Integrated System (computer Integrated Manufacturing (cim) Patents (Class 700/96)
  • Patent number: 7206652
    Abstract: A method, system, and program storage device for implementing the method of controlling a manufacturing system, wherein the method comprises providing a plurality of workpieces to be processed on a processing tool, the plurality of workpieces located at processing stations prior to the processing tool, determining auxiliary equipment allocation needs for the processing tool based on characteristics associated with the plurality of workpieces prior to the workpieces arriving at the processing tool, and sending auxiliary equipment to the processing tool based on the allocation needs prior to the workpieces arriving at the processing tool. According to an embodiment of the invention, the processing tool comprises a photolithographic system, the auxiliary equipment comprises a reticle, and the plurality of workpieces comprise semiconductor substrates.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2007
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Richard G. Burda, Alfred Degbotse, Brian T Denton, Kenneth J. Fordyce, Robert J. Milne, Sameer T. Shikalgar, Guogang Zuo
  • Patent number: 7197723
    Abstract: In a system including a plurality of diverse semiconductor manufacturing facilities, each of the facilities having a respective manufacturing process requiring semiconductor specific design information in a corresponding diverse format, a method for supplying data to each of the facilities in an appropriate format includes establishing a database for each of the plurality of facilities, the database identifying the appropriate format for each of the facilities. The method also includes receiving semiconductor specific design information and converting the design information in accordance with the appropriate format for one of selected ones of the facilities. The method further includes providing a respective tapeout to said one of the selected ones of the facilities, each tapeout comprising the design information formatted in the appropriate format for the respective facility receiving the tapeout.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2007
    Assignee: Agere Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher P. Braun, William Brodsky, Gerard Joseph Krupka, William Perry Wilkinson, Thomas Allen Polk, Gregory Paul Van Allen, John M. Sosik, Evelyn E. Roadcap
  • Patent number: 7191023
    Abstract: The website hosted by the server is a collection of separately recorded musical tracks with the music containing a minimum of at least one musical instrument or vocal. Users may record additional tracks of music to add to a primary track. There is one primary track and up to six accompaniment or comptracks. The server allows the client to add one or more tracks to any other tracks for a given song title within the database. Separate tracks then selected by the client and mixed in the mixer into a single sound recording which is then communicated over the server across the internet to the client so the client may hear the finished or composite mixed musical work. If the mixed or composite composition is not to the liking of the user, then different tracks may be selected or rerecorded mixed in sample again.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2007
    Assignee: Cybermusicmix.com, Inc.
    Inventor: Thomas D. Williams
  • Patent number: 7191019
    Abstract: A dynamically-reconfigurable production line includes an item-interaction unit and an item-identification unit configured to read item data from an item approaching the item-interaction unit. On the basis of the item data, a processor accesses a memory to select particular configuration data stored therein provided by the item-identification unit. The processor then causes an actuator to reconfigure the production line consistent with the particular configuration data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2007
    Assignee: Markem Corporation
    Inventor: Eddy Verstraeten
  • Patent number: 7181302
    Abstract: Methods and systems of controlling an enterprise and for providing a control architecture. In some embodiments, a multiple level business model is used to define business processes, and control, regulate, or synchronize those processes. Actual processes are generally executed at lower levels, while control of the processes is carried out one level higher. At an echelon two levels higher, coordination of the processes based on objectives and available shared assets is carried out. A fourth level may be used to provide planning and development, and a fifth level may be used to set the objectives of an enterprise or enterprise unit. Implementation of this model provides control and monitoring of value production, performance measurement, and timely exchange of information and instructions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 3, 2003
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2007
    Assignee: Meta Command Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Jay S. Bayne
  • Patent number: 7174231
    Abstract: The present invention provides a process manufacturing integration system (PROMIS) comprising: a plurality of PROMIS ISAM files; a TEST database having a plurality of TEST fields for storing a plurality of status controlled DCOP definitions within an associated ISAM file; a CAUX database having a plurality of CAUX fields for storing a plurality of control chart definitions within an associated ISAM file; and an associated graphical user interface to better control each of a plurality of data collection operations (DCOP). Further provided is a method of using the PROMIS comprising the steps of: associating an equipment identification (EQP ID) with a control chart identification (CHART ID) within a chart table (Tc); associating the CHART ID with a data collection operation (DCOP) within a operation chart table (To); and creating a DCOP control methodology chart by combining the Tc with the To to associate the EQP ID with a DCOP.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2003
