Soitec Solar Industries, LLC

A manufacturing execution system that analyzes process data to detect and rectify production anomalies

Published on 25-Jul-2013

"The high level of execution control helps ensure constant quality and process efficiency for the high-volume production process for the CPV modules." - Xavier Michallet, IT CIM Manager Soitec Solar Industries, LLC

Customer:
Soitec Solar Industries, LLC

Industry:
Electronics, Energy & Utilities

Deployment country:
United Kingdom

Solution:
Development & Technology Adoption, Geographically Distributed Development , Information Integration, Smarter Computing, Smarter Planet, Team Solution Design

IBM Business Partner:
Key Information Systems, Inc. , Zobrist Consulting Group, Inc.

Overview

Soitec, an international manufacturer, produces high-performance materials for the semiconductor industry. The company’s market-leading products and technologies are designed to enhance the performance and energy efficiency of microelectronics-driven IT, communications, automotive electronics, lighting products and solar power plants for large-scale utilities.

Business need:
Soitec is building a new plant to manufacture its Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPV) technology for a new solar power plant in Southern California. The company needed to balance a need for high throughput in its manufacturing processes with the imperative for quality control of the CPV module components.

Solution:
This solar module manufacturer implemented an automated manufacturing execution system (MES) that uses near-real-time data from equipment sensors to monitor equipment performance and product quality. The solution analyzes the data to detect trends or shifts in quality based on product and process parameters.

Benefits:
·Generates 400 percent of the production throughput of similar factories without automated MES systems

Case Study

Soitec, an international manufacturer, produces high-performance materials for the semiconductor industry. The company’s market-leading products and technologies are designed to enhance the performance and energy efficiency of microelectronics-driven IT, communications, automotive electronics, lighting products and solar power plants for large-scale utilities. Soitec has manufacturing plants and research and development (R&D) centers in France, Singapore, Germany and the United States.

The Opportunity
Soitec is building a new plant to manufacture its Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPV) technology for a new solar power plant in Southern California. The company needed to balance a need for high throughput in its manufacturing processes with the imperative for quality control of the CPV module components. It sought a turnkey manufacturing execution system to track and monitor the performance of its manufacturing equipment that would also detect and intelligently respond to even small variances in product quality.

What Makes It Smarter
The process for manufacturing solar cells for use in power plants needs to be exact, because even slight variations in the quality of the finished product can reduce its efficacy. This solar module manufacturer implemented an automated manufacturing execution system (MES) that uses near-real-time data from equipment sensors to monitor equipment performance and product quality. The solution analyzes the data to detect trends or shifts in quality based on product and process parameters. If detected, a smart tool control system can take automatic, intelligent corrective actions like stopping equipment or even the complete production line to prevent yield loss and allow retooling based on precise information from the MES system. Complete production visibility by the MES helps ensure both higher quality and more efficient production for the company.

Real Business Results
· Generates 400 percent of the production throughput of similar factories without automated MES systems
· Detects quality variances early in the manufacturing process nearly 100 percent of the time, replacing postproduction quality inspections that yield far fewer results
· Enables the traceability and proactive recall of any modules that develop quality defects later during solar plant operations

For More Information
Please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner. Visit us atibm.com.

To learn more about Soitec Solar Industries, LLC, visit http://www.soitec.com.

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Hardware:
Power Systems

Software:
DB2 Enterprise 9, InfoSphere Replication Server, WebSphere Application Server Standard Edition

Service:
AMS: Business Analytics and Optimization, AIS: Business Process Management

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2013 IBM Corporation Software Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 Produced in the United States of America June 2013 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, Global Business Services, DB2, InfoSphere, Power and WebSphere are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The performance data discussed herein is presented as derived under specific operating conditions. Actual results may vary. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided