21 Dec CMMS Software: 5 Ways Semiconductor Fabricators Increase Productivity
Semiconductor fabricators face several challenges including rapid advances in technology, extreme tolerances in clean-room environments and a fiercely competitive global marketplace.
In this post, we break down how CMMS can help overcome these challenges.
The semiconductor industry is an ultra-competitive space – and semiconductor fabricators need every advantage they can get. This includes accurate and actionable data about how they’re performing. But with so many data points to monitor – literally hundreds of employees and hundreds of thousands of products, tools and materials – it can be hard to get visibility into operations.
CMMS software helps solve this problem.
What is CMMS Software?
CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management Solution) software helps fabricators track virtually any asset metric in their facility. All while keeping up with industry standards for KPIs such as maintenance costs, responsiveness to failures, cost of idle machines and equipment reliability.
Here’s just a sample of what you can track with CMMS:
- Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF)
- Mean Cycles Between Failure (MCBF)
- Equipment Dependent Uptime
- Supplier Dependent Uptime
- Operational Uptime
- Mean Time to Repair (MTTR)
- Mean Time Off-line (MTOL)
- Equipment Dependent Unscheduled Downtime
- Supplier Dependent Unscheduled Downtime
- Operational Utilization
- Total Utilization
- Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE)
- Availability Efficiency
- Performance Efficiency
- Operational Efficiency
- Rate Efficiency
Accessible, useful metrics like these based on SEMI-E10 specifications make it easier to calculate equipment productivity, workflow efficiency and total uptime. With that in mind, here are 5 ways leading fabricators use CMMS software to improve productivity and make smarter decisions about operations.
Tool & Equipment Tracking
How many individual tools are in your fabrication plant? Thousands? Tens of thousands?
In most facilities, searching for tools and equipment takes up an inordinate amount of time. And the time your team spends looking for tools, checking availability and performing unintended maintenance affects productivity.
Fortunately, this problem is easy to fix. Cataloging tools with tracking software allows you to track valuable data about tool use, including:
- Check-in/check-out tracking
- Maintenance records
- Due dates
CMMS helps you minimize the time workers take finding and maintaining tools, dramatically decreasing downtime and increasing productivity throughout the fabrication process.
You can speed up this process even more with barcodes or RFID tags that make it possible to locate and identify a tool in seconds.
RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology uses radio waves to automate the tracking of tools and inventory.
Letting you rapidly collect data about a given asset and/or material, RFID tracks their movement in real-time. For semiconductor fabricators, this provides an automated and more reliable way to know exactly where tools and inventory are. Its real-time data collection capabilities help speed up the tracking procedures you already have in place, completing them in seconds.
Preventive Maintenance Scheduling
The best time to conduct maintenance and repairs is before the equipment fails and generates unscheduled downtime.
CMMS helps you proactively maintain preventative maintenance and calibration schedules, ensuring assets continue to perform at the highest level. It does this by automating PM procedures according to parameters such as:
- Time (weekly, monthly)
- Usage hours
- Metrics (Mean Time Between Failure, Out of Spec Measurements, etc.)
In addition to streamlining PM and calibration scheduling, CMMS software also sends reminders and creates maintenance records to ensure no procedures are overlooked.
Asset Management and Reporting
Fabricating semiconductors becomes much easier when you have a complete and up-to-date database of your assets. CMMS software makes this possible by helping you monitor, manage and control fixed fabrication assets.
Assets can be tracked within a single facility or across multiple locations, time zones, business units and organizations. You can track a range of useful data points, including:
- Performance Metrics
- SPC Measurements
- Vendor and Purchase Information
- Maintenance Costs
- Warranties and Service Contracts
By tracking assets with CMMS and generating analytical reports (on the fly and scheduled), personnel can dramatically reduce unscheduled downtime, cut down on unnecessary costs and make better-informed business decisions.
Fabrication workers and maintenance technicians are constantly moving inventory, assets, equipment and supplies around the shop floor. But when they’re away from workstations, they have no way to access or collect tracking data because it’s almost always stuck in spreadsheets or flat file storage.
Mobile devices and wireless barcode/RFID scanners allow you to collect data, track movements and process repair/service requests, PMs and calibrations from anywhere in the facility. Because data entry and reporting are no longer tied to a single machine, you save time, minimize errors and reduce labor costs.
CMMS software is a proven way for semiconductor fabricators to improve productivity without needlessly increasing costs. Now, that you have a clearer idea of what you can track and how you can implement it, the next step is finding a service provider to help make it possible.