FabTime Cycle Time Management Newsletter Abstracts

FabTime Cycle Time Management Newsletter Abstracts - Volume 21 (5 issues - in progress)


Further Thoughts on Short-Term Bottlenecks (Issue 21.05)

Welcome to Volume 21, Number 5 of the FabTime Cycle Time Management Newsletter. We come to you this month from a smoky California, where FabTime’s team is safe, well, and grateful for firefighters. We have no community announcements in this issue, but we do have a few industry news tidbits from Jennifer’s LinkedIn feed. Our software tip of the month is about using the forecast arrivals charts in FabTime.

We received several detailed responses to last month’s article about identifying short-term bottlenecks, including one that questioned the merits of looking at short-term bottlenecks in the first place. In our main article this month, we aggregate and respond to those contributions. We discuss potential extensions to the WIP Hours paradigm, additional methods for identifying short-term bottlenecks, and uses of short-term bottlenecks as indicator species to tease out underlying variability problems in the fab.

We welcome responses to the short-term bottlenecks discussion, as well as new questions for subscribers and/or suggestions for newsletter topics.



Identifying Short-Term Bottlenecks (Issue 21.04)

Welcome to Volume 21, Number 4 of the FabTime Cycle Time Management Newsletter. We hope this issue finds you and your family all safe and well and managing in this COVID-changed time. In this issue we have an announcement about our upcoming software release and a few tidbits of potential interest to the newsletter community. In our subscriber discussion forum, we have a request for information sharing related to the state of the art in planning, scheduling, and dispatch, and another regarding the potential elimination of lead wafers in photo. We also have a suggestion regarding the column format for the PDF newsletter. You’ll see in today’s issue, for PDF subscribers, that we’re experimenting with a single-column format for improved mobile-friendliness.

Foreshadowing our main article, this issue’s software tip of the month is about using tab filters to track short-term bottlenecks. The main article was written in response to a subscriber question about how to identify those tools likely to be a problem over the coming shift or day. We define short-term bottlenecks and discuss using the new WIP Hours metric to identify them. Following a detailed example illustrating the use of WIP Hours and tool status information, we close with a discussion of other metrics likely to tease out short-term bottlenecks from the vast array of fab metrics. We hope you find this useful and welcome discussion of other approaches for tracking short-term bottlenecks.



COVID-19 Impacts for Wafer Fabs and Cycle Time (Issue 21.03)

Welcome to Volume 21, Number 3 of the FabTime Cycle Time Management Newsletter. We hope that this issue finds you and your families safe and well and your communities returning to a life that’s a bit closer to pre-pandemic normalcy.

In this issue, we have announcements about past FabTime newsletters, new Winter Simulation Conference papers, and SEMI resources - plenty of reading material for anyone who needs it. Our software tip of the month is about using FabTime to share data with team members from whom you are physically separated. In our subscriber discussion forum, we have an update to last month’s topic of Demand OEE, a question about Factory Physics-type courses, and a question from us about our cycle time course.

In our main article, we discuss impacts of COVID-19 on wafer fabs. We highlight several changes that we have learned about from our reading and from discussions with our User Group. We also discuss ways that some of these changes may be impacting fab cycle times. As always, we welcome your feedback.



Demonstrations of Flexible Thinking during a Global Crisis (Issue 21.02)

Welcome to Volume 21, Number 2 of the FabTime Cycle Time Management Newsletter. It’s a changed world since we sent out the last issue in early February. Today, as we prepare to send this issue, the coronavirus is threatening millions of people across countries worldwide. Many people are hunkered down and working from home. Even when people are working in the office, companies are reducing the number of meetings and people are maintaining as much physical distance as they can.

This is all for a greater goal, of course, but it’s also important that we as an industry continue learning from and connecting with one another. We hope that in a small way this newsletter can help with that. In this issue we share community announcements (some regarding COVID-19 resources) as well as tips for using FabTime’s software remotely. We also have subscriber contributions and questions from colleagues around the world. Please consider responding. We are stronger together.

In our main article, we highlight examples from recent news stories that illustrate flexible thinking by companies and government agencies as they respond to COVID-19 shortages and shutdowns. As a company focused on performance improvement, we find these examples encouraging.



Finding and Analyzing Cycle Time Bottlenecks (Issue 21.01)

Welcome to Volume 21, Number 1 of the FabTime Cycle Time Management Newsletter. We hope that you are all off to a great 2020 and believe that it is going to be a great year for the semiconductor industry. Would you believe this is the 159th issue of the newsletter? In this issue we have an exciting announcement about a plan to make past newsletter issues available to subscribers. Our software tip of the month is about a starter set of charts for manufacturing supervisors. We have subscriber discussion about dispatch compliance, on-time delivery calculations, rework %, and queue time sub-states.

Inspired in part by the discussion on queue time sub-states, we focus our main article on cycle time bottlenecks: the tool groups that contribute the most queue time to cycle time in a fab. We describe methods for both identifying cycle time bottlenecks and analyzing them. We close with a brief summary of concrete recommendations for mitigating the primary contributing factors to cycle time bottlenecks. We welcome your feedback.