In-house development of scheduling decision support systems: case study for scheduling semiconductor device test operations
Doerr, K. H.
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Most manufacturing processes can benefit from an automated scheduling system. However, the design of a fast, computerised scheduling system that achieves high-quality results and requires minimal resources is a difficult undertaking. Efficient scheduling of a semiconductor device test facility requires an information system that provides good schedules quickly. Semiconductor device testing is the last stage of the long semiconductor manufacturing process, and therefore is subjected to customer service pressures. The cost of an off-the-shelf computerised scheduling system may be prohibitive for many companies. In addition, many companies are taken aback by other characteristics of off-the-shelf scheduling systems, such as code confidentiality, maintenance costs, and failure rates. We draw upon the literature and our field case to discuss some of the trade-offs between in-house development and off-the-shelf acquisition of software. We describe the in-house design and implementation of a scheduling decision support system for one device test facility. Using the design and implementation process of this system as a case study, we discuss how one facility uses in-house design of systems in a strategic way, as a competitive capability.
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