The semiconductor manufacturing flow is unique. Extract the business process into business software solutions and there are very few comparable industries. Production follows a process flow – but process manufacturing systems don’t really fit the industry need. Production results in discrete shippable units and products – but discrete manufacturing systems don’t really fit the industry need either. So – how do you describe and support semiconductor manufacturing requirements in business software?
Paint, oil, chemicals or even food are managed using process manufacturing. These are continuous flow processes that can have batch variability and numerous process steps for production. However the batch results do not create multiple binned items from the same production batch, or handle the variations on discrete outcomes needed for the Semiconductor Industry. Discrete systems are designed to take components and sub-assemblies to build completed parts. The assembly step in Semiconductor Manufacturing can have some discrete manufacturing elements to it – but the process flow before and after this step is usually more critical to the overall production process flow.