Graduation assignments Production and Logistics

Improving the control tower for after-sales service supply chains at ASML

The company

ASML is the world's leading provider of lithography systems for the semiconductor industry. ASML designs, develops, integrates, markets and services these advanced systems used by customers – the major global semiconductor manufacturers – to create chips that power a wide array of electronic, communications and information technology products.

ASML’s corporate headquarters is in Veldhoven, the Netherlands. Manufacturing sites and research and development facilities are located in Connecticut, California, Taiwan and the Netherlands. Technology development centers and training facilities are located in Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Taiwan and the United States. Overall, ASML has more than 70 locations in 16 countries. ASML is traded on Euronext Amsterdam and NASDAQ under the symbol ASML.

With over 60 facilities, the ASML organization is extensive yet it is characterized by close cooperation — internally, and with customers and suppliers worldwide. The structure reflects ASML’s business strategy, which is based on technology leadership, customer focus and operational excellence. Consequently, innovation tailored to the strategic business segments is at the heart of the organization. And this is backed up by comprehensive logistics and customer support.

Supply Chain Management (SCM) is responsible for ensuring material availability to ASML’s factories and customers. Any break in material availability can have an unacceptable impact for our customers. So SCM must proactively identify and solve potential issues by working closely with our technical departments and customers, and actively managing an extensive supplier base. With over 500 highly educated and motivated people, SCM has contributed to ASML being named “Best Factory” in the Netherlands. In 2013, SCM was rewarded with the “VLM Nederlandse Logistiek Prijs 2013”. For more information, please visit http://www.asml.com/scm.

ASML has service contracts with their customers, in which performance agreements are made. For example, a maximum number of hours downtime that is allowed per time period. A service contract is typically based on multiple systems that a customer procured from ASML. To satisfy the customers and to avoid penalties for exceeding the maximum system downtime, ASML monitors the status of their service contracts. If, for example, ASML is running at 90% of the maximum downtime allowed for a certain service contract, an alert is generated that ASML is at risk, and interventions are needed to avoid more downtime.

Background of the project

This graduation project is part Work Package 3 of a larger research project called ProSeLoNext. This work package deals with the operational control of resources (e.g. service parts) for maintenance of assets, where tactical decisions (e.g. inventory levels) are given. Based on the actual status of the supply chains, it is important that upcoming issues like understocking or overstocking are identified early, such that preventive actions can be taken. Other fields are (i) identification of delays in the physical distribution process having serious consequences, such that corrective actions can be invoked, (ii) reverse logistics, i.e. whether to return and repair failed parts that have been removed from the assets, and how to route them with which priority level. This is part of the service control tower concept, aiming to co-ordinate operational control actions in a global service supply chain.

ASML has built an own service control tower at the level of individual stock keeping units (12NCs in the terminology of ASML: 12 digit numerical code) Using the Control Tower application, the status of the various 12NCs in the service supply chain is monitored, the development of the status for the next period is forecasted given demand rates and planned replenishment order arrival graphs, and alerts are generated to facilitate pro-active interventions to avoid issues like over- or understocking. Every week, ASML checks the alerts generated by the control tower, and decides in a meeting on interventions to prevent issues.

The assignment

Even though ASML already has an extensive and useful service control tower, there is still room for improvement. One of the improvement options is to add pro-active interventions at 12NC level to reduce downtime risks, e.g. by expediting shipments or rebalancing inventories (emergency shipments from upstream the supply chain, or using lateral transshipments from locations nearby at the same echelon level). These interventions are taken pro-actively in anticipation of shortages expected to occur, rather than in response to actual shortages.

Your key tasks within this assignment are:

  • Develop a optimization planning model for pro-active operational decisions in the spare part supply chain, such that it can be embedded in the current service control tower at ASML
  • Analyze the added value of such automated pro-active decisions for ASML in a pilot study.
  • Provide a clear description of the current control tower and generate a prioritized list of improvement options; also check the corresponding data availability

Requirements

You are an enthusiastic MSc student Industrial Engineering and Management / Econometrics  with good communication skills. You are able to work independently and to organize and run your own project smoothly.

Starting date

As soon as a qualified candidate is available

Contact persons

If you are interested, please send a CV and motivation letter to: