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Quality Quest: Insights from the Fab

Join David Hanny as he delves into what SmartFactory customers truly desire to enhance quality in their manufacturing processes. Discover the pivotal insights that can revolutionize the fab floor.


My name is David Hanny. I work for Applied Materials. My responsibility is the director of marketing and strategic planning, and my team gets a chance to go out and talk to our customers very frequently.

And so we have a pretty good pulse on what we think the industry is asking for. And so what I want to share with you today is some of the feedback that we get. When we talk to our customers, they really talk about four major things that they are looking for to deliver to their customers.

We recently had a chance to talk to some of the leader suppliers of different chips, people like Continental for the automotive industry and Broadcom. And we’ve had such conversations before with Apple and Qualcomm and so forth. What they are always challenged with is getting quality. As a computer semiconductor manufacturer, they strive to create chips that are reliable, that are functional, and that are to be able to do it for a long period of time.

The second thing that they are challenged with is why are things different from one tool to the next when they use the same recipe and when they run in the same kind of factory. When you get into the entire enterprise of manufacturing, they look from Fab to Fab to see why does one Fab perform in one way and another in another way, and what are the differences, and how can I characterize those things so that I can make my entire business better. That type of comparison is super important to them and the ability to take data outside of the Fab even and compare it and be able to find that best known method, that golden tool.

The third one is how do I get a new product to market on time. A new product introduction is a challenge. Depending on the step change from the previous product, they’re going to face new situations that they didn’t before. And so that new product introduction and getting through that ramp curve is so critical for their business because they make more margin on the products when they’re initially introduced than they do later on as it becomes more common usage.
And then the last thing that I wanted to mention is something that our customers are challenged with to be able to deliver on time.

And one of the statistics or one of the KPIs that they look at is found in what’s called the operational characteristic curve. And so the objective of the operational characteristic curve is to focus on on-time delivery to their customers and what are my costs. And so they want to be able to optimize their assets by making better decisions on what it is they process, when they process it, and how they move it down the line and go through the different loops and build up the mask layers and so forth.

So these are things that our customers are constantly talking about when they make their investments.

About the Author

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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.