Ability to Import/Export Model Data to/from a Single Excel File – The functionality has been added to import and export model records from or to a single, integrated Excel workbook. Options are provided to enable full or partial data from the model set to be exported. Partial data may be separated by product, where all data associated with the selected products are exported, or by record type. When exporting data each record type is arranged on a different worksheet (page) in the Excel workbook.
Multi-Variable Sensitivity Analysis – The ability now exists to evaluate the sensitivity of multiple input parameters within the same analysis. This feature uses partial factorial arrays as the basis of the run configuration. As many as four input parameters can be selected for each analysis, each at three different levels based on a percent of the baseline model. One or two output parameter many be selected. The output results, generated in a report or graphical format, show the average relative effects on the output parameter for each parameter.
Enhanced Output Configuration for Sensitivity Analysis – The Sensitivity Analysis output has been changed to allow greater flexibility with regard to what years and products can be simultaneously viewed for the different output parameters. Users can now configure any combination of year and product for various output parameters. For instance, if you are interested in Unit Cost for different years you can now select as many a four different years for the same product, or two different years for two different products, etc.
Option for Lifetime Average Unit Cost for High-level Reports – The product- and factory- level reports now have the ability to show unit cost that has been averaged over a user-defined lifetime. See Lifetime Period selection from Report Period & Product defaults.
Ability to Import/Export Sensitivity Analysis Input Settings to Spreadsheet – A feature has been added allowing the input settings for sensitivity analysis to be imported or exported from the program to spreadsheet. This allows faster configuration of the analyses where many analyses are to be evaluated. It also enables analysis setting to be copied from one model to another.
Tool Group Upgrade Capital Inputs Expanded for Years Prior to Start Date – The Upgrade Capital input associated with tool groups has been expanded from one year to multiple years prior to the model start date. This enables capital expenditure that have occurred in the past to be accommodated in a model.
Support Tool Group Assignment at Process Steps – An additional tool group can now be assigned at the process step for equipment that functions in a support mode or are considered secondary in use relative to the main processing tooling. Capacity for tools designated in this manner is modeled based on a user-designated ratio of the throughput capacity of the primary tool group.
Shift Teams Inputs Added for Labor Groups – Inputs have been added allowing users to designate the number of shift teams associated with the labor group, in particular, operators. This feature replaces the Shift Duration input that was presented at the Labor Group Data screen | Labor Usage Factor page in prior versions of Factory Commander. Shift teams can now be designated as a direct input (not calculated from the shift duration and factory/tool group’s operation time). Shift Teams are a labor group level input so different values can be designated, for instance, for each category of operator.
Ability to Export Full Model Data Set to Factory Explorer® Modeling Format – Data from Factory Commander® models can now be exported to Factory Explorer®, WWK’s Simulation and Capacity modeling software.
Material Item Unit of Usage Separated into Purchase and Usage Units – Materials items can now have both a unit of purchase and a unit of usage defined for them.
Option for Inputting Default Throughput Values at Tool Group Level – Throughput capacity may be input at the tool group for operations using those tools. At the step level you now have the choice of input the process throughput at the step or using the tool group default value.
“View” Button Added to Input Screen – A button labeled “View” has been added to input screens located between the Import and Export buttons. This button provides the ability to open Excel data templates that specifically pertain to the inputs located on the screen. This provides that convenience of allowing review of Excel data files that have been or will be imported into Factory Commander without having to run the import or export functionality.
Many Screens Now Retain User-defined Size between Sessions – Many of the data input screens now retain their height, width, and maximized state from the previous session. Sizes are maintained between sessions for the same screen specific to the individual model, so that different models may have a different size and state for the same screen.
Undo on Screens Applies after Data Import – When importing data from any of the input data screens, you now have the ability to undo all changes which result from that import and revert back to the model’s state prior to import.
Step Indicator Column Added to Process Route Screen – A column as been added to the Process Route page of the Process Step Data screen that indicates if the step is a process start, merge point, rework step or end point.
Upgrade Capital Inputs for Tool Group Moved to Separate Screen – A new page is available in the Tool Group Data screen called Upgrade Capital. The Upgrade Expenditure inputs for that were formally located on the Capital Cost page have now been moved to this page.
Inventory Removal Inputs Moved from Tool Group Data Screen to Separate Screen – The inputs for Tool Inventory Removal now reside on their own screen. In prior versions of Factory Commander, these inputs existed on the Tool Group Data screen | Inventory Removal Page.
ID Fields Size Limit Expanded from 10 to 20 Characters – The character limit for the IDs in the program (i.e. Labor Groups, Products, Steps, Overhead Categories, etc.) has been expanded from 10 characters to 20. Description fields have been expanded to 40 characters.
Product Overhead Cost inputs Moved from Product Data Screen to Separate Screen – The inputs for Product Overhead now reside on their own screen. In prior versions of Factory Commander, these inputs existed on a page of the Product Data screen.
