Changes to the SPM Process Improves Efficiency and Results

The sulfuric acid hydrogen peroxide mixture (SPM) process effectively strips and cleans wafers but suffers from instability due to the decomposition of the hydrogen peroxide. A heated bath improves performance but increases the rate at which hydrogen peroxide changes into water. Periodically spiking the mixture with extra hydrogen peroxide can restore the required concentration but affects the strip rate. As a result, the SPM mixture has to be changed frequently, leading to high costs for chemicals and frequent downtime on wet bench stations. Working closely with a local semiconductor manufacturer, Modutek has developed a “bleed and feed” process upgrade that addresses these problems and results in substantially longer mixture life and improved process results.

The SPM Process

A typical mixture for the SPM strip and clean process is one part hydrogen peroxide to three parts sulfuric acid. The sulfuric acid parts can go as high as 7 parts but once the process has started, if the concentration changes, the strip rate can change as well. The mixture is heated to 130 to 140 degrees centigrade to increase the strip rate. The higher the temperature, the faster the hydrogen peroxide decomposes to water, diluting the mixture.

To keep hydrogen peroxide in the mixture, more of the chemical is periodically added to the process, spiking the concentration back to its original level. Despite this, the mixture is normally usable for only a few hours at a time and typically has to be replaced several times a day. Replacing the mixture is costly and requires repeated downtime when processing has to wait for a new pour. In addition to the costs of the chemicals, there are treatment and disposal costs that are required to comply with environmental regulations.

Modutek’s “Bleed and Feed” Process Change

Modutek has developed a hydrogen peroxide spiking method that keeps the chemical mixture at a predictable concentration and avoids the requirement for frequent replacement. The method reduces consumption of the chemicals and lets the system run for extended periods without down- time.

Using a two-tank dirty and clean tank process, the “bleed and feed” method involves draining a programmable amount of mixture from the dirty tank prior to each process step. Another programmable amount is fed from the clean tank to the dirty tank. Then programmable amount of sulfuric acid is added to the clean tank and both tanks receive programmable amount of hydrogen peroxide.

When the entire mixture has to be replaced, normally about once every week, the system has a quick drain feature that reduces down time and gets the process up and running again quickly. The whole “bleed and feed” spiking method is PLC controlled and the periodic adding and spiking of chemicals allows the mixture to be used continuously for days at a time.

Benefits of the Modutek Process Change

In addition to savings related to the reduced use of chemicals, the new update improves overall efficiency and achieves better results. Instead of having to shut down the wet bench station every shift to pour new acid, the process can run for days and only requires a complete chemical change once per week. In addition, the process is cleaner and can deliver better cleaning and stripping performance.

Modutek is offering the SPM process upgrade on their new wet bench stations and can provide details regarding chemical use and performance. The company has the experience and expertise to help customers more effectively use the SPM and other processes to ensure they obtain the results they need. Call Modutek at 866-803-1533 for any questions you have with using either the updated SPM process or other wet processes needed for your application.

 

Modutek at 2018 Semicon Conference in China

2018 Semicon Conference ChinaModutek Corporation, a leading provider of wet bench stations and wet process equipment, will be at the Semicon Conference in Shanghai China from March 14-16, 2018 with their factory representative Laserwort Ltd.  They will be located in Hall N2 at booth 2431. Information about the Semicon Conference can be referenced at http://www.semiconchina.org/ and details on Modutek’s attendance at the conference can be referenced at: Modutek at Semicon Conference in China

Come by the Modutek /Laserwort booth to get information and answer any questions you have about using Wet Bench Process Stations for acid/base, solvent and ozone cleaning or photo resist strip.  In addition Modutek will also provide information about the benefits of their new IPA vapor dryer with the HF last process. Modutek serves customers around the world who require any type of wet processing equipment and builds chemical delivery systems for pharmaceutical, biochemical, solar and semiconductor manufacturing.

Additional details on some of Modutek’s products are listed below:

Single Chamber HF Last IPA Vapor Dryer

Benefits include:

  • Most drying cycles completed within 10 to 15 minutes
  • Very low consumption of IPA
  • No moving parts inside drying chamber eliminating wafer breakage
  • Eliminates watermarks
  • Drying technology can be designed into wet bench eliminating one transfer step

Features include:

  • Single drying chamber for DI water rinsing and IPA vapor drying
  • On board HF metering for precision mix ratios
  • Uses an in situ HF etch process with a rinse step before the IPA drying cycle
  • Filter bypass for contamination control with no cassette contact points
  • Easy to change IPA bottles
  • Handles all process sizes (standard wafer carriers to glass substrates)

 

Fully-automated Wet Bench Equipment

Benefits include:

  • In house customization to meet customer process requirements
  • Precise automated process execution and reliable repeatability
  • Full automation control with touch screen
  • Improved yield and reduced errors
  • SolidWorks Simulation software for accurate calculation of process parameters
  • All robotics and software design designed in house
  • Complete design, assembly and test at one location to meet your specifications

 

Semi-automated Wet Bench Equipment:

Benefits Include:

  • Automation control with touch screen
  • Servo motor automation
  • SolidWorks Flow Simulation software
  • SolidWorks Simulation Professional software
  • All robotics and software designed and developed in house
  • Complete design, assembly and test at one location to meet your specifications

 

Manual Wet Bench Equipment:

Benefits Include:

  • High end manual equipment at competitive pricing
  • Meets or exceeds all current safety standards
  • Low cost of ownership
  • Designed to meet any process requirements
  • Can accommodate custom designs and processes
  • Equipment designed for future expansion

 

All wet bench equipment supports the following applications:

  • KOH Etching
  • Quartz cleaning
  • Ozone Strip
  • Ozone Cleaning
  • SC1 & SC2 (RCA Clean)
  • Megasonic Cleaning
  • BOE (Buffered Oxide Etching)
  • MEMs processing
  • All solvent applications
  • Hot phosphoric (Nitride Etching)
  • SPM Cleaning
  • Precision Part Cleaning

Modutek has over 37 years of industry experience and expertise in developing and building wet bench stations and wet process equipment that provides highly reliable results for precision processes. They also provide world-class service, and customer support. Contact Modutek at 866-803-1533 or email [email protected] for a free quote or consultation to discuss your requirements.

 

Determining Which Wafer Processing Station Will Meet Your Requirements

Wet bench stations come in a variety of configurations designed for different applications. It can be difficult to make a selection from the many possibilities and make sure the equipment you choose will best meet your requirements. One way to cut down on the uncertainty and to structure the selection process is to emphasize three areas where your needs have to be satisfied.

A Wafer Processing Station has to comply with the standards and regulations in effect for your operation; it has to be able to carry out the processes that you are considering; and it has to be automated in accordance with what you need. When you consider these three areas and find equipment that fulfills your requirements in each one, you will be closer to making a final selection.

Compliance with Standards

Wet bench standards aim to ensure safe operation and resistance to combustion. Modutek wet bench stations comply with the following standards:

  • NFPA 70 – National Fire Protection
  • NFPA 79 – Safety of Industrial Machinery
  • NEC – National Electrical Code
  • UL508a -Standard for Industrial Control Panels

If the equipment is to be installed outside the US, Modutek can also comply with the national standards of Europe (CE Mark), Canada (CSA) and Australia/New Zealand (AS/NZS3000). In addition to complying with these standards, Modutek can supply third party certification for compliance.

Applications

Depending on the process required, Modutek can supply the right systems and advise on the advantages of specific products from their complete line of wet bench equipment. Standard Modutek wet bench stations can support both acid and solvent processes while the stainless-steel line is designed for solvent processes such as those using acetone or IPA. Optional equipment for specific processes is also available.

