that Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows Azure and Visual Studio are experiencing – and to lead the market evolution toward the cloud.

The Microsoft Partner Network helps partners strengthen their capabilities to showcase leadership in the marketplace on the latest technology, to better serve customers and, with 640,000 Microsoft partners in their ecosystem, to easily connect with one of the most active, diverse networks in the world.

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides innovative factory automation software solutions and consulting services to the semiconductor, photovoltaic, LED and other high technology industries. The world’s best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management, and process control problems. With more than 100,000 licenses shipped, we are the leading supplier of equipment connectivity and testing products to automated factories around the world. Our innovative and reliable products and services help lower the cost of automation for high-volume manufacturers and their equipment suppliers.

10/05/2012:PEER Group expands OEM operations in Europe


PEER Group expands OEM operations in Europe

5 October 2012

European headquartersPEER Group has established a dedicated and focused OEM sales and engineering team in its European headquarters in Dresden to support growth in its OEM business. “The success of our OEM Product Suite is fueling growth in our OEM business globally,” says Bill Schmalz, director of PEER Group’s OEM business. PEER Group’s European headquarters is already home to more than 25 engineers who support a well-established base of semiconductor, solar, MEMS and other high technology factories. "Most of GmbH’s business is focused on helping fabs plan, test, install and integrate automated equipment with manufacturing systems," says Michael Arnold, managing director of PEER Group GmbH in Dresden. "Knowing how equipment is used in production helps us deploy PEER Group products that enable OEMs to quickly develop automation solutions that pass customer acceptance testing at initial installation."

PEER Group's new OEM team is well-versed in the SEMI and other high technology automation standards, allowing equipment suppliers to concentrate on their value-added technology development. "In addition to standards, we know the automation requirements of most of the world's semiconductor factories," explains Schmalz. "We use this experience to help OEMs plan and implement their automation designs in order to ensure high quality automation software solutions."

About PEER Group

The PEER Group, Inc. provides innovative factory automation software solutions and consulting services to the semiconductor, photovoltaic, LED and other high technology industries. The world’s best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management, and process control problems. With more than 100,000 licenses shipped, we are the leading supplier of equipment connectivity and testing products to automated factories around the world. Our innovative and reliable products and services help lower the cost of automation for high-volume manufacturers and their equipment suppliers.

09/05/2012:PEER Group named value-added reseller for Applied Materials

PEER Group named value-added reseller for Applied Materials

05 September 2012

The PEER Group, Inc., a leading provider of factory automation software solutions and consulting services to high technology industries, announced today that it has become a value-added reseller to distribute and support certain factory automation software products for Applied Materials, Inc.

Using its proven expertise and extensive project experience in advanced automation systems, PEER Group will help support new and existing customers of Applied Materials’ automation software products throughout North America.

About Applied Materials

Applied Materials, Inc. (Nasdaq:AMAT) is the global leader in providing innovative equipment, services and software to enable the manufacture of advanced semiconductor, flat panel display and solar photovoltaic products. Our technologies help make innovations like smartphones, flat screen TVs and solar panels more affordable and accessible to consumers and businesses around the world. At Applied Materials, we turn today's innovations into the industries of tomorrow. Learn more at www.appliedmaterials.com.

About PEER Group

The PEER Group, Inc. provides innovative factory automation software solutions and consulting services to the semiconductor, photovoltaic, LED and other high technology industries. The world’s best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management, and process control problems. With more than 100,000 licenses shipped, we are the leading supplier of equipment connectivity and testing products to automated factories around the world. Our innovative and reliable products and services help lower the cost of automation for high-volume manufacturers and their equipment suppliers.

04/24/2012:Branham300 Industry Leaders

PEER Group ranked as one of the Top 250 Canadian Technology Leaders

24 April 2012

The PEER Group Inc. announced today that it has been recognized as one of Canada’s leading technology companies in the 2012 Edition of the Branham300. For nearly 20 years, Branham300 has highlighted the top Canadian and Multinational Information and Communication Technology (ICT) companies operating in Canada, as ranked by revenues. It demonstrates the breadth of innovative technology offered by Canadian companies and the contribution these companies make to the economy both nationally and provincially.

“Our software is used to automate tens of thousands of complex manufacturing equipment in the supply chain of virtually every electronic product in the world today, including all major brands of PCs, smart phones and tablets. We help manufacturers improve the performance of their factories and, ultimately, increase quality and lower costs of their products", said Mike Kropp, president of PEER Group.

About Branham Group Inc.

Branham Group Inc. is a leading industry analyst and strategic consulting company servicing the global Information, Communication and Entertainment (ICE) Technology marketplace. Branham Group assists ICE Technology companies and related institutions in achieving market success through its custom consulting services (Planning, Marketing and Partnering), and through its multi-client research subscription programs (Digital Health, Green IT and Cloud). Branham also produces an annual listing of the top ICT companies in Canada (www.branham300.com) and monitors over 450 Digital Health vendors (www.branhamgroup.com/digitalhealth). For more information regarding Branham Group, please visit www.branhamgroup.com.

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides innovative factory automation software solutions and consulting services to the semiconductor, photovoltaic, LED and other high technology industries. The world’s best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management, and process control problems. With more than 100,000 licenses shipped, we are the leading supplier of equipment connectivity and testing products to automated factories around the world. Our innovative and reliable products and services help lower the cost of automation for high-volume manufacturers and their equipment suppliers.

Contact

Greg Kaminski
greg.kaminski@peergroup.com
+1 519-749-9554
 

02/06/2012:PEER Group achieves Microsoft Silver Competency

PEER Group achieves a Microsoft Silver Software Competency in the Microsoft Partner Network

6 February 2012

PEER Group Earns Distinction through Demonstrated Technology Success and Customer Commitment

PEER Group announced today that it has achieved a Microsoft Silver Software Development Competency in the Microsoft Partner Network, demonstrating its ability to meet Microsoft customers’ evolving needs in today’s dynamic business environment. To earn a Microsoft Silver Competency, partners must complete a set of tests to prove their level of technology expertise, submit customer references and employ or contract required number of Microsoft Certified Professionals who are skilled on current technology relevant for the competency.

PEER Group previously achieved a Microsoft Gold Independent Software Vendor (ISV) Competency, demonstrating its ability to meet Microsoft customers' needs through its line of innovative products. To earn this competency, organizations must deliver one product or application that has passed a qualifying Microsoft Platform Test, provide verifiable customer references, and demonstrate commitment to customer satisfaction by participating in an annual survey.

“Microsoft is the dominant technology platform for both OEMs and high-volume manufacturers in the development of factory automation solutions for high-technology manufacturing, and achieving both Gold and Silver Competencies enhances our position as a technology leader", said Susan Hoskins, vice president of engineering for PEER Group. “We’re committed to helping our customers produce leading-edge solutions that improve operational performance and run reliably in production."

“By achieving a Silver Competency, partners have proven themselves as specialized technology experts with the skills needed to best serve customers,” said Jon Roskill, corporate vice president, Worldwide Partner Group at Microsoft Corp. “The Silver Competency in the Microsoft Partner Network is designed to help customers identify services and solution providers that have demonstrated proof of their capability to deliver quality outcomes and customer satisfaction.” The Microsoft Silver Competency defines partners’ success as technology market leaders within a specific technology competency, with each competency having a unique set of requirements and benefits formulated to accurately represent the specific skills and services that partners bring to the industry. Requirements for the Silver Competency are comparable to the formerly recognized Microsoft Certified Partner criteria. All 29 Microsoft technology competencies differentiate a partner’s specific technology capabilities, helping customers find qualified solution providers with expertise in discrete areas quickly and easily.

The Microsoft Partner Network is designed to equip organizations that deliver products and services through the Microsoft platform with the training, resources and support they need to provide their customers superior experience and outcomes.

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides innovative factory automation software solutions and consulting services to the semiconductor, photovoltaic, LED and other high technology industries. The world’s best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management, and process control problems. With more than 100,000 licenses shipped, we are the leading supplier of equipment connectivity and testing products to automated factories around the world. Our innovative and reliable products and services help lower the cost of automation for high-volume manufacturers and their equipment suppliers.

10/31/2011: PEER Tool Orchestrator 5.0 release

PTO 5.0 advances tool automation software technology 

 31 October 2011

 PEER Group today announces the availability of PEER® Tool Orchestrator (PTO™) 5.0, a major upgrade to its industry-leading tool automation software. While maintaining the core functionality that has made PTO today’s most popular tool automation software product, this release features an entirely new software development infrastructure including tool component self-discovery, broadened extensibility and an innovative user interface development environment. Now a true software development kit (SDK), PTO 5.0 marks a first in the high-technology equipment industry.