Throughput Over Time and Sampling Rates Over Time Moved from Step Data Screen to Separate Screens – The inputs for Throughput and Sampling Data beyond the initial period now reside on their own respective screens. In prior versions of Factory Commander, these inputs all were display on pages in the Step Data screen.
The ‘Define Sector’ Screen Moved from Process Menu to Factory Menu – The Define Sectors screen is now accessible from the Factory menu. In prior versions of Factory Commander, this screen was located from the Process menu.
“User Specified Desktop Area” Input Eliminated from Program Interface Defaults – The setting “User Specified Desktop Area” has be eliminated. In prior versions of Factory Commander this setting was located on the Program Interface page of Program Default Screen. This setting had no effect on the user interface or the program’s operation.
Up/Down Arrows Displayed in Grid Column Header – Arrows (small triangles) are now shown beside the titles in the grid column headers indicating that that column is the field used to sort data for that grid.
Added Screen to Enable Data Export/Import for Other Data Formats – A screen has been added to the Model menu that enables all data formats external to the Factory Commander to be imported and exported from one central location. Access to this screen is made via the Other Import & Export item on the Model menu. This screen enables imported or exported for data formats such as TWO COOL, Factory Explorer, etc.
Eliminated “Format Selection” Option from Import/Export Settings – The setting “Format Selection” has been eliminated as a setting. In prior versions of Factory Commander this setting was located on the Import/Export Settings page of Program Default Screen. This feature has been replaced with the screen on the Model menu (see above).
Interface is Configurable for Different Windows Screen Resolutions – The interface in Factory Commander can be configured for different Windows screen resolutions. This is convenient for situations where users run the program on a laptop computer with a desktop monitor and, at different times, through the laptop’s display, and the resolution and dimensions are different between the two. Now in Factory Commander, the selection for which buttons display on the top tool bar are specific to the given screen resolution.
Process Yield has been added as an input parameter to the sensitivity analysis. This allows a sensitivity analysis to be made for yield losses that occur within the process. See the Automated Sensitivity Analysis topic in the on-line help for further details about this input parameter.
The available output for the Unit Cost at Step report and Unit Cost at Sector report has been expanded to annual groups for all years. Prior to this, only the years that were native to the modeling timeframe were available in annual groupings. Now the initial years (for timeframes such as 4Q + 8Y) or all the years (for timeframes such as uniform quarterly) are available for these reports. A new check box has been added to the standard report selection screen for both reports representing the periods less than annual (e.g. either monthly or quarterly). The second checkbox represents annual report selections.
Custom Report Writer – A new feature has been added that allows for user-defined output reports to be created and stored in Factory Commander. Reports can be configured in one of 4 basic designs (row types): Tool Group based, Product based, Sector based or Process Step based. This feature allows users to create their own reports and save them for use with other models. Columns for the reports are chosen from a predefined list of database fields available within the program. As many as 6 columns can be selected for each report with their order on the page a user-configurable attribute. The predefined reports that were formally referred to as Calculated Reports are now called Standard Reports.
Enhanced User Interface – A new navigation panel has been added to the program’s user interface. This panel allows access to the most commonly sought screens. The input items on the navigation panel are arranged by function (general information, capacity & demand inputs, labor data, etc.) and are meant to compliment the drop down menus and button bars. The navigation panel replaces the “Input Screens” button bar that appeared on the left side of the main program window. Several of the button icons have been redesigned to more graphical and non-language specific.
Revised Record Handling for Overhead Categories – The Overhead Category input screen is divided into two pages, one for definition, the other for category cost inputs. The screen and database have been redesigned so that records can be unlimited. This means that overhead record creation, deletion, etc. is now consistent with the other resources like labor or equipment. New fields have been added: O/H Category ID, sort number, etc. The interface and functional design has changed for the product-level overhead allocation factor (see next item).
Revised Product-level Overhead Modeling – Cost inputs (as opposed to scaling factors) for overhead can be made at the product level. These inputs can vary over time. Unlimited overhead categories can be assigned to each product. Cost inputs for overhead can now be assigned at the product level. Instead of product allocation factors that get multiplied by the total cost to achieve a product-level overhead allocated amount, actual cost quantities can be input. This allows better control of how overhead costs are correlated to individual product types.
Facility Build Rates Added – A new set of inputs have been added to accommodate construction costs for the cleanroom and support areas. This input, titled Facility Build Rate (in $/sq.ft. or /m2), appears as a column on the Utility Construction page of the Building, Facility & Space Data screen. Facility Build Rates and Utility Construction Rates can be either used in conjunction with one another, or selectively (one in place of the other).
Added Quarterly Annual Cost Reports – Reports such as the Product Cost by Category Summary, Factory Cost by Category Summary and Material Item Cost Report now have a quarterly version. Instead of the dialog to choose between “Quarterly” or “Annual”, two separate checkbox selections are displayed in front of the report item on the selection screen.
