Operational Excellence

Fast and flexible operations from the clean room to the SubFab are propelling customers ambitious growth targets, but how does this translate to the maintenance approach for the vacuum and abatement system?

A service maturity model can be used as an assessment of how the vacuum and abatement system is contributing to Fab success. This model describes a progression from reactive maintenance through preventive maintenance to more prescriptive type of maintenance approaches.  What are the advantages and disadvantages of each approach, and what are the challenges faced as we move from level to level?

Evolving practices that leverage technologies like machine learning, big data, advanced analytics, cloud computing to work with the unique creative potential of human beings, is starting to take hold and propel customers in achieving their goals.

The evolving maturity of servicing and maintenance

As machines of all types have played an increasing role in all types of manufacturing, the methods, and approaches to supporting and maintaining those machines have also evolved. The service maturity model that we incorporate in our own Operational Excellence model, describes a progression through five levels. The lowest level is to do nothing or worry about it later. The next is reactive maintenance – run to failure and fix it when it breaks. This is a risk-based strategy that looks at maintenance costs as a non-productive expense and focuses mostly on minimizing that cost. The next level up is planned/preventive maintenance. At this level manufacturers are beginning to look at the value added by maintenance through improvements in efficiency and performance. Maintenance is scheduled periodically to occur before the equipment is likely to fail. Essential components of this approach are determining the optimal period, standardizing performance and procedures, and finding opportunities for improvement. Predictive maintenance, the next level, is condition-based and relies on increased monitoring of operational parameters to predict imminent failures. It seeks to maximize the time between interventions while avoiding failures. The highest level in the progression is prescriptive, in which close collaboration between the user and the service provider and a shared commitment to continuous improvement promote a prescriptive approach to maintenance, or adjustments to machine operation that optimizes outcomes to achieve the user’s goals.

The progression described in the service maturity model allows us to look at where we are and where our customers are – so we can align and collaborate to achieve the desired outcome. It is important to realize that there isn’t a way to assign customers to a level on the scale. Different customers, different locations of the same customer, and even different products and participants within our own organization are often at different levels. 

To help semiconductor manufacturers assess their own approach to maintenance, the key characteristics of each maintenance level are outlined in this service maturity infographic.

The infographic is an excerpt from the recent Silicon Semiconductor article “Evaluating the Fab Lifecycle and SubFab service maturity model: Is there more to gain? View article.

Download The Service Maturity Model Infographic

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