Automation

Modutek offers manual, semi-automated and fully automated wet bench stations. Which best meets your requirements depends on how you plan to conduct wet process operations. A manual bench may be appropriate for low volume custom or prototype device processes. For higher volume with standard processes, a degree of automation improves your throughput and reduces human error. Modutek’s stations are all built with the same high-quality materials, but the company can supply the degree of automation that matches your needs.

Manual wet bench stations feature competitive pricing with a low total cost of ownership. Modutek can supply the benches at any size and length and to meet any wet process needs. Custom designs are possible and future expansion of the process line is easy.

Semi-automated wet bench stations include robots for uniformity of process execution without the cost of full automation. The servomotors of the robots operate with three degrees of freedom and give you precise control of etching and cleaning. The Modutek-designed software, SolidWorks Simulation Professional and SolidWorks Flow Simulation, calculates process flow. The semi-automated wet bench stations have all the features and characteristics of the manual stations but include a touch screen with a graphic user interface to control the robotics and run the process.

Fully automated wet bench stations track chemical use and ensure precise dosages and accurate process control for improved yields and excellent repeatability. The elimination of human error and fully automated control is especially important for processes with tightly packed semiconductor structures and dense circuitry. Full automation guarantees a consistent process environment that reduces defects and improves output quality.

Modutek designs, assembles and tests all robotic equipment in house and is therefore ideally situated to advise customers on solutions to meet their needs and customize equipment to fit any customer application. The company can help clearly define process requirements for their customers and then propose solutions that allow customers to determine which wafer processing station is ideal for their facility.

 

 

 

Improving Process Control with Fully Automated Wafer Fabrication Equipment

Improving Process Control with Fully Automated Wafer Fabrication EquipmentAn increasing number of silicon wafer fabrication applications, such as those with large size substrates or densely packed components, require tight process control. Accurate chemical dosage and precise process timing become critical for a high-quality output. Manual and semi-automatic controls depend on operator training and reliable operator execution of instructions, leaving open the possibility of human error and a variation in how process steps are carried out. Fully automated wet benches and chemical stations can improve process control accuracy and help with consistent execution. Software can help calculate process variables and ensure correct dosages. Full automation of the wafer fabrication process with the use of software for process control and robotics for wafer handling can result in better repeatability, reduced waste and improve production line performance.

Advantages of Modutek’s Fully Automated Wafer Fabrication Equipment

Modutek designs, develops and manufactures its wafer fabrication equipment in house to the highest quality standards. The SolidWorks Simulation Professional and SolidWorks Flow Simulation software are developed and supported in house by Modutek’s technical personnel. As a result, Modutek has the expertise to determine what is needed to meet the requirements of a specific customer’s application. It can supply standard wet bench chemical stations or customized equipment to exactly meet the needs of its customers, tailoring its equipment and software to fit any special process control requirements.

To satisfy customer requirements, Modutek can draw upon its complete line of wafer fabrication equipment. Its wet benches and chemical stations can handle both solvent and acid applications, and the equipment can process sizes up to 30 inches by 60 inches. Its software can run simulations, calculate chemical dosage and track chemical use. With its in-house expertise, Modutek can offer unparalleled customer support and comprehensive after sales service.

Benefits of Fully Automated Wafer Processing Equipment

Full automation means that the process is set up and can then run repeatedly in exactly the same way without requiring any operator input. Key factors for improved process control are accurate chemical dosage, precise timing of process steps, exact replication of the process sequence and full neutralization of chemical waste. Because operation of the automated program is transparent and recorded, technical personnel can optimize the individual steps to minimize chemical use and reduce waste. Process times can be adjusted to take into account special features of the application and results can be monitored for potential problems.

When the process automation is fully optimized, consumption of chemicals is reduced. Process output stays constant, the number of defective products is lower and the products are of consistently high quality. There are fewer spills and dosage errors while employee safety is higher. Compliance with environmental regulations in terms of chemical use and discharge is easier because chemical consumption is tracked at all times and the neutralization of discharges is ensured. The process environment is consistent and the optimized process can be repeated reliably.