PEER Tool Composer screen shot

“Deployed on over 60 tool platforms, PTO has all the features to support any equipment configuration and factory requirement,” says Bill Schmalz, OEM Business Manager. “With the PTO 5.0 release, we are entering the next stage in the evolution of tool automation software. Now, OEMs can develop equipment-specific solutions entirely on their own.”

Key advantages of PTO 5.0 

  • PEER® Tool Composer (PTC™) is a new, intuitive and user-friendly application that allows developers to quickly customize their platform
  • New UI development module lets OEMs design a tool unique to the market, and easily customize each tool shipment according to customer requirements
  • Extensibility feature lets OEMs easily adapt custom software and third-party products into the software infrastructure
  • Self-discovery of tool components allows OEM engineers to quickly configure tool information flow, GUI design and system logic

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides innovative factory automation software solutions and consulting services to the semiconductor, photovoltaic, LED and other high technology industries. The world’s best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management, and process control problems. With more than 100,000 licenses shipped, we are the leading supplier of equipment connectivity and testing products to automated factories around the world. Our innovative and reliable products and services help lower the cost of automation for high-volume manufacturers and their equipment suppliers.

07/29/2011: Connectivity software upgrades for PV2, Reticle, and Data Optimization

Connectivity software upgrades for PV2, Reticle, and Data Optimization

29 July 2011

The 5.12 releases of the GWGEM® and ConX300™ connectivity products support the newest SEMI standards demanded by manufacturers in the semiconductor, LED, solar, and MEMS industries. Below are four primary host-to-equipment automation advancement features of these popular products used by hundreds of OEMs worldwide.

SEMI E109 - Specification for Reticle and Pod Management (RPMS)

The E109 standard is used by lithography, reticle inspection and bare reticle stocker equipment to define reticle and reticle pod transfers to and from the equipment as well as reticle movement within the equipment.
The implementation of E109 can vary from full E109 support to using E109 to transfer reticles on the front end while using traditional 300mm E94 and E40 commands for reticle movement and processing within the tool.

SEMI E148 – Specification for Time Synchronization and Definition of the TS-Clock Object

The E148 standard is used to synchronize equipment computer clocks within a factory where the equipment provides time-sensitive data that requires date and time accuracy across multiple factory components. The time resolution and time server source requirements will vary across equipment makers and factories, making it important for connectivity solutions to support customers integrating their preferred time server solution to meet their time synchronization needs.

SEMI E157 - Specification for Module Process Tracking

The E157 standard reports process-related data during the execution of a recipe at a processing location, which provides important context data to support applications that optimize yields and improve overall factory performance.

SEMI PV2 – Guide for PV Equipment Communication Interfaces (PVECI)

The PV2 standard is based on E30 (GEM), providing a proven equipment automation standard refined for photovoltaic manufacturing.

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides innovative factory automation software solutions and consulting services to the semiconductor, photovoltaic, LED and other high technology industries. The world’s best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management, and process control problems. With more than 100,000 licenses shipped, we are the leading supplier of equipment connectivity and testing products to automated factories around the world. Our innovative and reliable products and services help lower the cost of automation for high-volume manufacturers and their equipment suppliers.

07/09/2011:PEER Group advances OEM automation software

PEER Group advances OEM automation software

9 July 2011

PEER Group continues to expand its offerings of productivity software tools for equipment suppliers in the semiconductor, LED, PV/Solar and MEMS industries. “Our EIB™ OEM Product Suite is the latest addition to our products and services designed to reduce the industry’s cost in developing equipment-to-host communication software.” says Alison McKenzie, PEER Group’s Technical Product Manager. “By leveraging our experience from more than 100,000 tool deployments, successfully connecting complex manufacturing processes and equipment, EIB OEM will help equipment suppliers significantly lower the cost and reduce the risk of automating their equipment.”

EIB OEM is built on PEER Group’s Equipment Information Bridge (EIB™) technology, a multi-connection, multi-protocol communications platform providing robust and flexible connectivity solutions. EIB’s field-proven technology is already meeting the demands of mission-critical equipment software in dozens of high-volume global production facilities. 

EIB OEM is a single, integrated platform that delivers the equipment automation communications standards – SECS/GEM, GEM 300, and EDA. These options can be used individually or combined:
  • EIB GEM – SEMI standard E30 and Photovoltaic PV2 (PVECI)
  • EIB 300 – SEMI 300mm automation standards including E148 and E157
  • EIB EDA – Interface A for Equipment Data Acquisition

“EIB OEM has the flexibility that allows OEMs to quickly and easily adapt their factory automation software to new equipment designs, specific customer requirements, new SEMI standards and larger wafer sizes such as 450mm,” explains McKenzie. “With EIB OEM, equipment suppliers can manage the cost of change while achieving high customer satisfaction.”

Watch for upcoming announcements on our EDA 0710 solution and additional EIB OEM capabilities.

05/24/2011:PEER Group makes photovoltaic tool automation easy

PEER Group makes photovoltaic tool automation easy

24 May 2011

PV2 (PVECI) is the new automation standard from SEMI that defines the communications standard for photovoltaic equipment. Because PV2 is based on GEM (SEMI E30), PEER Group easily incorporated the new standard into its industry-leading GWGEM® and next generation EIB™ connectivity products.

“As the market leader in providing equipment connectivity solutions, we are committed to updating our products to ensure continued compliance with current, as well as new SEMI standards,” says Alison McKenzie, Technical Product Manager, PEER Group.

PV2 adds several new features to SEMI E30 to better align with PV manufacturing. Equipment platforms with existing GWGEM or EIB implementations need only do a simple upgrade. OEMs adding PV2 to a new platform will leverage the years of product advancement that make GWGEM and EIB fast and easy to implement.

PEER Group’s PV2 solution offers a range of integration and deployment options, including C#, C, Windows client/server, Linux and Unix. “We’re focused on delivering highly productive new technology to our customers,” continues McKenzie. “In addition to PV2, we have a number of exciting new product capabilities on the horizon.”

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides innovative factory automation software solutions and consulting services to the semiconductor, photovoltaic, LED and other high technology industries. The world’s best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management, and process control problems. With more than 100,000 licenses shipped, we are the leading supplier of equipment connectivity and testing products to automated factories around the world. Our innovative and reliable products and services help lower the cost of automation for high-volume manufacturers and their equipment suppliers.

03/07/2011:PEER Group becomes Brooks Automation Solution Provider

PEER Group becomes Brooks Automation Solution Provider

7 March 2011

PEER Group announced today that it has become a Brooks Solution Provider (BSP), serving North America and Europe. Using its own industry-leading tool automation, connectivity, and testing products, PEER Group will provide software integration of Brooks Automation’s atmospheric and vacuum systems to semiconductor and other high-technology equipment suppliers. PEER Group and Brooks will act as independent suppliers to the customer, but will work cooperatively to ensure delivery of timely, high-quality solutions.

Brooks uses a highly selective process for its Solution Provider program, choosing companies with extensive experience in successfully integrating Brooks products. “We have been working with PEER Group for six years and our customers have been very satisfied with their performance,” said Anthony Robson, Senior Product Marketing Manager. “They have enabled OEMs to bring new equipment platforms to market in record time while reducing engineering costs. And, best of all, tools running PEER Group software get accepted quickly and run reliably in production.”

With more than 125 OEM customers, PEER Group is the world’s leading supplier of SECS/GEM connectivity products and services to the high-technology equipment supplier market. In 2003, PEER Group was the first supplier to introduce a comprehensive tool automation software product, PEER Tool Orchestrator (PTO™), which grew in capability and went on to win Semiconductor International’s prestigious Best Product Award for 2007. PTO is now installed on over 35 equipment models and running successfully in production in over 30 factories worldwide.

As a BSP, PEER Group will receive advanced training on new Brooks products and upgrades, and will have access to Brooks engineering for rapid problem solving. “When one of our customers chooses Brooks as their automation hardware platform, we’re confident we can complete the integration quickly and efficiently,” said Mike Kropp, CEO of PEER Group.  “Not only do their products perform according to specification, but their engineers work well with ours in implementing new products and customizations that often arise with new, leading-edge equipment platforms.”

PEER Group operates its tool automation software business from its headquarters in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.

About Brooks Automation

Brooks is a leading worldwide provider of automation, vacuum and instrumentation solutions to the global semiconductor and related industries. Our products and services are meeting the needs of customers across a broad spectrum of applications and industries and the global semiconductor manufacturing sector is our largest served market. When demanding productivity and availability objectives are essential factors for success, customers throughout the world turn to Brooks Automation, Inc. For more information see www.brooks.com or email co.csr@brooks.com

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides innovative factory automation software solutions and consulting services to the semiconductor, photovoltaic, LED and other high technology industries. The world’s best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management, and process control problems. With more than 100,000 licenses shipped, we are the leading supplier of equipment connectivity and testing products to automated factories around the world. Our innovative and reliable products and services help lower the cost of automation for high-volume manufacturers and their equipment suppliers.

