Industry Collaboration for Smart Factories

SEMI Machine-To-Machine (M2M) Communication Standard Adopted by Japan Robotics Association

By Junko Collins, SEMI Japan

Leveraging the experience of developing full automation semiconductor manufacturing  in responding to the requirements of the Internet of Things (IoT), the SEMI Standards Program has developed an machine-to-machine (M2M) communication standard protocol, SEMI A1-0617, Specification for Horizontal Communication (HC) Between Equipment for Factory Automation System, which is capable of handling both material and information flows for flow shop type production lines.

SEMI A1 is not only a protocol which handles material and associated data transfer over a set of products itself and related information between neighboring machines, but also a general-purpose communication protocol which exchanges machine setting information and processing feedback information between neighboring machines throughout the entire production line. This general-purpose communication can also be applied to communication between the host computer and machinery.

Standardization trend in the SMT industry

In parallel with the standardization work at SEMI, at the Japan Robot Association (JARA), 20 enterprises who manufacture surface mount technology (SMT) assembly equipment and related software gathered to work on standardization of SMT equipment communication protocol, focusing on protocols for sharing information between equipment having unique communication methods. An excellent feature of SEMI A1 was quickly found by the JARA group, which was convinced that the SEMI A1 communication standard has ample functionality for M2M collaboration in the SMT industry. JARA has since adopted SEMI A1 as a standard for M2M communication in the SMT industry and established a JARA standard as SMT specific operation and message definitions for SEMI A1. The JARA Standard, named "JARAS 1014" was announced at a special session on June 6th in conjunction with JISSO PROTEC.


In a traditional SMT production line, there are various machines such as printers, inspection machines, placement machines and reflow ovens, along with connecting conveyance machines. Since these machines are typically provided by different manufacturers, consistent information management of the entire line is time consuming and expensive, and the burden on the user is large. Standardization is one of the solutions to reducing the cost and the workload.

This brings merit for customers by supporting variable-volume variable-mix production. Also, M2M collaboration provides suppliers with opportunities for new value creation.


Standardization for implementation (SEMI Standards)

To convert and upgrade "JARAS 1014" into an international standard, a SEMI Standards SMT Task Force was established under the Automation Technology Committee’s Japan Chapter in April 2018, and development of "Specification For Surface Mount Assembly Smart Hookup (SMASH)" officially started. The first Task Force meeting was held on June 11 at the SEMI Japan office. This activity is strongly led by SMT equipment suppliers, such as Fuji Corporation, Juki Corporation, Panasonic Corporation and Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd., and the first ballot is anticipated to be available for review in September.

Note: About SEMI A1 HC:

SEMI A1 - Specification for Horizontal Communication (HC) Between Equipment for Factory Automation System

SEMI A1.1 - Specification for Media Interface for a Horizontal Communication (HC) Between Equipment (Subordinate Standard)

Get Involved

SEMI Standards development activities take place throughout the year in all major manufacturing regions. To get involved, join the SEMI International Standards Program at:  

For more information please visit our main Web site and current events page. Please contact the below SEMI staff if you are interested in this activity.

Mizue Iwamura (Ms.)
Standards & EHS, SEMI Japan
81.3.3222.6018 (Standards & EHS)

:Other Contact Information

About JARAS 1014
Toshimichi Miura (Mr.)
Technical Department, JARA

:About contents of the article

Junko Collins (Ms.)
Standards & EHS, SEMI Japan


Standards Watch
June 14, 2018