Product Briefing Outline: Applied Materials has introduced the ‘Applied SmartMove’ system that enables a comprehensive wafer management solution for non-automated 200mm and 300mm fabs. The SmartMove system brings new efficiency to these fabs, seamlessly integrating with customers’ existing MES software to wirelessly track and direct the movement of wafer lots. Applied Materials claims the system can boost factory output by up to 10%, and typically realize a return on the investment in less than 9 months.
Problem: Non-automated fabs are still impacted by the need to improve productivity and are often required to fabricate a wide range of products, often in small lot configuration. This limits their ability to reduce cycle-times and creates significant manual observation and tracking of wafer lots, increasing costs and reducing throughput.
Solution: The SmartMove system integrates Applied’s production-proven ‘Activity Manager’ workflow automation software with ‘LotTrack’ technology from Intellion AG. Using SmartMove technology, a customer’s MES is continuously updated with the exact location of every wafer carrier. This location-aware capability enables the MES to optimize operator efficiency by sending “attention needed” and “where next” data to display panels on each carrier, freeing operators from manual data entry, eliminating misplaced lots and reducing cycle time. Rapid deployment of the SmartMove system at a customer site is assured by non-intrusive hardware and by pre-configured software that requires no MES code changes, eliminating the risk of a production failure during deployment. Applied’s experienced factory automation engineers perform installation and testing, as well as provide on-going technical support. The Activity Manager application is built on Applied’s common automation software architecture, enabling the easy integration of additional software packages, such as the Applied Real-Time Dispatcher™ (RTD), for even greater operational efficiency.
Applications: 200mm and 300mm non-automated fabs.
Platform: The SmartMove system includes Applied's production proven Activity Manager workflow automation software, which seamlessly integrates with a customer's' existing Manufacturing Execution System (MES) and with LotTrack technology from Intellion AG, an innovative radio frequency and ultrasound-based wafer carrier tracking system. The SmartMove system continuously updates a customer's MES with the exact location of every wafer carrier, freeing operators from manual data entry, eliminating misplaced lots and reducing cycle time.
Availability: July 2009 onwards.