Estimating the cycle time of each job in a wafer fabrication factory is critical. An equally critical problem is to estimate the range of a cycle time. This topic has rarely been discussed because most existing methods for range calculation establish only a symmetric range. However, a symmetric range does not meet the requirements of managerial applications based on the lower and upper bounds of a cycle time. Recently, a few researchers have attempted to establish the asymmetric bounds of a cycle time. However, these methods either have overly complex computations or do not consistently perform well. This study proposes a new approach for effective cycle-time bounding. First, construction of a back propagation network predicts the cycle time of a job. Second, two linear functions of the output are formed, and the threshold on the output node is fuzzified to derive the lower and upper bounds of the cycle time. In theory, such a treatment tightens the lower and upper bounds and improves the forecasting precision. Third, theorems for the feasibility of the two linear functions are proved. Fourth, a cloud computing scheme is proposed to improve the bounds in an effective manner. Finally, a real case illustrates the applicability of the proposed methodology. Experimental results show that this methodology narrows the range of cycle times for untrained data by 31 %, while maintaining a considerably high hit rate of 92.5 %.
- Back propagation network (BPN)
- Cloud computing
- Cycle time
- Wafer fabrication