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Learning with Virtual KLA Tools

Jan 30, 2024 2 min read

KLA employees are using augmented reality – or AR – to support global semiconductor manufacturers with KLA tools on their production floors.

As part of an expanded reach to support customers, the KLA Learning and Knowledge Services team has introduced an augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) platform that gives KLA’s customer service engineers (CSEs) a very close and engaging look at hard-to-locate components that they must service at customer sites.

In a learner-centric model, providing learners with the most up-to-date knowledge is critical. KLA initially developed the AR/VR platform due to COVID-19 travel restrictions and the need to enhance learning experiences, but CSEs are now using it during customer visits.

“While wearing a headset, CSEs can literally walk around inside a life-size, virtual KLA tool model and see what they can’t see in real life. Engaging with virtual beam parts, lasers and other components gives them a new dimension – knowledge they can take with them to customer visits.”

Steve Howard, program manager, Mixed Education Reality and Multimedia, KLA

Now being deployed globally both as training tool and a practical way for CSEs to connect remotely with KLA’s technology experts during highly complex service calls, pop-ups and animations with explanations and notes help users quickly learn where to find components. In fact, CSEs can don the headset during service calls to swiftly review what they learned in class about a particular tool before starting work.

For challenging issues, CSEs can receive virtual documents through their headsets from TSEs that are relevant to their task. The TSE can even ask for a live video feed and will be able to view exactly what the CSE is seeing.

The platform is so interactive that a TSE can actually zoom in and point to individual components in a virtual way so CSEs can see them. These video links are encrypted, and the footage is narrowly focused on only the KLA tool without showing other parts of a customer facility.

More than 60 lessons can be taught using KLA’s AR/VR technology. Training took place at a high rate in 2023, according to Steve, with hundreds of CSEs haven taken the AR/VR lessons, impacting their work at hundreds of customer fabs globally.

“Feedback from the field has been generally positive – I think specifically, our newer CSEs are keen to use AR/VR, but the more experienced employees require less of a visual experience because they’ve been at it for longer periods of time,” Steve says.

LKS is working to make the experience even more interactive – with functionality that improves both training and field service capabilities, which ultimately helps drive exceptional customer tool ownership experiences.

Read the first in our series on KLA’s LKS organization.

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