Within Project 4 we aim to improve availability of the wafer handler by employing preventive maintenance. In preventive maintenance, imminent failures are predicted, so maintenance actions can be scheduled to prevent the failure from happening, turning (much more expensive) unscheduled down-time into scheduled down-time. The health monitoring and preventive maintenance technology developed in Project 4 will be implemented on and applied to the WH module of VDL-ETG.
The development of a digital twin framework for the wafer handler and specifically the robot is expected to address the aforementioned challenges in the following ways:
- Gain real-time insights into the “health” of the robots during regular operation.
- Perform early detection of deviations of the system from its expected behavior, i.e., predictive fault detection.
- Perform efficient data-driven diagnosis in the case of known faults.
- Perform faster root-cause-analysis in the case of unknown faults.
With the above improvements it is expected that a significant part of unscheduled downtimes can be converted into shorter scheduled downtimes and the reliability of the wafer handler and robots can be improved leading to significant cost savings and higher productivity.