Advanced Energy and Symphony Systems Roll Out Suite of Productivity Tools For the Chip Industry

Proven System Enables Fabs to Delay New Tool Investments

By Increasing Asset Productivity



Apr 17, 2001, 01:00 ET from Advanced Energy Industries, Inc.

    FORT COLLINS, Colo. and CAMPBELL, Calif., April 17 /PRNewswire/ --
 Advanced Energy Industries, Inc. (Nasdaq: AEIS) and Symphony Systems, a
 leading supplier of network-based applications and open-architecture software
 solutions for the semiconductor industry, announced today a new suite of
 applications designed to dramatically improve the performance of equipment
 used to manufacture chips -- the EPM(TM) Equipment Productivity Manager.  This
 new product, which addresses productivity concerns for chipmakers,
 semiconductor equipment manufacturers and sensor makers alike, performs a
 multitude of tasks from assisting maintenance of tools in the cleanroom to
 web-enabled troubleshooting and analysis.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000609/AEISLOGO )
     In March 2000, Advanced Energy (AE) and Symphony formed a strategic
 partnership to deliver an advanced network-based infrastructure that
 seamlessly connects people, equipment, and information to form a global
 resource management system that will dramatically improve overall equipment
 productivity.  Under this agreement, both AE and Symphony will develop,
 market, and support these products for semiconductor OEMs and end-users, while
 AE will exclusively distribute these products to the semiconductor industry as
 a whole.
     The EPM suite is a comprehensive offering that provides network
 connectivity, web-based automated data collection, a high-performance, real-
 time database for time-series parametric data, and an integrated suite of data
 analysis applications.  When the tool is connected to the network, multiple
 applications can share the tool and database, communicating through open
 object interfaces, such as ActiveX controls, and ODBC.  The EPM suite provides
 the platform for e-diagnostic and APC solutions.  These include network
 connectivity, data collection and data archiving from key sources including
 process equipment, sensors and subsystems.  Also, the EPM suite has open
 architecture allowing users to rapidly build their own applications.
     This announcement follows on the heels of Symphony and Advanced Energy's
 recent introduction of the eSES(TM) External Symphony Equipment Server, a key
 component of the new software suite.  The eSES offers the hardware and
 software platform for complete tool integration required by engineers and
 suppliers, while facilitating e-diagnostics.  The web-enabled (Intranet and
 Internet) eSES connectivity solution combines equipment data with sensor data
 inputs, providing one interface for all users and applications.
     In addition to the eSES product, the EPM suite includes: the Data
 Collection Manager (DCM(TM)) for advanced data collection capability; Aspen
 Technologies' high-performance real-time InfoPlus.21(TM) (IP.21) database;
 Aspen Technologies' Process Explorer(TM) viewer for data presentation and
 analysis; the Symphony Equipment Tuner for analysis and management of data,
 events, and alarms; and connectivity hardware.
     Dr. Keith Bennett, Symphony president and chief executive officer, points
 out that customers realize both a financial and competitive advantage with the
 EPM solution's single integrated package and its breadth of capabilities.
 "The use of the new EPM suite allows significant cost savings and the
 extension of soon-to-be-obsolete technologies.  For example, an engineer at a
 customer's site determined using Symphony's process graphic analysis tool that
 an etch time in a particular process can be reduced from 55 to 40 seconds
 without affecting wafer quality.  When applied to each of the 25 wafers on
 each cassette, such 'fine tuning' of the process saves a quarter of a million
 dollars a year just on this recipe."
     The EPM product provides a variety of troubleshooting tools for complex
 problems on all types of tools, including multiple chamber systems.  The
 online chamber-level tool data accelerates troubleshooting and maintenance,
 and advanced data retrieval and analysis tools significantly decrease mean
 time to repair (MTTR).  In addition, EPM software reduces process
 re-qualification time by characterizing and comparing data before and after
 the incident.
     The EPM suite's open and flexible architecture allows the easy integration
 of custom and best-of-breed applications for OEE, failure analysis, spare
 parts management and enterprise resource management.  This feature enables
 managers and engineers to make more efficient operational, engineering and
 business decisions based on real-time and historical tool data rather than
 outdated information.  In addition, fabs are implementing the EPM suite as a
 means to deploy network connectivity and automated data collection throughout
 their fab, on assorted tools.  Engineers in the fab can now monitor tools in
 real time via their Intranet, and use web-based applications for data
 analysis.
     Symphony's EPM suite can be installed without requiring changes to
 existing factory automation systems using the host pass-through feature of the
 eSES software.  The unique system architecture allows the rapid deployment of
 the EPM suite throughout the fab.
 
     About Symphony Systems
     Founded in 1997, Symphony uses its network-based tool connectivity
 infrastructure and suite of software applications to seamlessly connect people
 with new and existing equipment within an entire supply chain, allowing
 equipment users, equipment suppliers, parts and consumables suppliers, and
 application software providers, to collaborate to improve equipment
 productivity through real-time equipment interaction.  More information can be
 found on www.symphony-systems.com.
 
     About Advanced Energy
     Advanced Energy is a global leader in the development, marketing, and
 support of technology solutions that are central in the manufacture of
 semiconductors, data storage products, and flat panel displays.  Original
 equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and end-users around the world depend on AE
 products when plasma-based technology plays a vital role in their
 manufacturing process.  AE offers a comprehensive suite of products for vacuum
 process systems, including power management, temperature sensing, dynamic
 temperature control, gas delivery management, process monitoring and machine
 control tools, ion-beam sources, and plasma abatement technologies.  AE
 technology solutions are sold and supported globally by direct offices,
 representatives, and distributors.  Founded in 1981, AE is a publicly held
 company traded on Nasdaq under the symbol AEIS.  AE's URL is
 www.advanced-energy.com.
 
     Safe Harbor Statement
     This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning
 of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  These forward-
 looking statements represent the companies' reasonable judgments with respect
 to future events, but are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause
 actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-
 looking statements.  Among the factors that could cause such different results
 are: the company may not be successful launching the new product into the
 marketplace and the company may face unanticipated manufacturing and marketing
 costs associated with the new product introduction.  These and other
 cautionary statements are discussed in Advanced Energy's SEC reports,
 including its Forms 10-Q and most recent annual report on Form 10-K.  Advance
 Energy continues to be susceptible to fluctuations in quarterly and annual
 revenues and operating results and the volatility and cyclicality of the
 semiconductor and semiconductor capital equipment industries.  The companies
 assume no obligation to update the information in this release.  Free copies
 of this and other documents are available from the SEC at www.sec.gov or
 Advanced Energy at 1625 Sharp Point Drive, Fort Collins, Colorado 80525;
 970-221-4670.
 
 

