Improving quality management and minimizing losses

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) is one of the leading integrated circuit-chip original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the world. With SAS, SMIC has dramatically improved management efficiency and reduced losses caused by device exception or failure, and reports that took hours to prepare are now ready in minutes.

SMIC has chip manufacturing and testing plants in cities such as Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Chengdu, and is the biggest, most technologically advanced OEM in mainland China, providing contract manufacturing and technical services to worldwide customers.

With this system, our engineers can identify device exception at the first time, and minimize the number of products involved.

Eugene Wang
Senior Technology Consultant

Great changes have been made in the integrated circuit chip manufacturing industry in recent years. The manufacturing process is increasingly complicated and generates massive amounts of data, including device status, product performance parameters and product quality data. At the same time, unlike traditional manufacturing, circuit chip manufacturing has greater data analysis requirements due to its high investment, high risk and complicated process.

As SMIC's business grew, so did its data volumes, to a point where its original system was incapable of handling the demands. SMIC needed a more scalable solution. After a prudent selection process, it selected SAS® to address its business bottleneck. In fact, SMIC was already using SAS products, and the powerful analytical capabilities of SAS have deeply impressed SMIC engineers and its R&D department. As one SMIC engineer said, "The SAS solution responds quickly to the decision-making process we sometimes encounter during manufacturing and R&D, and it continuously optimizes various indicators in the production line. SAS meets the statistical analysis demands of engineers, while giving our business analysts the ability to develop new applications to serve specific functions."

Easy-to-use graphical user interface

SAS Enterprise Guide is often called the "Swiss Army Knife" among business analysts. SAS provides an effective and user-friendly GUI graphical user interface for industry engineers, enabling them to integrate various kinds of reporting and analysis tasks. This helps them utilize the rich analysis functions of SAS software with minimal training. More importantly, SAS Enterprise Guide provides another interface for analysts who have SAS programming capability, so they can access an Oracle database transparently, perform analysis and modeling, and present the results in graphics and reports.

Since SAS Enterprise Guide was introduced at SMIC, other departments have shown great interest in its powerful analysis and chart presentation functions. For example, the Yield Analysis Department works with multiple performance indicators and needs to analyze product performance data to discover sources of variance. With SAS Enterprise Guide, this task becomes very easy. This analysis tool has been rolled out in the engineering department, so engineers can be self-sufficient and get critical results themselves without needing to understand SAS programming techniques.

Reducing the loss caused by device exception

Device exception occurs when devices fail to meet defined performance goals and is especially critical in high-tech manufacturing such as semiconductors and circuit boards.

Based on the SAS framework, SMIC developed the iEMS (Intelligent Equipment Monitoring System) solution. The interface of this system is designed so that engineers can perform a series of functions including the data extraction, data conversion and data analysis. In this way, all device performance indicators are monitored, so once an exception occurs with the device, the system can provide an alert to the engineer. This system has proved to be a timely and effective device fault detection system. "With this system, our engineers can identify device exception at the first time, and minimize the number of products involved," says Eugene Wang, Senior Technology Consultant.

Analyzing employee satisfaction

In addition, the SMIC HR department uses SAS as its preferred analysis tool to undertake employee satisfaction surveys. By using SAS, the employee satisfaction analysis results can be obtained within several minutes and not several hours as before.

In a large manufacturing company like SMIC, each department faces many data-driven decisions. SAS Enterprise Guide can not only meet the statistical analysis demands of SMIC engineers, but also provide a framework that lets business analysts, programmers and statisticians access, operate and analyze data quickly. As a result, SMIC has optimized decision making in its product analysis and production process.

Challenge

With a massive increase in data, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) could no longer meet its data analysis and reporting demands using its original software.

Solution

Benefits

  • Dramatically improved SMIC's management efficiency.
  • Reduced losses caused by device exception or failure.
The results illustrated in this article are specific to the particular situations, business models, data input, and computing environments described herein. Each SAS customer’s experience is unique based on business and technical variables and all statements must be considered non-typical. Actual savings, results, and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. SAS does not guarantee or represent that every customer will achieve similar results. The only warranties for SAS products and services are those that are set forth in the express warranty statements in the written agreement for such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. Customers have shared their successes with SAS as part of an agreed-upon contractual exchange or project success summarization following a successful implementation of SAS software. Brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies.

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