It seems that perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove.«

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

OptimizationOptimization is the goal of automation: The ability to maximize manufacturing efficiency, throughput, utilization, yield, and quality. By monitoring, analyzing, and iteratively tuning manufacturing processes. Optimized resources and processes are applicable and scalable throughout the enterprise – across sites, geographies, and business functions.

Achieve manufacturing efficiency

Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) enable improved control of manufacturing processes through planning, control and visibility across all aspects of production and operations. MES provide detailed as-built product traceability, reduced production and product variability, increased utilization rates, and improved shop-floor operations. Results include increased market share, productivity, profitability and global competitiveness.

Increase production yield

Through use of key performance indicators (KPIs), such as Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), production performance is continuously monitored and reported. Production issues are identified earlier and response times are improved, resulting in increased yield and production ramps.

The Goal – Identify and manage your constraints

The theory of constraints, coupled with rapidly changing market and customer requirements, drives manufacturers to constantly expand their product offerings, focus on individualization and “mass customization with a lot size of one,” and excel at just-in-time delivery:

  • Bottlenecks
  • Maintenance
  • Experiments
  • Low-mix, high-volume
  • High-mix, high-volume
  • Build to order, Build to stock, JIT

Through improved planning and execution processes and IT system integration, manufacturers achieve optimal production capacity. Solutions to production constraints are prioritized based on data-driven return-on-investment (ROI) assessments.

Exceed nominal capacity

The demand to increase production rates grows relentlessly. Factories originally focused on single products and mass production (high-volume, low-mix) are now producing many small batches in a highly flexible manner (high-volume, high-mix). Having reached their nominal capacity limit, factory owners are driven to further increase production volumes. However, brown-field expansion is difficult to achieve. Not only is there rarely enough space for new equipment, integrating into existing operations may negatively impact current operations and production quality. Rules-based activities and business-process workflows can be leveraged to adjust metrology sampling rates -- before and after targeted equipment-maintenance events or statistical-process-control (SPC) excursions – thereby reducing sampling rates during normal production runs and increasing capacity of existing metrology equipment.

Optimize manufacturing performance with event-driven dispatching

Because of the non-deterministic nature of manufacturing events and their impact upon manufacturing performance, manufacturing control is one of the most important tools to increase production rates.

Production control is primarily responsible for planning, initiating (production starts), monitoring, and tracking the execution of released manufacturing orders and production processes.

The task is to optimize, to the extent possible, all operations and activities within the production environment to achieve production goals and commitments. Dispatching and scheduling are used to achieve manufacturing control. Unfortunately, they are often used incorrectly as synonyms.


Production planning is the process used to define, plan, and control long-term plans. The production plan incorporates manufacturing capacity, sales forecasts and orders, and raw material requirements. Increasingly, production planning is used to plan bifurcated production operations incorporating a component-level, build-to-stock sequence that is subsequently fed into a make-to-order finished good.

Planning processes are required to ensure manufacturing is scheduled and staffed with sufficient capacity to build finished goods to meet forecast or booked orders.


Scheduling is the process used to define, plan and control near- to mid-term production plans, typically at a daily or shift level (4, 8, 12 hour increments).

Scheduling algorithms designed to account for the non-deterministic nature of manufacturing (Stochastic Scheduling) require high-quality, extensive data that can become increasingly burdensome to procure and manage.

Consequently, as the temporal aspect of the (re)schedule is reduced to near- or even real-time, the quality of the algorithms used to create the production schedule is negatively impacted.


Dispatching is a rules-based methodology designed to ensure that the operator is selecting the right material, in the right order, at the right equipment in order to globally optimize production in support of the overall production goals.

The display of prioritized material is equipment-centric and is updated in real-time based on manufacturing events as they occur. Manufacturing operational-state models are tested against easily understood rules designed to enforce the chosen methodologies (Critical Ratio, Ship Date, FIFO, Hot, Rework, Engineering, Experiment, Line Balance).

Operators are presented continuously updated dispatch lists indicating which material has the highest priority and why. In exception cases, they can immediately determine why material cannot be run on the selected equipment (SPC hold, location, batching, recipe, durables like reticle , process capability, chamber availability, etc.), and with additional integration they can drill-in to start material or resolve issues directly from the Shop Floor UI.

For more information on our dispatching solution, please go here.

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