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2007
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Ping-Ling Peng, Carrie Kang
  • Patent number: 7174230
    Abstract: The present invention provides a novel distributed factory system framework including a novel factory automation lifecycle (200) having lifecycle activities for SW developing and integrating (210), installing and administrating (220), factory modeling (230), manufacturing planning (240), manufacturing controlling, monitoring and tracking (250) and analyzing of manufacturing results (260). The factory lifecycle comprises framework components. The distributed factory system framework also includes application components and building blocks. The framework components are adapted to for managing the application components, while the application components are utilized to provide instructions for managing a process such as a wafer fab. The building blocks are adapted for forming or modifying framework and application components. The distributed factory system framework provides computer implemented methods for integrating processing systems and facilitates process and equipment changes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2007
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: John F. Arackaparambil, Tom Chi, Billy Chow, Patrick M. D'Souza, Parris Hawkins, Charles Huang, Jett Jensen, Badri N. Krishnamurthy, Pradeep M. Kulkarni, Prakash M. Kulkarni, Wen Fong Lin, Shantha Mohan, Bishnu Nandy, Huey-Shin Yuan
  • Patent number: 7171281
    Abstract: A flexible control system and method of controlling a processing operation. The control system and method may be employed to control a high speed manufacturing system for processing articles of manufacture requiring processes to be performed on the articles at a pre-selected processing rate includes a trunk for simultaneously conveying a plurality of the articles of manufacture at the pre-selected processing rate in a first mode of motion from the beginning of the manufacturing system to the end of the system. At least one branch processing station is positioned intermediate the beginning and the end of the trunk wherein the branch processing station during its operation performs at least one process on articles of manufacture conveyed on the branch processing station and where the articles are conveyed in a second mode of motion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2007
    Assignee: Eveready Battery Company, Inc.
    Inventors: Patrick Weber, Suresh Viswanathan
  • Patent number: 7167768
    Abstract: A board work system operable by a plurality of operators assigned in turn to operate. The system includes (a) at least one device changeable to each one of a plurality of different modes; (b) a control device which controls the changeable device, and receives operator ID data identifying each operator, so as to recognize which one of the operators is currently assigned to operate the system; and (c) an ID-data input device operable to input the operator ID data to the control device. The control device includes: (b-1) a suitable-mode-establishing-data storing portion which stores suitable-mode-establishing data representative of one of the different modes which is to be established during operation of the system by each operator; and (b-2) a suitable-mode establishing portion which establishes one of the different modes on the basis of the suitable-mode establishing data and according to the operator ID data inputted to the control device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 23, 2007
    Assignee: Fuji Machine Mfg., Ltd.
    Inventors: Mitsuaki Kato, Mitsuo Imai
  • Patent number: 7167766
    Abstract: According to an embodiment of the present invention, a material processing systeme (1) including a process tool (10) and a process performance control system (100). The process performance control system (100) includes a process performance controller (55) coupled to the process tool (10), where the process performance controller (55) includes a process performance prediction model (110), a process recipe correction filter (120), a process controller (130), and process performance model correction algorithm (150). The process performance prediction model (110) is configured to receive tool data from a plurality of sensors coupled to process tool (10) and to predict process performance data. The process recipe correction filter (120) is coupled to the process performance prediction model (110) and configured to receive predicted process performance data and generate a process recipe correction for run-to-run process control.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 23, 2007
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Hieu A. Lam, Hongyu Yue
  • Patent number: 7162317
    Abstract: A method for configuring a specific plasma cluster tool having a plurality of modules. The method includes providing a set of module option definition files, the set of module option definition files containing generic configuration definitions for generic plasma cluster tools. The method further includes providing a set of tool-specific protection information, the set of tool-specific protection information including data that specifically identifies the particular plasma cluster tool for which the configuring is intended. The method further includes providing a set of tool-specific options specifications, the set of tool-specific options specifications specifying options that are specified for the specific plasma cluster tool. The method additionally includes generating a key file, the key file encapsulating configuration restrictions imposed on the specific plasma cluster tool, the key file being configured to be a required file in the configuring the specific plasma tool.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2007
    Assignee: Lam Research Corporation
    Inventors: Chung-Ho Huang, Shih-Jeun Fan, Chin-Chuan Chang
  • Patent number: 7158845
