Online information source for semiconductor professionals

New Product: New PPM system from QWiKS saves fabs $ millions

Popular articles

Oberai discusses Magma’s move into solar PV yield management space - 29 August 2008

New Product: Applied Materials new EUV reticle etch system provides nanometer-level accuracy - 19 September 2011

‚??Velocity‚?? the new buzzword in Intel‚??s PQS annual awards - 12 April 2012

Applied Materials adds Jim Rogers to Board of Directors - 29 April 2008

TSMC honors suppliers at annual Supply Chain Management Forum - 03 December 2008

QWiKsProduct Briefing Outline: A real-time, visual predictive and preventive maintenance (PPM) system that could save semiconductor fabs thousands of dollars annually per tool has been developed by Quality Wise Knowledge Solutions (QWiKS) in cooperation with ATDF, the Austin-based R&D foundry. The PPM system, called QWiKS CBM/PHM, combines condition-based maintenance (CBM) with prognostic health monitoring (PHM) to monitor and maintain semiconductor process equipment more effectively.

Problem: According to market research by International SEMATECH Manufacturing Initiative (ISMI), 17 percent of a typical fab's tool asset value must be allocated to maintenance to support round-the-clock operations – so that a factory with $4 billion in equipment assets spends about $680 million per year on regular tool maintenance. The price goes even higher for unscheduled downtime, which costs four to seven times more than routine maintenance.

Solution: PPM technology helps a production fab reduce unscheduled downtime by
providing early warning of equipment failure. For example, ATDF uses the CBM portion of the system to monitor furnace throttle valve positions and alert manufacturing technicians when it is time to clean the furnace pump exhaust trap. This usage avoids unscheduled downtime due to process accumulation. The QWiKS system also includes tools for managing and improving tools’ performance tracking, which include
real-time tool utilization charts, a preventive maintenance module to link schedules, procedures and history to a single module, and EKB (equipment knowledge base)/tool repair knowledge base to archive history and knowledge for future repairs. An escalation module is available to automate the escalation process when tool downs become critical to the production process. Also included is a searchable tool maintenance comments facility that allows users to find repair data as needed.  The system also includes a failure mode effects analysis (FMEA) module to allow both process and equipment FMEAs to be implemented to ensure that the root causes of a failure are understood, addressed and corrected. A powerful search function within the module allows users to search for archive FMEA studies using keywords or a risk priority number (RPN). Also, an FMEA pattern signature function can capture the tool and process parameters associated with the root causes of a failure. Equipment or process diagnostic rules can be generated for detecting early sign of tool or process failures, or pinpointing the root causes of tool failure to reduce equipment repair time.

Applications: R&D to large-scale fabs.

Platform: Patented technology uses an open architecture, based on ETEST (Wafer Electrical Test) applications and uses an ‘Excel’-style spreadsheet environment that allows domain experts to integrate their knowledge into the system without having to write code.

Availability: November 2007 onwards.

Related articles

Eyelit implements replacement MES system at M/A-COM - 19 October 2009

A New Angle on Chip Interconnect - 01 December 2002

Semiconductor Wastewater Treatment and Reuse - 01 March 1999

Samsung, PDF Solutions collaborate on enhanced fault detection, classification solution - 28 April 2009

New Product: AP&S produces flexible wet bench with plug & run capability - 24 May 2006

Reader comments

No comments yet!

Post your comment

Name:
Email:
Please enter the word you see in the image below: