Cycle time-oriented mid-term production planning for semiconductor wafer fabrication

Phillip O. Kriett, Sebastian Eirich, Martin Grunow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Wafers are produced in an environment with uncertain demand and failure-prone machines. Production planners have to react to changes of both machine availability and target output, and revise plans appropriately. The scientific community mostly proposes WIP-oriented mid-term production planning to solve this problem. In such approaches, production is planned by defining targets for throughput rates and buffer levels of selected operations. In industrial practice, however, cycle time-oriented planning is often preferred over WIP-oriented planning. We therefore propose a new linear programming formulation, which facilitates cycle time-oriented mid-term production planning in wafer fabrication. This approach plans production by defining release quantities and target cycle times up to selected operations. It allows a seamless integration with the subordinate scheduling level. Here, least slack first scheduling translates target cycle times into lot priorities. We evaluate our new methodology in a comprehensive simulation study. The results suggest that cycle time-oriented mid-term production planning can both increase service level and reduce cycle time compared to WIP-oriented planning. Further, it requires less modelling effort and generates plans, which are easier to comprehend by human planners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4662-4679
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number16
StatePublished - 18 Aug 2017


  • cycle time reduction
  • linear programming
  • optimisation
  • production planning
  • scheduling
  • semiconductor manufacture
  • service level


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