As a result, wafer fabrication facilities that implement full automation experience lower costs due to reduced chemical use. Yield and throughput increase while output quality remains consistent and high. Production line performance and productivity improve and facility profitability can rise.

How Modutek Can Help

With over 35 years experience in wet bench process and wafer fabrication equipment, Modutek can evaluate a customer’s process needs and offer standard equipment or customized solutions as appropriate. Their engineers can work closely with each customer to identify what is required and ensure that the equipment works as expected. Modutek’s fully automated stations are an excellent choice for reliable and technologically advanced solutions to challenging wafer fabrication requirements. If you need highly reliable wafer fabrication equipment to support your semiconductor manufacturing process call Modutek for a free consultation at 866-803-1533 or email [email protected].

Designing Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment for Ergonomics and Safety

Designing Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment for Ergonomics and SafetySemiconductor manufacturing processes routinely use chemicals and procedures that could result in accidents if the manufacturer did not have a serious commitment to safety. Safety guidelines such as SEMI S2, published by the global industry association for microelectronics manufacturers, help manufacturers implement safe operating protocols. Ergonomic designs for semiconductor manufacturing equipment as described in SEMI S8 help ensure a safe operating environment by reducing operator strain and fatigue.

In semiconductor facilities, fire is one of the most damaging threats and burning plastic releases toxic fumes while contaminating clean areas. The Cleanroom Materials Flammability Test Protocol (Class 4910) or the FM 4910 specification allows manufacturers to specify the use of non-flammable materials for their equipment. A comprehensive approach to safety, including ergonomic design and the reduction of fire hazards is the most effective strategy for reducing accidents in a semiconductor manufacturing environment.

Prioritizing Safety When Purchasing Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment

Installations that have been in operation for a number of years may no longer satisfy current safety standards or may not meet the safety goals of the owner. The purchase of new equipment is an ideal opportunity to upgrade existing safety features and to ensure that the new equipment is as safe as possible.

Modutek follows the SEMI safety and ergonomics guidelines to design equipment that is easy to use and doesn’t require excessive reach or strength to operate. Typical examples include the Modutek wafer holding tray and a swing-arm operator interface mount. The wafer holding tray on the Modutek wet benches includes a robot arm that moves the tray to the front of the station for optimal loading with a minimum of effort.

The Modutek operator interface is normally out of the way along the side of the station, but that position is hard to see when an operator is monitoring the process. The ergonomic design allows the operator to swing the interface out and angle it for optimal viewing. The swing arm can rotate along three axes so the operator can place it in whatever position is the most convenient. Once in position, the operator can lock it into place securely, so it doesn’t move inadvertently.

Both of these examples demonstrate how Modutek implements ergonomic designs to help operators and technicians carry out their work safely and with a minimum of effort. The result is often higher productivity, more satisfied employees and fewer accidents.

Reducing Fire Hazards on New Equipment

Traditionally clean rooms are fitted with sprinkler systems or other specialized fire protection. An array of sensors detects flames, smoke, chemical vapors or heat and triggers the fire extinguishing system. By this time contamination of the facility is severe and re-establishing clean room manufacturing capability is time-consuming and expensive.

Semiconductor manufacturers and research centers with clean room facilities can reduce the threat of a fire that could disable their production by minimizing the use of flammable materials. Many wet bench processes use corrosive chemicals in tanks and piping made of plastic or other normally flammable synthetic material. Modutek can support efforts to minimize the use of flammable materials by supplying equipment that meets the FM 4910 flammability specifications and reduces the threat of fire.

Increased Safety with New Equipment from Modutek

Modutek has over 35 years experience in designing and manufacturing wet bench stations. The company has a broad range of standard equipment and can customize all aspects of semiconductor manufacturing to meet specific specialized needs.

While Modutek wet benches have a high degree of safety and ergonomic design built in, special customer requests can always be accommodated. Specific safety features or special ergonomic requirements can be added if not already present, and additional precautions against fire and other hazards can be incorporated as needed. Modutek equipment already includes many safety features, but the company has the experience and expertise to meet any additional customer requirements.

How the SPM Clean Process is Supported in a Wet Bench Process

How the SPM Clean Process is Supported in a Wet Bench ProcessSemiconductor manufacturing involves multiple processing steps which includes cleaning silicon wafers using wet bench technology. The SPM (sulfuric peroxide mix) clean process uses a solution of approximately 3 parts sulfuric acid to 1 part of hydrogen peroxide at about 130 degrees centigrade to strip organic material and photoresist from silicon wafers quickly and effectively.

Process engineers and facility managers using the SPM process in semiconductor fabrication have to make sure that the chemical ratio and temperature are maintained within safe limits and that the solution and wafers are contained safely in impervious baths. While the concentration may vary from 3 to 1 to a maximum of 7 to 1 and the temperature used may be as high as 140 degrees centigrade, once the solution operating values are chosen, the baths should be maintained at those concentration and temperature values to keep the strip rate uniform.

Modutek’s wet benches support the SPM process with manual, semi-automatic and fully automatic versions. Wet Bench stations are available in a wide variety of configurations as well as in custom designs. The fully automated stations use Modutek’s in house software for automatic process execution with high accuracy, reliability and repeatability. The semi-automated stations can achieve similar results with robotic controls at a lower cost. The manual stations have the same safety and process features without the cost of automation.

Quartz Recirculating Baths

To work well, the SPM solution has to be heated rapidly in a bath that can withstand high temperatures and that will not react with the aggressive chemicals. Heating has to be even and controlled within a narrow range. At high temperatures, hydrogen peroxide decomposes and the solution has to be spiked with more peroxide to maintain its concentration.

Quartz recirculating baths fulfill these requirements. The quartz can be manufactured in a pure enough form to withstand the temperatures and corrosion while the recirculation allows tight control of concentration with the adding of chemicals as required.

This spiking allows operators to use the solution for a longer period of time rather than discarding the solution when the concentration falls below acceptable levels. Re-using the sulfuric acid for as long as possible reduces costs and is desirable from an environmental point of view as well.

Modutek Series QFa Series Quartz Baths

Modutek’s Quartz Baths support the SPM clean process and satisfy key conditions for high safety and reliability as well as low cost of ownership. The tanks are made of semiconductor grade flame-polished quartz and are insulated with high density alumina silica fiber rated to 1260 degrees centigrade. The four-sided heating element promotes fast, even heating and the seamless sloped flange and the dual safety snap switch help ensure safe and convenient operation.

The quartz baths have an operating temperature range of 30 to 180 degrees centigrade and they feature a standard heat up rate of 2 degrees centigrade per minute. Operating temperature can be controlled to within plus/minus 1 degree centigrade and a liquid level sensor is available as an option.

Standard tanks are available in dimensions ranging from 7.75 to 21.5 inches inner side length and in square and rectangular formats. Depths range from 6.75 to 14.5 inches and available heaters are rated 2 to 6 KW. Modutek can design systems with custom vessel sizes to satisfy particular requirements.

Modutek’s wet bench stations and quartz baths are designed with low cost of ownership in mind while emphasizing features that reduce errors and improve reliability. Semiconductor manufacturers can achieve higher throughput and better output quality using the SPM process on the Modutek units. If you want a free consultation or quote on using quartz baths to support your wafer cleaning processes, call Modutek or email [email protected].

Silicon Wafer Etching Processes for Wet Processing Applications

Silicon Wafer Etching Processes for Wet Processing ApplicationsThe manufacture of semiconductor components such as processors and integrated circuits relies heavily on the etching of silicon wafers with processes such as KOH etching to generate the required structures and connections. Modutek provides wet bench technology that can be used for a wide variety of these etching applications. Managers in charge of semiconductor manufacturing facilities, research centers or universities as well as process engineers working at these organizations can use wet bench equipment from Modutek to meet their silicon wafer etching needs.