 

05/25/2010:PEER Group selects Mizuho as exclusive distributor in Japan

PEER Group selects Mizuho as exclusive distributor in Japan

25 May 2010

The PEER Group Inc., a global leader in factory automation software for the semiconductor, solar, and other high-technology industries, announced today that it has selected Mizuho Information & Research Institute, Inc. as its exclusive distribution partner in Japan. Mizuho, headquartered in Tokyo, is a leading supplier of factory automation software solutions to the Japanese semiconductor market, serving IC manufacturers and equipment suppliers.

Mizuho had been the exclusive distributor of Asyst’s products prior to their acquisition by PEER Group. Mizuho will now provide all of PEER Group’s automation software products including the testing products CCS Envoy™ and PEER FACTORY® Acceptance Tester (PFAT™), as well as the industry-leading tool automation software application, PEER Tool Orchestrator (PTO™).

“We are excited to expand our relationship with Mizuho. They have a long history of excellent customer service and solution delivery in Japan,” says Mike Kropp, CEO of PEER Group. “Mizuho engineers understand the specific needs of the semiconductor industry for connectivity and automation software. We are confident that they will be able to help companies in Japan improve automation software performance with our products.”

During the past six months, Mizuho engineers have received training on PEER Group’s products and are fully prepared to provide product implementation and technical support to the customer base in Japan. “We are very impressed with the innovation and quality of PEER Group’s products,” says Keita Sugano, General Manager of Mizuho’s Enterprise Solutions Division 3. “Now we are able to provide our customers complete solutions for equipment automation that go well beyond connectivity, and are confident that the software will run reliably in production.”

Effective immediately, Mizuho will have full responsibility for all sales, service, and support relationships with PEER Group’s customers in Japan.

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides innovative factory automation software solutions and consulting services to the semiconductor, photovoltaic, and electronics industries. The world’s best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management, and process control problems. With more than 100,000 licenses shipped, we are the world’s leading supplier of equipment connectivity and testing products to automated factories around the globe. Our innovative and reliable products and services help lower the cost of automation for high-volume manufacturers and their equipment suppliers.

Contact

Greg Kaminski, Director of Marketing
greg.kaminski@peergroup.com

1 519.749.9554

02/02/2010:PEER Group names Mike Kropp as President and CEO

PEER Group names Mike Kropp as President and CEO

2 February 2010

The PEER Group Inc. announced today that Mike Kropp has been named president and chief executive officer. Along with Mr. Robert Harris, Mr. Kropp co-founded PEER Group in 1992. He initially held the position of vice president of Engineering, establishing PEER Group’s strong reputation as a provider of high-quality manufacturing software solutions. In 2003, Mr. Kropp was promoted to chief operating officer, taking over responsibility for all of the company’s operations except Sales and Marketing. Mr. Kropp has been the acting president and CEO of the company since the Fall of 2006 when Mr. Harris took a leave of absence for health-related issues.

For the past ten years, Mr. Kropp has been the driving force behind PEER Group’s strategy of focusing the company on the high-technology equipment automation market. Key to this strategy is the ability to provide complete solutions that include both products and services. Most recently, Mr. Kropp led the successful acquisition of the Asyst software products and the subsequent integration of these products into the PEER Group development, delivery, support, sales, and marketing processes. Under Mr. Kropp’s leadership, PEER Group is now the leading supplier of equipment automation software for high-technology manufacturing, including the semiconductor, solar, electronics, LED, MEMS, and related markets.

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides leading-edge factory automation software solutions and consulting services to advanced manufacturers and OEMs in the semiconductor, electronics, life sciences and automotive industries. Many of the world's best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management and custom application development problems. PEER Group partners with leading software and automation companies to assure the most efficient delivery of highly functional, reliable and scalable solutions.

Contact

Greg Kaminski
greg.kaminski@peergroup.com
+1 519-749-9554
 

01/10/2010: PEER Tool Orchestrator 4 release

10 January 2010

PEER Group release version 4 of PEER Tool Orchestrator. To read about PTO 4’s new features, go to the PTO 4 current release web page.

12/07/2009: Connectivity product upgrade

Newly acquired Asyst products are fully integrated into engineering and support processes

Kitchener, Ontario – December 7, 2009

Following the acquisition of Asyst's connectivity products on August 23, 2009, PEER Group has released new versions of SDR™, GWGEM®, ConX300™, and SECSIM Pro® +. The product upgrades target usability capabilities, such as support for new operating systems and development environments, while also addressing customer requests for fixes and new features.

SDR, GWGEM, and ConX300 are, collectively, the largest installed base of SECS-based connectivity for high-technology manufacturing automation with over 100,000 licenses shipped. For equipment suppliers, these three products provide progressively higher levels of SEMI standard host connectivity capability, culminating with full 300mm factory automation compliance. SDR also provides SECS I/II equipment connectivity for any type of factory automation application, such as a station controller. SECSIM Pro is the leading SECS testing product, used to develop both host and equipment simulators.

“Semiconductor, photovoltaic, and electronics assembly companies worldwide depend on the performance of PEER Group connectivity products to run their automated factories,” says Mike Kropp, COO of PEER Group. “We're committed to ensuring that our customers' factories and equipment run reliably according to the latest industry standards and unique manufacturing needs.”

In addition to new product releases, PEER Group has also completed the transition of order fulfillment and technical support. In the first three months since the acquisition, they have shipped more than 773 connectivity licenses across the product lines. The newly acquired connectivity products have been fully integrated into PEER Group's support systems, enabling customers to quickly resolve technical issues. “The support that we have received has been excellent,” says Harold Grote, senior software engineer at Lam Research. “We're impressed with how quickly PEER Group has taken over these new products.”

In the first quarter of 2010, PEER Group plans new releases for the three other products acquired from Asyst: EIB™, FAST FW™, and NexEDA™. Kropp adds, “We're listening to customers and generating product roadmaps that will address the industry's new manufacturing requirements.” In addition, PEER Group released a new version of their PEER Tool Orchestrator product, PTO™ version 4, in November and plans a new release for CCS Envoy™ in the first quarter of 2010.

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides leading-edge factory automation software solutions, integration and consulting services to advanced manufacturers and OEMs in the semiconductor, electronics, life sciences, automotive and solar industries. Many of the world's best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management and custom application development problems. PEER Group partners with leading software and automation companies to ensure the most efficient delivery of highly functional, reliable and scalable solutions.

PR Contact

Greg Kaminski
greg.kaminski@peergroup.com
1 519-749-9554

© 2009 The PEER Group Inc. GWGEM is a registered trademark of The PEER Group Inc. PTO, CCS Envoy, SDR, ConX300, SECSIM Pro , EIB, FAST FW and NexEDA are trademarks of The PEER Group Inc.

08/27/2009:PEER Group completes acquisition of Asyst software products

PEER Group completes acquisition of Asyst software products

Kitchener, Ontario – August 27, 2009

The PEER Group, Inc. today announced that it has completed the purchase of Asyst Technologies' software business. Asyst was the market leader in connectivity software products in the semiconductor, solar, MEMS and electronics industries. PEER Group will advance its equipment automation strategy by enhancing its product portfolio, adding more than 100 new customers, and providing a strong R&D pipeline of new equipment automation technologies.

For the past five years, PEER Group was the largest value-added reseller of Asyst's connectivity products for a variety of tool, fab, and assembly automation solutions. They provided outsourced software engineering design and implementation of several of Asyst's key product enhancements. This experience will enable PEER Group to begin effective support of these newly acquired products immediately.

PEER Group's flagship tool automation product, PEER Tool Orchestrator (PTO™), embeds either ConX300™ or NexEDA™ for connectivity. Semilab, a supplier of a broad range of metrology equipment for the semiconductor and photovoltaic (PV) industries, was an early adopter of PTO. “From the initial ConX300 integration into our first tool platform, we have received all of our technical support directly from PEER Group,” says Chris Moore, president of Semilab USA Ltd. “Software integration with our equipment controllers has always gone smoothly and our products are quickly accepted by the most advanced fabs and run reliably in production.”

PEER Group will assume all existing customer support contracts, even those that have been pre-paid. “Short-term, we're prepared and eager to help customers through this transition by fulfilling license orders and providing customer support,” says Mike Kropp, COO of PEER Group. “Long-term, we believe our focus solely on automation software will help us deliver highly productive equipment automation products and services to the semiconductor, solar, and related industries.”

This acquisition significantly expands PEER Group's footprint into Asia, particularly the Japanese semiconductor equipment market, where Asyst enjoyed strong market share. “Our CCS Envoy™ test application has been used in Japan for more than 10 years,” explains Kropp. “Along with the newly acquired Asyst products, we'll have more than 80% of Japanese OEMs as customers and are now in a position to make a positive impact on factory automation productivity on a global scale.”