    Abstract: A process monitoring system (100) for monitoring a plasma processing system. The process monitoring system (100) includes a plurality of processing subsystems (120), and a control system (110) coupled to the processing subsystems (120). The control system (110) is configured to receive monitor data from the processing subsystems (120) and send control data to the processing subsystems (120). The process monitoring system (100) also includes an external interface (140) coupled to the control system (110), where the external interface (140) includes a paging system. The process monitoring system further includes a man-machine interface (MMI) coupled to the control system (110). The MMI is configured to display the monitor data, display the control data, and access the paging system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2007
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Richard Parsons, Deana R. Delp
  • Patent number: 7149595
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a system and methodology facilitating material class processing and quality controls in an industrial controller environment. One or more classes are provided that generically describe materials or components of a recipe. The classes are associated with the recipe and resolved or determined before or during runtime of automated processes producing the recipe. If a class designation is encountered during recipe execution, an operator can be queried for which material or materials from the detected class is desired for the recipe currently being produced. After a material is selected from the class, the recipe is then processed according to the selected material from the respective class. In another aspect, automatic selections can be made to resolve members of class-based recipes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 12, 2006
    Assignee: Rockwell Automation Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Paul R. D'Mura
  • Patent number: 7149884
    Abstract: A computing product is first assembled according to a predetermined hardware configuration and placed in a shipping container thus providing a containerized computer system. The computing product has a wireless communication subsystem for wirelessly receiving configuration information. The containerized computer system is fully configured before shipping the computer system to a predetermined customer by exchanging information between the wireless communication subsystem and a wireless information network in the manufacturing facility.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 12, 2006
    Assignee: Dell Products L.P.
    Inventors: Clint H. O'Connor, Damon W. Broder, Reynold L. Liao
  • Patent number: 7146235
    Abstract: An inkjet manufacturing device 2 includes a discharger 10 for discharging a liquid material onto anything onto which the liquid material is to be discharged, a communication section 22 for transmitting and receiving data through a communication line, and a monitoring section 21 for monitoring the state of the discharger 10 and outputting data obtained by the monitoring through the communication section 22.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2006
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventor: Hisashi Aruga
  • Patent number: 7139627
    Abstract: Plural processing apparatuses 3 such as CVD apparatuses 31 and diffusion apparatuses 33, measuring apparatuses 5, and a control computer 7 for management are connected through a LAN 9. Each processing apparatuses 3 stores control data for performing a treatment. The control computer 7 also stores the control data for the processing apparatuses 3. The control computer 7 makes each processing apparatus perform a treatment for calibration. The control computer 7 receives a result of the treatment performed by the processing apparatus 3 to be calibrated, and calibrates the control data stored in the control computer 7 based on the treatment result. The control computer sends the calibrated control data to the processing apparatus 3 after completion of the calibration procedure. The processing apparatus 3 stores the calibrated control data, which is used for subsequently performed treatment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2006
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Asami Obara, Yuichi Takenaga
  • Patent number: 7130709
    Abstract: Systems and methods for providing alarming indications and troubleshooting indications and actions in connection with a web converting manufacturing process such as that used for manufacturing disposable absorbent garments. Some of the disclosed embodiments include relating inspection data, such as product (or process) attribute data, to data from other manufacturing-related systems. Also disclosed are systems and methods for linking product (or process) attribute data obtained during the manufacturing process with one or more data sources including raw material data, process setting data, product quality data, and/or productivity data. Also disclosed are systems and methods for identifying manufacturing set point changes and automatically implementing such changes and automated web steering changes based on data from one or more inspection systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2006
    Assignee: Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert L. Popp, Kyle S. Allen, Jamie L. Bell, Henry L. Carbone, II., Scott G. Chapple, Clinton David Clark, Tim G. Dollevoet, John G. Hein, Archie Dodds Morgan, Nicholas A. Popp, Shawn A. Quereshi, Erica C. Tremble
  • Patent number: 7130809
    Abstract: A planning system for developing new products includes resource and projected financial performance information as inputs. By selecting various combinations of possible new products to develop, a planner can determine a product mix that maximizes future profits as well as can actually be implemented using available resources. A product development schedule is generated along with projected financial information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2006
    Assignee: i2 Technology US, Inc.
