Early supplier involvement leads to cost savings

Alexander Pil
Leestijd: 5 minuten

NTS is ASML’s partner for the development and manufacturing of the source support frame and the reticle stage service unit, among other things. By looking critically at the initial design and the production process, the company was able to drastically reduce the modules’ cost price.

Value engineering and cost-down projects: two topics you don’t immediately associate with ASML, which generally puts technological superiority and functionality front and centre. But the competition isn’t sitting still, and they’re putting better and better systems on the market. That has turned the Veldhoven developers’ attention increasingly to the price tag. ‘We’re building better systems and simultaneously paying attention to costs,’ says Wijnand van Heerd, a procurement account manager at ASML. ‘The two aren’t mutually exclusive. When we want to improve our modules, we ask our suppliers from the start to help us lower the cost.’

A good example of this approach is the partnership between ASML and NTS. the system supplier in Eindhoven is ASML’s development partner for the source support frame (SSF) in its EUV machines and the reticle stage service unit (RSSU) for its NXT systems. ‘Our ambitions for both modules are the same,’ says Van Heerd. ‘We want to put our technology and high-quality products on the market as quickly as possible, which means the supplier has to race along the learning curve and constantly work with us to come up with cost improvements during the introduction, industrialization and volume-production phases. That last one can be tricky. You want to standardize production as fast as you can, while being able to implement any design changes as long as you can.’

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