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Bringing new levels of efficiency and quality to the fab

Selim Nahas shares insights on ways to reduce human variability and improve problem solving in the fab.
Selim Nahas shares insights on ways to reduce human variability and improve problem solving in the fab.


Hi, I’m Selim Nahas and I’m going to speak to you today about human factors in dispositioning SPC violations in front-end semiconductor industry facilities. One of the most important things to understand about this is it’s an extremely challenging thing that we ask people to do in any fab, primarily because it’s so dependent on so many different sources of information. The user has to make incredibly complex decisions in a very short period of time.

Adapting a workflow system is the right thing to do and it really lays the foundation of what you need to do in order to take the next steps and eventually get into some advanced analytics. The foundation is really designed to address the human factor associated with the SPC problem and the disposition problem. Simply put, people interpret information in different ways and when they do so, they respond in different ways.

So having a system that guides them through what to do, what are the potential sources or at least provides some element of guidance as to what it could be is highly beneficial. Most important of all is understanding that because people have varied understandings of problems, they tend to demonstrate a resolution of their own type, despite the fact that two experienced engineers might be addressing the same problem for the same process. Now having said that, it doesn’t negate that you do need to address the basics of SPC as a whole.

So having a system in place that helps you understand how you want to address a key elements such as your SPC practices, so converting your out-of-spec conditions to out-of-control conditions, getting good control limits is absolutely essential. This is how you’re going to primarily manage your signal-to-noise ratio so that you’re not inundating your staff with an excessive amount of problems to solve and essentially desensitizing the community. So having said that, you begin by putting in place and instituting the foundation and once the foundation is in place, you will find that the variability by user changes dramatically.

Once that has been achieved, then you can consider some of the more advanced analytics which we’re certainly investing and working on here at Applied Materials.

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Selim Nahas
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