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PEER Group history

PEER Group is the leader in factory automation software for smart manufacturing and Industry 4.0. Over the years, we have helped high-volume manufacturers and equipment suppliers in all high-technology industries including semiconductor, optoelectronics, MEMS, electronics assembly, and photovoltaic. The following timeline highlights our significant milestones.

1992

  • Mike Kropp and Bob Harris founded The PEER Group Inc., focusing on custom factory floor data collection systems using FASTech's CELLworks integration products and ORACLE RDBMS.
  • Started development of FASTech's MES prototype which would later become FACTORYworks.

1993

  • Continued as part of the FACTORYworks development team for key infrastructure components.
  • Developed products for DOS and MAC clients to receive CELLworks messages over MBX, CELLworks' messaging technology.

1997

  • Started to support several customers' migration from a UNIX environment to the increasingly popular Windows environment.

1998

  • Relocated from Guelph to Kitchener to be closer to the talent pool of technical professionals in the Waterloo Region.

1999

  • Launched equipment supplier business, developing two specialty automation software products for Applied Materials.

2000

  • Moved into our current offices in a renovated warehouse in the heart of Downtown Kitchener in what would later become known as the "Innovation District".

2001

  • Launched SECS/GEM products, GEM4Tools™ and SECS4Hosts®, including GEMTool and SECSHost branded for Rockwell Automation.

2002

  • Created PEER FACTORY®, a component-based MES for high-tech manufacturing.
  • Released Plex4SECS™, offering SECS communications multiplexing with hardware failover protection.

2003

  • Entered equipment automation and control market.
  • Partnered with Asyst Technologies to integrate their SECS/GEM products.
  • Launched PTO®, a tool automation and control platform for 200mm/300mm automation.
  • Acquired the European division of TRW’s high-technology systems integration business and established an EU office (PEER Group GmbH) in Dresden, Germany which provides expertise in automation testing, supplier management, equipment integration, and Advanced Process Control (APC) solutions.

2004

  • Began a shift from a services-oriented company offering several niche products to a product-oriented company that can broaden delivery of cost-saving automation software.
  • Entered the electronics test solutions market, building a Test Control System for Microsoft's Xbox 360 manufacturing.

2005

  • Accepted into the Microsoft Partner Program Networking Infrastructure Solutions Competency.

2006

  • Became a member of the Microsoft Partner Program.
  • Accepted into the Microsoft Partner Program Independent Software Vendor (ISV)/Software Solutions Competency and became a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner.

2007

2008

  • Entered the test applications market.
  • Acquired the CCS Envoy™ product from Applied Materials.
  • Launched PFAT™, our next-generation dynamic scenario test application.
  • Named one of the best 50 workplaces in Canada by the Globe and Mail, as compiled by Great Place to Work® Institute of Canada.
  • Acquired the IP rights from CenterPoint for the following products: APC and Yield Management Scenarios, APC\Platform, EDAfactoryController, and portA.

2009

  • Acquired all of Asyst Technologies’ software products: SDR™, GWGEM®, ConX300™ and EIB® for host and equipment connectivity, and SECSIM Pro®+, a test application.
  • Selected Mizuho Information & Research Institute, Inc. as exclusive distributor of our products in Japan.

2010

  • Launched EIB GEM, our next-generation GEM connectivity product for OEMs.

2011

  • Launched the next-generation PTO 5.0, which accelerates automation development time.
  • Renewed into the Microsoft Partner Network as an Independent Software Vendor Gold-level Competency Partner.

2012

  • Launched EIB 300, the next-generation GEM 300 connectivity product for OEMs.
  • Entered the automated pharmacy market.
  • Recognized by Branham300 as one of Canada’s leading technology companies.
  • Achieved Microsoft Silver Software Development Competency.
  • Achieved Microsoft Gold Application Development Competency.

2013

  • Ranked #5 in the Globe and Mail’s Best Workplaces in Canada.
  • Purchased rights from acpIT for the exclusive ownership of the Process Control System, Equipment Connector, and portA software products (and product team), providing enhanced host connectivity and process control capabilities to OEM and fab customers.
  • Recognized by Branham300 as one of Canada’s leading technology companies for the second year in a row.
  • Selected ELIM Technology as Korean distributor, strengthening our offerings in Asia.

2014

  • Ranked #13 in the Globe and Mail’s Best Workplaces in Canada and received a special “Camaraderie Award”.
  • Recognized by Branham300 as one of Canada’s leading technology companies for the third year in a row.
  • Ranked #33 on the Deloitte® Technology Fast 50™ listing which recognizes the Canadian technology companies with the highest revenue growth over five years.
  • Ranked #321 on the 2014 Deloitte® North American Technology Fast 500™ listing, an annual ranking of the 500 fastest-growing technology, media, and telecommunications companies throughout the United States and Canada.

2015

  • Renewed into the Microsoft Partner Network Gold Application Development Competency.
  • Named a Best Workplace in Canada for the third year in a row by the Great Place to Work Institute.
  • Jumped to #121 on the Branham300 listing for top ICT companies in Canada.
  • Launched Remicus™, the remote connectivity product that enables tool experts to manage manufacturing equipment via the web.
  • Contributed SECS Message Language (SML) and all related rights to the public, as a benefit to the semiconductor industry

2016

2017

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