Significantly Improving Waferfab Performance

 
Fab performance is defined as maximum profitability manifested in highest yield at highest wafer output and lowest cost. All other elements are a results or subsets of these three fundamentals elements. When done right, new product introduction (time-to-market), new fab startup (time-to-qualification/ramp, cycle time, OEE, technology transfer, reliability (zero dppm for automotive), etc. fall into place easily.

The mental block in most fab executives is that problems occur and have to be solved to come up the learning curve. The mindset change is to avoid surprise problems by observing and eliminating issue before they turn into problems in electrical failures, device performance or reliability that also affect output, cost and time-to-market.

The constraint (the unmet need) is the lack of knowledge to observe right inline data and not get lost in mountains of data and tasks that hide fundamental issues that cause 90% of problems in fab performance. Because of this, fabs unknowingly waste most of their engineering and manufacturing time on trivial issues that have little to no impact on results while the significant issues go unobserved or unrecognized. 80-90% of time problem that have been previously solved consume months of engineering time- not their fault, because of lack of their experience or the system that support them.

If executive management know the issues before they occur, they are able to balance priorities and make fundamental decisions that for stable and growing success. Not only is it important to know what work is imperative, it is also important to know what lesser or needless work replaces higher priority work.

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