Chief Business Development Officer D-SIMLAB Technologies, Singapore
In times of global IC shortages, optimization of factory capacity – with the objective to squeeze out even more wafers out of existing fabs and at least alleviate the current semiconductor supply chain crunch – has become more critical than ever before. To enable production planning and optimization, and especially to study and understand the dynamic behavior of wafer fabs, simulation – or rather conventional 'Digital Twins' – have already played an important role for a long time. Over the years, however, Semiconductor Manufacturing operations have also become increasingly complex and as a result the use of scheduling systems to run and optimize operations has also become widespread. The presentation will describe how the gap between strategic long-term simulation and operational scheduling and dispatching in Semiconductor Manufacturing can be closed through a simulation-based WIP Management approach as an additional decision layer in between, how these three decision layers can be integrated into a truly comprehensive 'Smart Digital Twin' framework for modelling, data management, analysis, enhancement and optimization of capacity and material flow, and how this can help tackle some of the critical challenges associated with the current Semiconductor Manufacturing supply chain crunch: Strategically - Determination of an optimized factory load mix to increase fab out capacity without having to compromise on cycle time or due-date performance; Tactically - Smoothing of WIP waves and reduction of cycle times through better synchronization of Preventive Maintenance timing with material flow; Operationally - Increase of the number of wafers that can be processed within critical time windows and the resulting capacity increase.