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A Culture Of Continuous Improvement – Silicon Valley Global


“Recent studies have shown that on average the operating costs of commissioned facilities range 8% to 20% below that of non-commissioned buildings”

The size of semiconductor chips and electronic devices has shrunk dramatically since inception in the 1970’s. Advances in semiconductor design and manufacturing of the modern chip now enable greater speed, data density, and diversity in the number of functions that the resultant electronic devices can perform. As performance demands on today’s highly sophisticated semiconductor chips continue to grow, so too does the need to manufacture increasingly larger batches of chips with greater precision and smaller dimensions. Along with these pressures comes the need to expand engineering expertise and foster an ongoing continuous improvement mind set. This is where the LotusWorks teams excel and add value to their semiconductor manufacturing clients.

In Europe and the US, LotusWorks provide solutions and support that ensure innovative organisations have the best engineering and technical talent to help commission, maintain and add value to their facilities, facilities that are manufacturing products which are changing the world.

The company founded and headquartered in Ireland, has a large portfolio of well­known clients across various sectors. However its international reach now extends to the US and in the past decade into Singapore, Israel & South America. The semiconductor industry is one of the industries LotusWorks has supported for two decades with technical and engineering expertise, especially within the commissioning and operations & maintenance areas.

Semiconductor chips are an essential enabling technology for many tools, gadgets, and devices that are a hallmark of modern life. They provide inexpensive, fast computing power for a wide range of electronic devices across the Internet Of Things (IOT).

Gareth Carr, LotusWorks Key Account Manager, has worked within the industry on multiple projects for over two decades, Gareth comments; “In today’s environment, building new state of the art semiconductor fabs or retrofitting existing facilities involves developing creative, cost effective solutions around start-up &commissioning or operations & maintenance, to control spiralling cost. New fabs are designed with a focus on time-to-market, improved management of yield, optimization of facility support systems and energy conservation. Lessons learned from existing manufacturing facilities relating to the start-up & commissioning and operations & maintenance activities are being effectively implemented in these new fabs. Our expert teams are onsite to support the client’s strategic objectives, we’re here to create and add value to their builds or projects. It’s impossible to add tangible value without a comprehensive continuous improvement culture, our culture has evolved from hands on experience, and it’s that culture that is differentiating factor for LotusWorks today.”

Traditionally, owners and managers of large scale builds assigned commissioning responsibility to general contractors. Today, owners are engaging with expert commissioning teams to work collaboratively with design and construction teams on new build projects as independent representatives to ensure unbiased execution of the commissioning process. It’s in that capacity that LotusWorks has engaged in commissioning projects with major semi-conductor clients. “The need for input at a design stage and a well thought out commissioning plan, prior to issue for construction is becoming increasingly adopted. We’ve executed the process on large scale projects in the Semi Conductor, Bio Medical and Pharmaceutical sectors for two decades so it’s enhanced our knowledge of a wide range of building designs and facilitated a high proficiency in commissioning techniques. More importantly for our clients, that broad knowledge and experience allows us to fully assess and quickly identify obstacles before they become major issues in the construction phase, which otherwise would have resulted in substantial rework costs,” comments Gareth.

In the past, commissioning was viewed as an added expense to the overall project, however Gareth has noticed a change- clients are now reflecting lower overall costs and benefit from improved facility performance after engaging with an experienced commissioning team. “Recent studies have shown that on average the operating costs of commissioned facilities range 8% to 20% below that of non-commissioned buildings.

It’s not just on the commissioning front that the LotusWorks team bring their expertise, they’ve been working with some world leading organizations, on a long term basis, and support operations & maintenance activities for these clients.

Gareth explains “We focus on supporting our clients strategic goals and objectives through our continuous improvement culture of cost reduction and productivity improvements. Our multi-disciplinary teams work in unison with our clients engineering teams and integrate seamlessly into their environment. This coupled with our proactive problem solving approach gives world leading organizations the edge and that’s where our teams excel.”

The new potential of the Internet Of Things offers promise for the future of the semi-conductor industry and there have been dramatic changes in chip complexity in addition to incredible industry advancements. What’s certain is the industry will continue to need the experience, knowledge and continuous improvement mind-set that LotusWorks has cultivated over three decades.

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