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Electronic Manufacturer Breaks Through Yield Blocks

Successful manufacturers rely upon precise, repeatable processes to eliminate waste and inefficiency. The better a company can track its processes the more there is to be gained. For a major semiconductor manufacturer, Quantrix Modeler was the key for developing multidimensional models that enabled the company to capitalize on best practices and discover new methodologies.

This firm chose Quantrix Modeler for the same reason that many companies are drawn to the financial modeling software – its modeling files had grown too large for traditional tools like Microsoft’s Excel. The company found that Quantrix Modeler could easily manage 100+ Mb files, and also discovered it could easily link with corporate business intelligence applications.

The company’s global yield management team is responsible, in part, for discovering which processes negatively impact the company’s output, and to improve overall yield. They rely upon very large databases to extract the parameters that impact the manufacturing process, and found that traditional spreadsheet software technology could no longer accommodate these large files. The company switched to Quantrix Modeler, which could accommodate the company’s super large files, and enable them to better analyze their data.

Developed by the Portland, Maine-based Quantrix, Quantrix Modeler incorporates a unique approach that separates the logic of a model from the structure, which allows users to create and use formulas outside the confines of the cell. Formulas are expressed in words rather than by cell coordinates so they are easy to understand, trace, and audit. Users can make changes, incorporate new dimensions, and view multiple scenarios dynamically without redesigning or reworking their model.

Where a typical Excel model for this manufacturer would require hundreds of formulas, a Quantrix model needs only 20 to 25, because its unique architecture uses formulas that reside outside the cell.

The manufacturer’s yield management team discovered that Quantrix’s multidimensional capabilities enabled it to share specific data with individual managers around the globe quickly and easily. Quantrix made it easy to change how managers look at data tables by moving the categories, which enables them to analyze the data much quicker. In addition, managers can export data to a dynamic HTML file on the web, where they can see the data they want without jeopardizing the security of the whole file.

Spurred on by their success with yield management analyses, the company has explored new uses for Quantrix Modeler, including using it as a front end to the company’s business intelligence software toolset. The team developed a Quantrix model to calculate the financial cost of scrap, by integrating data directly with Hyperion’s Essbase multidimensional database management system. Essbase data is linked directly into Quantrix, which makes it easy to calculate summaries and manipulate the data. Using Microsoft’s Excel spreadsheet, it used to take the team half a day to tweak the file after the data was loaded. With Quantrix, the time required has been cut to a half hour.

In addition to linking with Essbase and managing very large file sizes, the yield team values Quantrix’s advanced calculation capabilities that aren’t in other spreadsheet software, including Quantrix’s Sum (Select) and nested-function calculation abilities. These functions enable the team to quickly and easily perform calculations on data with specific characteristics and generate analyses on certain data sets.Quantrix Modeler has become one of the core tools used by the yield management team on a daily basis.

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