Applied Materials, Inc. today introduced its Applied SmartMove™ system, the semiconductor industry's first comprehensive wafer management solution for non-automated 200mm and 300mm fabs. The SmartMove system brings new efficiency to these fabs, seamlessly integrating with customers' existing MES* software to wirelessly track and direct the movement of wafer lots. With the SmartMove system, users can boost factory output by up to 10 percent, and typically realize a return on their investment in less than 9 months.
“The SmartMove system can be a game-changer for customers with mature fabs, delivering the key benefits of robotic handling systems at a fraction of the cost,” said Manfred Kerschbaum, senior vice president of Applied Global Services. “This end-to-end, non-robotic wafer management system uniquely integrates world-class software, hardware and service into a single, low-risk solution. The SmartMove system is a great example of our commitment to helping customers unlock additional fab efficiency and maximize the value of their existing assets in a very short time.”
The SmartMove system integrates Applied's production-proven Activity Manager™ workflow automation software with LotTrack® technology from Intellion AG, an innovative radio frequency and ultrasound-based wafer carrier tracking system. Using SmartMove technology, a customer's MES is continuously updated with the exact location of every wafer carrier. This location-aware capability enables the MES to optimize operator efficiency by sending “attention needed” and “where next” data to display panels on each carrier, freeing operators from manual data entry, eliminating misplaced lots and reducing cycle time.
Rapid deployment of the SmartMove system at a customer site is assured by non-intrusive hardware and by pre-configured software that requires no MES code changes, eliminating the risk of a production failure during deployment. Applied's experienced factory automation engineers perform installation and testing, as well as provide on-going technical support. The Activity Manager application is built on Applied's common automation software architecture, enabling the easy integration of additional software packages, such as the Applied Real-Time Dispatcher™ (RTD), for even greater operational efficiency.