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Equipment Lifecycle Management

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Trey Brown, GE Global Electronics Solutions

ABSTRACT

The semiconductor industry is one of the most capital-intensive industries in the world and in today’s economic environment manufacturers are in a cautious mode looking for ways to mitigate some of their costs while making prudent decisions for the future. Consequently, leading manufacturers are now evaluating their long-term equipment strategy and entertaining an array of options that include leasing capital equipment, purchasing used equipment and remarketing equipment they no longer need. This article will discuss the three stages of Equipment Lifecycle Management for the semiconductor industry – acquiring equipment by lease or purchase, optimizing it, and finally remarketing the equipment when it is no longer needed. A comprehensive Equipment Lifecycle Management approach recognizes the reality that there will never be a ‘final’ optimal end result from even the most thorough capital equipment evaluation and selection procedure. In reality, it is a continuous dynamic tension between rapidly changing technologies, shorter product cycles, longer lasting equipment values and the need to carefully manage financial resources. Only a unified Equipment Lifecycle Management process that encompasses all key activities, ranging from acquisition to optimization through disposition, will enable companies to stay on top of their constantly changing capital equipment needs.

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