    Inventor: John Fors
  • Patent number: 7130701
    Abstract: A system for providing technical support for remote automation or remote control devices, the system including: a device identifier (35), for determining components of pre-determined automation or control devices, such as for example programmable logic controllers, indicated in a device database (33), by periodically querying the devices for component hardware, software, and firmware, and for providing thereby the device database (33) with component identifications for the predetermined devices; and a device configuration manager (36), responsive to the component identifications and further responsive to available device components in a database (34) of available device components, for comparing the installed and available device components and for providing an offer to upgrade installed device components; and also typically including a system diagnostics manager (32), responsive to the component identifications, and further responsive to diagnostics information in a diagnostics database (31), for providing d
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2006
    Assignee: Schneider Automation Inc.
    Inventor: Rainer H. Wischinski
  • Patent number: 7127307
    Abstract: In an apparatus for generating and managing production processing structure in a production management system of a factory, the structure of factory made up of the names or other identifiers of process points obtained by subdividing the factory production line is hierarchically registered in the storage device of the management computer (server; S200), the terminal computers and devices used in production are registered as terminal devices (S202), and tasks (from among tasks generated in advance and stored in the disk of the management computer) for achieving the operation or processing to be implemented at the process points are selected for each process point and registered in the order of execution (S204), while linking the terminal devices with definition information that correlates them, once the terminal computers are activated, the registered tasks are executed by the management computer (server) based on the definition information thus registered, so that the production record information is accumulat
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2006
    Assignee: Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Kenji Sasaki, Yoshiyuki Tsukamoto, Akira Shima, Kazuyuki Watanabe
  • Patent number: 7127303
    Abstract: A system for automation, monitoring and measurement acquisition for technical processes, having measurement and control units (2, 14, 15, 16) that are connected to sensors and actuators of the processes (1, 8, 9, 10) via measurement and control lines (3, 11, 12, 13), having a system distributed in a data network (4), in which system automation modules (44, 45, 46) are combined into automation units (39, 31, 32, 18, 19) and automation units are combined into automation groups (99), and having a higher-level information plane (22) whose information programs (23 to 27) have reading access to the automation units.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2006
    Inventor: Peter Renner
  • Patent number: 7123975
    Abstract: A manufacturing management system and method for cross-site lot handling is provided. The system includes a management unit and a target manufacturing site. The target manufacturing site receives a lot, checks whether a lot handling request indicating the lot and the target manufacturing site exists in the management unit, and registers the lot handling request for the lot before the lot being processed if the lot handling request exists.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2006
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Hsieh-Chi Chen
  • Patent number: 7117061
    Abstract: An assembly line data communication system using wireless transmissions between access point transceivers along a plant data network and a mobile transceiver temporarily physically associated with each product proceeding down an assembly line served by the network. The unique identity of the product is communicated to the assembly line network controller at the entry end of each series of work cells and correct product order in a queue is maintained so that the specific identity and specification of the product is known at each of several subsequent and serially arranged work cells through which the product passes. Each work cell can talk to one or more access point transceivers in the network to communicate data to the mobile transceiver on the vehicle and to receive information back from it.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 3, 2006
    Inventor: John D. McKenzie
  • Patent number: 7110835
    Abstract: Graphic displays, which display information about process elements and the manner in which these elements are connected within a process, process modules, which simulate the operation of the elements depicted within the graphic displays and control modules, which perform on-line control activities within a process, may be communicatively connected together to provide a combined control, simulation and display environment that enables enhanced control, simulation and display activities. Smart process objects, which have both graphical and simulation elements, may used to create one or more graphic displays and one or more process simulation modules, each having elements which may communicate with one another to share data between the graphic displays and the process modules.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2006
    Assignee: Fisher-Rosemount Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Terrence Blevins, Mark Nixon, Michael Lucas, Arthur Webb, Ken Beoughter
  • Patent number: 7110840
    Abstract: A master control system for a rolling mill, especially a mill train, having at least one rolling stand driven by means of a drive system, and the master control system having an automation device for the open-loop and/or closed-loop control of the rolling stand. The master control system also has a commissioning computer for the commissioning of the drive system and of the automation device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2006
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Peter Sopp, Siegbert Steidl
  • Patent number: 7103439
    Abstract: A method for initializing process controllers based on tool event data includes providing a tool having a process controller adapted to employ a control model to control an operating recipe of the tool; receiving a tool event notification; and initializing the control model in response to receiving the tool event notification. A manufacturing system includes a tool and a process controller. The tool is adapted to process wafers in accordance with an operating recipe. The process controller is adapted to employ a control model to control the operating recipe in accordance with a control algorithm. The process controller is further adapted to receive a tool event notification and initialize the control model in response to receiving the tool event notification.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2006
    Assignee: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher A. Bode, Alexander J. Pasadyn, Anthony J. Toprac, Joyce S. Oey Hewett, Anastasia Oshelski Peterson, Thomas J. Sonderman, Michael L. Miller
  • Patent number: 7096468
    Abstract: A task linking program is provided for using a computer for interacting with on-line and off-line programming systems to perform tasks related to programming microdevices. The program is secure in being capable of being setup only in an administrator mode where microdevice, programming system, and other information can be inputted and changed. The program has an operator mode in which the program can only run the programming system. This provides the ability to employ relatively low skill operators to use the programming system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2006
    Assignee: Data I/O Corporation
    Inventors: Fred Albert Dykins, Lev M. Bolotin, Vincent Warhol
  • Patent number: 7092902
    Abstract: A method and system for designing a probe card from data provided by prospective customers via the Internet is provided. Design specifications are entered into the system by prospective customers and compiled into a database. The collective feasibility of each set of design specifications is determined by an automated computer system and communicated to the prospective customer. If feasible, additional software enables prospective customers to create verification packages according to their respective design specifications. These verification packages further consist of drawing files visually describing the final design and verification files confirming wafer bonding pad data. Verification packages are reviewed and forwarded to an applications engineer after customer approval. An interactive simulation of probe card performance is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2006
    Assignee: FormFactor, Inc.
    Inventors: Benjamin N. Eldridge, Mark W. Brandemuehl, Stefan Graef, Yves Parent
  • Patent number: 7092771
    Abstract: A technique is provided for integrating human machine interfaces with control and monitoring systems. Control and monitoring systems may be integrated into a human machine interface to enable access to various systems including networked and programmable electrical components, such as components of motor control centers, and databases that including component, system designation data, configuration information, settings, and so forth. The database and components are accessed by execution of a program embedded in the human machine interface to provide desired information in response to selection of a particular physical component of the system. The information serves as the basis for an operator display through the human machine interface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2006
    Assignee: Rockwell Automation Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Kevin A. Retlich, Kelly J Lefler
  • Patent number: 7089071
    Abstract: A computerized system is provided for scheduling a plurality of work orders in a manufacturing process. Each work order to be scheduled specifies a set of operations to be performed using a plurality of resources and materials. Data including resource availability information for each resource used in the manufacturing process, material availability information for each material used in the manufacturing process, and work order information is received and stored in a computer. The work order information includes a release date for the work order, a want date for the work order, operations information, and material requirements information. The operations information includes the identity and sequence of operations to be performed for the work order, the identity of the resources needed to perform each operation, a minimum resource capacity needed to perform each operation, and the time needed to perform the operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2006
    Assignee: Infor International Limited
    Inventors: Richard T. Lilly, David V Layne
  • Patent number: 7086009
    Abstract: An extensible base process control and manufacturing information application development and execution software suite is disclosed that facilitates streamlined third party (e.g., OEM) development of derivative applications for particular vertical markets. The suite includes an object design toolkit that provides object template derivation tools for accessing and editing a set of base object templates. The objects derivable from the base templates include at least application objects deployed upon lower level hosting component objects of a supervisory process control and manufacturing information application. The toolkit also includes development tools for creating new base object templates that are added as extensions of the set of base object templates. In addition to the toolkit, the suite includes a set of marketing package customization tools facilitating seamlessly integrating changes by developers to the extensible base development and execution software suite.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2006
    Assignee: InVensys Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert M. Resnick, James P. McIntyre, Laurence G. Leblanc, Timothy Sowell, Pankaj H. Mody
  • Patent number: 7082408
    Abstract: A system and method for procuring non-production commodities for use by employees of a commercial enterprise includes associating the employee with a user profile comprising information relating a status of the employee within the enterprise, automatically generating a requisition for the employee indicating a desired commodity and quantity thereof, and, utilizing the user profile information and the desired commodity to enable employee searching of specific catalogs provided in a database storage device for indication of the desired commodity in a requisition. The system and method further provides for the automatic generation of a purchase order based on the requisition, the forwarding of the purchase order to the vendor for processing the order without a third party intervenor, and provides a mechanism for receiving vendor purchase order acknowledgments and approving vendor initiated changes to the purchase order without third party intervention.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 25, 2006
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Carl S. Baumann, Susan B. Cirulli, Michael R. May, Glenn P. Modrak, Amy J. Snavely, Brian E. Taylor, Sherry L. Wilson
  • Patent number: 7079906
    Abstract: A factory floor tablet automation system enables the storing, collecting and processing manufacturing data generated at one or more facilities during manufacturing, and making manufacturing data accessible from the one or more facilities. A local processor is located at each facility, and a plurality of portable tablet devices are located in each facility. One or more transceivers located throughout each facility, each transceiver being connected to the local processor in each facility. The plurality of portable tablet devices is in wireless communication with the local processor through the transceivers and the tablet antennas. A server computer having a processor unit and storage device is connected to local processors through a network.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2006
    Inventor: Roy W. Rapp, III
  • Patent number: 7076320
    Abstract: Systems and methods that improve process control in semiconductor manufacturing are disclosed. According to an aspect of the invention, conditions in a cluster tool environment and/or a wafer therein can be monitored in-situ via, for example, a scatterometry system, to determine whether parameters associated with wafer production are within control limits. A cluster tool environment can include, for example, a lithography track, a stepper, a plasma etcher, a cleaning tool, a chemical bath, etc. If an out-of-control condition is detected, either associated with a tool in the cluster tool environment or with the wafer itself, compensatory measures can be taken to correct the out-of-control condition. The invention can further employ feedback/feed-forward loop(s) to facilitate compensatory action in order to improve process control.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2006
    Assignee: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
    Inventors: Khoi A. Phan, Bhanwar Singh, Ramkumar Subramanian
  • Patent number: 7069101
    Abstract: The present invention provides a novel distributed factory system framework including a novel factory automation lifecycle (200) having lifecycle activities for SW developing and integrating (210), installing and administrating (220), factory modeling (230), manufacturing planning (240), manufacturing controlling, monitoring and tracking (250) and analyzing of manufacturing results (260). The factory lifecycle comprises framework components. The distributed factory system framework also includes application components and software building blocks. The framework components are adapted for managing the application components, while the application components are utilized to provide instructions for managing a process such as a wafer fab. The building blocks are adapted for forming or modifying framework and application components. The distributed factory system framework provides computer implemented methods for integrating processing systems and facilitates process and equipment changes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2006
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: John F. Arackaparambil, Tom Chi, Billy Chow, Patrick M. D'Souza, Parris Hawkins, Charles Huang, Jett Jensen, Badri N. Krishnamurthy, Pradeep M. Kulkarni, Prakash M. Kulkarni, Wen Fong Lin, Shantha Mohan, Bishnu Nandy, Huey-Shin Yuan
  • Patent number: 7068268
    Abstract: In a product design system having a computer and an interactive program stored in the computer for aiding the engineer to design a product and including product design process for allowing the engineer to design a product model and mold design process to design a mold for producing the product based on the designed product model, the program is rewritten such that a virtual boundary line is determined between a portion of surface and rest of the geometric model, when a shape of the portion of surface of the geometric model is to be changed, an area extending to the virtual boundary line is determined as the portion of surface whose shape is to be changed; and the shape of the portion is changed using a definition of shape of the portion. With this, a portion of a geometric model such as a solid model, once completed, can be easily changed with the use of the definition of shape already obtained before the change is made, thereby improving the efficiency of product design.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2006
    Assignee: Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Nagomu Kubota, Hiromi Shimada
  • Patent number: 7065419
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides a job flow system for use in a manufacturing environment, such as a semiconductor fab. The job flow system includes a plurality of sequence-related jobs associated with the manufacturing and a computer-controlled Petri Net structure. The Petri Net structure includes a plurality of agents associated with each of the sequence-related jobs. The Petri Net structure also includes a plurality of application processes to be performed by the agents, one or more description files, and a PN Center for loading the one or more description files and activating a first agent to perform one or more of the application processes in response to the one or more description files and in response to process status information from application processes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2006
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Chuan-Jen Wu, Chyuarn-Yuh Dai, Tien-Hsiang Sun
  • Patent number: 7058596
    Abstract: The system of this invention manages customer orders using vendor supplied software systems interfaced on a real time basis to touch the data in each system on a real time basis. In effect, there is horizontal communication between the various components of the system such as inventory, purchasing, order management and receipt, logistics and inventory to have continual data flow without using a vertical software interface. As a result, customer orders are received on a real-time basis using screens that are user friendly to promptly take orders, and to verify customer data and verify the ability to meet those orders. Transmission of documents within the system is minimized thereby making it more efficient, timely and cost efficient.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 6, 2006
    Assignee: Lykes Bros., Inc.
