Smart Manufacturing Moves Forward with SEMI Standards
By James Amano, SEMI International Standards
While the concept of smart manufacturing is receiving increased attention in recent times, the SEMI Standards Program has for many years been developing the fundamental standards that enable today’s highly adaptive, self-diagnosing, and interoperable fabs. Since the initial publication of the original SEMI Equipment Communication Standard (SECS-I), E4, in the early 1980s, the SEMI Standards Information and Control Committee has continuously responded to the needs of the industry. Major cost reductions and efficiency improvements in factory integration were realized through SECS and GEM (Generic Equipment Model) in the 1990s, as equipment behavior became standardized.
More recently, smaller feature sizes and more restrictive tolerances have intensified the need for greater visibility into the entire manufacturing process. Fab manufacturing information must be collected and evaluated in greater amounts than ever before. The overall health of the equipment, performance, and process monitoring are examples of data collected to improve overall equipment efficiency. Continuous monitoring, on-demand data, data security and a single point of control through a single point of command are all required, with the caveat that equipment performance not be impacted.
To address these challenges, manufacturers are increasingly adopting the SEMI Equipment Data Acquisition (EDA) suite of standards. The EDA (also referred to as “Interface A”) suite of standards were developed to support communication between data gathering software and manufacturing shop floor equipment. The growing prevalence of analysis tools is accelerating the demand for “big data”, and the EDA standards, compared to previous equipment communication standards, have the ability for high-speed data collection from multiple clients, with the data associated to specific equipment components. Simply put, these standards provide a nearly real-time stream of data that can be used to optimize manufacturing.
Organization of Metadata Concept
In addition to the EDA suite, many other SEMI Standards are relevant to smart manufacturing. For example, the SEMI Automation Technology Committee is developing standards that utilize flow-shop automation for processes not as complex as semiconductor front-end manufacturing. Future articles will feature info on these flow-shop standards as well as other SEMI Standards critical to smart manufacturing.
As the SEMI Standards Program has a significant library of standards focused on interoperability and automation, SEMI is engaging other industries and standards groups to encourage the widespread adoption of SEMI Standards rather than less applicable standards that could potentially be mandated.
The Equipment Data Acquisition Suite of SEMI Standards
The Information and Control Committee and Automation Technology Committee meet regularly throughout the year across the world – to get involved, register at www.semi.org/en/standardsmembership or contact your local Standards staff.
Learn more about SEMI International Standards here: www.semi.org/en/Standards
June 23, 2016