Lean Manufacturing in the Semiconductor Industry

Robot manufacturing solutions for semiconductors

The competitiveness of the semiconductor industry is essentially based on the efficiency of their production. Not only must they increase productivity, but also reduce costs. To achieve these objectives, manufacturers have implemented production methods based on Lean Manufacturing.

What is Lean Manufacturing in the Semiconductor Industry?

Semiconductor Lean Manufacturing is a method adopted by some semiconductor industries. It aims to organise and optimise their performance in order to better meet customer expectations in terms of cost-quality-delay. The objective is to identify all waste by carrying out an in-depth analysis of the various stages of the production process and to eliminate it. There are seven main categories of waste: overstock and excess inventory, overproduction, unnecessary processing or steps in the manufacturing process, waiting time, unnecessary operations and movements, unnecessary transport and travel, under-utilisation of skills, and defects, errors and scrap.

Lean Manufacturing allows us to achieve 5 objectives: ZERO STOCK, ZERO DELAY, ZERO PAPER, ZERO FAILURE and ZERO DEFAULT.

The implementation of this method takes place in several stages, starting with the diagnosis. This first step is carried out in the form of Material Information Flow Analysis (MIFA). It consists of examining the flow of information and materials throughout the manufacturing process (from the receipt of the customer’s order to the delivery of the product). Workshops are then organised to identify areas of waste. Finally, Lean Manufacturing ends with “continuous improvement”, which aims to eliminate all operations that add little value to the company.

Is Industry 4.0 Turning the Page on Lean Manufacturing?

The digitalisation of industrial operations is one of the foundations of Industry 4.0. There are two approaches for the semiconductor industry to achieve this. The first approach is to the market, providing customers with products that benefit from the latest technological innovations and offer a new user experience. The second approach is to the operations and processes within the company and the organisation of the company. The migration to the industry of the future allows for the optimisation of quality, costs, lead times, safety and ergonomics by deploying new solutions such as AGVs, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, etc.

Will Industry 4.0 replace semiconductor Lean Manufacturing? The answer is no. Lean and 4.0 complement each other. It is, for example, inconceivable to carry out a digitisation project if the industrialist has a poor command of his standards and technical data. Lean appears to be the basis for the transformation towards the industry of the future. Mastering 2.0 and 3.0 is important before considering 4.0.

At the same time, the digitalisation brought about by Industry 4.0 allows the Lean Manufacturing method to be innovated. Indeed, within the framework of in-depth analysis, there is no longer any question of manually entering data or doing a paper follow-up. The connected solution provided by 4.0 offers reliable data instantly. Sharing information also becomes easier. The combination of Industry of the Future and Lean Manufacturing saves time, provides real time process data (alerts on breakdowns, progress of production orders, passing of instructions), makes it easier to solve problems, and in particular to quickly discover the sources of waste.

ATG Technologies Accompanies you Towards the Industry of the Future

Do you need support for your transition to the industry of the future? Then make ATG Technologies your partner. As specialists in industrial robotic solutions, we bring you our expertise and know-how to provide your semiconductor industry with innovative and tailor-made solutions.

In addition, we are developing a partnership with Focussia, a software engineering company offering innovative connectivity solutions. ATG Technologies and Focussia are committed to supporting you in the process of integrating your Factory 4.0 and optimising your semiconductor Lean Manufacturing methodology.

For more information, do not hesitate to contact us. Our experts will answer you as soon as possible.

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