Kinsus Builds Knowledge Base of Major Abnormalities and New Product Development Empowered by Vitals PSMS [VP1] to Secure Quality and Technological Edge
Over the past two years, the global semiconductor industry has faced challenges meeting exponential global demand. Benefiting from the rapid growth in market demand, many semiconductor-related companies have seen their sales continue to rise. One such example is Kinsus Interconnect Technology Corporation, which is mainly engaged in the R&D, manufacturing and sales of IC carrier substrates. The company achieved an annual growth rate of 612% in profit in 2021. In fact, in addition to increased market demand, technology and quality are important keys behind the high growth of Kinsus.
Founded in 1990, the major shareholder of Kinsus is the Pegatron Group. Since its inception, Kinsus has invested a lot of resources in the R&D and manufacturing technology of IC packaging carrier substrates. By assuring the quality and technological edge of its products, the company has succeeded in gaining broad recognition from many customers, which has enabled it to rank among its peers in Taiwan in terms of profitability and gross margin, even though the company was established later than many others in the industry.
In recent years, with the emergence of cloud, big data, artificial intelligence, 5G and other technology applications, the related chip packaging process requires ABF substrates, driving the expansion of the ABF market. With a keen knack of market development and demand, Kinsus invested in ABF substrate production capabilities early on, and has been expanding its ABF production capacity in the past year while actively promoting internal digital transformation. The company has introduced various technologies to empower its employees, hoping to strengthen its competitiveness and widen the gap with competitors. The Vitals ESP Enterprise Knowledge Collaboration Platform and the Vitals PSMS Problem-Solving Methods System are an integral part of Kinsus's digital transformation plan.
Quality System Department Vitals PSMS Establishes a Knowledge Base of Major Abnormalities to Speed Up Processing Lead Time
At present, Kinsus has applied the Vitals PSMS on the platform to two major operational processes. One is the corrective action request (CAR) in the Quality Assurance Department, and the other is the New Product Introduction (NPI) in the Advanced Product Introduction Department, hoping to solve the inconvenience of data search for colleagues and further improve the efficiency of major abnormalities handling and new product development.
Ms. Yen-Ling Chang, Senior Director of Quality Systems Department, pointed out that Kinsus attaches great importance to product quality and reviews the latest international regulations, current production practices and customer requirements on a rolling basis every year to list the aspects that need to be updated or improved and to assist production line employees in implementing relevant quality control requirements.
In addition to the regular annual inspections, major abnormalities that occur from time to time are the key to improving the quality of Kinsus products. Chang further added that whenever a major abnormality occurs, the quality assurance department will invite relevant colleagues from each department to meet and discuss relevant improvement measures to be implemented. After the major abnormality is handled and closed, the relevant documents will be stored in the computers of each employee in each department.
Since the stakeholders participating in each major abnormal event improvement meeting are different, in the absence of a unified platform for centralized management of relevant documents, when a major abnormal event occurs again next time, if the relevant personnel did not participate in the previous meeting and need past information, they can only resort to contacting the colleagues of each department for help one by one. This is a troublesome and time-consuming process because the relevant stakeholder may be on vacation, on a business trip, out of his or her seat, or may result in a response such as “You need to ask another colleague to find out more about this matter,” and it often takes a while to find the right information required.
“But after introducing the Vitals PSMS, the platform compiles the relevant documents into a knowledge base of major abnormalities, including CARs and 8D reports.” Chang noted that by logging into the platform, colleagues can find the major abnormal events that have occurred before from the master list, including the background of occurrence, cause analysis and improvement activities, saving valuable time from back-and-forth communication, which helps to avoid the recurrence of major abnormal events.
Not only that, Vitals PSMS is designed to meet the data security needs of Kinsus. For some major abnormalities that are relatively confidential, permissions can be locked in advance and colleagues are required to submit applications before they can view the documents to reduce the risk of leakage of confidential data.
Integrated Product Development Knowledge Base to Shorten Feasibility Evaluation Cycle
Actual applications for the Product Integration Department are actually quite similar to the Quality Assurance Department, in that it is also positioned as a knowledge base for product development, so that colleagues can search records of past new product development projects in one central repository, which also helps to improve the efficiency of New Product Introduction (NPI).
According to Ms. Hsueh-Ping Chien, Senior Manager of Product Integration Department, a new product development project requires a lot of information to be prepared during the execution process, including product design, abnormalities occurred on the production line, handling methods and improvement measures, as well as correspondence records with customers, etc. These information usually come in different formats, such as MS Office documents, emails, forms from the sign-off system, etc. Due to the inconsistent formats and the lack of a centralized recordkeeping platform, the data is scattered across various computers, folders or other systems. Now, with the Vitals PSMS, all information can be consolidated in one place, which saves valuable time and effort for future investigation and improvement.
More importantly, in 2021, Kinsus introduced the Design for Manufacturability (DFM) system, which clearly defines the various stages of new product development and the documents that need to be prepared. With the introduction of Vitals PSMS, engineers can easily search historical data to avoid work duplication and to refer to similar development experience and decision making process, which helps to shorten the development cycle of new products.
However, in order to quickly find the information you need in a huge amount of data, search accuracy becomes crucial. “Vitals PSMS is the most popular and most frequently used feature for finding documents more precisely with its handy in-text search function,” said Chien with a confident tone.
The keyword search function of many systems in the market can only compare the file name or the author's customized keywords, but everyone is accustomed to different terms, and the file name or keywords set for the same data may be different due to different authors. Therefore, if you compare only these two items, you often cannot find the data accurately in the first place, while Vitals PSMScan crawl through file name, author's custom keywords to the detailed content, which can relatively improve the accuracy of search results.
In addition to the content search function, Vitals PSMS has a web-based interface that simplifies the workload of IT administrators, providing a comprehensive and rich system functionality, which reduces the extent of customization and speeds up the introduction process, which is why Kinsus chose to partner with Vitals. In the future, Kinsus will continue to deepen and broaden the functionality of Vitals ESP within the organization. By promoting the centralized uploading of documents from each department to the knowledge management platform, the company will continue to strengthen its technological and quality advantages through the centralized management of knowledge documents, and gradually achieve its goal of becoming a global industry leader.