Our group of experienced consultants combines industrial engineering and advanced process control concepts with innovative programming techniques to develop solutions designed specifically for your company. We can help you connect disconnected systems, streamline your business processes, and display information in innovative ways that help employees make better decisions. Everything is aimed at optimizing your company’s performance to improve a variety of metrics including cycle time, equipment throughput and utilization, line and sort yield, and human productivity. The ultimate result is a reduction in manufacturing costs and an increase in on-time deliveries, leading to a more profitable business.
We can analyze and develop advanced automation logic for any facility from manual to fully-automated. Our techniques will make your systems more efficient and cost effective.
The consultants of FPS have a long history of work with realtime automation control logic.
- Designed, developed, deployed, and maintained what we believe to be the first intelligent Where Next rule in a semiconductor facility.
- Designed, developed, and deployed a semi-automated system that directs operators to move carriers to/from tools as needed.
- Designed and deployed the carrier automation logic for a new 300mm fully automated facility.
- Designed, developed, and implemented logic to support fully automated reticle dispatch and delivery for a new 300mm fully automated facility.
We work with facilities at all levels of automation.
- No automation: Show operators where to move carriers
- Interbay automation only: Determine Where Next for stocker moves and show operators where to move carriers within the bay
- Full automation: Determine Where Next for carriers and reticles
Capacity & Labor Modeling
We provide consulting services and software tools to analyze factory resource requirements under different product, labor, and equipment scenarios. The resulting models will help you make capital and labor decisions with confidence.
- Useful for developing capital expenditure estimates and evaluating capacity constraints from different what-if scenarios
- Input data for model comes from product starts, process flows, tool set and tool recipes, cycle times
- Data is stored centrally in FPS database and can be used for other FPS applications and analysis
Industrial Engineering Analysis
We work with your management or industrial engineering team to develop solutions that use automation and programming to help make complicated problems much simpler.
- We have experience automating many traditional Industrial Engineering models by taking advantage of the power and the organization of an Oracle database.
- We can automate data collection and solve difficult statistical problems.
Our existing Cycle Time Analyzer and Throughput Tracker products and our methodology for Capacity Modeling are examples of IE Analysis. In addition, other potential uses include:
- Automated Labor Models
- Automated Batch Size Control
- Automated Reticle Management
- Recommend Process Qualifications
- Recommend Setup Changes
Dispatching & Scheduling
Our experts can help you improve your existing logic and systems to streamline operational performance.
Traditional dispatching rules only allow for sorting and prioritizing of material and fall short in complex and fully-automated environments. Dispatching rules only determine what can run next on each group of tools, whereas our scheduling algorithms allow us to plan for when and where current and future material will run.
Our Scheduling Methods
All tool types could derive some benefit from schedulers over even the best dispatching rules, but the benefit is greatest for Diffusion, Lithography, and Sort. The scheduling algorithms are written specifically for each tool type but they all use the same framework.
- A Diffusion Scheduler manages sink-furnace batch sequences especially with queue time requirements. First it must organize lots into batches and decide whether partial batches should wait for more lots to arrive. Then it schedules the batch on the sinks and furnaces.
- A Lithography Scheduler is ideal to manage reticles and integrate the scheduling of both reticles and lots to tools.
- A Sort Scheduler is similar to Litho scheduler to manage probe cards and integrate the scheduling of both probe cards and lots to tools.
The dispatch rules are then integrated with the output of the schedulers to ensure that lots arrive to the next scheduled tool before the scheduled start time
Reporting & Databases
We can provide services to help you meet your reporting needs regardless of the platform. We have an extraordinary amount of expertise with reporting in semiconductor manufacturing facilities as well as other industries.