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ASE Shares Experience with Lights Out Factories

Published: Dec 25,2019

TAIPEI, Taiwan - In order to promote the smart transformation and upgrading of Taiwan's manufacturing industry and enable both traditional industries and new entrepreneurs to gain an understanding of the practical applications of smart manufacturing, Taiwania Capital, Taiwan Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association (TEEMA), and Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) jointly held the “Smart Manufacturing – Key Strategies for Future Competitiveness” forum. Advanced Semiconductor Engineering, Inc.(ASE) Chief Operating Officer Dr. Tien Wu was invited to speak and share the company’s experience with lights out factories.

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Early on, eight years ago, ASE began promoting smart factories in which all of the hardware and software were self-produced and deployed. After six years of experience, in 2017 ASE established the first lights out factory, and after a period of growing pains, smart manufacturing has yielded significant benefits. For instance, today the utilization of smart applications enables ASE to have a cost advantage over competitors in Mainland China.

Dr. Tien Wu emphasized, “regardless of whether it is to improve overall production capacity of the enterprise or for the allocation of human resources, it is definitely beneficial to invest in automated factories.” He also stated that in terms of technology, ASE’s smart factory applications employ a variety of technologies such as AI, big data, and automation to carry out predictive analysis, image recognition, and information security maintenance. Furthermore, ASE also make use of big data to carry out real-time dispatching, machine maintenance, and material tracking tasks.

The company’s lights out factories are derived from customer’s demands for automotive, medical, and 5G products, and it is possible to track production history at any time. Furthermore, on an investment of approximately NT$94.1 million, only 2.8 eights years of recovery time is needed. Following the establishment of the factories, bumping has increased by 73%, the efficiency of flip chip packaging technology has increased by 15%, wired bond production capacity has increased by 25%, and testing cycles have been reduced by 33%.

Dr. Tien Wu explained that ASE insists on independently manufacturing the hardware and software in their lights out factories, and in the IoT era it is imperative that enterprise equipment be specialized in order to be able to prevent crises. At the same time, training must also be strengthened in order to enable young people to join the ranks of employment in smart manufacturing. Through the integration of technological applications of artificial intelligence, big data analysis, and automated technology, digital transformation can be achieved, and high-output, high-efficiency, and high-quality lights out factories can be constructed. Between 2011 and the present, ASE has established nine lights out factories, and currently factories number ten and eleven are under construction with the number of factories expected to increase to fifteen by the end of next year.

(TR/ Phil Sweeney)

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