BINGHAMTON, NY -- Binghamton University’s Integrated Electronics Engineering Center (IEEC) is now home to a Smart Electronics Manufacturing Laboratory. The key equipment for the lab came from the IEEC’s new industry partner, Koh Young Technology Inc. The company and the University’s new lab were introduced during an event held Thursday at the Center of Excellence Building on campus.

Koh Young is a South Korean company that specializes in 3-D measurement and inspection equipment. According to researchers at Binghamton University, the new partnership with Koh Young Technology will allow the University to take a major step forward into the world of "Industry 4.0," or "Smart Factory."

"Industry 4.0 describes the smart, interconnected machine tools that improve the assembly process for the electronic devices we use every day," said Vice President for Research Bahgat Sammakia, who is also director of the Center of Excellence. "Bottom line, this new equipment will enable us to make sure electronic products are made faster and more efficiently. The efficiency is the result of the fact that defects detected by the testing equipment will one day be repaired by ‘smart communication’ between the tools used to make the product and the machines used to inspect the product."

"The end result is that we can save costs in manufacturing by reducing the number of iterations, and no human intervention will be needed to fix the problem," President Harvey G. Stenger added. "This smart manufacturing concept is leading-edge, and we are thankful to Koh Young Technology Inc. for its membership in our IEEC and its significant donation of this new inspection equipment."

Kwang Y. Koh, president of Koh Young, said: "We hope that this Koh Young/Binghamton University collaboration brings our electronics manufacturing system and process technology to the next level by incorporating advanced artificial intelligence knowledge."

As a result of Koh Young’s generous donation, the new Smart Electronics Manufacturing Laboratory equipment will be able to be used by Binghamton researchers working side by side with other IEEC industry partners.

"The ultimate outcome is that the research conducted here in our new lab, in partnership with industry, will lead to the development of new electronics manufacturing schemes with the highest levels of efficiency and reliability," said Seungbae Park, director of the IEEC.

The IEEC, founded in 1991, has been classified as a Center for Advanced Technology since the mid-1990s. It was re-designated last fall by Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (ESD/NYSTAR). As a result of the CAT designation, the IEEC receives significant state support.

"One of the smartest local investments the state can make for us is in Binghamton University," New York State Sen. Fred Akshar said. "Our community is attracting businesses, we’re gaining worldwide renown and we’re helping industries advance right here in the Southern Tier."

"We’ve seen significant progress locally when private industry and academia have worked together," Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo said. "Binghamton University is a local and national leader in this type of collaboration. I am looking forward to the positive results that will come from this latest partnership on behalf of transformational smart electronics research."

"As a major economic driver in our community, it is exciting to see yet another University-industry partnership come together," Broome County Executive Debra Preston said. "On behalf of the residents of Broome County, I would like to welcome Koh Young Technology Inc. to our community, and I am excited to see the results of this latest collaboration."

The IEEC, part of the University’s New York State-designated Center of Excellence (COE) in Small Scale Systems Integration and Packaging (S3IP), pursues research in electronics packaging in partnership with private industry. The market demands increasingly robust, inexpensive and efficient products. Research conducted by the University with both large and small partner companies has led to significant technological advances in devices that are smaller, faster and greener than their predecessors. Current projects focus on topics such as cybersecurity, 3-D packaging, flexible electronics, power electronics and batteries.

Since its founding, the IEEC has provided a more than 60-to-1 return on investment for New York state. In fact, between 1994 and 2014 (the latest figures available) the IEEC and its partners generated more than $1 billion in statewide economic activity. Partner companies attribute the creation and retention of 1,890 jobs to activity generated by Binghamton’s CAT.

With the addition of the Smart Electronics Manufacturing Laboratory, the University expects that economic activity to grow significantly in the future.