Factory Explorer Import – A feature has been added that enables Factory Explorer® models to be imported into Factory Commander®. Factory Explorer is WWK’s discrete event simulation and capacity analysis tool, and data from its models can now be brought into a Factory Commander model. This feature facilitates data sharing among users of both applications.
Multiple Labor Usage Assignments at Tool Groups – Unlimited labor group assignments now allowed for each tool group (no longer limited to 3). These input data are now separated into their own import/export template file. The limit of three labor groups assigned to any individual tool group has been removed. Now as many different labor groups as desired can be assigned to equipment. Labor usage input data are now separated into their own import/export data type and use a separate template file from the general tool group data.
Added “Unit Moves/Week/Person” method for Labor Used at Tool Group – A new option, “1000 moves/person/week”, has been added to the Calculation Method in the Operators & Support Labor tab of the Equipment Data screen. This allows labor to be modeled as a function of the number of production units passing through the tool or work station, thereby enabling headcount to be proportional to production volume.
Space Multiplier Expanded to Floor Space Types – The floor space sizing factor (formally known as the Space Use Ratio for Cleanroom and Non-Cleanroom) has been renamed to the Space Multiplier. Its application has been changed to apply to individual manufacturing space types. This allows discretion between regions of space with different equipment space usage (e.g. different common area ratios) and enables more accurate tracking of space usage throughout a factory.
Excel files that have been exported from the program are now automatically saved in the most recent Excel file format. This prevents the Excel program from prompting you to resave the file under the latest Excel version (for example Excel 2003) when exiting Excel or closing the files when any change had been made to the exported file.
Excel files that have been exported from the program are now automatically added to the most recently used list in Excel.
Material Usage Factors Expanded to Quarterly Inputs – Inputs for the Material Usage amounts are now separated into quarters for the first two years for models using timeframes composed of quarters or smaller. This applies to both the Materials Used at Steps and the Materials (and consumables) Used at Equipment. This allows for better representation in material consumption changes that might occur in a new factory or for new/revised product lines
Spare Parts Rate Added – In addition to the spare part costs ($/tool/year), a percentage input at the tool group level has been added allowing the cost of spares to be related to the equipment’s capital purchase price. This enables a proportional relationship to be established between the two expenditures and avoids the need to estimate ‘per tool’ spares cost in advance.
Expanded Report Quarterly/Annual Outputting – Facility Capital Expenditures Inputs Expanded to Quarters – Inputs for the Facility Capital Expenditure amounts (in M$) are now separated into quarters for the first two years for models using timeframes composed of quarters or smaller. This allows better discretion in capital spending for the early years of a new or renovated facility.
Cost per Production Unit column Added to Material Item Cost Reports – A new column has been added to the Material Item Cost by Product and the Material Item Cost by Step reports that show the item cost for the material on a “per unit” basis (e.g. per wafer, per display, etc).
Integrated PDF Document Conversion Capability – Reports converted to PDF no longer require installation of Adobe PostScript Drivers or the GhostScript program. This functionality is now integrated into the Factory Commander executable.
Ability to Change the Term for ‘Equipment Group’ – The user now has the ability to rename the term for the type or group of like equipment (previously referred to as Equipment Group) to an industry-standard or company-standard term. This term, which was hard-coded in prior releases of the program, can now be changed to any desired analogous term, such as Tool Type, Tool Set, Machine Group, etc. If changed, references throughout the program are substituted with the user-defined term. Also, starting with this release, the default term will be “Tool Group” and this is reflected in all documentation and supporting files for the application.
Ability to Change the Term for ‘System’ – The user now has the ability to rename the term for the individual machine (previously referred to as System) to an industry-standard or company-standard term, such as Tool or Machine. If changed, then all references throughout the program are substituted with the user-defined term. Also, starting with this release, default term will be “Tool” and this is reflected in all documentation and supporting files for the application.
% Inputs changed to be Decimal Quantities – Spreadsheet inputs representing percentage are now decimals. These quantities are formatted as percentages in Excel.
allCLEAR® v6.1 Flow Chart Integration – The latest release of the flow charting application allCLEAR®, version 6.1, now works in conjunction with Factory Commander to automatically display diagrams of the manufacturing process generated from a model. Prior to this only allCLEAR version 5.5 and prior would work.
Facility Capital Expenditures Expanded to Quarterly Inputs – Different expenditure inputs can be assigned for each quarter in the first two years for the facility capital.
United Kingdom, Australia English Localization – Factory Commander® now allows for English localized for regions outside North America, specifically the United Kingdom, Australia, etc. Users can now select from one of two English language choices: English (U.S., Canada) or English (UK, Australia). The difference relates to the spelling of certain terms (e.g. Labour, Utilisation) displayed throughout the programs screens and reports.