“Initially, I chose to work with PEER Group because of their excellent software engineering, project management and customer service,” continues Moore. “Over the past few years they have more than justified our faith in being one of their early adopters. PEER Group has become the global leader in tool automation and automation test software. The entire industry will benefit from PEER Group's acquisition of the Asyst software product line, as well as their continued innovation and investment in the field.”

On September 23, 2009 (September 24 in Asia), PEER Group will broadcast a live webinar where former Asyst customers and interested parties can learn about PEER Group and our plans for product licensing, support, maintenance, and R&D.

Connectivity Product Sales Inquiries

Bill Schmalz
bill.schmalz@peergroup.com
1 519-841-3502

Connectivity Product Support
support.connectivity@peergroup.com
PEER Group support line:   1 519-749-8185. 

For general inquiries please email us at sales@peergroup.com

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides leading-edge factory automation software solutions, integration and consulting services to advanced manufacturers and OEMs in the semiconductor, electronics, life sciences, automotive and solar industries. Many of the world's best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management and custom application development problems. PEER Group partners with leading software and automation companies to ensure the most efficient delivery of highly functional, reliable and scalable solutions.

PR Contact

Greg Kaminski
greg.kaminski@peergroup.com
1 519-749-9554


© 2009 The PEER Group Inc. PTO, CCS Envoy and PFAT are trademarks of The PEER Group Inc.

08/05/2009:PEER Group acquires Asyst's connectivity software products

PEER Group acquires Asyst's connectivity software products

Kitchener, Ontario – August 5, 2009

PEER Group, Inc. announced today that it signed an agreement to acquire all of Asyst Technologies' connectivity software products. The deal is expected to close no later than August 31, 2009.

Asyst products are used by more than 80% of the Tier 1 and Tier 2 semiconductor equipment manufacturers for factory automation connectivity and approximately one third of today's 300mm fabs for either connectivity or simulation testing. Included in the transaction are Asyst's FAST Framework™ products targeted for highly automated assembly plants and currently used in eleven plants globally. PEER Group will continue to provide product licenses, upgrades, and technical support per customers' existing contracts.

“Because of their excellent software engineering, solution development and customer service, PEER Group became the leading value-added reseller of our connectivity products,” says Paula LuPriore, CRO of Asyst Technologies. “They understand both fab and assembly automation strategies from the customer perspective and have successfully developed innovative products and services that improve equipment development and manufacturing productivity.”

Equipment manufacturers, fabs, and assembly plants are looking to drive down the cost of automation compliance while, at the same time, increase manufacturing flexibility and equipment reliability. The addition of Asyst's market-leading software products will enhance PEER Group's ability to deliver software productivity solutions to help OEMs, fabs, and assembly plants deploy automation systems that improve manufacturing efficiency.

“PEER Group is really focused on improving equipment-level factory automation for OEMs, fabs and assembly plants”, says Jim Holliday, vice president of Asyst Technologies Connectivity Software Group. “With the success of the PEER Tool Orchestrator product, acquisition of CCS Envoy™ and introduction of the PEER FACTORY® Acceptance Tester, PEER Group was already the established leader in tool automation software and test applications. By adding the Asyst connectivity products, PEER Group now has the full complement of products to take the leadership role in automation software and drive improvements in manufacturing productivity.”

“Asyst's market-leading connectivity products are the basis for tens of thousands of production automation connections around the world,” says Mike Kropp, COO of PEER Group. “Leveraging their solid technology foundation and large installation base will enable us to more rapidly implement our strategy of bringing reliable equipment automation solutions to both the semiconductor and photovoltaic industries.”

Following the close of the transaction, PEER Group will be able to offer the industry a total of thirteen equipment automation software products including simulation, testing, tool automation, station controller, and connectivity products.

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides leading-edge factory automation software solutions, integration and consulting services to advanced manufacturers and OEMs in the semiconductor, electronics, life sciences, automotive and solar industries. Many of the world's best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management and custom application development problems. PEER Group partners with leading software and automation companies to ensure the most efficient delivery of highly functional, reliable and scalable solutions.

Contact

Greg Kaminski
greg.kaminski@peergroup.com
1 519-749-9554

© 2009 The PEER Group Inc. PTO, CCS Envoy and PFAT are trademarks of The PEER Group Inc.

05/22/2008:PEER Group acquires CCS Envoy and releases a new dynamic tester

PEER Group acquires CCS Envoy and releases a new dynamic tester

Kitchener, Ontario – May 22, 2008

The PEER Group Inc. announced today that it has acquired the CCS Envoy™ product and is simultaneously introducing a new, dynamic test application, PEER FACTORY® Acceptance Tester (PFAT™). The industry-leading CCS Envoy is used by both fabs and OEMs during procurement to ensure equipment meets the 300mm automation standards. Virtually every 300mm equipment model in production today has been tested using CCS Envoy. The product was originally created by CCS Technology and was owned by two of the industry's largest automation software companies prior to PEER Group. All business transactions related to CCS Envoy, including technical support, will be handled by PEER Group, effective immediately.

“I was thrilled to learn that PEER Group has recently acquired the CCS Envoy testing suite of products,” says Dave Walsh, president of the Standards Technology Group (Williston, Vermont) and one of the founders of CCS Technology. “I have every confidence that they will find creative ways to integrate mature testing products such as CCS Envoy with new and improved testing solutions.

”We're excited about making CCS Envoy an integral part of our test applications business,” says Mike Kropp, COO of PEER Group. “Having tested or integrated almost every 300mm equipment model for a variety of fabs and OEMs, we're in a good position to support existing customers, maintain the product, and develop a strong roadmap for future requirements.”

PEER FACTORY Acceptance Tester complements CCS Envoy's SEMI standards testing by allowing engineers to simulate each fab's factory automation control system, so that equipment responses to a fab's exact operational scenarios can be verified before or during tool integration.

“Both fabs and OEMs want to make sure new equipment goes into production quickly and runs reliably,” Kropp continues. “Standards testing is the first step to ensuring that a tool is ready for 300mm automated production. But the standards allow for wide variations in automation implementations and fabs want their own operational scenarios tested prior to shipment and verified before release for production. With the combination of CCS Envoy and PFAT, we can handle both needs.”

PEER Group will host a web meeting in the next 30 days to explain the details of its test applications business. Included will be an update on CCS Envoy, a live PFAT demonstration, and a technology roadmap for its test applications.

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides leading-edge factory automation software solutions and consulting services to advanced manufacturers and OEMs in the semiconductor, electronics, life sciences and automotive industries. Many of the world's best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management and custom application development problems. PEER Group partners with leading software and automation companies to assure the most efficient delivery of highly functional, reliable and scalable solutions.

Contact

Greg Kaminski, Marketing Manager
greg.kaminski@peergroup.com
1 519-749-9554


© 2008 The PEER Group Inc.                      CCS Envoy and PFAT are trademarks of The PEER Group Inc.

04/28/2008:PEER Group named one of the 50 Best Workplaces in Canada

PEER Group named one of the 50 Best Workplaces in Canada

Kitchener, Ontario – April 28, 2008

The PEER Group Inc., an international supplier of factory automation software and services for the semiconductor, automotive, electronics and life sciences industries announced today that it is being recognized as one of this year's 50 Best Workplaces in Canada. This list, and related stories, will appear in a special national report on Monday April 28th, 2008 in the Globe and Mail.

PEER Group is committed to creating a great work environment—and that starts with the people. We all feel this, almost every day. From the creation of innovative solutions and support for our customers' success, to the outpouring of love and support for people we work with who are in need, it's clear that we work with a special group of people. In the end, that's what creates an amazing workplace—being surrounded by people you respect and care for. Of course, it doesn't hurt to work in a cool, loft-like setting with amazing coffee and on-site massage therapy!

This list of “Best Workplaces in Canada” is compiled by Great Place to Work® Institute Canada. The competition process is based on two criteria: two-thirds of the total score comes from a 57-statement survey completed by a random selection of employees, along with their open-ended comments about their organization; the remaining one-third of the score comes from an in-depth review of the organization's culture, including an evaluation of HR policies and procedures. This offers a rigorous representation of the organization from an employee perspective, and an overall portrait of the workplace culture. Together, they provide crucial data relative to the five trust-building dimensions of a great place to work: credibility, respect, fairness, pride, and camaraderie.

More than 24,000 employees participated in the 2008 “Best Workplaces in Canada” survey.

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides leading-edge factory automation software solutions and consulting services to advanced manufacturers and OEMs in the semiconductor, electronics, life sciences and automotive industries. Many of the world's best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management and custom application development problems. PEER Group partners with leading software and automation companies to assure the most efficient delivery of highly functional, reliable and scalable solutions.

