, on June 17, 2024, 03:04 PM

Latest Feature Releases & Updates: SYSTEMA Advanced Planning & Scheduling (APS) for Semiconductor v2024.2

(released 2.6.2024)

What’s New in SYSTEMA APS (Advanced Planning & Scheduling) v2024.2, SYSTEMA’s integrated semiconductor shopfloor last mile scheduling & dispatching solution?

We have dramatically upgraded the user interface to be more friendly and intuitive. Under the hood, we have improved the scalability of the scheduler by adding AI agents to support schedule formation. Also, the ability to pin tasks the beginning of a schedule – a much requested feature to account for lots that have been put in motion already – has been revamped in the data model. To account for all relevant data that define a tool’s schedule, the scheduler can now directly consume calendars from Office365 if needed. We resolved the duality of dispatching and scheduling once and for all: Both are now seamlessly integrated into a single multi-instance ready runtime. Finally, we have listened to the users and considerably touched up the operator UI to provide information faster and more efficiently.

Key updates

Improved Scheduler Configuration UI

Our UI experts have revamped the web interface to allow for a much smoother and user-friendly scheduler configuration experience. The revised UI allows the configuration of an unlimited number of scheduler instances, tracking of operational metrics, configuration of the recompute plan for each schedule, and finetuning for all optimization settings. The UI serves as a cockpit for the modern line engineer and provides seamless integration with our operator and webFFC.

Improved Operator Interface

Most notably, the improved operator UI now displays the currently moved in lot at each and every tool in addition to the queue (see Figure 1). Also, the operator UI now displays tasks totals more efficiently. If lists are empty, we still show the headers (DISPATCH/SCHEDULE) but with a count of 0 to provide the familiar list structure to operators. Lots are enriched with more context information for display even if they have not yet arrived at a given tool. This dramatically helps to also read through lots scheduled for later at a given equipment.

AI Agents to Scale Scheduling for Larger Use Cases and Faster Optimization

We have added a new scheduling mode that scales more efficiently for larger use cases. With this mode, an AI agent supports computing complex schedules spanning long routes and hundreds of tools. With intelligent algorithms under the hood, this mode works in nearly real-time and can be complemented with the more combinatorial optimization within the SYSTEMA APS engine.

Seamless Integration with Outlook & Office365

The scheduling component can now integrate with tool calendars in Outlook/Office365. With this new integration, a wide range of scenarios are supported including:

  • Engineering calendars, where tool engineers can plan downtime which are subsequently consumed by the scheduler
  • Planned maintenance slots can now be exported into the maintenance engineer’s Outlook calendar. The scheduler typically consumes maintenance tasks from an ERP (such as SAP®) with flexible time window to allow for optimized maintenance planning. These windows are narrowed to a specific time slot when optimizing a schedule.
  • In additional web-base operator UI, entire tool schedules can be synchronized in real time into Outlook calendar. This allows for immediate visibility and seamless tooling whenever the scheduler has further optimized the execution plan of a tool, toolgroup or workcenter.

Establish Trust and Confidence

We have added a new interface – called Acceptance UI – to enable a playful approach to maximize user acceptance. For each configured scheduler instance, the user can try optimizing the current scheduling. By doing so, we have seen great improvements in trust and understanding of our users into our automatic and optimized shopfloor decision-making solution.

Improved Task Pinning Support

With this version, we have considerably simplified and refined task pinning. The order of pinned tasks can now be provided. Typical use cases of task pinning include tool shelves, started transport jobs, configurable planning horizons, or plan stability. In such situations, a previously computed schedule must not be modified even if a more optimal solution would be possible because of changed shopfloor conditions.

Integrated Runtime Improvements

The integrated runtime of SYSTEMA APS has been further improved. Multiple scheduler instances are now supported. The engine scales horizontally to an unlimited number of compute nodes, to maximize for scale, fault tolerance, and real-time readiness. The runtime consolidates both event-driven redispatch and AI-driven scheduling into a unified fault-tolerant and scalable compute engine.

Summary

With a clear focus on usability and scheduling performance in this release, we enable our users to maximize performance in their production. To support setup and operations of our APS solution, we support our partners with predictive models, where we predict the production process including possible scheduling and dispatching configurations in a risk-free digital twin environment. By doing so we can put a number on things such a delivery dates or workcenter utilization, and thus prepare the best WIP flow decision logic for your semiconductor front-end production line. 

For questions or to learn more about SYSTEMA APS, please contact us.

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