Ability to Change Process Flows Over Time – This feature allows for process sequence changes to be configured over the modeling time frame. This includes either having a different order for the process or adding/eliminating steps from one period to the next. A side benefit from this feature is that it allows alternate equipment to be designated for situations where a transition between different tool types is planned over time.
Ability to Have Multiple Buildings in Same Model – This capability allows for multiple buildings to exist within the same model. This allows discretion between two or more physical plants or manufacturing facilities for cost allocation purposes. Buildings are user-defined and each can have its own associated attributes: space limitation, required space, facility capital, shell expenditures, depreciation, etc. (see building-related pages from the Building menu). Also, equipment is now assigned to a building (see the Equipment Floor Space data page).
Expanded Modeling Method for Specified Labor – The specified labor functionality has been expanded from simply specifying (overriding) the headcount to allowing multiple ways of designating the headcount in conjunction with the program’s derived quantities based on capacity calculations. A selection from 5 different methods is now available. These selections are as follows:
1. Use Calculated –Uses labor headcount as calculated by the program.
2. Override – Headcount as input is used instead of calculated values.
3. Minimum – Program uses minimum between calculated quantity & the specified input quantity
4. Maximum – Program uses maximum between calculated quantity & the specified input quantity
5. Summed – Program uses sum of both the calculated quantity & the specified input quantity
Expanded Modeling Method for Specified Tools– As with labor, the specified tools functionality has also been expanded in a similar manner. The following five methods are now available:
1. Use Calculated – Uses system count as calculated by the program.
2. Override – Tool count as input is used instead of calculated values.
3. Minimum – Program uses minimum of calculated and specified input quantity.
4. Maximum – Program uses maximum of calculated and specified input quantity.
5. Summed – Program uses sum of both the calculated quantity & the specified input quantity
“Model Summary” Window Added to Program Interface – A new window has been incorporated into the interface that shows general statistics about the open model. This window can remain in the background of the FC desktop (similar to Recently Used Models window).
Ability to Open Multiple Input Screens Concurrently – You are now able to open two or more screens at the same time. This allows review of inputs and settings from different input forms without the need of closing down the first screen.
Ability to Have Multiple Models Open Simultaneously – The program now allows several models to be opened during a session. Though only one model is active at a time (similar to how it was in the prior release), the time required to switch between models is much less when compared to the time required for opening and closing models.
Ability to Select Individual Resources for Sensitivity Analysis – A subset of the total resource items can be selected for any sensitivity analysis. For instance, if you only want to examine the effect of downtime on a three specific equipment groups, then only those groups can be selected, and the others in a model will remain unchanged. Or, if Production Demand is being evaluated, then you could select between all products to pick which would be affected by the change in volumes, allows the other products to remain constant. Other resources include: Labor Groups, Buildings and Materials. The sensitivity analysis input parameter selected would dictate which specific resource would apply.
Addition of Equipment Categories – Higher-level groupings now are available for the equipment. You are able to create user-defined categories of equipment, and associate them with equipment groups. Category assignment is done from the Define Equipment Groups screen and is optional. Several new reports have been added that show capital and operational costs by equipment category.
Addition of Material Categories – Similar to equipment, you are now able to create user-defined categories for materials, and associate them with Material items. Assignment of items to categories is made from the Define Materials screen. These assignments are optional. Several new reports have been added that show these categories level costs.
Addition of Labor Categories – You are now able to select from pre-defined categories of labor, such as Operators, Technicians, etc. Each labor group can be assigned to one of these categories via the Define Labor Groups page. These quantities are rolled-up and reported at the Sector level (see next item).
Added Report: Sector Resource Summary – This report shows resources required as a function of the individual sectors. Columns presented in this report include equipment capital, required floor space and headcounts for each category of labor.
Added Report: Product Cost & Resource Summary – This report shows costs for the product by the sectors defined in the model and the cost categories. Costs are broken down by year with separate sections related to total annual cost and unit cost.
Automatic Removal of Unused Records on Import – If records exist in a model but not in an imported spreadsheet, the program will now prompt for elimination of the missing records from the model when the import process is completed. The user is prompt with a list of the missing records and the option of eliminating them or not. This feature applies to import routine for Equipment, Product and Process Step Data.
Expanded Character Limit for the Equipment Group ID – The Equipment Group ID has been expanded from 20 to a 30-character limit.
Added Related-Form Access – Button are now available at the bottom of selected screens that provide access to related input screens. For instance, the Operational Labor page of the Equipment Data screen now allows direct access to the labor group list.
Speed-up of Calculation Time – The time now required to run and rerun program calculations has been decreased by as much as 80% over the FCM v2.0 release. Improvement areas include the calculation validation routine, yield calculations, and product cost calculations. As a result, the total calculation run time has been reduced, especially for large models (multiple products and/or many process steps).