KOH Etching

Etching silicon wafers with potassium hydroxide (KOH) is used to create microscopic structures in the silicon. The etch rate is impacted by the temperature of the etching bath, the concentration of KOH and the crystalline structure and impurities in the silicon. KOH etching is an inexpensive and repeatable process that etches rapidly. Modutek offers PFA Teflon tanks of their TFa or TT series for KOH etching applications.

Silicon Nitride Etch

Silicon nitride is used as a masking material in the fabrication of integrated circuits. It can be deposited on the silicon wafer as a thin film and is etched with hot phosphoric acid. The bath temperature is about 180 degrees Celsius, the boiling point of phosphoric acid. The Modutek series Nb nitride etch bath achieves precise temperature control by regulating the de-ionized water to phosphoric acid ratio. Modutek’s silicon nitride etch baths offer excellent repeatability, accurate process control and a high level of safety.

Piranha Etch

The piranha solution is made up of a mixture of sulfuric acid and hydrogen peroxide and is used to clean silicon wafers during the semiconductor manufacturing process. A common ratio used is 3 parts of concentrated sulfuric acid to one part of 30 percent hydrogen peroxide. The solution cleans organic compounds from substrates and oxidizes most metals. It is often used to clean photoresist from silicon wafers. Modutek can evaluate a customer’s silicon wafer cleaning requirements and propose suitable solutions from its extensive line of wet processing equipment.

Metal Etch

The conductors linking the microscopic electronic structures on a silicon wafer must be metallic to conduct the electric signals. Metals such as aluminum, copper and gold are deposited on the silicon wafer and must be etched. Etching metals can be challenging and effective etching depends on selecting the right chemicals and process.

For example, the Modutek vacuum metal etcher is designed for precise wet etching of aluminum layers. The process takes place under vacuum because the chemical reaction creates hydrogen bubbles that interfere with etching precision. In the vacuum, the bubbles are immediately removed by an evacuating pump. Modutek’s wet process equipment can use a variety of etchants to etch different metals.

Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) Etch

Gallium Arsenide is a semiconductor used in the manufacture of integrated circuits and other electric and electronic devices. It is etched with solutions containing hydrogen peroxide, usually in combination with sulfuric, hydrochloric or phosphoric acids. Modutek’s wet process solutions can handle such etching chemicals at lower cost than dry etching.

Modutek Wet Bench Solutions

As a premier provider of semiconductor manufacturing equipment for over 35 years, Modutek can offer wet processing equipment for a wide variety of semiconductor etching and cleaning applications. Modutek’s wet bench technology delivers reliable, repeatable results safely and accurately. The company can help customers in industry and research find solutions to their semiconductor manufacturing needs. For a free quote or consultation on selecting the right equipment for your silicon wafer etching process, contact Modutek at 866-803-1533 or email [email protected].

Tips on Selecting the Right Options for Your Wet Bench Equipment

Tips on Selecting the Right Options for Your Wet Bench EquipmentModutek wet benches are of white polypropylene construction with 304 stainless steel construction available for solvent applications. The company will build any size and length to meet customer requirements. Safety features include safety interlocks, PVC safety shields, emergency power off mushroom buttons and wiring to NFPA 70 and 79. All models have a Teflon N2 gun, a deionized water hand spray and a continuous flow deionized water manifold.

Fully Automated Stations

Modutek’s fully automated wet bench stations use SolidWorks Simulation Professional and SolidWorks Flow Simulation software to optimize the semiconductor fabrication processes and improve performance. The cost of the units covers the basic station and robotics to handle automated operation. These wet process stations are suitable for customers who need high yields, improved etch rates, better throughput and who want the highest output quality.

In addition to increased performance, fully automated stations eliminate human operator error in calculating the chemical dosage and operating the station. The automated system tracks chemical usage to reduce waste and maintain a consistent process environment. Once programmed, the automated station runs the same software and the process is fully repeatable.

