Factory Commander® v3.2 Release Notes


Installing Factory Commander®

To install this application you will need to first download the FC32Setup.exe installation program from the WWK download site.  This site requires a specific user name and password.  If not known, contact WWK.


Before you start this download, it is advisable that you delete all files from the Temporary Files folder of your browser.  This folder is where the download file temporarily resides during the download process.  In certain instances where files from previous file transfers exist, the program executable becomes corrupted.  This in turn prevents installation of the Factory Commander® v3.1 application.  To clear these files in Internet Explorer go to Tools / Internet Options and click the “Delete Files…” button in the Temporary Internet File.  Once this download is complete, run the FC31Setep.exe program on your PC.  Follow the directions shown on the screens.  This program can be installed and will run independently on systems that also have previous release of Factory Commander® installed.


Updating Factory Commander®

Once you have completed the installation, run the latest update patch (FC320xxUpdate.exe) also located on this site.  This provides fixes made from the time of the installer program was created until now.  It contains the latest program executable, CHM help file, and other related files.  Updates are posted to this site periodically without notice, so check for the latest prior to using the application.  If you have difficulties installing the setup program or find bugs in the Factory Commander v3.2 application itself, please contact WWK tech support at [email protected].


If you are currently using the beta version of Factory Commander® v3.2, you will need to uninstall the beta program and install this release.  This action will not alter or remove user data or change program default settings.  Once the v3.2 program has been installed download and install the latest patch.


HASP Key Driver Installation

If Factory Commander® is being installed for the first time on your system, you will need to load the HASP device drivers.  Run the Hasp Setup.exe from the \Factory Commander 3.2 folder or by Windows Start menu: Start | Programs | Factory Commander v3.2 | Install HASP Drivers. Note that the same HASP key used can be used for this release and any prior release of Factory Commander, so you should not need to reinstall the drivers if you are using a prior release on the same computer system.


HASP key and Parallel Port Activation

To run Factory Commander, the workstation where the program is installed must be able to communicate with one of four types of HASP security keys: a parallel port workstation key (white), a USB port key (purple), a time-limited USB port key (black) or a network server key (red).  If a local key is used, it must be physically connected to your computer’s parallel/USB port.  Use of the local parallel port key may require activation of that port on your computer.  This is often the case in networked environments where LAN printers are used and this port has been intentionally disabled.  If after installing both Factory Commander® and the HASP drivers, the program calculations do not run with the parallel port key, check your system BIOS to verify that this port is turned on or set to ECP.   If the Network HASP key is used, this key must be physically connect to the parallel port of a server on the network, and the workstation running Factory Commander® must be able to see this server.  Use of the Network HASP key requires a network licensing arrangement from WWK.


Windows XP or Vista Installations

Installation of Factory Commander® on to the Windows XP or Windows Vista operating system requires Administrator privileges to be able to make changes to the Windows registry.  If you do not have these rights contact your IT support or network administrator and have them log on to your system as Administrator to allow program installation.  Administrator privileges are not required for the program’s use or for running the program updates (patches).


Upgrading Model Data

The function of upgrading models is irreversible.  Therefore, if you want to use this release with prior version models (3.1 or earlier), you will need to make copies of the model files prior to upgrading them.  To do this go to Windows Explorer and copy your *.fcm files to a different location such as C:\Program Files\Factory Commander 3.2\Data.  Run the Factory Commander® v3.2 program and locate the model file to be upgraded from the Open Model dialog.  Upon opening the model, the program will identify it as being the previous version and prompt you to confirm the model upgrade process.  As part of the upgrade process, new data fields will be added and outdated fields removed.


Major Enhancements & Changes in this Release

The following describes the significant enhancements either completed or in progress that will be included in the next release of Factory Commander®, Version 3.2, with respect to Version 3.1.

