Analytics are one of the most practical advances of the modern age, but they’re only as effective as the way they’re used. The manufacturing industry is using them well, with smart practices touching most niches in the sector. Analytics can map real-time data related to everything from models of virtual products to predictions of simulation capabilities.
According to a recent article in McKinsey & Co, however, semiconductor companies have limited their use. This will have to change with the increased pressure fabs face today. It’s the only way to remain profitable in an increasingly competitive industry.
Fabs Face Increased Demands
Integrated circuit lead times have been increasing due to new designs, stiffer inspection requirements, and harsh testing procedures. The verification period, in particular, has faced a massive increase in interruptions. Upfront costs are no longer easy to reduce, and new products frequently need over a year of debugging. Wafer manufacture delays are the most burdensome of all. The sheer complexity of the problem requires a comprehensive solution that optimizes production lines, wastage, and advanced process control.
Semiconductor production analytics are traditionally measured according to volume, velocity, variety, veracity, and value. Data quality is the most important of these when it comes to widespread adoption of analytics. Complete, accurate, context-rich information assures profitability across the entire facility.
Lessons from Industry Disruptors
The semiconductor industry is facing a massive data explosion, but that’s come with the improved predictive capabilities required to crunch that information into something meaningful. Where qualitative measures are thin, the sector can draw from the lessons of other industries, which can be used to create a highly complex, automated data management strategy.
There is no cookie cutter approach to analytics, but there is certainly a history of excellent APC application approaches. When the industry moves from a reactive to a predictive strategy, revenue can be pushed far beyond annual revenue goals.