Semi-Automated Stations

The semi-automated stations give customers the advanced features and precision of fully automated stations without having to pay the fully automated price. Stations have a graphic user interface on a PCL touch screen to control servomotors with three degrees of freedom and with encoder feedback. Customers can get process uniformity and accurate handling while saving money.

Modutek semi-automated stations are an excellent option for customers who want the precision of robotic controls without paying for full automation. The semi-automated stations still use the SolidWorks Professional and Flow software packages to ensure customers achieve excellent results while spending less.

Manual Stations

Manual wet benches are a cost effective way for customers to get the safety features and operating characteristics of the Modutek wet process equipment family with competitive pricing and an overall low cost of ownership. The manual stations are an effective way for customers to start using wet process equipment and they can later expand the units to add automation options. The manual equipment is of the same quality as the automated stations and delivers excellent performance without the cost of robotics.

Solvent Stations

For solvent stations Modutek uses a 304 stainless steel construction with fire suppression. Solvent stations are available with the same fully automated, semi-automated or manual options as the other wet processing stations and they share the same advanced features. Solvent stations are for customers who have applications with acetone or IPA or who want to carry out photo resist stripping or EDP etching.

Dry to Dry Wet Process Equipment

Modutek’s Dry to Dry equipment saves time by eliminating transfers and increases throughput and yield. It uses an IPA dryer to avoid having to dry in a separate tool. The same automation options as for other wet processing equipment are available for the Dry to Dry models. The unit is a convenient option for customers who want to simplify their process and increase output.

Custom Options

Because Modutek designs and produces all wet benches and related equipment in house without subcontracting, the company can use in house expertise to develop custom solutions for particular applications that may not fall within the standard option set. Customers can be assured that, no matter what the wet process application, Modutek engineers can propose a custom solution if the broad range of standard options is not suitable. For more information or for a free quote contact Modutek at 866-803-1533 or email [email protected].

Certifications and Support for Wet Benches and Wet Processing Equipment

Certifications and Support for Wet Benches and Wet Processing EquipmentWet benches and associated semiconductor manufacturing and processing equipment use corrosive chemicals in electrically powered equipment that must be designed to high levels of safety. Certifications of compliance with applicable standards are a key factor in giving customers the confidence that their equipment is well designed and safe to use.

Customer support is another important factor in achieving exceptional customer satisfaction. Guaranteed warranty support and a high level of customer service ensures that customers can operate the equipment they have purchased for their application. Modutek provides wet benches and wet processing equipment with extensive certifications, comprehensive warranties and customer support for service, repairs and customization to help ensure that customers are completely satisfied with their purchases.

UL508a Standard for Industrial Control Panels

Modutek’s electrical panels are wired according to UL 508a. The standard specifies safety features such as protection against live electrical parts and the grounding of electrical equipment. It gives guidelines for the sizing of circuits, the sizing and routing of wiring and the placement of disconnect switches. Such standards become extremely important for both the safety of the operators and the protection of equipment because compliance with them reduces the risk of overheating or short-circuits in the electrical system. When wiring and circuits are correctly designed and sized, they function safely without dangerous temperatures. When technicians can easily disconnect circuits to test or repair components, the risk of injury to personnel and damage to equipment are reduced.

NFPA 70, NEC

The National Fire Protection Association standard 70 is the National Electrical Code. The code governs the safe design, installation and inspection of electrical systems. Where UL508a deals specifically with Industrial Control Panels, the NEC treats the same topics and risks for whole electrical systems and installations. In addition, it specifically addresses systems in hazardous locations. Modutek’s systems are wired to fully comply with NFPA 70 and the NEC and they offer a high level of safety and operational reliability.