    Inventors: Casimir M. Wojcik, Paul A. Pretto, Jim Courier, Bob Morrow, Joseph R. Wehry, Jr., Paul Kuczynski, Matt F. Edwards, Mark A. Schnieder, Thomas W. Loftus, Brian Schnieders, Thomas C. Bernardi, Craig Raymond Pellerin, Ron D. Bushaw, Michael Lewis Schebell, Bill D. Hartley, Sheila Cappel, Kimberly Weisgarber, Henry Lee Vogler, Louis Duane Ferguson
  • Patent number: 7054700
    Abstract: Aspects for efficient order processing in a manufacturing environment are described. The aspects include utilizing a hierarchical definition language with run-time control capability to represent and control a box line manufacturing process of computer systems in a unified manner. Further provided is a state file, the state file including blocks, sub-blocks, tasks, and containers for run-time information of the box line manufacturing process of computer systems. A sequencer tool interacts with the state file to direct tasks of the state file, monitor task completion, and update the state file with real-time control information. A listener tool interacts with the sequencer tool to start tasks, monitor tasks, and send task results to the sequencer tool.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2006
    Assignee: Lenovo Pte. Ltd.
    Inventors: Eric E. Blouin, Barry A. Kritt, Douglas A. Law, Kuldip Nanda, Paul A. Roberts
  • Patent number: 7031784
    Abstract: Systems and methods for MES (manufacturing execution system) integration. A Web server receives lot control data for a lot control operation performed in a MES server and selectively transmits the lot control data. A message encoder receives the lot control data from the Web server and encodes the lot control data in a lot control message for the MES server. A message controller receives the lot control message and directs the MES server to perform the lot control operation according to the lot control message.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2006
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Po-Chun Lai, Joshua Huang
  • Patent number: 7031783
    Abstract: An interface between an automation host and a plurality of tools is used to perform a processing step. The interface includes a single communications and process behavioral connection interface to the automation host. The interface also includes a plurality of virtual host interfaces. Each virtual host interface from the plurality of virtual host interfaces provides a communications and process behavioral interface to one of the tools in the plurality of tools. The automation host can control and coordinate operation of all tools in the plurality of tools via the single communications and process behavioral connection interface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2006
    Assignee: Agilent Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: William T. O'Grady, Joel Taylor, Ryo Takeda, Nobuhiko Yoshimura, John D. McNeill, Donald F. Shafer, Janet Gilmore, Patrick Doane
  • Patent number: 7027883
    Abstract: A system is disclosed for an integrated manufacturing execution system, MES, that unifies the production data for a manufactured lot that moves from a current production line to different production lines, and a process is disclosed for reserving tools by a unified MES that checks for manufacturing capacity utilization of the tools.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2006
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Mei-Yin Shen
  • Patent number: 7024262
    Abstract: In a manufacturing process management system 10, each of input terminals 401 to 40n located respectively in multiple manufacturing processes of a process flow with regard to a preset product reads a barcode 164 attached to a target 160 and inputs a start of processing with regard to the product. The manufacturing process management system 10 maps the product to a processing status and stores the mapping into a database 130. In response to input of an acquisition request of the processing status with regard to the product from a client PC 50, the manufacturing process management system 10 reads the processing status according to the acquisition request from the database 130, creates a response message, and outputs the created response message to the client PC 50. This manufacturing process management system enables a current location of the preset product to be readily managed in the process flow of the multiple manufacturing processes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2006
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Tsuyoshi Yokota, Yoshiyuki Aido, Yoichi Nishimura, Eiichiro Furihata, Yoshihiro Hodozuka, Daisuke Osanai, Yoshito Tazawa, Juliet Chen, Eva Lee, Lorenzo Lee, Lawrence Chuang
  • Patent number: 7024261
    Abstract: A modular automation apparatus is provided that includes a base unit adapted to receive an automation module. The automation module includes at least one automation device for performing one or more specific automation functions and preferably a selectively programmable memory device for storing automation specific logic rules and/or controlling the specific automation functions. The base unit includes a frame having affixed thereto a control cabinet that houses a programmable logic controller (PLC) for executing the logic rules relayed or stored in the memory device and a power supply capable of powering the base unit and the automation module. When a base unit and an automation module are cooperatively assembled, the combination is capable of performing one or more automation functions specific to the automation module selected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2006
    Inventor: Chris D. Tanton
  • Patent number: 7016759
