Operational Excellence

Ruling out the risk of failed customer demonstrations

The rapid pace of innovation in the semiconductor industry and increasing market expectations mean R&D environments must keep the pipeline of new process technology full.

Prototypes and demo tools need to be available for testing and showcasing without interruption. The only acceptable product demo is a flawless one. A crucial experimental test run can make or break a new product development. Unscheduled abatement downs can make a difference of winning or losing the commitment of a major semiconductor manufacturer.

The experimental and variable nature of the research and development work creates unavoidable fluctuations in the vacuum and abatement system. The risk of an unexpected down event can’t be prevented under a time-based maintenance schedule.

To prevent unscheduled down events in their main process and technology development lab, the SubFab team had to manually track the status of abatement equipment each day.

This manual process of data recording was time consuming, subject to human error and only accessible to the SubFab team. The process tool managers, most affected by the performance of the equipment had no idea on the current status of the SubFab. In addition to this, neither teams could share maintenance schedules in an effective way.

Disorganised maintenance costs research time

To the frustration of both teams, there were several missed opportunities to co-ordinate the maintenance of SubFab equipment with the process tools, costing the Fab valuable time.

In search of a more effective and accurate method to eliminate the risk of down events, this facility enlisted our help.

See how this facility made critical discoveries in the SubFab to shape future innovation across the Fab.

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