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Wafer handler preventative maintenance (PM) frequency is often based on limited statistical data taken early in the life cycle of the tool development or is based on the time of the earliest bearing or other robot handling issues seen in production, leading to the highest amount of planned downtime. Pushing out PMs until failure allows short term availability gain, but ultimately leads to yield loss as well as unplanned and costly downtime. Complicating all of this is that any maintenance on the handling system can often lead to more issues if the maintenance is not completed correctly. Wafer based sensors have replaced many difficult and time consuming manual measurements, improving PM recoverability and repeatability, and decreasing PM durations. The fully automated InnerSense SmartWafer (SMW2) system enables predictive and planned maintenance, as well as proper tool recovery, minimizing tool downtime and overall cost.

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