Expanded Modeling Timeframes – Longer timeframes (greater than 5 years) are allowed for modeling. Greater discretion for what the interval of time periods including years, quarters, months and weeks. For instance, months or weeks can be modeled in the early period of a model, and quarters or years for the later periods. Multiple pre-designated timeframes are available to accommodate differing event horizons.
File Structure Redesign – The file structure of the program has been modified so that each model is compressed into a single file residing in the data directory. Models are now compressed in their saved state and a one-to-one relationship is established between external data files (*.fcm) and internal models.
‘Recently Used Model’ menu – A menu window is provided listing the most recently used models. Double clicking on any item in the list opens that model. This feature allows fast and direct access to previously used models from multiple folder locations.
Centralized Import/Export Capability – A single screen is now available that enables importing and exporting any or all data to/from spreadsheets from one convenient location.
Ability to Sort Inputs by Clicking on Column Header – The ability now exists to sort and resort data in grids (equipment lists, steps, labor groups, materials, etc) by clicking on the column header of a field. This allows easy review of inputs, especially for long lists. Nice for sanity checks or error checking. It applies to all input data grids in the program.
Auto-Fill of Time Trends by Right-Click Menu – For time-dependant input fields, users can access a pop-up menu to select from a variety of different trends/learning curves including flat (no change over time). Right clicking from within an input field accesses the pop-up menu. Once a selection is made, the fields to the right (later time periods) are automatically filled with values relative to the current field value. These curves can be applied independently to any periodic input and apply for all subsequent time periods. This would allow easy creation of typical trends, for instance, a 3-year production ramp that levels off in the 3rd year. Pre-defined increments (1%, 2%, 5%… 100%) of increase or decrease are included with either fixed or compound rate of change. This feature is intended as an enhancement to the ‘Copy Across’ button, which remains as an alternative.
TWO COOL® Data Import – Data from TWO COOL®, WWK’s Cost of Ownership modeling program, can now be imported into Factory Commander®. This import routine enables data from TWO COOL® models to be automatically added or updated in Factory Commander®. Data include tool capital costs, material items and usage data (cost of ownership consumables & supplies), equipment downtime states, floor space usage, equipment utility costs, equipment maintenance costs, and labor groups and quantities. For situations where tool/process TWO COOL® data exists, this feature enables FC models to be quickly created or updated without manual data conversion and input.
Automatic Program Recalculation for Models – Internal triggers have been integrated into the program screens enabling rerunning of calculations once data has been modified. Also, the user is prompted to save models if any changes have been made. This change also provides for screens to be viewed without necessarily forcing calculations to be run, and editing of data without the need of first clicking an edit button.
Japanese Language Integration – Users have the choice of running Factory Commander® in either English or Japanese, where all screens, menus, reports and other interface related text are presented in either language. Changing between languages is accomplished by selecting from a drop-down list. Language conversion will occur instantly without the need of restarting the program. Proper viewing of Japanese characters requires either the Japanese version of Windows, or on Windows 2000 (or later) operating systems for double byte characters set installed and Japanese set as the default System Locale.
Ability to Export/Import Comment Fields – Comment fields are now included in the export/import templates, thereby facilitating easier editing in the Excel environment.
User-Defined Units of Currency – You now have the option of selecting any monetary currency, ether foreign or domestic, for use with a model. Also, different currencies may be selected between the input data and the calculated outputs.
HASP® Key Security – Factory Commander® now requires a WWK-specific HASP® Key attached to your computer (or Network Server) for the program’s calculations to run. For a campus (site) license a local area network can be used, and the application can be run from multiple work stations using a NetHASP® security key physically present on a server used within the LAN.
Nomenclature Changes – The entities in the program representing a factory that had been called a Case are now referred to as a Model. Equipment Types and Labor Types are now called Equipment Groups and Labor Groups. This provides for a more consistent naming convention among other Wright Williams & Kelly software and generally accepted industry standards.
Actual Years Displayed on Input Screens and Reports – An options to display actual years, such as 2001, 2002, etc., can now be selected instead of the generic year indicators (ie. Year 1, Year 2, etc.). For timeframe using monthly periods as part of the time periods the month’s name or abbreviation are used (e.g. Apr, May, Jun… instead of Mo. 4, Mo. 5, Mo. 6…). These labels are used on all reports and all relevant input screens.
Date Formats Selection Options – Dates in Factory Commander® can be defined in one of seven different formats that include American (mm/dd/yyyy), ANSI (yyyy.mm.dd), British/French (dd/mm/yyyy), German (dd.mm.yyyy), Italian (dd-mm-yyyy), Japan/Taiwan (yyyy/mm/dd), and USA (mm-dd-yyyy). This feature enables dates shown on reports and input screens to correspond to regional standards.
Multiple Overhead Cost Categories – The user has the option of defining as many as 20 different non-production or overhead cost categories. Each of these categories can be independently controlled by one of seven cost drivers that include: 1) total cost, 2) production cost-based, 3) revenue-based, 4) headcount based, 5) unit starts based, 6) unit outs based, and 7) floor space-based.