    Abstract: Active resource control of added functionality in a numerical control process having at least one resource is provided. It can occur during run-time of the numerical control process, that an added functionality that uses at least a portion of the resource. On-line checking of the added functionality detects during run time whether the added functionality causes the numerical control process to reach a resource limit. Error handling handles errors upon reaching a resource limit. Off-line checking detects off-line, before the run time of the numerical control process, whether the added functionality causes the numerical control process to reach a resource limit of the resource. Multiple layers are provided that check at multiple layers of the numerical control process whether the added functionality causes the numerical control process to reach a resource limit of the resource. A flexible response to resource limit errors based on a degree of importance of the added functionality is provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2006
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Michael Kaever, Rainer Dirnfeldner
  • Patent number: 7016748
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to a system and method for providing a collaborative integration of hybrid electronic and micro and sub-micro, including nano, level aggregates. A method of sampling aggregate nano behavior to determine progress by the nano aggregate toward a desired result may include sampling at least one of aggregate nano and aggregate micro behavior by a transducer. The aggregate behavior is measured through use of the sample by a macro level control apparatus. If the measured aggregate behavior is identified as diverging from progress toward a desired result, an effector is activated by the macro level control apparatus to influence the aggregate behavior toward progress toward the desired result.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2006
    Assignee: LSI Logic Corporation
    Inventor: Christopher L. Hamlin
  • Patent number: 7010366
    Abstract: A display (AV) for on-site visualization of conditions of an automated process (PZ) is disclosed. It comprises a display controller (AS) which at least temporarily provides a state indication signal (ZA) representing a constellation of states of at least two process data signals (PD1, PD2). At least one of the two process data signals (PD1, PD2) is derived from a signal (RX) generated externally to the field device (F1). The field device (F1) has a display element (AE) which responds to a change in the state indication signal (ZA) with a significant change in its appearance, thus signaling the constellation of the states of the two process data signals (PD1, PD2) in a visually perceptible manner. Therefore, the field device (F1) is particularly suited for on-site monitoring of entire plants or sections thereof by operating personnel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 5, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2006
    Assignee: Endress & Hauser Wetzer GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventors: Michael Konrad, Dieter Schmidt
  • Patent number: 7006880
    Abstract: A method for controlling at least one device (12) with a control system (10). The devices (12) can provide input signals (16) to the control system (10), receive output signals (14) from the control system (10) to operate the device (12), or a combination of both. When the device (12) is first connected to the control system (10), the control system (10) identifies the device (12) and selects a set of parameters and instructions from a database (18). An operator can then select values for the parameters. The parameters and instructions then define the operation of the device (12). Each controlled device (12) acts autonomously with respect to other devices (12). When the device (12) is actuated through a series of operations, the method determines the next operation of the device (12), after the device (12) has been turned off and back on again.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2003
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2006
    Assignee: Phred, LLC
    Inventor: Gregg Ekberg
  • Patent number: 7006888
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present invention provide a method, article of manufacture, and apparatus for processing semiconductor wafers. The method includes preheating a semiconductor wafer in two types of chambers. In one embodiment, a first preheating chamber is a load lock and a second preheating chamber is a transition chamber. Semiconductor wafer processing systems which can perform embodiments of the method are presented.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2006
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Hougong Wang, Kenny King-Tai Ngan, Zheng Xu
  • Patent number: 7006883
    Abstract: To provide a product development and manufacturing system to be used in the increasingly competitive electronic equipment market, which enables the process from product planning to design, manufacturing, and sales of a product to be performed efficiently while incorporating newly developed techniques, to thereby minimize or avoid risks. The present invention provides a production system for a product by multiple companies which enables multiple corporations or companies cooperating to perform product development, manufacturing and sales in a new product field, to mutually utilize techniques and sales networks owned by the respective companies to thereby further strengthen their competitiveness and develop their business.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2006
    Assignee: Semiconductor Energy Laboratory Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Shunpei Yamazaki