Contact

Janice Retterath, Human Resources Manager
janice@peergroup.com
1 519-749-9554


© 2008 The PEER Group Inc

02/08/2008:PEER Group's customizable Data Management Framework (DMF™) is selected by HelioVolt

PEER Group's customizable Data Management Framework (DMF™) is selected by HelioVolt

Kitchener, Ontario - February 8, 2008

The PEER Group Inc. announced today that it has been selected by HelioVolt, a producer of highly efficient thin film solar products, to implement PEER Group's high-speed data management framework (DMF™). PEER Group's proven solution focuses on low-risk, scalable, high-speed data management; this is perfect for fast growing companies where time-to-market and cost are two driving considerations. DMF connects disparate data sources seamlessly and exchanges data with a wide variety of consumers and control applications like MES, APC, and data warehouses.

This win is significant for PEER Group because it demonstrates the company's position in the solar cell manufacturing space, a natural extension to the work PEER Group does in its other high-technology manufacturing markets.

“In addition to photovoltaics, our customers include manufacturers of compound semiconductors, silicon wafers, MEMS, and advanced semiconductor packaging,” says Mike Kropp, COO of PEER Group. “We have a long history in both the tool and factory automation demands of these industries. Our customers agree that this makes us the equipment automation experts, the people to come to when there is a new challenge. Automation standards in many industries are less mature than in a 200mm or 300mm semiconductor fab.

As a result, we developed DMF as a flexible data management framework designed to communicate with a heterogeneous mix of custom-built equipment as well as a variety of commercial and proprietary IT systems.”

“We are confident that PEER Group can handle our unique automation requirements, reducing the time required to bring HelioVolt's manufacturing automation to scale. PEER Group's experience in both general tool integration and custom design allows HelioVolt to focus on ramping up our solar manufacturing facility while relying on PEER Group's expertise to provide the lowest possible risk path to production,” says David Greer, Director of IT for HelioVolt.

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides leading-edge factory automation software solutions and consulting services to advanced manufacturers and OEMs in the semiconductor, electronics, life sciences and automotive industries. Many of the world's best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management and custom application development problems. PEER Group partners with leading software and automation companies to assure the most efficient delivery of highly functional, reliable and scalable solutions.

About HelioVolt

HelioVolt Corporation was founded in 2001 in order to develop and market new technology for applying thin film photovoltaic coatings to a variety of substrates including conventional construction materials. The company's proprietary FASST™ process, based on rapid semiconductor printing, was invented by HelioVolt founder Dr. Billy J. Stanbery, an eminent expert within the international PV community in the materials science of CIGS and related compound semiconductors. FASST is a low-cost, flexible manufacturing process for CIGS synthesis and is protected by both nine issued US patents and by numerous global patents pending. For additional information, visit www.heliovolt.com.

Contact

Greg Kaminski, Marketing Manager
greg.kaminski@peergroup.com
1 519-749-9554


© 2008 The PEER Group Inc
  DMF is a trademark of The PEER Group Inc. FASST is a trademark of HelioVolt Corporation.
 

07/06/2007:PEER Group wins Semiconductor International's Best Product Award

PEER Group wins Semiconductor International's Best Product Award

Kitchener, Ontario - July 6, 2007

The PEER Group Inc., an international supplier of factory automation software and services for the semiconductor, automotive, electronics, and life sciences industries announced today that PEER Group's PEER Tool Orchestrator (PTO™) has received Semiconductor International's prestigious 2007 Editor's Choice Award for best new product. These awards are given to commercially proven products that demonstrate excellence in semiconductor manufacturing and are used in numerous fabs around the world.

Since the early 1990s, PEER Group has provided equipment automation software testing and integration services to IC manufacturers. Using the experience of automating over 200 tool types entering fabs, PEER Group started development of automation solutions for OEMs in 2003, culminating in the release of PTO as a product in 2006.

PTO is a configurable software solution that provides complete tool automation capabilities, including FOUP management, wafer transport, scheduling, a user interface, and host connectivity. Tool automation can be configured with little or no programming.

“We were one of the early adopters of what was to become PTO. Even then, PEER Group always met our delivery schedule and fab acceptance was fast and simple,” said Chris Moore, CEO of Advanced Metrology Systems. “Now, PTO is a key component in our equipment control system. Our tools stay up-to-date with the SEMI standards, our automation compliance costs are low, and we can focus on our core metrology competency and serving our customers' needs. PEER Group makes an excellent automation partner and we are pleased the industry has recognized their achievements.”

PTO supports most automation hardware components and easily integrates with the OEM's equipment control system. Implementation time is fast and has been completed in as little as six weeks, with customers reporting higher equipment reliability since using PTO. The product now has 15 design wins and is shipping to 300mm fabs globally.

“We wish to thank all of our customers for their support of PTO,” said Mike Kropp, COO and product champion at PEER Group. “They continue to provide market-driven direction and specific fab-driven requirements that are critical for developing a successful, award-winning product. Our company is dedicated to reducing the cost of automation for both fabs and OEMs. PTO is one of the key components in this strategy.”

PEER Group will accept the Editor's Choice Award at a special ceremony on July 18 at Semicon West in San Francisco and will also provide demonstrations of PTO at its booth at 3306 Gateway Hall.

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides leading-edge factory automation software solutions and consulting services to advanced manufacturers and OEMs in the semiconductor, electronics, life sciences and automotive industries. Many of the world's best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management and custom application development problems. PEER Group partners with leading software and automation companies to assure the most efficient delivery of highly functional, reliable and scalable solutions.

Contact

Greg Kaminski, Marketing Manager
greg.kaminski@peergroup.com
1 519-749-9554

© 2007 The PEER Group Inc.   PTO is a trademark of The PEER Group Inc.
 

07/12/2005:Philips advanced metrology systems adds advanced automation software to its Series 3000 products

NATICK, Mass. and SAN FRANCISCO, SEMICON WEST – July 12, 2005

Philips Advanced Metrology Systems, Inc. (Philips AMS) today announced that it has integrated new advanced process automation software into its 3000 platform of metrology tools. The new software will enable semiconductor manufacturers to implement Philips AMS' 300mm metrology tools into an automated, high-volume wafer fab faster with less integration time. The PEER Group Inc., Philips' equipment automation and data management technology partner, implemented its PEER Tool Orchestrator (PTO™) automation backbone along with Asyst's ConX300 connectivity application for use in Philips AMS Series 3000 and the new IR3000. Customers around the globe are currently using the new software in their fully automated manufacturing lines.

The successful implementation of APC requires the acquisition and processing of large amounts of data in real time. To generate this amount of data, device manufacturers need to implement high-throughput metrology solutions that can measure, analyze and forward large amounts of data in real time for use in process adjustments. One of the challenges has been integrating new manufacturing equipment with fully automated OHT transport fabs. The new Philips AMS software ensures that its metrology tools will be able to effectively interact with a customer's fully automated host system while providing the fast, reliable measurements needed for APC.

“As the industry becomes more automated and focused on improving yield, the need for scalable software integration becomes imperative,” said Bill Gately, general manager of Philips AMS. “Our customers are very excited about the new software as it will allow them to better integrate metrology into their APC strategies and improve the automation of their 300mm fabs. Both our Series3000 and IR3000 customers have already seen significant benefits in their use of the software including fabs with E84-compliant overhead transport system integration. The new E95-based software has resulted in significantly faster system integration times and overall lower COO.”

“By partnering with Philips AMS from early in tool design, we were able to leverage our PTO automation software and expertise with Philips AMS's core competence in metrology and analysis,” said Robert Harris, president of PEER Group. “The result is equipment with superior performance in both semiconductor processing and automated manufacturing.”

The new software is available on Philips AMS' 3000 Platform suitable for high-volume manufacturing applications on patterned wafers and incorporates either the Philips AMS SurfaceWave™ technology or an infrared (MBIR) technology. SurfaceWave, used in the Series 3300, is a non-contact, laser-based technique that provides rapid measurement of thickness on blanket and patterned metal films, providing timely information for the control of copper-based processes. The Model Based InfraRed (MBIR) reflectance technology uses a model-based IR (MBIR) measurement for the thickness and uniformity of dielectric layers and structures used in IC manufacturing.

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides leading-edge factory automation software solutions and consulting services to advanced manufacturers and OEMs in the semiconductor, electronics, life sciences and automotive industries. Many of the world's best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management and custom application development problems. PEER Group partners with leading software and automation companies to assure the most efficient delivery of highly functional, reliable and scalable solutions.

Contact

Bill Schmalz, Global OEM Sales Manager
bill.schmalz@peergroup.com
1 519-749-9554

C.J.L Moore, Philips AMS
cjl.moore@philips.com
(508) 647-1145

© 2005 The PEER Group Inc 

05/16/2005:Cimtek and PEER Group announce partnership in providing electronics test solutions to OEMs and CMs

Cimtek and PEER Group announce partnership in providing electronics test solutions to OEMs and CMs

Kitchener, Ontario – May 16, 2005

Electronic functional test for complex systems further enhanced with .NET custom data management capability.