Import & Export Capability for Factory-level and Building Data – New import/export capabilities have been added for data pertaining to general factory (production schedule, supply costs, financial & economic rates, etc.), overhead/non-production cost data, and building data (capital cost, implementation costs, operational rates, etc.). These features enable complete model data to be saved in spreadsheet format (e.g. M.S. Excel files) to facilitate fast updating of different FC models using the same data source.
Non-Product Revenue and Cash In-flow Input Added – Non-Product Revenue and Cash In-flow (or Out-flow) inputs have been added. Entries are segregated by quarter for the first two years and annual groupings for Years 2 thru 6. Line item entries are presented on the Income and Cash Flow reports.
Future Building Expenditures – Expenditures for the building shell and building expansions can now be made any time within the first six years, as opposed to just the initial year of a model. Expenditures can also be planned prior to the modeling timeframe.
Expanded Facility Expenditures – Expenditures for initial or additional facility construction can now be designated by expended amounts and by expenditure category (e.g., chillers, ultrapure water systems, HVAC, steam & boiler systems, etc.). These inputs can be specified for the period prior to the modeling timeframe, as well as any year within the first six years. A different depreciation method can be assigned to each expenditure category.
User-Defined Space Types – Users can create new types of space that can be classified under one of three categories: cleanroom, non-cleanroom and non-manufacturing. Existing categories of space such as Class 100 or Other Cleanroom can be renamed as desired within models.
User-Defined Units of Floor Space – User has the option of selecting either sq. ft. or m² for floor space units.
Expanded Modeling of Building Depreciation – User definable depreciation schedules are now allowed for building capital expenditures. This enables a better representation of capital depreciation with regard to accounting standards used by a corporation or government. Schedules such as straight-line method, double-declining balance or sum-of-years-digits, can be created and applied to the building purchase or to expenditures related to facility implementation (utilities, build-out, etc.)
User-Defined Labor Groups – Unlimited types of labor, both direct and indirect, can be established in a model. For instance, you can establish multiple user-defined categories of operators, material handlers, maintenance technicians, process engineers, supervisors, etc. each with different specialized skills, functions and salaries.
Specified Labor Headcounts – The headcounts for any of labor groups, either direct or indirect, can be specified at the factory-level and allocated back to the tool/process.
Option for Modeling Labor Assigned at Equipment – Direct labor quantities can be represented in one of two ways: headcount based on the tool utilization rate or headcount based on tool count. This provides more flexibility in modeling labor with changes in production volume.
Maintenance Labor Groups Usage Based on Equipment Downtime – In addition to support labor, maintenance technicians can be assigned to individual equipment groups on a shift-by-shift basis. Two separate sets of input are now available to accommodate maintenance activities for scheduled and unscheduled downtime. This provides flexibility to model maintenance technicians as a function of equipment system downtime.
Material Items Modeled at the Equipment-level – Allows materials and consumables to be modeled based on usage at the equipment group. Three methods are available:
1. Average annual usage (qty./year/system). This method allows costs to be accounted in the ‘Material Cost’ category, instead of the ‘Operation & Maintenance’ category, as they would currently need to be.
2. Quantity consumed per unit pass (e.g. qty./wafer pass). This method accommodates production volume from all associated process steps. In certain situations this method can greatly simplify the quantity of input required. For instance, if the same amount of photoresist is required at photolithography tool regardless of the individual process recipe, than one input can be made at the equipment level and quantities are not required at each process step.
3. Quantity consumed per production hour. This method is useful for parts and supplies consumed as a function of the tool’s operation. Materials modeled at the tool can be used instead of, or in addition to, step-level usage. For instance, certain materials may require both a fixed and variable component of consumption.
Redesigned Material Used Input Screen – The Material Used input screens have been redesigned to display multiple process steps (or equipment groups) and multiple materials items. This is especially handy for reviewing materials used across all steps of a given product (or across all equipment groups). The original screen (that shows just one process step at a time) will still be available and can be used as an alternate means of reviewing and revising data.
Expanded Modeling of Equipment Depreciation – User definable depreciation schedules are now allowed for equipment expenditures. This enables a better representation of depreciation with regard to accounting standards used by a corporation or government. In addition to the straight-line method, non-linear depreciation methods, e.g., double-declining balance or sum-of-years-digits, can be created and applied individual equipment groups.
