Skill Standards for Technicians in the Highly Automated Manufacturing Environment
Skill standards are quality standards applied to people. They are specific statements of desired skill and knowledge presented in observable and measurable form.
The statement contains a condition that defines under what circumstances it will be observed and measured. The desired behavior is defined and the standard criteria are stated in terms of "how good is good enough?"
Skill standards specify the expected behavior, the condition and the standard for performance for technicians working in highly automated environments such as 300mm semiconductor fabs.
The manufacturing environment has evolved from one that was populated with self-contained tools utilizing robotics technology to one that is composed of large numbers of these tools interconnected by automated material handling systems (AMHS) and driven by a centralized manufacturing execution system (MES) in such a way as to maximize factory throughput and output.
The skills required to work in such an environment consist of most of the skills required by the previous environment (i.e., 200mm fabs) plus some emerging skills. These emerging skills are primarily skills and knowledge related to the new, enterprise automation systems, their maintenance, and the ability to utilize the vast amount of information they provide.
Importantly, these skills are transferable to a great extent to a variety of industries such as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, food processing and automotive manufacturing. In the course of this project, research into transportation industries (railroads) and chemical processing (refineries) showed a high degree of commonality of the skills required.
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