Product Design For Safety – Hey, They Don’t Teach This Stuff In Schools!

Fessler, Mark
(TEL, Chandler, AZ)

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Product safety regulations are forever changing – it’s not a point in time activity. (e.g. “Compliance” is more than a one-time event!). It is an ongoing design review process that must be monitored, maintained, and managed consistently if an organization wants to effectively mitigate risk and stay compliant. One of the biggest problems today is when new engineering graduates are hired on to work at an semiconductor equipment manufacturer; they are ill prepared to design to the existing product safety (and environmental) regulations. Why? They just don’t teach the details of such design standards in our US engineering schools. They should, but they don’t. Yes, there are degrees you can get in Occupational Health and Safety, or even “Environmentally-specific” degrees, but a large gap still exists to prepare our current and next generation design engineers to fully comprehend the complexities of equipment design regulations. This presentation will give a brief overview of the product safety standards progression in semiconductor industry and then focus on how the current challenges for product compliance can be mitigated through focused, internal educational programs. Examples will be provided on how Tokyo Electron has addressed this problem here in the US, and review some of the key regulation changes that are are causing the biggest design concerns today.

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