The next wave of MES in semiconductor

Some semiconductor companies are riding a new wave of MES with success. Will others catch or miss this wave?

Sometimes pioneers find that 20 years later, the territory that they discover becomes very heavily populated, and changes drastically. The buildings that they erected are now dilapidated. The new settlers come with fresh newfangled approaches and things. In some cases, a wave simply comes and washes the village away, leaving only rubble.

This is the case with the semiconductor industry that pioneered the MES industry 25 years ago. What was new territory when I became MES Analyst at AMR (now Gartner) is now getting a complete make-over.

The IT executives in the industry know that their fabs and back-end plants are overdue for system changes. However, only a comparative few have actually gone forward with implementing a new system to replace the old.

That’s because they have had to overcome past experience of failed projects to replace MES. Historically, even an upgrade of the same basic MES package could be so disruptive that it cost tremendous production time – and thus hurt profit.

It’s a fear based on past experience. Those fears can be very real. I recall recovering from a broken arm a year ago; for months I felt off-balance every time I walked past the spot where I slipped on the ice, even in the summer! To get past the fear, I just had to keep walking past that spot until the current reality that I was fine took root to replace the fear.

Some brave semiconductor company CIOs are taking those steps now. I’ve had the privilege of speaking to several of them who have actually replaced older systems successfully. These interviews have resulted in several different things. In previous blogs I mentioned the Peer Talk documents that are 2-page topic-specific papers.

In addition, I got to interview three of these executives on camera. The result is three great videos where the CIO from Allegro, Infineon and NXP discuss key issues. They all speak on all three videos: Phil Stathas of Allegro, Dr. Jonathan Chang of Infineon back end, and Mark Remson of NXP. These videos are available

IT executives from Allegro, Infineon & NXP discuss how and why to switch MES

IT executives from Allegro, Infineon & NXP discuss how and why to switch MES

here. The hardest part about making these videos was cutting them down to the length of our business break span of a few minutes! All of these guys have amazing wisdom.

These CIOs and their companies are riding the new wave of MES. Past the initial planning and using systems in production, they have learned a tremendous amount. Associates in the plants are succeeding and appreciate the system.

In surfing parlance, Phil, Jonathan and Mark are already having the thrill of some hang-10 moments. Will you be joining them, or risk getting washed away by the save as you sit on the beach, anchored down by legacy systems that are not only unsupported, but unsupportable?

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