The activities of Philips Engineering Solutions range from expert consultancy to full (sub-)system development. In this latter category, Engineering Solutions has a long history of actively supporting our customers. One of those customers is a large Semiconductor Lithography Equipment Manufacturer, a partner in mechatronic system development for many years. With an integral project team that closely works together with both the customer, the manufacturing and the supplier parties, we collaborated in the development of several generations of one of the major wafer scanner sub-systems from requirements definition to pilot series delivery.
Early phase of scope and project definition
As with many of our projects, the collaboration with our customer often starts in an early stage of the development. These large subsystem development projects run for several years and consist of various phases. Therefore, the scope and definition of the project is an important first step to guarantee customer satisfaction with project execution and overall results. Project scoping and the start of development engineering mostly run in parallel in order to effectively team up with the customer’s organization as well as to meet the often-challenging project timeline. The teams are therefore not only working together on technical requirements and concept definition studies, but also shape and formalize the various project aspects for the near future as well as the next (incremental) phases. In this case the project team of Philips Engineering Solutions adopts completely to the product development processes and way of working of the customer. This means all deliverables are realized, processed and archived with the same tools and in the same work environment as our customer.
Active involvement in the technical definition
This seamless integral project approach does not only apply to the customer’s organization, processes and systems, but also to the technical content definition and solutions. Starting with the definition of requirements and concept generation, the team of Philips Engineering Solutions closely collaborates with the peers and counterparts at the customer to ensure that the sub-system and interface definitions are clearly documented and well understood on both sides. By this early and active involvement in the high-level definition, the team alleviates the customer’s resources and contributes to drive an in-time delivery of inputs for the following design phase.
Close collaboration with customers and suppliers during the design cycle
Throughout the design cycle, the team of Engineering Solutions continues to closely collaborate on a daily basis with the customer’s team to define the design decomposition, performance analyses, and work towards the detailed design. During this phase, many of the expert skills of the Engineering Solutions team are leveraged for the various high-tech mechatronic solutions that are key for the customers machine performance. In parallel, the collaboration with the system and parts suppliers are now intensified to ensure that the design is fit for manufacturing, integration and testing while being cost conscious. In this subsystem case, there has been a long-established collaboration with the volume supplier of this sub-system, reaching from early supplier involvement in the project scoping phase to jointly executing integration and testing of prototypes and pilot series.
Test & integration, followed by transfer to series supplier
In this project phase, the Philips Engineering Solutions team defines, executes and documents the verification plans and results in order to prove that the sub-system design meets the requirements in an objective way. During this phase, several of the expert skills of Philips Engineering Solutions can again be leveraged and the definition, execution and results are reviewed in close collaboration with the customer’s peers and counterparts. Finally, after supporting the integration of the subsystem pilot series in the first full systems at the customer’s site, the design is transferred to the sub-system supplier for further Life Cycle Management. This transfer, however, cannot start before all parties are confident about the shown quality of the design and system performance. With this transfer completed, Philips Engineering Solutions remains available for support through a service level agreement.
With the integral and close collaboration of customer and supplier teams throughout all phases of the system development cycle, Philips Engineering Solutions successfully delivered major subsystem designs of several generations of wafer scanners to the customer from requirements definition to pilot series delivery.
High-precision engineering examples
Improving machine performance to serve the future market needs. An example of the development of a precision motion stage with a scanning accuracy of few nanometer.
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