WWK Celebrates its 30th Anniversary Showcasing its Cloud-Based Productivity Tools
July 19, 2021 (Pleasanton, CA) – During the last 30 years, WWK has served more than 4,000 clients and users on five different continents. From its extensive roots in the semiconductor industry to numerous national labs and universities, industry leaders in photovoltaics, disk drives, defense, aerospace, nanotechnology, micro electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), flat panel displays (FPD), solid state lighting/light emitting diodes (SSL/LED), healthcare/medical devices, telecommunications, and engineering services, WWK.com (yes, we started with the Internet in 1995 at the same time as Amazon and eBay!). has changed the engineering, business development, and financial workings of industries.1
From its humble beginnings in the back of an insurance agency in Sacramento, California, to its current position as the world’s leading operational cost management and productivity improvement software and consulting services firm, WWK has survived and flourished in the highly cyclical world of high-tech manufacturing to reach the increasingly rare event of a 30th anniversary.
WWK’s initial focus was semiconductor manufacturing and the supporting supply chain of equipment and material suppliers. This expertise was recognized by SEMATECH, founded as a consortium of the largest U.S. semiconductor manufacturers and the U.S. government, by awarding WWK development contracts for a process equipment specification database and integrating it with the cost of ownership (COO) software. This expertise was further recognized with the rare invitation as the only non-member participant to join the Competitive Analysis Group (CAG), which included senior officials from the U.S. government, including the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
The results of this work with SEMATECH led to WWK receiving the prestigious Texas Instruments Supplier Excellence Award. With regard to the award, Rob Simpson, Director of Capital Equipment Procurement for TI Worldwide Procurement and Logistics stated, “WWK impacted our business on a fundamental level.” A further quote from a Texas Instruments Annual Report indicated, “TI has developed a management system we call the ‘virtual fab.’ It links our worldwide manufacturing sites into a close-knit network. Rather than operating as autonomous units, all the fabs now work together to produce the maximum output for our customers. Through common equipment and processes, cycle-time reduction, and other improvements [these applications define operational modeling], we have gained the equivalent output of two additional wafer-fab facilities over the last two years–without spending a billion dollars in new brick and mortar.”
As operational modeling was driven from the semiconductor manufacturers and into their supply base, WWK was chosen to be the “go to” company for support and training. WWK partnered with both SEMATECH and Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) to provide worldwide workshops that continued for over 20 years. WWK helped write and establish the SEMI E-35 standards for cost modeling, a critical path element in the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) that guided the growth of the semiconductor industry. The impact on the supply chain was clearly summarized by Scott Wheelock, Program Manager, Dow Corning, when he stated, “The impact of Wright Williams & Kelly on our business is easy to see. Our business has developed much further and much faster through the use of your products and services.”
As other industries have experienced the market pressures of rapid technological change and shortened product lifecycles, they have turned to the semiconductor industry to see how they have managed multi-billion-dollar investments while dealing with rapid obsolescence. Industries such as the nascent residential photovoltaic market needed to find a way to drive down costs in the hopes of competing with grid-based power. WWK has supported their efforts since the 1990’s. As stated by David Hogg, Managing Director, Pacific Solar Pty Ltd, “Your products have been the cornerstone of our business planning and financial studies ever since . We have been able to present our business effectively, which has helped attract high quality investors and allowed us [to] progress towards our vision.”
Another industry in continuous transition is thin film record head/magnetic media. New products are being developed at an accelerating rate and the typical manufacturing cycle times have often prevented them from meeting their clients’ requirements. Once again, WWK was there to provide complete modeling and analytics solutions. To quote Tim Wulf, Wafer Systems Manager, Seagate, “We ask our suppliers to help us answer important questions. Some of your competitors offered to only sell us software, not answers. You were the first company in this area that provided us the answers we needed to our critical operating questions. Thank you for your support, we look forward to continuing this very productive relationship.”
WWK’s client base is not limited to traditional electronics markets. When the U.S. military was looking to meet the cost tracking requirements of the Government Accountability Office, they turned to WWK. Or when the U.S. military needed a vision system company to rapidly increase capacity, they brought in WWK to help ramp up their factory quickly and efficiently. And when an aerospace company had a multi-hundreds of millions of dollars backlog they couldn’t address, WWK provided them an approach that added over $200M to their revenue in the subsequent year.
Of course, WWK would not have survived without the continued support of our clients who have shown unprecedented loyalty and without whom we would not have been able to stay on the path of continuous improvement. Our products and services are light years ahead of where they were 30 years ago as a result of the constant drive and contributions of our clients. To our clients and friends, we thank you for the last 30 years and look forward to continuing to support your success well into the future.
