24 July 2017
CST Global introduces real-time electronic barcode tracking of all work in progress
Compound Semiconductor Technologies Global Ltd (CST Global) of Hamilton International Technology Park, Blantyre, near Glasgow, Scotland, UK (a subsidiary of Sweden-based Sivers IMA Holding AB) has introduced real-time, electronic barcode tagging for all work in progress (WIP) in its III-V optoelectronic foundry.
“Our laser production now exceeds 1 million per month, so managing production electronically is essential,” says senior production engineer Meg Armstrong. “A barcode is allocated to each wafer when it is released to our production line and becomes a ‘lot’. This barcode is used to track the lot, containing up to 100,000 lasers, as it progresses through the production line to finished goods. As part of our new management execution system (MES), this enables real-time, accurate tracking of WIP, SPC data (statistical process control) and inventory. It delivers enhanced traceability and greater visibility of lots, throughout production, as well as cycle and queue time data,” she adds.
“A barcode reader instantly provides production staff with specific device-type and associated process flow information. Staff immediately know what the product is, where it is and what process comes next. This reduces errors, removes paper work and is fully compliant with our ISO 9001: 2015 quality standards. The barcode system is applied to both our own products and our out-sourced, foundry services,” Armstrong continues.
“Barcoding is also a useful tool for supply chain management; improving efficiency and productivity throughout the foundry. By tracking the progress of all jobs in real-time, we can improve production planning and delivery accuracy. We also gather data relating to quality and yield, for on-going process and supplier improvement,” she concludes.
Barcoding, and the electronic measurement of real-time work in progress, is an essential element in implementing a lean production strategy within CST Global, the firm states.