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How to Capitalize on Changes in Customer Value Drivers

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By Doug Lawson Doug Lawson

Situation
In its early days as a small, privately held business the Company focused on customized robotic systems for manufacture of semiconductors in a relatively niche-y market of clean room applications. As the semiconductor industry approached the transition to larger 200mm diameter silicon wafers, Company managers engaged in extended customer discussions, largely focused on the technical implications of the transition. During these discussions customers highlighted a major concern related to larger wafers: the health and safety issues caused by the weight of the wafer carrier boxes transported between process steps by human operators throughout the factory. As the Company considered this "non-technical" concern about more frequent human injuries we began to realize the factory-wide implications of this shift in the market presented an opportunity for rapid growth of the semiconductor automation category.

Carrier Weight Vs. Wafer Size
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