Operational Excellence

What is the business value of the circular economy?

The environmental benefits from the circular economy are widely known, such as the reduction of waste and conservation of energy. What is overlooked is the true business value of circularity.

Nicolai Tallo explores what the circular economy is and how it enables semiconductor manufacturers to release more value from its operations.

What is a circular economy and how does it create value?

The circular economy operates on the principles of reducing energy and materials used to create a product and eliminating the waste generated during the product lifecycle.

Materials which would normally be considered waste are reused and recycled. When businesses apply the circular model as a strategy, it drives more value. By getting the best use out of products and materials for as long as possible, manufacturers align their objectives closely with those of their customers, which encourages the elimination of waste and the creation of mutual value.

The circular model drives customers overall business growth and sustainability objectives. It also transforms the organization’s relationships with their customers as objectives become closely aligned.

What circular business models do Edwards have today?

Our operational excellence models are built on circular principles. We use lean principles to eliminate waste from operations. We use predictive analytics to eliminate waste from unplanned events.

After use, vacuum systems are remanufactured to bring them back to a factory new condition before redeployment in the field. We can upgrade our vacuum and abatement systems to bring them in line with our new product capabilities, properly managed our vacuum and abatement systems. When older systems are eventually removed from service, they can be comprehensively remanufactured and given a second life in alternative markets. One area of customer success is the additional tool uptime that can be released just by changing the approach to maintenance. We work with our customers to optimize their service schedules and make sure maintenance happens, at just the right time and if possible aligned with the associated process tool.

We have seen these customers benefit from up to six weeks additional processing time per tool, which is equal to a 25% increase on that application. With hundreds of process tools per production facility, this is a significant opportunity for the customers to process more wafers and grow their revenue.

Further Learning

This interactive e-book reviews each of the business benefits of the circular economy and how they are measured and applied. It contains real world examples from semiconductor manufacturers today.

Download the interactive e-book or PDF

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