The factors making material quality assurance increasingly difficult include: 1) explosive growth in the variety of new materials used in semiconductor manufacturing; 2) ever-narrowing process windows; 3) extreme sensitivity to defects; and 4) the prohibitive expense for a material supplier to try to replicate the customer’s application in QC.
The traditional quality-improvement approach of spec-tightening (or Ship-to-Control, which is a variant of spec-tightening) has not been proven effective in overcoming these challenges. A different approach based on batch-to-batch consistency is presented in this talk, with specific recommendations on the steps to take. The importance of having the right quality culture and a positive relationship between customers and suppliers is also demonstrated. Finally, the impact of this approach on the Cost of Quality is shown, with supporting data.