Case study: Manufacturer of Semiconductor Lasers
Ron Moeller VP Manufacturing of a High Power Laser Company
"The old system was completely manual and required someone to physically search for all the parts. We would not be able to do that today with our increased volume and increased product mix"
To describe the real time browser based Manufacturing Execution System EZ-MES:
"I would describe it as easy to use, highly flexible system, and great support. Also, the team of EazyWorks understands manufacturing and can easily cater to your process."
The customer is an ISO 9001 certified publicly traded semiconductor laser manufacturer. It offers a large range of specialized laser products that use similar production flows. During the production flow, process and individual product data is recorded. All products are serialized and require complete history tracking, including history tracking for all the sub parts.
To manage the production the customer was using a combination of Excel spreadsheets and a paper based traveler system.
Due to increased demand for its products, Ron Moeller found it became vital to have easy access to real-time and accurate information about the production status. Information that would enable them to answer ‘simple’ questions fast and efficiently. Question like:
- Where are the lasers in the production process?
- How many do we have in Work In Process (WIP), Raw Material Inventory and in Finished Good Inventory?
- Who performed that specific operation and when was it done?
- In which products was that batch of glue used or that wafer batch used?
- What was our throughput for the last quarter?
The new Manufacturing Execution System had to fulfill the following requirements:
- Give real time information about the location of all products on the production floor
- Create Travelers with Barcodes that could be printed and show a list of bar coded attached parts
- Flexible routing: Being able to reposition Travelers or Parts to other Travelers, and to put parts on Hold that would be collected at the Material Review Board (MRB) meeting
- Real time collection of process and individual part data
- Have complete traceability of parts including when parts are assembled into other parts (product genealogy)
- No big implication on the current IT structure
After comparing a number of systems Ron Moeller choose to implement the EZ-MES system. An account was set up and EazyWorks implemented a first production flow in EZ-MES. This quickly provided an example on how to set up more flows.
No training was needed; most support during the implementation was supplied with the built in chat feature of the EZ-MES system, which proved to be more than sufficient. No hardware was required and no software had to be installed.
Ron Moeller is currently using the EZ-MES system to his full satisfaction. 50% of all the paperwork work is now replaced with EZ-MES and it's just a matter of time before all paperwork is moved into the EZ-MES system.
Without the EZ-MES system the customer would not have been able to handle their increased volume and increased product mix.
Low Implementation Cost
The configuration of the system is entirely maintained by the customer without any training. No hardware, software or any additional load on the IT department was required.
By knowing exactly what is on the production floor in real time, Ron Moeller was able to answer the following questions swiftly and efficiently:
- Do we need to buy raw material for this order?
- Do we need to start a new batch to meet this order?
A main factor that complicates these questions is yield; due to the yield hit you are never sure what your current situation is, making real-time information very valuable to make immediate decisions.
Without this real-time information you prefer to err on the side of caution, resulting in too much work in progress, or too many parts on order. Using the EZ-MES system the customer was able to reduce inventory and WIP, which improved cycle times and increased revenue.
Improved Operational Efficiency
The system greatly improved the visibility for management. The current production status is now available with just a single mouse click, providing relevant information for well informed immediate and efficient decision making.
Additional realized benefits:
- Better data integrity of the process and individual data
- Transparent handling of nonconformities
- Less time spent entering data into the system
Decreased Employee Turnover
By supplying a system that is easier to use, the customer improved their employee satisfaction. The system clearly shows the open jobs that need attention, and has a user interface that minimizes time spent on repetitive tasks.
Improved Customer Retention
Being able to respond to customer queries, regarding specific products within a couple of minutes and thus improving customer satisfaction.
Having the ability to show ‘potential’ customers that the electronic system provides full traceability of all parts. This will give the customers more confidence that their products are in good hands and help secure more business in the future.