·         Process Record Types Added – Processes can now be defined as entities separate from products.  Individual process records can be defined in the model, much the way other record can be defined, and the processes can be assigned to products.  This allows the same process to be used at multiple products.  Each processes is now the entity defined by a series of process steps, as opposed to products, as was the case in Factory Commander v3.1 and prior.  Production unit names and unit conversion factors (e.g. # of Dies per Wafer) have been moved from the product level to the process level.  All other parameters (e.g. lot and batch sizes, production demand, starting material cost, sales price, etc.) remain at the product level.  See Process Modeling and Process Definition.

·         Ability to Specify Production Demand Time Span – Users can now define production demand in time periods that may be different (typically smaller) than the modeling time period (e.g. wafers per week as opposed to wafers per quarter or year).   The available choices for the demand time frame are “per modeling period”, “per month”, “per week”, and “per day”.  The quantity of production units input for the selected time span is intended to be an assumed average for the modeling timeframe period.  A new factory-level field has been added to models for user to select the Production Demand time frame.  See the Modeling Timeframe or the  Production Demand screens.

·         Enhanced Import/Export Excel Data Files Format – The native Factory Commander Excel templates now includes two features to enhance their usage.  The first is that templates exported from the program now contain a field-identifying row (Row 1), which is hidden by default.  The data in this row is the name of the internal Factory Commander field, and it is used by the program to ensure the column is uniquely and properly associated with the internal database.  One benefit of this feature is that users can now edit templates without impacting the program’s ability to read the template’s data on import.  For instance, a column can be added and any information entered in that column, e.g. commentary, reminders, etc., will be ignored on import.  It also enables future releases of Factory Commander to read and accept v3.2 template files even if data structure has changed between releases.  The other feature is a new column (Column A) is now added to the export of templates to identify whether the row contains importable user data.  If the cell in this column includes any alphanumeric character, such as an 'X' or the word “data” in it, then that row's data is importable and can be read by Factory Commander upon import.  Otherwise, if this cell remains blank, the entire data row is ignored and that record is excluded from the internal database upon import.

·         Ability to Copy Same Value to All Other Rows in a Grid When in a grid, you can now copy a value from a record to all other records (rows) in that grid.  This feature applies to most of the multi-record grids, and to both numeric and alpha-numeric data fields.  This feature can be accessed by right clicking from within a grid's cell, and selecting the Copy to All Records option from that pop-up menu.

·         Default Processing Type can be Specified at Tool Group – A field now appears on the Equipment Utilization screen titled Processing Type, similar to that presented on the step's Throughput Capacity screen.  This field's selection serves as a default for the process step where the tool group is assigned and the Use Default Throughput checkbox is selected for the step(s).  This feature effectively replaces the "Use Batching" checkbox that was previously associated with the tool group (if one of the Use Batching selection is made for the tool group's Processing Type, use batching is assumed).  See Default Throughput at Equipment and Process Step Throughput.


Other Changes


·         Added Option to Choose Time Span for the Capacity Reports – Applies to capacity-specific reports: Volume & Yield, Equipment Utilization and Production Capacity at Step.  Unit production is now only displayed for these reports in either weekly starts wafer.

·         Renamed Sampling Rates to Usage Rates – The inputs known as "Sampling Rates" that were presented in Process Step data screen have now been re-termed to "Usage Rate".  This name change comes as a result of how these input have been used in practice.  It is common for these inputs to be used for purposes that had nothing to do with true process sampling.  This is a terminology change only, and no input or output data are effected.

·         Eliminated Testbed Standard as an Import/Export format – This standard is outdated and does not have any cost data associated with it. With the ability to do direct data import and export with Factory Explorer, there is no longer a need for the Testbed format as an interim medium.

·         Depreciation Schedule Screen Redesign – The depreciation schedule screen has been changed so that both the pre-defined and user-defined depreciation method appear on the same grid.

·         Building Lease Costs Expanded to Separated Annual Inputs –  Inputs for building lease have been expanded to separate annual inputs for the first 6 years of the modeling time frame.  This inputs have also been moved from the Building Capital screen to a separate screen that accessed via a button presented on the Building Capital screen.

·         Added Ability to Defined Decimals for Unit Conversion Factors – See input on Other Modeling Settings page of the General Model Options screen.