Guido de Boer

Devilish dilemmas in the balancing act of outsourcing high-tech modules and components


In high tech systems development, it is common sense to focus all R&D activity on core technology. In this way, all investments can be directed to the goal of a high tech company: getting world-class performance and grabbing the top position in the market. This means outsourcing the rest, like manufacturing and relying on standard components. Its a strategy that has many advantages. Risk and cash outflow are greatly reduced and the company has a better grip on time to market.

All this sounds simple, but in practice, the choice between in-house development and outsourcing can be a devilish dilemma. What if all available standard components have a negative impact on the performance of your machine? In its ambition to develop electron beam lithography equipment, Mapper Lithography (now ASML) had to balance the outsourcing of critical components and in house development many times.

Guido de Boer, responsible for software, mechanics and the layout of the Mapper machines, will elaborate on this crucial subject. De Boer distinguishes four to five levels of abstraction to define the parts or modules that can be outsourced. He is convinced that a more scientific approach is possible for tackling the problem to outsource yes or no.