SOURCE Advanced Energy Industries, Inc.
    FORT COLLINS, Colo. and CAMPBELL, Calif., April 17 /PRNewswire/ --
 Advanced Energy Industries, Inc. (Nasdaq: AEIS) and Symphony Systems, a
 leading supplier of network-based applications and open-architecture software
 solutions for the semiconductor industry, announced today a new suite of
 applications designed to dramatically improve the performance of equipment
 used to manufacture chips -- the EPM(TM) Equipment Productivity Manager.  This
 new product, which addresses productivity concerns for chipmakers,
 semiconductor equipment manufacturers and sensor makers alike, performs a
 multitude of tasks from assisting maintenance of tools in the cleanroom to
 web-enabled troubleshooting and analysis.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000609/AEISLOGO )
     In March 2000, Advanced Energy (AE) and Symphony formed a strategic
 partnership to deliver an advanced network-based infrastructure that
 seamlessly connects people, equipment, and information to form a global
 resource management system that will dramatically improve overall equipment
 productivity.  Under this agreement, both AE and Symphony will develop,
 market, and support these products for semiconductor OEMs and end-users, while
 AE will exclusively distribute these products to the semiconductor industry as
 a whole.
     The EPM suite is a comprehensive offering that provides network
 connectivity, web-based automated data collection, a high-performance, real-
 time database for time-series parametric data, and an integrated suite of data
 analysis applications.  When the tool is connected to the network, multiple
 applications can share the tool and database, communicating through open
 object interfaces, such as ActiveX controls, and ODBC.  The EPM suite provides
 the platform for e-diagnostic and APC solutions.  These include network
 connectivity, data collection and data archiving from key sources including
 process equipment, sensors and subsystems.  Also, the EPM suite has open
 architecture allowing users to rapidly build their own applications.
     This announcement follows on the heels of Symphony and Advanced Energy's
 recent introduction of the eSES(TM) External Symphony Equipment Server, a key
 component of the new software suite.  The eSES offers the hardware and
 software platform for complete tool integration required by engineers and
 suppliers, while facilitating e-diagnostics.  The web-enabled (Intranet and
 Internet) eSES connectivity solution combines equipment data with sensor data
 inputs, providing one interface for all users and applications.
     In addition to the eSES product, the EPM suite includes: the Data
 Collection Manager (DCM(TM)) for advanced data collection capability; Aspen
 Technologies' high-performance real-time InfoPlus.21(TM) (IP.21) database;
 Aspen Technologies' Process Explorer(TM) viewer for data presentation and
 analysis; the Symphony Equipment Tuner for analysis and management of data,
 events, and alarms; and connectivity hardware.
     Dr. Keith Bennett, Symphony president and chief executive officer, points
 out that customers realize both a financial and competitive advantage with the
 EPM solution's single integrated package and its breadth of capabilities.
 "The use of the new EPM suite allows significant cost savings and the
 extension of soon-to-be-obsolete technologies.  For example, an engineer at a
 customer's site determined using Symphony's process graphic analysis tool that
 an etch time in a particular process can be reduced from 55 to 40 seconds
 without affecting wafer quality.  When applied to each of the 25 wafers on
 each cassette, such 'fine tuning' of the process saves a quarter of a million
 dollars a year just on this recipe."
     The EPM product provides a variety of troubleshooting tools for complex
 problems on all types of tools, including multiple chamber systems.  The
 online chamber-level tool data accelerates troubleshooting and maintenance,
 and advanced data retrieval and analysis tools significantly decrease mean
 time to repair (MTTR).  In addition, EPM software reduces process
 re-qualification time by characterizing and comparing data before and after
 the incident.
     The EPM suite's open and flexible architecture allows the easy integration
 of custom and best-of-breed applications for OEE, failure analysis, spare
 parts management and enterprise resource management.  This feature enables
 managers and engineers to make more efficient operational, engineering and
 business decisions based on real-time and historical tool data rather than
 outdated information.  In addition, fabs are implementing the EPM suite as a
 means to deploy network connectivity and automated data collection throughout
 their fab, on assorted tools.  Engineers in the fab can now monitor tools in
 real time via their Intranet, and use web-based applications for data
 analysis.
     Symphony's EPM suite can be installed without requiring changes to
 existing factory automation systems using the host pass-through feature of the
 eSES software.  The unique system architecture allows the rapid deployment of
 the EPM suite throughout the fab.
 
     About Symphony Systems
     Founded in 1997, Symphony uses its network-based tool connectivity
 infrastructure and suite of software applications to seamlessly connect people
 with new and existing equipment within an entire supply chain, allowing
 equipment users, equipment suppliers, parts and consumables suppliers, and
 application software providers, to collaborate to improve equipment
 productivity through real-time equipment interaction.  More information can be
 found on www.symphony-systems.com.
 
     About Advanced Energy
     Advanced Energy is a global leader in the development, marketing, and
 support of technology solutions that are central in the manufacture of
 semiconductors, data storage products, and flat panel displays.  Original
 equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and end-users around the world depend on AE
 products when plasma-based technology plays a vital role in their
 manufacturing process.  AE offers a comprehensive suite of products for vacuum
 process systems, including power management, temperature sensing, dynamic
 temperature control, gas delivery management, process monitoring and machine
 control tools, ion-beam sources, and plasma abatement technologies.  AE
 technology solutions are sold and supported globally by direct offices,
 representatives, and distributors.  Founded in 1981, AE is a publicly held
 company traded on Nasdaq under the symbol AEIS.  AE's URL is
 www.advanced-energy.com.
 
     Safe Harbor Statement
     This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning
 of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  These forward-
 looking statements represent the companies' reasonable judgments with respect
 to future events, but are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause
 actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-
 looking statements.  Among the factors that could cause such different results
 are: the company may not be successful launching the new product into the
 marketplace and the company may face unanticipated manufacturing and marketing
 costs associated with the new product introduction.  These and other
 cautionary statements are discussed in Advanced Energy's SEC reports,
 including its Forms 10-Q and most recent annual report on Form 10-K.  Advance
 Energy continues to be susceptible to fluctuations in quarterly and annual
 revenues and operating results and the volatility and cyclicality of the
 semiconductor and semiconductor capital equipment industries.  The companies
 assume no obligation to update the information in this release.  Free copies
 of this and other documents are available from the SEC at www.sec.gov or
 Advanced Energy at 1625 Sharp Point Drive, Fort Collins, Colorado 80525;
 970-221-4670.
 
 SOURCE  Advanced Energy Industries, Inc.