CIMTEK, a leading Canadian electronics testing company, and PEER Group Inc., an equipment automation and data management technology provider, have partnered to provide centralized management and remote monitoring capabilities to companies with distributed manufacturing processes.

"We are extremely pleased to partner with PEER Group," says James Egan, CIMTEK chief technology officer. "They fundamentally understand the challenges our customers face managing decentralized manufacturing – particularly those that span multiple time zones and continents. PEER Group's software adds that much needed level of transparency for monitoring these distributed product manufacturing processes."

CIMTEK designs and builds testing equipment for complex electronic products, minimizing risks in a new product launch by improving time to market, decreasing product failure, and reducing warranty costs and negative brand impact. CIMTEK's solutions are built around the manufacturing process to ensure that the product performs to standards once the components are integrated. PEER Group offers custom data management solutions using .NET, enabling a plant manager to monitor the information systems and data about the production cycle and testing process via the Web, no matter where the manufacturing occurs.

"CIMTEK is a natural partner for PEER Group. We have complementary offerings; each of us providing innovative solutions for specific product manufacturing challenges," says Robert Harris, president of PEER Group. "Like us, CIMTEK also values the importance of delivering a quality customer experience every time, so we know that the customer we collaborate with will be guaranteed exceptional service and solutions."

CIMTEK and PEER Group are both headquartered in southwestern Ontario, yet each serve a wide-range of international clients.

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides leading-edge factory automation software solutions and consulting services to advanced manufacturers and OEMs in the semiconductor, electronics, life sciences and automotive industries. Many of the world's best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management and custom application development problems. PEER Group partners with leading software and automation companies to assure the most efficient delivery of highly functional, reliable and scalable solutions.

About CIMTEK

For information, visit www.cimtek.com.

Contact

Greg Kaminski, Marketing Manager
greg.kaminski@peergroup.com
1 519-749-9554

© 2005 The PEER Group Inc

10/22/2004:PEER Group announces new Automation Conformance Testing (ACT) service

PEER Group announces new Automation Conformance Testing (ACT) service

Kitchener, Ontario – October 22, 2003

The PEER Group Inc. today announced plans to incorporate the International SEMATECH 300mm Equipment Integration and Automation Conformance Tests into its Automation Conformance (ACT) service. This methodology was developed by International SEMATECH on behalf of its member companies and the semiconductor industry during the 300mm Equipment Automation Software Conformance Testing project. This new level of professional service will complement PEER Group's current Automation Capabilities Management (ACM) services, which provide supplier guidance and tool testing expertise to IC manufacturers to ensure that new equipment meets end-user specific fab automation requirements. PEER Group® has provided technical resources to consortia for the execution of this activity.

A Letter of Intent has been signed with International SEMATECH to license the ISMT tests and methodologies as a first step toward providing the ISMT tests as part of the PEER Group ACT service offering.

“Our tests have demonstrated that objective testing to known criteria, with established metrics and a methodology for improvement, can accelerate equipment automation software conformance to SEMI® standards and IC maker operational requirements,” stated Steve Fulton, International SEMATECH project manager for Fab Productivity. “We offer this opportunity to third-party testing service companies such as PEER Group to enable cost savings for both IC makers and equipment suppliers.”

Robert Harris, president of PEER Group explains, “The SEMATECH test methodology has proven to us that it is capable of achieving the results our customers' desire. Consequently, we are investing in people, technology, and training for our ACT service infrastructure so that we can provide tool testing services for a large number of equipment suppliers.” Harris concludes, “This means IC manufacturers can be confident that when specifying measurable requirements to their suppliers for new equipment orders, there will be a professional service provider capable of meeting their needs for automation conformance testing.”

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides leading-edge factory automation software solutions and consulting services to advanced manufacturers and OEMs in the semiconductor, electronics, life sciences and automotive industries. Many of the world's best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management and custom application development problems. PEER Group partners with leading software and automation companies to assure the most efficient delivery of highly-functional, reliable and scalable solutions.

About SEMATECH

International SEMATECH (ISMT) is a global semiconductor technology development consortium that has effectively represented the semiconductor manufacturing industry on innovation issues since 1988. ISMT conducts state-of-the-art research, and is a highly-regarded technology partner whose goal is to promote the interests common to all chipmakers. It has extensive experience collaborating with equipment and materials suppliers, as well as government and academic research centers, to refine the tools and technology necessary to produce future generations of chips. Additional information may be found at www.sematech.org. SEMATECH, the SEMATECH logo, International SEMATECH, and the International SEMATECH logo are registered servicemarks of SEMATECH, Inc. All other servicemarks and trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Contact

Bill Schmalz, Global OEM Sales Manager
bill.schmalz@peergroup.com
1 519-749-9554

© 2003 The PEER Group Inc

06/29/2004:International SEMATECH and PEER Group devise independent testing of 300mm tools for conformance to factory automation Standards

International SEMATECH and PEER Group devise independent testing of 300mm tools for conformance to factory automation standards

Kitchener, Ontario – May 18, 2004

The PEER Group Inc., today announced that it has successfully integrated equipment front-end module (EFEM) software into Solid State Measurements, Inc's (SSM) industry leading semiconductor materials characterization and process control equipment. As part of a partnership with Asyst Technologies, Inc (Nasdaq: ASYT), PEER Group incorporated Asyst's ConX300™ equipment connectivity software to deliver a fully automated EFEM for SSM's FastGate 6000 series metrology system. The EFEM control system was integrated to meet SSM's initial customer specifications, but is designed to be flexible enough to handle any other customer's automation requirements with minimal configuration.

“PEER Group has shown a clear understanding of our customer-driven objectives; it met our aggressive timeline and quality milestones with precision, and ahead of schedule,” said Bill Alexander, vice president of engineering for SSM. “Outsourcing our EFEM automation has allowed us to focus on applying our engineering resources to improving the technical performance of our equipment, while relying on PEER Group engineers to address the complexity of customer-specific automation requirements. We look forward to an ongoing relationship, extending beyond this initial EFEM integration project.”

PEER Group and Asyst began their partnership in 2003 to speed the delivery of more flexible equipment connectivity and EFEM control software solutions. The complexity of new standards and stringent automation requirements for 300mm manufacturing have made the PEER Group/Asyst partnership an important resource for equipment vendors looking to quickly and cost-effectively ramp 300mm tools.

“We chose PEER Group as our connectivity and EFEM integration partner because of their reputation with both equipment and fab automation,” commented Paula LuPriore, vice president and general manager of connectivity solutions at Asyst Technologies. “Working with the PEER Group we are able to provide our customers with a complete automation solution – hardware, software and software integration services. This partnership has proven to be a successful one, providing our customers with experienced, high-quality systems, on time and within budget.”

Asyst's ConX300 is an industry-leading software application for automating 300mm semiconductor wafer fabrication equipment. It implements the Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International's (SEMI) communications standards required for all 300 mm factory automation systems.

“Using a robust product like ConX300 makes our integration job much easier,” said Robert Harris, president of PEER Group. “Not only have we proven that we can deliver EFEM automation quickly, but we are confident our solutions will run reliably in production.”

PEER Group's EFEM automation services include integration of automation hardware components, carrier and wafer management, SECS/GEM communications, SEMI standards compliance, GUI development and testing to SEMATECH's 300mm operational scenarios.

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides leading-edge factory automation software solutions and consulting services to advanced manufacturers and OEMs in the semiconductor, electronics, life sciences and automotive industries. Many of the world's best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management and custom application development problems. PEER Group partners with leading software and automation companies to assure the most efficient delivery of highly functional, reliable and scalable solutions.

About Solid State Measurements

Solid State Measurements provides CV, IV and spreading resistance probing technologies for semiconductor manufacturing R&D and production. These are used in IC production for monitoring sub-2 nm gate oxides, high-k gate dielectrics, oxynitride gate stacks, low-k dielectrics, threshold adjust implants, epitaxial silicon, SiGe epitaxy, silicon-on-insulator (SOI), and other critical applications. Introduced in 2001, the SSM FastGate® technology provides nondestructive electrical monitoring in-line measurements of electrical oxide thickness, leakage current, implant dose, and other parameters. SSM is headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and has direct support facilities in China, Europe, Japan, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan. For more information, visit www.ssm-inc.com.

Contact

Bill Schmalz, Global OEM Sales Manager
bill.schmalz@peergroup.com
1 519-749-9554


© 2004 The PEER Group Inc

05/18/2004:PEER Group delivers front-end software to Solid State Measurements

PEER Group delivers front-end software to Solid State Measurements

Kitchener, Ontario – May 18, 2004

The PEER Group Inc., today announced that it has successfully integrated equipment front-end module (EFEM) software into Solid State Measurements, Inc's (SSM) industry leading semiconductor materials characterization and process control equipment. As part of a partnership with Asyst Technologies, Inc (Nasdaq: ASYT), PEER Group incorporated Asyst's ConX300™ equipment connectivity software to deliver a fully automated EFEM for SSM's FastGate 6000 series metrology system. The EFEM control system was integrated to meet SSM's initial customer specifications, but is designed to be flexible enough to handle any other customer's automation requirements with minimal configuration.