Example Papers and Publications by WWK and Staff1
- US’ IT supply chain vulnerable to Chinese, Russian threats, TheHill.com, July 9, 2017
- Like semiconductors, US solar needs government support, TheHill.com, March 18, 2017
- Making the American Worker Great Again: The Fallacy of Labor Costs, Second Line of Defense. March 16, 2017
- CIGS manufacturing: Promises and reality, Photovoltaics International, September 2013
- When Capacity Buys are not an Option: Technical Trends in c-Si Cell Manufacturing and their Implications, Photovoltaics International, March 2013
- PV Manufacturing: More Like Making Potato Chips or Computer Chips?, Future Photovoltaics, April 2012
- Meeting the Needs of Advanced Photovoltaic Manufacturing, interPV, October 2011
- PV Lessons to be learnt, Solar PV Management, December 2010
- Examining the cost manufacturing advantages of ‘solar breeder’ factories for deployment in utility-scale solar farms, Photovoltaics International, December 2010
- Examining cost of ownership for front- and back-side metallization of crystalline-silicon solar cells, Photovoltaics International, August 2010
- Accelerating the Movement to Grid Parity in Photovoltaic Manufacturing, Future Photovoltaics, May 2010
- Examining cost of ownership of crystalline-silicon solar-cell wet processing: texturization and cleaning, Photovoltaics International, March 2010
- Cost of ownership and overall equipment efficiency: a photovoltaics perspective, Photovoltaics International, December 2009
- Contemplating 450 mm, Future Fab International, April 2008
- An Economic Comparison of 450mm and 300mm Fabs, Wright Williams & Kelly, Inc. internal publication, February 2008
- Cost of Ownership Impacts for Multi-Quantum Well LED Deposition, BluGlass Ltd IPO financial analysis, March 2007
- Modeling Fab Utilities with Factory Explorer, WWK whitepaper, March 2007
- Cost of Ownership Impacts on LPCVD Poly Silicon Deposition, Integrated Materials product positioning analysis, December 2006
- Cost of Ownership Comparisons for Next Generation Lithograph (NGL), KLA-Tencor venture capital investment analysis, June 2006
- Advantages of a Factory/Global Perspective in Test Floor Optimization, Global OPENSTAR Conference, May 2006
- Cost of Ownership Impacts on LPCVD Nitride Deposition, Integrated Materials product positioning analysis, April 2006
- Estimating Pre-Horizon Short Interval Scheduling Simulation Errors, WWK whitepaper, November 2004
- Lithography Cost of Ownership: Revisited, Semiconductor International, July 2004
- CMP Cost Drivers: An Overview of CMP Cost of Ownership, CMP World, November 2003
- Is There Life in 200mm?, WWK whitepaper, 2002
- When Should I Decommission a Fab? Model-Based Analysis for Asset Preservation, Industrial Design & Construction, October 2001
- Critical Path Supply Chain Analysis, WWK whitepaper, April 2001
- The Impact of Yield Variation on Cost of Ownership, SEMATECH, February 2001
- Getting to Good Answers: Effective Methods for Validating Complex Models, Semiconductor Manufacturing Operational Modeling and Simulation Conference, 1999
- Semiconductor Equipment Performance Metrics: Cost of Ownership and Overall Equipment Effectiveness, Semiconductor International, November 1996
- Process Equipment Cost Modeling, Society of Plastics Engineers, May 1996
- The Benefits of Broad Based Implementation of Cost of Ownership Modeling, Semiconductor Fabtech, May 1996
- Modeling the Cost of Ownership of Assembly and Inspection, IEEE Transactions, January 1996
- Cost of Ownership: A Tool for Environment, Safety, and Health Improvements, Semiconductor International, September 1995
- Cost of Ownership Modeling Software and Innovative Database Provide Keys to Productivity Improvement, Semiconductor Fabtech, June 1995
- Applications of Cost-of-Ownership, Semiconductor International, September 1994
- The Application of Cost of Ownership Simulation to Wafer Sort and Final Test, SEMI Manufacturing Test Conference, July 1993
- The Application of Cost of Ownership Simulation to Mask Writers, BACUS News, August 1992
- Bringing the Bottom Line to Photolithography, Microelectronics Manufacturing and Test, 1989
With more than 4,000 users worldwide, Wright Williams & Kelly, Inc. is the largest privately held operational cost management software and consulting company serving technology-dependent and technology-driven organizations. WWK maintains long-term relationships with prominent industry resources and national labs and universities. Its client base includes nearly all of the top 20 semiconductor manufacturers and equipment and materials suppliers as well as leaders in photovoltaics (#PV), solid state lighting/light emitting diodes (#SSL #LED), nanotechnology, micro electro-mechanical systems (#MEMS), thin film record heads, magnetic media, flat panel displays (#FPD), and healthcare.
WWK’s Cloud-based, Software as a Service (SaaS) product line includes TWO COOL® for detailed process step level cost of ownership (#COO #TCO) and overall equipment efficiency (#OEE), PRO COOL® for process flow and test cell costing, Factory Commander® for full facility capacity analysis and activity-based costing, Factory Explorer® for cycle time reduction and WIP planning, and TCOe™ for energy production project costs (cost/kilowatt-hour).
Call today for more information from Wright Williams & Kelly, Inc. Providing software solutions for productivity measurement and enhancement since 1991.