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Quantifying impact of WIP delivery on operator schedule in semiconductor manufacturing line

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1 Author(s)
Findley, A.L. ; Microelectron. Div., IBM Corp., Essex Junction, VT, USA

Operator availability is crucial to throughput and cycle time in a semiconductor manufacturing environment. It is often difficult to determine the effect of a manufacturing practice that is well established. Where there is no automated delivery, work-in-process (WIP) transfer between processing equipment consumes operator time, and the effect is not well understood. This work quantifies the time and distance that a set of production operators spent moving product or WIP. This data was difficult to acquire, and was essential in establishing knowledge of current conditions so that improvements could be proposed. An example is provided of how such difficult-to-obtain data can indeed be gathered. At times, off-the-shelf technology designed for another purpose can be useful in arriving at a solution. A bicycle cyclometer, capable of providing time, distance, and speed readings, was adapted to function on a five-inch caster. This caster was installed on a common semiconductor wafer-box delivery cart. This paper describes the data-gathering experiment in cooperation with production operators. Learning from this experiment, including installation of the cyclometer, actual data, and how it supported follow-on improvement are discussed

Published in:

Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Conference and Workshop, 1998. 1998 IEEE/SEMI

Date of Conference:

23-25 Sep 1998