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Can outs be pumped up and cycle time shortened in existing fabs?

March 24, 2009

Several publications recently had articles considering ways of getting more wafers out of existing fabs faster. I thought in this period of low WIP and over capacity, cycle time is down. Why worry about it now? But, maybe this is the time to look at the existing fab and consider ways to improve throughput and cycle time, before the next big surge in orders hits and there isn’t  time. What are some of the methods, procedures that could be improved? Each fab will have their own ‘special’ issues. But, in general, here’s a few areas many fabs have issues in:

1.      Lot Size, especially <25 wafers

2.      Dispatch rules.

3.      Predictive PM schedules

4.      First wafer delay

5.      Supply chain

6.      Lot scheduling

7.      WIP

8.      Cycle time

9.      Set up time

10.  AMHS

11.  New process introduction

We can’t investigate all these points at once, but we must consider them all together, as they interact as a system. One of the best ways to do this is with simulation. ISMI has teams of engineers modeling current and future fabs in an effort to find the best ways improve productivity and cycle time, . Rank your issues highest pay back to lowest and start at the top of list. With a validated model of your fab you can start attacking  one issue at time. Using what-if analysis you can model every option you can think of until you get most practical, cost effective solution. There are more suggestions and papers to download at  this blog site






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