SkyWater technology uses ETQ Reliance to streamline quality, showcase ROI

by Tom Perkins, Quality Manager, SkyWater Florida

SkyWater headquarters, Florida

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Tom Perkins, Quality Manager, SkyWater Florida

SkyWater is a US-owned semiconductor manufacturer and a DMEA-accredited Trusted supplier. Its Technology as a ServiceSM model streamlines the path to production for customers with development services, volume production, and heterogeneous integration solutions in its world-class US facilities.

Meeting the need

SkyWater realised that it needed to streamline its quality journey. Historically, the company had relied on an antiquated document management system and typically used spreadsheets and emails to manage quality concerns. And with multiple systems for training and environment, health & safety (EHS), there was no clear path or easy way to drive systematic improvements.

“I’m going to use my favorite quote – ETQ is like bowling without gutters. You cannot miss. The system is so scalable – all of the information is in one place, and it’s only going to help improve the process,” explains Tom Perkins, SkyWater Florida Quality Manager.

After gathering internal requirements, SkyWater’s quality team identified three eQMS providers and demoed each solution. Ultimately, the company selected ETQ Reliance based on its ease of use, full solution availability, and support for the GovCloud security standard.

“The ROI modelling from ETQ is phenomenal. It allowed us to show how we can streamline operations and reduce costs.”

Tom Perkins
Quality Manager, SkyWater Florida

Figure 1. Fab microscope

Figure 1. A powerful microscope is needed to view the maze-like structure of a silicon chip for semiconductors.

Filling the gap

SkyWater initially focused on implementing corrective and preventative actions (CAPA), audit management, risk register, and accident & safety reporting. And even before taking the system live, staff recognised ETQ Reliance’s value, purchasing additional application sets focused on enterprise risk, new product introduction, and non- conformance management.

The implementation of ETQ Reliance allowed SkyWater to shift from a reactive to a proactive state, enabling the company to streamline its work and eliminate non-value- added activities — meaning staff can focus on activities that effectively drive the business.

Additionally, ETQ Reliance’s ROI modelling has helped SkyWater’s quality team show clear pathways to optimise operations and reduce costs.

 “The ROI modelling from ETQ is phenomenal. It allowed us to show how we can streamline operations and reduce costs,” Perkins explains. Specific benefits by value driver include:
  • Reducing the risk of non-compliance: 51%
  • Streamline operations: 11%
  • Reducing costs: 12%
  • Grow/protect revenue: 26%

Before implementing Reliance, gathering ROI data was a tedious, trial-and-error process; with ROI data kept by various people in various formats, it was difficult to measure a quality initiative’s return on investment effectively. Since implementing ETQ Reliance, SkyWater has easily and more accurately illustrated the ROI of quality investments across the organisation, including executives in the C-suite.


Looking forward

SkyWater plans to implement document control, training management, and customer feedback modules later this year. Those plans also include completing health & safety implementation. Shortly after, the company plans to add change management, failure mode & effects analysis (FMEA), non-conformance reporting (NCR), and compliance obligations functionality.

About SkyWater

SkyWater is a U.S.-based, U.S. investor-owned semiconductor manufacturer, and a DMEA-accredited Category 1A Trusted Foundry. SkyWater’s Technology as a Service (TaaS) model streamlines the path to production for customers with development services, volume production and heterogeneous integration solutions in its world-class U.S. facilities. This pioneering model enables innovators to co-create the next wave of technology with diverse categories including mixed-signal CMOS, ROICs, rad-hard ICs, power management, MEMS, superconducting ICs, photonics, carbon nanotubes and interposers.

SkyWater serves growing markets including aerospace & defense, automotive, biomedical, cloud & computing, consumer, industrial and IoT. As the pioneer of the Technology Foundry model, SkyWater is the Trusted Innovation Partner for technologies of the future, specialising in co-creating advanced, scalable solutions in a production environment with mixed-signal CMOS as well as superconducting, photonic, and carbon nanotube technologies. With decades of site heritage as an innovation service provider, SkyWater helps customers efficiently develop and quickly scale their next-generation products.

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