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Optimize factory performance

Madhav Kidambi describes how to improve factory performance from the enterprise down to the factory floor.
Madhav Kidambi describes how to improve factory performance from the enterprise down to the factory floor.


Hi, this is Madhav Kidambi. Today, I will be talking about how to optimize factory performance. Today, all semiconductor manufacturers and OSATs are focused on optimizing production resources from enterprise-level, master planning to real-time dispatching on shop floor. Most of them use a disparate mix of software applications across the planning hierarchy. These tools may include open-source solutions, spreadsheets, commercial products, and home-grown applications. This results in inability to look at factory resources at a holistic basis, disruption, delays, and costs associated with having to analyze and validate changes to the WIP management policies such as dispatching and scheduling, and to build realistic what-if models for capacity planning scenarios.

From organization perspective, it creates silos using different applications, and this in turn results in sub-optimal decisions and increased cost of ownership to maintain the systems. By contrast, an integrated automation framework can offer user the biggest potential productivity gains. Applied APF platform provides software capabilities for developing, planning, scheduling, and dispatching reporting solutions.

It is currently deployed in more than 200 installations worldwide, both in semiconductor front-end and ATP sites. Recently, we have added new solver-based optimization capabilities integrated in APF platform, which will further enhance productivity gains possible from the enterprise level down to factory floor. As an example, let me demonstrate how we can utilize this new solver block to solve a master planning problem for an OSAT customer.

In solving the problem, basically there are four steps. In the first step, we are collecting the input data required for the master planning from different sources using the APF reporting capabilities. Once we have collected the input data, then we have set up the optimization problem for the master planning problem using linear programming approach.

And once we have solved the master planning problem, we have taken the output and then visualize it again through the APF reporting capabilities. And the whole problem, all the four steps, we were able to solve in a matter of minutes, and it was all automated from input data creation to visualization of the results.

About the Author

Picture of SmartFactory Automation Solution Experts Team
SmartFactory Automation Solution Experts Team
The Applied SmartFactory® automation solution experts team develops integrated automation solutions for semiconductor manufacturers to improve the performance of factories. From implementing a manufacturing execution system that advances collaboration and automation, to integrating AI/ML technologies for faster decision making, SmartFactory automation solutions enable manufacturers to prioritize quality and reliability across every stage of the manufacturing process.