NFPA 79

The National Fire Protection Association standard 79 deals with the safety of industrial machinery. The standard focuses on electrical safety and reliable operation of electrical and electronic equipment in industrial machines. In addition to design elements common to industrial panels and systems as described in the UL and NEC standards, NFPA 79 deals with the physical environment and operating conditions of the installation. The standard specifies what operational safety controls are required, such as emergency off buttons and interlocks, and it gives guidelines for testing and for documentation. Modutek’s wet benches fully comply with this standard and are designed to provide safe, reliable operation.

Other Certifications, Standards and Support

Modutek’s wet benches are wired in accordance with the above standards but the company carries out additional testing and further certifications are available. All benches are tested using deionized water and they are guaranteed for one or two years. Extensive customer support for upgrades, customized solutions and field service is also available.

If required, Modutek can supply third-party certification for the above standards and also for a SEMI S2/S8 Safety Assessment, Ashare 110 Fume Hood Testing, CE Mark (European Testing), CSA (Canadian Standards Association) and AS/NZS3000: 2007 (Australian/New Zealand Standard). These certifications can give customers additional confidence in the high level of safety and exceptional quality of Modutek’s wet benches and in the compliance of Modutek’s systems with applicable standards.

Modutek’s Wet Bench Design Process

Modutek's Wet Bench Design ProcessIn an effort to meet the highest customer expectations, Modutek has developed a wet bench design process that emphasizes collaboration with customers and dedicates the full resources of the company to identifying and satisfying customer requirements. Key features of the process are an emphasis on quality, an orientation toward partnering with the customer, a project-based account management structure and the use of the latest design tools. With this approach to wet bench equipment design, Modutek intends to ensure that the company meets the highest levels of customer satisfaction.

Design Goals

While meeting and exceeding customer expectations is the overall goal, Modutek emphasizes wet bench process results as well. A high-quality wet bench must be designed for high throughput with a long service life and a low level of downtime. High product quality requires a high level of extremely precise control. Based on these essential features, Modutek starts a conversation with the customer to identify his particular needs.

Partnership Design Program

To begin with the process, Modutek technical personnel gather all the details of their customer’s application. Specifications, data, descriptions and parameters are collected to allow Modutek to understand the customer’s business. The company can then develop the criteria for a successful design together with the customer. The business needs for wet benches, wet process tools, chemical delivery systems or custom semiconductor equipment are explored in detail. At the end of this process the requirements for a successful design are clear.

Design Tools

Once the design requirements have been identified together with the customer, Modutek uses advanced tools to help with design and modeling. Three dimensional design tools ensure precision and the accuracy of the models. Such 3-D designs are created for all wet process and chemical delivery systems, to show the positions of all components and to form the basis for a detailed design review. Once approved, the same material is used to create complete documentation, including post installation maintenance manuals. Using a single set of designs to generate all the documentation ensures that performance is always consistent, even when many units are produced.

Project Management

To execute the production as specified in the designs, Modutek focuses on managing accounts as projects. For each order, the company assigns a dedicated project manager to lead the work. He coordinates with the customer to make sure the design, engineering, manufacturing and integration remain on track. Delivery and installation at the end of the project are handled the same way. The project manager is responsible for ensuring basic technical requirements are met and the customer’s input is respected, leading to a high quality design that meets the customer’s needs.

Factors for a Successful Design Process

Four factors allow Modutek to offer a collaborative design process that gives superior results. First, the company has the experience and broad line of wet bench equipment to respond to a wide variety of customer requirements. Secondly, the company designs and builds all process, etching or cleaning components of its wafer fabrication equipment in house. Thirdly, all automation design is carried out in house, with Modutek engineers designing and writing the software. Lastly, Modutek’s SolidWorks Simulation Professional and SolidWorks Flow Simulation tools help design the system to get the end results specified. All of these factors must be in place for the successful implementation of the type of design process offered by Modutek, and the company works hard to ensure these prerequisites are retained in order to deliver the superior customer-centric service they make possible.

If you need wet bench equipment designed and built for your specific process requirements, contact Modutek at 866-803-1533 or email [email protected].