ISMI Manufacturing Week keynote: Collaboration makes fab ramps happen

by Paul Fego, VP of worldwide manufacturing, Texas Instruments

October 26, 2011 – In this industry, collaboration is critical. Semiconductor products and process technologies continue to grow in complexity, while lead times are shrinking and customers are demanding more to differentiate themselves from their competition.

To effectively manage a team that spans nine countries, we rely on a collaborative environment that utilizes the talent of our workforce to drive operational excellence. We drive career development through hands-on training and cross-pollination among the factories. Semiconductor manufacturers can all buy the same tools from the same vendors; our problems are not unique. But where you can differentiate and create operational excellence comes from the leadership and people.

We’ve seen this culture contribute to several successes, but I’ll highlight two specific examples: the ramp of RFAB, the industry’s first 300mm analog wafer fab, and TI Clark, our flagship assembly and test factory.

RFAB is a prime example of a strong leadership team and dedicated bench of employees. The ramp was very aggressive, but because of the team’s dedication and hard work, as well as the collaboration from our worldwide team, we shipped the first device less than one year after RFAB’s opening. This year, when our Miho fab suffered damage due to the Japan earthquake, RFAB offloaded much of Miho’s products, also another testament to the effectiveness of that team.

TI Clark opened during the economic downturn of 2009. This facility is located in the Philippines, which allowed us to utilize the expertise of an already established team from our Baguio facility. Again, because of hard work, collaboration and dedication, this team ramped the facility in seven months. We began further expansion of TI Clark in 2010 to support our growing Analog business.

I believe that nearly anything can be accomplished through a commitment to quality, teamwork and flexibility. I hope as an industry, the attributes I spoke of at ISMI can contribute to semiconductor manufacturing excellence in the future.

Paul Fego is VP of worldwide manufacturing at Texas Instruments (TI), overseeing a large, complex operation that includes more than 12,000 employees in nine countries. He has nearly 30 years of expertise in manufacturing operations, quality, planning and engineering. Since joining TI in 1980 as a manufacturing supervisor, Fego has held a variety of roles leading up to his current position, including manufacturing superintendent, wafer fab planning manager, quality manager, production manager and director of fab operations. He has also held executive-level positions at ST Microelectronics and Photronics.


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