SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- A few months after Applied Materials Inc. began to offer a package of guaranteed equipment support and inventory management solutions, Lucent Technologies Inc. has reported successful results using the service, the chip-gear giant has reported.
Applied's Total Support Package (TSP) has improved the performance and cost of maintaining Applied's wafer fabrication equipment for Lucent's Microelectronics Group, based in Allentown, Pa. Seven other Applied customers have also begun the TSP program. According to Applied, these customers have generally improved tool utilization up to 15%, with typically 15-30% lower operating cost in their fab sites in the United States, Asia and Europe.
Applied rolled out the TSP program during Semicon West '99 in San Francisco (see July 13 story).
Using the TSP program -- which is an option that outsources spare-part ownership and maintenance to the supplier, Applied -- Lucent has maximized wafer outs and improved cost efficiencies, according to Vinod Mahendroo, president of Applied Materials' Installed Base Support Services. Lucent has implemented the TSP program on Applied physical vapor deposition (PVD), high temperature films (HTF) and high-density plasma-chemical vapor deposition (HDP-CVD) tools.
The TSP program also allows Lucent to focus more resources on manufacturing., said Mahendroo. For instance, Lucent has been able to directly correlate maintenance costs with wafer starts -- something that was not possible with fixed-cost service contracts, where cost per wafer rises if tools are not fully utilized.
"The success of the TSP program at Lucent demonstrates how comprehensive supplier-based service and support can contribute to customer productivity and profitability," said Mahendroo. "This program also strengthens Applied Materials' relationships with customers by increasing value and satisfaction with our products."
Under the TSP program, Applied Materials' service teams focus on continuously improving system performance and carry all the customer's service-related parts inventory for their Applied equipment. The package covers all system maintenance requirements, including wet cleans and consumable and non-consumable parts needed for an Applied system.
Total Service Solutions consists of a Total Support Package and a Total Parts Management (TPM) program. Under the latter, Applied completely owns and manages spare parts for all its equipment used in a fab.
The pricing structure is based on tool wafer passes, thus aligning Applied Materials' and the customers' service needs and production goals. Applied has guaranteed that by coordinating these capabilities, TSP customers can increase their systems' performance levels and achieve a cost-per-wafer pass that decreases over time.