Different semiconductor manufacturing facilities or other users of chemicals have varying needs. The chemical delivery requirements of large chip producers differ from those of small fabricators, custom shops or research facilities. Chemical delivery system capacity, equipment layout, the number of different chemicals and the specifications for quality, accuracy and quantity may all vary, depending on the facility and the application. Suppliers of chemical delivery systems need to be able to customize their equipment to satisfy the specific requirements of different facilities. Suppliers who manufacture their own equipment in house are best able to adapt their standard products to the needs of their customers more easily than those using third party manufacturers.
Storage, Delivery and Disposal Are Key System Functions
The operation of chemical delivery systems can be divided into storage, delivery and disposal functions. These functions are impacted by chemical volumes, number of chemicals and facility layout. For operations that need a large volume of chemicals, storage and delivery options are going to be different than for small operations. The space and equipment layout at a facility also determines how the key functions are executed. A competent supplier has to be able to evaluate all the relevant factors and requirements before designing and building the custom system.
For example, for large volumes of chemical usage, storage space for chemical totes and a load cell interface for tracking chemical use are required. If small volumes of chemical are used, storage can fit into small spaces close to the point of use. Similarly, disposal differs according to the volume of waste chemical generated. Waste liquids can be neutralized close to where the waste is generated or the waste liquids can be piped away for remote neutralization and disposal.
How Chemicals Are Used Impacts System Design
A facility that uses large volumes of a few chemicals will need only very simple controls while a production line that spikes with some chemicals and mixes others will require complex controls with high precision. Requirements for repeatability, accuracy and quality control all come into the specifications for the design and configuration of the system. Sometimes manual open loop controls are adequate but for other facilities fast, closed loop automation may be critical. Software, modeling and robotics are expensive and may not be required for some applications but may be necessary for others. The chemical delivery system provided to a facility needs to incorporate each of these specific requirements.
Safe Operation Depends on the Chemicals Used
While operator safety is paramount, the actual safety features required for an installation depend on the chemicals used. Non-hazardous chemicals may not need any special safety measures while highly inflammable solvents may require explosion-proof designs with the relevant National Electrical Code (NEC) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) certifications.
Safety measures for hazardous chemicals can include operational strategies to reduce worker exposure. For some applications, a degree of automation up to fully automatic systems can increase safety and reduce operator error. For others, less expensive solutions can include semi-automatic or manual systems with corresponding safety interlocks and automatic shut-down for dangerous conditions. In each case, the specific operating characteristics of the chemical delivery system have to be evaluated and a custom solution has to be designed and installed.
Modutek Can Customize Chemical Delivery Systems
Modutek designs and builds their own equipment down to programming their own software for chemical dosage and for automation. With extensive experience in the field of chemical delivery systems and in house design and manufacturing expertise, Modutek can customize their systems to the extent required. The resulting systems are safe to operate and they deliver top performance while responding exactly to customer needs. If you need a chemical delivery system for your facility, contact Modutek for a free consultation or quote.