The Effective Use of Process Control Plans and Process Failure Mode Effects Analysis in a GaAs Semiconductor Manufacturing Environment
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The effectiveness of a wafer fab is sometimes measured in its ability to react to problems in a timely manner as they arise during the manufacturing cycle. Sophisticated process controls are developed and deployed with the hope that process variation will be minimal and that the manufacturing processes will be predictable.
When one of those process controls fails and scrap is created, a series of actions take place to contain the problem, uncover root cause and develop a corrective action plan. The effectiveness of the corrective action is verified and when successful, everyone is satisfied that a process improvement has been achieved.
Fortunately, the same types of process improvements can be made in a more controlled environment without the costs associated with scrap, containment and rushed process engineering activities.
The use of process control plans coupled with a dynamic failure mode effects analysis can spot potential high-risk process failures before they occur allowing the process engineer to take action proactively at a much lower cost.