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The environmental benefits from the circular economy are widely known, such as the reduction of waste and conservation of energy. What is overlooked is the true business value of circularity.
Many companies in the semiconductor industry have taken steps towards circularity, but to truly reap the benefits, the industry needs to move to a results-orientated strategy that closely links the customers’ goals and objectives to the suppliers’ goals and objectives.
The results-oriented model means moving away from ownership of equipment and transactional maintenance services, to an agreement where the customer pays for the ability to reach agreed performance goals. In the context of key fab performance metrics, one catastrophic failure of a turbo pump has huge implications on wafer output and the total cost of ownership. In many fab operations, unplanned events like this may occur tens of times per year.
When a result-oriented model is applied, there are 3 key areas of business value:
The full realisation of these benefits does not come without significant challenges and transformation. These changes include a fundamental re-thinking of the way assets are designed, manufactured, used, re-used and owned.
It also requires collaborative engagement between manufacturer and customer with intimate sharing of information, goals, risks and rewards; and a holistic operational approach to managing assets.