Ability to Remove Tools from Inventory – This feature allows equipment groups to be eliminated from inventory as may be needed for modeling a product’s ramp-down or transition between two or more products. Several different options are available that affect the equipment’s cost and resource usage. These include:
1. Leave In Place and Do Not Use (affects capacity, but not floor space or depreciation)
2. Remove and Warehouse (affects capacity and floor space, but not depreciation)
3. Transfer or Sell (at specified price) (affects capacity, floor space, depreciation & cash flow)
4. Sell at Book Value (affects capacity, floor space, depreciation & cash flow)
Payment Distribution for Equipment Expenditures – Inputs have been added that allow expenditures for any equipment group to be distributed over a wide-ranging span of time, as opposed to have a single expenditure at the time when the equipment is installed. This enables the program to accommodate payments or installments so that they more accurately reflect the anticipated cash flow.
Demand Mode Specified as Either Process Starts or Outs – User can specify the demand mode as either Starts Based or Outs Based.
Ability to Select Products to be Run in Calculations – For models with multiple products, users can select any product combination to use in the calculations. Output will include only the calculated products, and the excluded products will not contribute to any resource or cost requirements (equipment count, equipment costs, space, labor, materials, etc). This feature allows users to more easily evaluate capacity and profitability for different product combinations. This avoids the need to entirely eliminate the product from an FC model or having to set product volumes to zero. Also, the program calculations run a bit faster then it otherwise would due to product records being completely ignored.
Product-to-Product Linkage and Transformation – Products can now be modeled as a series of interrelated sub-products, for instance a front-end product that becomes a back-end product. If products are related, a transformation quantity can be included that represents an assembly of multiple front-end production units or a division of production units for the follow-on product. Transform products can designated as one of three classifications: Dependant Front-end, Dependant Mid-stage, or Dependant Back-end.
Ability to Include Test Units in Production Volume of a Product – This feature enables units that are not sold and use primarily as object to test the equipment and process capability, for example: test wafers in semiconductor manufacturing. These units are assumed to be non-revenue generating, but require equipment capacity and/or other production resources. This feature assumes test units follow entire process flow, although the user has the ability of specify which steps do or do not conduct tests. Inputs are percentages and can be specified as either “% of Production Units Added” or “Percent of Units Started Included”. These inputs may vary by period: Q1-Q8, Y3-Y6. The cost of the wafer unit cost can also be input, and vary by year.
Normalized Cost Units – This feature allows for costs to be reported in terms of normalized units of measure for comparison between products, sites, technologies, or against industry averages. Examples of this would be $/sq. in. for wafers or $/pin for IC devices. Product-level inputs included the name of normalized unit and the conversion factor (in terms of normalized units per ending production unit, for instance: sq. inches/wafer). This information is presented in product-specific reports, to include the Unit Cost over Time report and the Product Cost by Category report.
User Definable Units of Production –When defining a process step users can choose whether the operation relates to either the starting unit or the ending unit. The step’s throughput capacity corresponds to the production unit selected (either the starting or ending unit). This change allows the user to work with the more familiar units and reduces the need to make off-line data conversions for operations that use starting units of production (e.g., converting from Substrates to Displays) before entering data into a model.
Process Sampling – Rates have been added at the process steps allowing selective sampling to be modeled. This feature avoids the need to artificially increase the throughput capacity to achieve the correct demand-to-capacity ratio. Rates can also change with time: quarterly for the first two years and annually thereafter.
Variable Throughput Capacity over Time – Throughput capacity at the step can now change with time. This enables modeling of processes/equipment where throughput is expected to improve (or decline) in the future. Values can change by quarter for the first two years and annually thereafter.
Enhanced Import/Export for Process Step Data – Models containing multiple products can now handle the import or export of data files containing multiple process flows. This feature applies specifically to process step and material usage data.
Graphical Output Capability – Graphical charts are provided for selected output data. Pareto diagrams are available for equipment utilization and material cost.
Automated Sensitivity Analysis – The capability now exists to do automated analysis for evaluating input sensitivities. Multiple input parameters are available that account for the commonly investigated parameters. These include Final Yield, Throughput Capacity, Equipment Capital Cost, and more. User-definable ranges are designated for the inputs. Multiple output variables are available for selection with as many as three that can be chosen for any particular analysis.
Ability to Export Reports to M.S. Word – All calculated reports can now be converted and exported to standard document formats such as M.S. Word (.doc) files or RTF (rich text format) files. This allows model output to be sent to someone in the organization without access to, or knowledge about using Factory Commander®.
New Reports Added – The following reports have been integrated into Factory Commander®.
Financial Summary– This report provides key financial metrics for the project or business. This report includes the cash flow net change for each of the first 6 years, the net present value, the payback period, and the point in time when the cash flow first become positive.
Unit Cost over Time – This report shows the cost per good unit out (shipped) on a quarterly or annual basis.
Tool Group Depreciation over Time – This report shows depreciation by tool group over a quarterly or annual basis.
Capital Cost Summary – This report summarizes the building, facility and equipment expenditures and depreciation on a quarterly or annual basis.
Labor Cost Summary – This report summarizes the quarterly or annual labor costs by labor group.
Floor Space Summary – This report summarizes the total floor space required over multiple time periods.