“PEER Group has shown a clear understanding of our customer-driven objectives; it met our aggressive timeline and quality milestones with precision, and ahead of schedule,” said Bill Alexander, vice president of engineering for SSM. “Outsourcing our EFEM automation has allowed us to focus on applying our engineering resources to improving the technical performance of our equipment, while relying on PEER Group engineers to address the complexity of customer-specific automation requirements. We look forward to an ongoing relationship, extending beyond this initial EFEM integration project.”

PEER Group and Asyst began their partnership in 2003 to speed the delivery of more flexible equipment connectivity and EFEM control software solutions. The complexity of new standards and stringent automation requirements for 300mm manufacturing have made the PEER Group/Asyst partnership an important resource for equipment vendors looking to quickly and cost-effectively ramp 300mm tools.

“We chose PEER Group as our connectivity and EFEM integration partner because of their reputation with both equipment and fab automation,” commented Paula LuPriore, vice president and general manager of connectivity solutions at Asyst Technologies. “Working with the PEER Group we are able to provide our customers with a complete automation solution – hardware, software and software integration services. This partnership has proven to be a successful one, providing our customers with experienced, high-quality systems, on time and within budget.”

Asyst's ConX300 is an industry-leading software application for automating 300mm semiconductor wafer fabrication equipment. It implements the Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International's (SEMI) communications standards required for all 300 mm factory automation systems.

“Using a robust product like ConX300 makes our integration job much easier,” said Robert Harris, president of PEER Group. “Not only have we proven that we can deliver EFEM automation quickly, but we are confident our solutions will run reliably in production.”

PEER Group's EFEM automation services include integration of automation hardware components, carrier and wafer management, SECS/GEM communications, SEMI standards compliance, GUI development and testing to SEMATECH's 300mm operational scenarios.

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides leading-edge factory automation software solutions and consulting services to advanced manufacturers and OEMs in the semiconductor, electronics, life sciences and automotive industries. Many of the world's best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management and custom application development problems. PEER Group partners with leading software and automation companies to assure the most efficient delivery of highly functional, reliable and scalable solutions.

About Solid State Measurements

Solid State Measurements provides CV, IV and spreading resistance probing technologies for semiconductor manufacturing R&D and production. These are used in IC production for monitoring sub-2 nm gate oxides, high-k gate dielectrics, oxynitride gate stacks, low-k dielectrics, threshold adjust implants, epitaxial silicon, SiGe epitaxy, silicon-on-insulator (SOI), and other critical applications. Introduced in 2001, the SSM FastGate® technology provides nondestructive electrical monitoring in-line measurements of electrical oxide thickness, leakage current, implant dose, and other parameters. SSM is headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and has direct support facilities in China, Europe, Japan, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan. For more information, visit www.ssm-inc.com.

Contact

Bill Schmalz, Global OEM Sales Manager
bill.schmalz@peergroup.com
1 519-749-9554


© 2004 The PEER Group Inc

07/14/2003:Asyst Technologies and PEER Group form strategic alliance for systems integration

Asyst Technologies and PEER Group form strategic alliance for systems integration

FREMONT, California – July 14, 2003

Focused on the continuing demand from semiconductor equipment and chip manufacturers for turnkey connectivity solutions, Asyst Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:ASYT) today announced a strategic alliance with The PEER Group, Inc. (Kitchener, Ontario), a leading supplier of software solutions and software integration services to the global semiconductor industry. PEER Group will provide software integration services for Asyst's connectivity solutions for both OEMs and wafer fabs.

"PEER Group has emerged as one of the industry's leading software integration providers, enjoying an excellent reputation for delivering high-quality software systems for more than ten years,” said Paula LuPriore, Vice President/General Manager of Connectivity Solutions at Asyst. “As we looked to extend our ability to provide both world-class products and integration services on a global basis, PEER Group made an ideal partner. Their superior engineering processes and broad knowledge of semiconductor automation standards and systems will serve our customers well. We're excited to have PEER Group on our solution delivery team”.

“We're honored to have been selected by Asyst as their preferred integration partner,” said Robert Harris, president of PEER Group. “The combination of Asyst's established products and commitment to maintaining a leadership position in 300mm technology, coupled with the PEER Group‘s proven integration expertise will enable the rapid delivery of high-quality automation solutions to both OEMs and wafer fabs.

Asyst will be discussing its new equipment connectivity products at SEMICON West, July 14-16, booth #1338, South Hall at San Francisco's Moscone Center.

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides leading-edge factory automation software solutions and consulting services to advanced manufacturers and OEMs in the semiconductor, electronics, life sciences and automotive industries. Many of the world's best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management and custom application development problems. PEER Group partners with leading software and automation companies to assure the most efficient delivery of highly-functional, reliable and scalable solutions.

Contact

Bill Schmalz, Global OEM Sales Manager
bill.schmalz@peergroup.com
1 519-749-9554

© 2003 The PEER Group Inc

04/17/2003:PEER Group moves to top position in semiconductor software integration market

PEER Group moves to top position in semiconductor software integration market

Kitchener, Ontario – March 17, 2003

Today, PEER Group, an independent supplier of software integration services to the global semiconductor industry, announces the acquisition of significant contracts from another major integrator who has exited the business. Although statistics are not kept about the semiconductor software integration market, many observers believe PEER Group is now the industry's largest independent integrator. “I've watched PEER Group grow from its inception,” says Jim Pelusi, Managing Partner of Axia Partners, a private equity investment and financial advisory services firm that focuses on the industrial automation and semiconductor capital equipment markets. “The company has provided quality solutions for its customers across a number of applications, has a strong management team, and appears to be well positioned for further growth.”

As a result of several new contracts in Europe, PEER Group will open PEER Group GmbH in Dresden, Germany on March 17, 2003. “Our entire technical team in Germany will become PEER Group employees”, says Dr. Michael Arnold, PEER Group's new Managing Director of European Operations. “We look forward to expanding our capabilities with the advanced engineering and project management processes developed by PEER Group.”

PEER Group is also pleased to announce the formation of an exclusive alliance with the Technology Resources Group (TR Group), headquartered in Singapore, but with established presence throughout Asia.

“We look forward to PEER Group helping us broaden our portfolio of services to our rapidly growing Asian semiconductor customers, especially in China,” says Eng Teck Kong, President of TR Group. “The alliance is especially beneficial to large global semiconductor manufacturers who wish to replicate systems across multiple continents.”

In addition to traditional software integration, PEER Group will focus on the expanding Advanced Process Control market. “Even during this down cycle, chip manufacturers are spending money to improve the efficiency of their manufacturing operations,” says Robert Harris, President of PEER Group. “And, every factory uses a large number of software applications from an almost equal number of suppliers. We ensure those applications deliver the desired operational results with the least implementation costs and highest reliability.”

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides leading-edge factory automation software solutions and consulting services to advanced manufacturers and OEMs in the semiconductor, electronics, life sciences and automotive industries. Many of the world's best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management and custom application development problems. PEER Group partners with leading software and automation companies to assure the most efficient delivery of highly functional, reliable and scalable solutions.

Contact

Greg Kaminski, Marketing Manager
greg.kaminski@peergroup.com
1 519-749-9554

© 2003 The PEER Group Inc

04/14/2003:PEER Group documentation wins award at international competition

PEER Group documentation wins award at international competition

Kitchener, Ontario – April 14, 2003

The Audit Station Automation System Quick Reference Card, authored by Heidi Marr and edited by Christy Simard and Ursula McCloy, recently placed first in its category in the Toronto Society for Technical Communication Chapter's 2002-2003 Technical Writing Competition. By winning with distinction, this document automatically moved on to compete in the International STC Technical Writing Competition.

We have learned that the document moved on to achieve second-place standing in the international writing competition. This means the judges gave the entry of a score of 17 or 18 out of 20. Only two entrants in the Quick Start category scored higher to win Awards of Distinction. Once again, thank you to PEER Group, Sara Stairs, and JCI for their support in entering this competition.

This is the second time PEER Group has entered a technical writing competition with the STC, and it's the second time we've won. In 1999, Ursula McCloy entered the Reject Analysis System Quick Reference Card and received an Award of Excellence.

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides leading-edge factory automation software solutions and consulting services to advanced manufacturers and OEMs in the semiconductor, electronics, life sciences and automotive industries. Many of the world's best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management and custom application development problems. PEER Group partners with leading software and automation companies to assure the most efficient delivery of highly functional, reliable and scalable solutions.

