TRIZ-based Systematic Device Trimming: Theory and Application



     This work developed a systematic Device Trimming Algorithm with theory and an application example. The method is based on TRIZ (Theory of Inventive Problem Solving) methodology and can be used to trim components of any physical devices/products with various benefits without com- promising its performance. It can also be used to resolve process-machine problems by re-designing the problematic processing machines with fewer components and less cost. The trimming process is orchestrated by a trimming plan which consists of sequenced trimming tasks. Elements of each trimming task include function carrier, useful function, object, trimming rule, new carrier, trimming problem statement, and trimming method. A 2-loop depth-first recursive trimming process is proposed to maximize the trimming effect. Applied on a slit-valve failure of a piece of chemical vapor deposition equipment in one of major Taiwanese foundry companies, the proposed problem solving process successfully identified the critical key disadvantages of the problem and solved the slit-valve failure with breakthrough results. A number of solutions were generated by the integrated process which involves a number of TRIZ tools. This paper describes only the solution by the trimming process. The main contributions of this paper include:1) Establishing an integrated trimming process consistent with TRIZ problem-solving model and capable of breakthrough problem solving and cost savings; 2) Solving the slit-valve problem with 83.3% component count reduction, 95% component cost reduction, 99% operational energy reduction, and completely designed-out the original failure mode. The results have been converted into a patent pending approval.