Emerging Skills for Highly Automated Environments
The HAS-200 System for Education and Training
Highly automated workplace environments are rapidly developing in technology sectors such as semiconductor manufacturing, biotechnology, aerospace, pharmaceuticals, energy, materials and advanced manufacturing. Automation systems play a key role in all of these sectors.
In order to address the education and needs in this area, SMC International Training, Intel Corp., Production Control and Integral Management and MATEC, are developing a Highly Automated Systems (HAS-200) trainer and integrated curriculum package. This will enable students to transform their academic knowledge into applied technical skills through hands on learning experiences.
A modern view of “automation.” The semiconductor-manufacturing environment has evolved from one that was populated with self-contained tools utilizing robotics technology to one that is comprised of large numbers of these tools interconnected by Automated Material Handling Systems (AMHS) and driven by a centralized Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) in such a way as to maximize factory throughput and output.
This level of automation is referred to in Intel as the “7th Level” of automation or simply “Level 7”. A "Level 7" automated factory is intended to run "lights out", with no human intervention in the normal operation of the factory. At "Level 7" all work in progress (WIP) is automatically dispatched to the appropriate tool at the appropriate time according to pre-defined rules. All tests are performed automatically and failed tests initiate recovery systems (including the dispatching of maintenance techs). Process monitors are embedded in the tools and Statistical Process Control (SPC) is monitored and maintained continuously. Appropriate actions are automatically initiated when control limits are violated. Human intervention is only required in this environment to change the operating rules, to change the 'tags' associated with particular lots so they are handled specially, to monitor for system failures and safety violations, and to perform maintenance.
The automation pyramid represents various “levels” of automation in another way. Level’s I and II are focused on hardware, sensors actuators and their controllers. These are the fundamentals of automation, required but not sufficient to constitute a modern automation system. Automation is not robotics, automation is not PLCs, automation is not the components in isolation. Levels III and IV of the pyramid represent a significant step forward in automation system training and education.
The Supervision Control And Data Acquisition Network and the Manufacturing Execution System are critical to maximizing the efficiency and resources of a modern highly automated facility. Technician knowledge, skill and ability in these areas are emerging as key indicators of a highly skilled workforce. The top level of the pyramid, Enterprise Resource Planning, is governed by business decisions. In our study of automation we accept this as a given set of business rules.
Follow this link to www.matec.org/work/skills
Information on the pilot program is being revised.