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Shop-floor control has long been recognized as an important tool in improving manufacturing performance, an issue of great importance in the highly competitive semiconductor industry. Despite theoretical evidence of the benefits of certain kinds of scheduling policies, a wide disparity in shop-floor control practices exists in the industry. To better understand why such differences exist, we analyze an array of technology, market, and performance objective variables from 28 semiconductor wafer fabs. Using an ordinal logit model, we find that custom chip makers and fabs that place high emphasis on delivery performance are more likely to place high emphasis on lot dispatching and shop-floor control. Make-to-stock fabs producing mature products are less likely to place high emphasis on scheduling. For practitioners, the results can help direct management efforts by indicating which fabs will - and which will not - benefit from emphasis on scheduling. For scholars, the results suggest fruitful areas for future production scheduling research.
Date of Publication: May 2003