Improving c-Si factory productivity and efficiency via an effective automation software strategy

Published: August 1, 2009

By James Moyne, Applied Global Services Group, Applied Materials, Inc.; Jeremy Read, Vice President and General Manager of Manufacturing Automation Solutions, Applied Materials, Inc.

This paper presents a strategy for improving c-Si factory productivity and efficiency via software, focusing on software systems that improve yield and reduce cost. Specifically, the role of automation software systems and example areas where they can provide impact will be discussed. Key requirements of these software systems will then be identified that guarantee reusability, reconfigurability and extensibility, and thus high and continuing ROI. Case studies will then be presented illustrating how Advanced Process Control (APC) software has been successfully applied in the semiconductor and FPD industries to improve productivity and efficiency. The paper concludes with a roadmap for automation software implementation to support PV factory productivity and efficiency improvements.

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