Contact 

Greg Kaminski, Marketing Manager
greg.kaminski@peergroup.com
1 519-749-9554

© 2003 The PEER Group Inc

04/08/2003:PEER Group joins VisualPlant's Best-in-Breed Integrators

PEER Group joins VisualPlant's Best-in-Breed Integrators

London, Ontario – April 8, 2003

Executive Manufacturing Technologies (EMT) today announced a partnership with Kitchener, ON-based technology integrator PEER Group® to market its VisualPlant™ software. By partnering with EMT, PEER Group will now offer its discrete manufacturing clients the world's leading Manufacturing Intelligence™ solution.

With VisualPlant, manufacturers have a complete live view into the manufacturing process, an advantage that can accurately identify production constraints and downtime, improve throughput, and decrease cycle times. With PEER Group's global systems integration capability, these customers can expand the reach of VisualPlant's reporting power to attain the corporate-wide visibility they need to compete in a global market. PEER Group's expertise in equipment connectivity and manufacturing domain knowledge provides these customers with shorter deployment schedules and lower cost of ownership.

“PEER Group and VisualPlant represent an excellent fit both in function and philosophy,” said EMT's CEO Dennis Cocco. “Both companies understand the inseparable connection between manufacturing processes and businesses practices. We are also committed to offering our customers the complete plant-wide visibility needed to make better, faster decisions. PEER Group's strong relationships in several discrete sectors provide VisualPlant with even greater access to these important markets.”

VisualPlant is the visualization and analytical layer on top of the plant floor, providing true operational visibility and enabling a fact-based decision making process. VisualPlant integrates, visualizes, reports and generates user-defined key performance indicators (KPIs) on real-time, historical and calculated data collected from the entire plant and delivers it to plant managers in a web-browser. The combination of historical and real-time data in context with business rules provides KPIs that give plant managers a profound understanding of what is driving the factory. Plant managers can look at KPIs, such as line performance, quality and OEE, from different perspectives, including shift and batch. Managers can then drill down further to find the cause of any problem.

“Our customers typically manufacture complex, expensive components, often using sophisticated processes. As a result, minimizing waste and improving quality are absolutely vital,” said Robert Harris, PEER Group president. “VisualPlant's historical and real-time data analysis allows these manufacturers to realize efficiencies that previously eluded them. This off-the-shelf software is far more robust than any other.”

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides leading-edge factory automation software solutions and consulting services to advanced manufacturers and OEMs in the semiconductor, electronics, life sciences and automotive industries. Many of the world's best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management and custom application development problems. PEER Group partners with leading software and automation companies to assure the most efficient delivery of highly functional, reliable and scalable solutions.

About EMT

EMT is a leading provider of Manufacturing Intelligence software. EMT's software, VisualPlant, enables manufacturers to collect, store, analyze and distribute critical information throughout the manufacturing enterprise in real-time. VisualPlant consolidates raw plant floor data into relevant real-time information and historical data. This visibility allows plant managers and corporate executives to make faster, more informed decisions to improve operational efficiency, product quality and plant profitability. Customers include CibaVision, DaimlerChrysler, Ford Motor Company, Herman Miller, Lear Corporation, Magna International Inc., Visteon, Wescast Industries Inc., and ZF. EMT is a privately held company based in London, Ontario.

Contact

Bill Schmalz, Global OEM Sales Manager
bill.schmalz@peergroup.com
1 519-749-9554

John Dyck, EMT - VisualPlant
(519) 668-7336

© 2003 The PEER Group Inc

05/06/2002:SECS multiplexing with hardware fail-over protection

SECS multiplexing with hardware fail-over protection

Kitchener, Ontario – May, 2002

The PEER Group® Inc. in Kitchener, Ontario announced a partnership with Connect Tech Inc. in Guelph, Ontario to offer a SECS communications multiplexing solution with true hardware fail-over protection.

The PEER Group software application Plex4SECS provides reliable multi-host access to a single piece of semiconductor equipment. For SECS-I (serial) primary host connections, the addition of Connect Tech's Blue Heat/PCI® Pass-Through Mux (PTM) board guarantees a connection between the primary host and tool should the Plex4SECS system stop or even lose power. Both products are installed on standard PCs with no further hardware required, thus making this solution a unique market offering.

Plex4SECS allows secondary hosts to collect data for improving both process quality and tool uptime. Each host can independently request data and receive tool events. Robert Harris, PEER Group president notes, "For the production engineers, any effort to insert software between the primary host and a tool is considered risky. A prime example is the growing data collection requirements of R&D for APC and yield improvement. In the past, if R&D's software or hardware failed, communication between the primary host and the tool was lost. Our combined solution allows multiple hosts to retrieve data from the tool without compromising the host connection."

For HSMS tools, Plex4SECS alone provides the multiplexing function. However, for the majority of tools in today's fabs, serial communication is the norm. David Worthen, Connect Tech president adds, "The proven design and choice of components within the Blue Heat/PCI PTM board ensures that it performs transparently in both pass-through and fail-over states. No other solution on the market offers the high degree of security that a hardware pass-through offers."

"This is truly a market driven solution," Harris explains. "Our customers came to us and asked us to create this concise capability. Through the PEER Group - Connect Tech partnership, we delivered." This low cost, high reliability solution is targeted at servicing the growing data collection needs of fab automation and process control engineers.

Pricing: The combined solution price for the Plex4SECS application and Blue Heat/PCI PTM board is $1250 US, with OEM discounts available. Contact Bruce Berry at 519-749-9554 for more information.

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides leading-edge factory automation software solutions and consulting services to advanced manufacturers and OEMs in the semiconductor, electronics, life sciences and automotive industries. Many of the world's best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management and custom application development problems. PEER Group partners with leading software and automation companies to assure the most efficient delivery of highly functional, reliable and scalable solutions.

About Connect Tech

Since 1985, Connect Tech has provided the globe with high quality, cost-effective connectivity solutions. Committed to excellence in both product design and customer satisfaction, Connect Tech continues to build on a reputation for manufacturing high performance multi-port serial adapters for personal computers.

Contact

Greg Kaminski, Marketing Manager
greg.kaminski@peergroup.com
1 519-749-9554

© 2002 The PEER Group Inc.

Blue Heat/PCI is a registered trademark of Connext Tech Inc. PEER is a registered trademark of The PEER Group Inc.

03/21/2002:PEER® Event Service ready for XP

PEER® Event Service ready for XP

Kitchener, Ontario – March, 2002

The PEER Group Inc., (Kitchener, Ontario) announces new Windows® XP functionality for PEER® Event Service (PES). In addition to providing the benefits of a loosely coupled distribution mechanism, PES now offers developers the ability to scale communication services efficiently to thousands of subscribers.

PEER Event Service provides all the communication handling capability and flexibility to support any application with the primary purpose of moving data to one or more subscribers. In one application, PES reduced communication overhead by offering local- and server-level distributors. In another application, PES was modified in a unique way to actually reduce its powerful anonymity design and efficiently accommodate the customer's need for information from specific publishers.

With the advent of Windows XP, PES now provides multi-cast capability to provide more efficient service to a larger number of subscribers. At the same time, it offers the full Publish/Subscribe benefits in situations involving a limited number of destinations.

PEER Event Service evolved with the company's need to maintain a high level of communications infrastructure in the manufacturing applications being developed. During the late 90s - as PEER Group customers migrated from a UNIX environment to the increasingly popular Windows environment - the goal was to develop a Publish/Subscribe mechanism that provided the flexibility and scalability to sustain software solutions in the manufacturing environment.

PEER Group's customers' shop floors are characterized by hundreds of pieces of equipment in various states of operation. The dynamic nature of these businesses also dictates the addition of new processes to the shop floors. Any software application operating on the shop floor must continue to function regardless of equipment states and must accommodate the addition of new processes without overhauling the application's core. Without this capability, literal chaos would result if a single piece of equipment going down caused the entire floor to grind to a halt.

Mike Kropp, VP of Engineering, commented, "In the manufacturing solution we develop, what the customer sees is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of effort. We invest a large portion of our income into R&D to produce tools such as PES that we, and others, use to ensure the software is supported by the best infrastructure possible."

About PEER Group

PEER Group provides leading-edge factory automation software solutions and consulting services to advanced manufacturers and OEMs in the semiconductor, electronics, life sciences and automotive industries. Many of the world's best manufacturing companies turn to PEER Group to solve their most challenging equipment automation, data management and custom application development problems. PEER Group partners with leading software and automation companies to assure the most efficient delivery of highly functional, reliable and scalable solutions.

Contact

Greg Kaminski, Marketing Manager
greg.kaminski@peergroup.com
1 519-749-9554

© 2002 The PEER Group Inc

Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation. PEER is a registered trademark of The PEER Group Inc.

  • 150+
    OEM customers
  • 50,000+
    equipment connections in service
  • 70+
    tool platforms automated
  • 40+
    fab acceptances