During these challenging times Wentworth continues to support the semiconductor industry and provide solutions to help test a wide range of devices, but it has required a top-down review of the way we conduct our business. From regular deep cleaning to our service & applications support, it has been necessary to make changes to keep our staff safe by incorporating new social distancing guidelines while continuing to support our customers.
The meeting room has been exchanged for standing discussions on the production floor while our design teams review the next generation of systems. On-site service visits have been replaced with virtual visits as our experts working with customers to diagnose and resolve system issues. This has had some interesting benefits for our customers with increased knowledge resulting in improved up-time.
Another area that has required a brand new approach has been the factory acceptance testing (FAT). Under the “old normal” our customers would have the opportunity to visit one of our facilities, see their new system and run tests to ensure it exceeds the required specifications. The “new normal” now consists of live video streaming and screen sharing to run through the acceptance criteria. Although the technology has been available for some time, recent events have encouraged companies like Wentworth to not only embrace these capabilities, but also understand the true benefits to both us and our customers world-wide.
Our latest “no-travel FAT” was carried out with a customer in Asia. Prior to the scheduled session the customer shipped over wafer samples for the agreed test criteria so we could run through the acceptance in full. It required our team to start earlier than usual to provide a full day of testing. The system was set up with screens-share and a live video feed ran throughout. Everything worked well with video and screen share together, we did experience some latency issues with the video feed a couple of times during the session but it didn’t prevent the acceptance testing. The control of the system was passed to the partner via remote desktop with the session being emulated in the UK to verify the customer’s view.
Everything from stage accuracy to video calibration could be checked to ensure the full system was within specifications and met the design brief. Even wafer testing cycles were conducted by our customer without them leaving their facility and I’m glad to say everything passed with flying colours.
So the big question – is the “new normal” here to stay? Based on recent experience we would say why not!