Sector Category Cost Reports – This report shows the cost summed for the sectors defined in the model.
Material Item Cost by Product – This report shows each material item cost grouped by product.
Material Item Cost by Step – This report shows g each material item cost grouped by process step.
More Descriptive Headers for Exported Report Data – Reports exported to Excel spreadsheets now have a more descriptive header row. The header now include the units of measure (e.g. k$, %, sq. ft., etc.) and correspond more closely to the printed report.
Improved User Interface – Three button panels have been added to allow fast access to the most frequently used screens. These panels appear on the top, left and right sides of the main Factory Commander® window during the program’s operation.
User-Defined Sort Numbers – Sort number fields have been added to the equipment groups, labor groups, material items and products, allowing each list to be sorted in a user-defined order (rather than alphabetical).
Grid Arrangement of Inputs – Data that has potential for many records is now presented in grids (spreadsheet-like inputs) to facilitate review of multiple records without the need to navigate from one record to the next. Grids have been implemented for the following types of data: Facility Capital Expenditures, Labor Group Data, Material Item Data, Tool Group Data, Product Data, and Process Step Data.
Tabbed-page Screens – Data inputs of a similar nature that were previously on separately accessed input screens are now on multiple ‘tabbed’ pages. This allows easier navigation of a data record (e.g. equipment group or material item) among fields located on different screens without the need to exit one screen and enter another. The grouped input data screens apply to the following data types: Factory, Building, Labor Groups, Material Items, Equipment Groups, Product Data, and Process Steps.
Platform Conversion to Visual FoxPro – Factory Commander® has been migrated to the latest version of the Visual FoxPro programming language and run-time engine. Benefits from this platform upgrade include native 32-bit program taking advantage of the Windows 2000/XP interface and program screens that conform to the Windows standards.
Improved Spreadsheet Header Labeling – When exporting model data to M.S. Excel format, the column headers of the exported spreadsheet will now have more descriptive labeling.
User-Defined ID Fields Added – An ID field has been added to Labor Group, Tool Group, Material Item, Product, and Process Step records. ID’s enable a single, user-definable input to be the unique identifier or key for that record in a list.
Class 1 Cleanroom Space Added – Class 1 cleanroom was added as an explicit space type. This allows for Class 1, 10, 100 or User Defined space types to be established and assigned to the equipment.
Inputs Expanded Over Time – You are now able to input different values for each year of the model for Supply Costs, Facility Operational Rates, etc. This permits time-based changes to be modeled.
New Menus for Building, Labor and Materials – New menus and screens have been created for input data relating to the building, labor and material. This allows faster and more intuitive data access and navigation.
Alternating Background Colors for Input Lists – The various input lists now have alternating background row color to more easily distinguish data rows in data grids.
Redesign of Equipment Input Screens – The equipment data screen is re-designed so that equipment group inputs are presented in grid (spreadsheet-like objects) controls. The major benefit is that the same data (e.g. Operator Usage, Capital Cost, Unscheduled Downtime, etc.) for multiple equipment groups can be reviewed at one time without navigating between each. Instead each row is its own equipment group.
Material Vendor Information Inputs – The equipment groups now include input fields for vendor-related data.
Equipment Vendor Information Inputs – The material items now include input fields for vendor-related data.
User-Specified Report Defaults – Users are able to select one or more reports, products or periods to generate output (print, preview or export). This reduces the series of dialog screens that had been presented during the report selection process.
Ability to Adjust the Number of Decimals for Input Parameters – Selected inputs fields can now be adjusted to allow more (or less) discretion in the number of decimals that are required for their numeric values. The following data fields are affected: Production Demand, Product Starting Material Cost, Product Price and Throughput Capacity.
Expanded Width of Description Fields – The description field for Equipment, Steps, Sectors, Materials, and Labor have been expanded from 25 to 40 characters.
Highlighted Grid Rows – The entire row of grid becomes highlighted when any field is selected. For multiple tabbed page screens that each have a grid, when a user selects a row the same record is automatically highlighted one the other pages. This allows for more obvious record identification, both within a given page and when reviewing data across different pages of the same screen. Applies to all input data grids.
Lot and Batch Processing – User is able to specify between Unit, Lot or Batch processing for individual process steps. With batch processing the batch size can be specified either the equipment group or product.
Calculation Sequence Run-time Options – The calculation sequence has been divided into sections and the user has the ability to choose which series of calculations will be executed. This allows less calculation time, especially if only capacity or tool count results are required.
Tool Lease Costs – You can now specify the cost of leasing equipment. This allows each equipment group to either be expended capital or leased payments, or a combination of both.
Import/Export of ‘Testbed’ Data Standard – Data can be imported from or export to files conforming to the Testbed standard format. These files include the tool set, product volume/release, process flow, rework route, and operator set. This standard is one commonly used with dynamic simulation programs in the IC manufacturing industry.