Our client, a worldwide silicon wafer production leader, partnered with many of the world’s foremost chip manufacturers. The company operates manufacturing facilities throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States.
Our client was experiencing problems with capacity at three of their key plants located in Oregon, Japan, and Singapore. With increased customer demand and the bottom line not supportive of any capital investment the company needed to increase output from the sites with the existing infrastructure in order to meet demand and keep manufacturing costs competitive with the highly competitive global marketplace.
The company contracted with Tefen to benchmark the production lines of both the 200mm and 400mm wafers, and design a solution that would meet client demands without relying on new equipment or technology. The overall goal of the project was to increase Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) at each of the designated sites.
How Tefen Helped
Tefen conducted a Scoping at each of the three sites to increase output without purchasing additional equipment.
Tefen began its engagement with a week-long analysis of the wafer lines at each of the production facilities. This process quickly unveiled a synergistic problem common throughout: Scrap and rework were deemed to be the largest inhibitor of increasing capacity. This was followed by over-automation which further disallowed the plants from increasing output.
During the 2nd half of the week, line experiments were conducted to insure the proposed solutions would yield the expected results. The test proved the solutions feasible and plans were developed and put in place to achieve future state goals.
Although the assignment began as a simple OEE project, Tefen’s analysis utilized all three components of OEE: Quality, Scheduling, and Machine Availability (unplanned maintenance).
Through the project team’s analysis, Tefen further identified a number of additional process constraints and associated remedies. Constraints were found in the following areas: Robotic asynchronization, Wafer introduction, Unit unavailability, Product design, and Quality.
Performance Excellence Delivered
At the end of the engagement each of these segments stood as prime opportunities for the company to achieve their goals of increased wafer production and meeting the demands of their customers.
After all constraints and inefficiencies revealed, Tefen ultimately made possible several million dollars’ worth of savings for the company, whilst deferring any capital investments through next few measured years.
At the end of the engagement, the client was able to impact “top line” savings by $3.1M - $3.6M per month by the first year, and$2.1M - $2.8M per month by the following year.
The client saw an increase in production of 51,297 units in the first year, and 34,198 units in the following year.
In the first year the client was able to see 8,477 units of core manufacturing, and 12,716 units in the following year.
In the first year the client was able to increase their capacity to 59,774 units and 46,914 units in the following year.