02 January, 2013

The Automated Change Request System

English: Clean room of a semiconductor manufac...
English: Clean room of a semiconductor manufacturing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Automated Change Request System: brief description

In my work, we handle the creation of Mfg Devices where the process flow is defined, along with all the other relevant customer data. The data set is critical as this is broadcasted and linked up into all the other subsystems, and one small mistake will stop the flow of data. Such is the criticality of data flow in semiconductor manufacturing (as in all other industries and professions).

Anyway, critical as they are, a large percentage of these are controlled and managed by the respective owners of the data, like process engineering looking after the processes, customer service handle the customer data, etc., etc.

Thus said, if a change is needed, our team, while we are the guardian of the manufacturing execution system, has no say or can’t be questioning why they do what they do. And so the passing of hands to make a change (add, edit, or delete) is simply a non-value-added step in the change management process. And since it is done manually, there is a waiting time introduced, especially on heavy-load days. And if that is not enough, a computerized system with manual intervention is still prone to error, with each manual job an entry point for mistakes (even with a simple copy-and-paste method). How much more manual typing and eyeballing?

Lastly, the very limitation of the manual process is that we work from 8am to 5pm, 5 days a week. We usually don’t get a peaceful weekend, as what they always say, if there is anything that is urgent and we would get called just to do something which doesn’t need our brain power and intellect, but simply to login, type some chars, press a button, and it’s done!

So after many years of going through the motion, we thought, and thought, and thought, and the automated change request system was conceived.
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