Because semiconductor manufacturing is made up of a large number of steps, silicon wafer processing often includes unique requirements. Standard equipment may be suitable to some extent, but using custom equipment adapted to the particular process can improve production line performance. Customization of the physical characteristics of the system, the software, the degree of automation and the process components can impact how well the silicon wafer processing equipment works. An experienced supplier of wet processing equipment can advise customers regarding possible customization and follow up with specific equipment suggestions.
Physical Customization of Wet Process Equipment
Semiconductor manufacturing equipment often has to fit into a defined space or is retrofitted into an existing production line. In either case, the dimensions have to be customized to fit the available space. Modutek can build processing stations and tanks with special dimensions to fit and can arrange components for less depth or less length as required. Because Modutek designs and builds all its own equipment, the company is capable of changing the dimensions of its standard products to fit customer requirements.
Customized Software for Special Calculations
The Modutek SolidWorks Flow Simulation and Simulation Professional software allows customers to accurately calculate chemical dosages and to track chemical usage. Custom installations may require special calculations and the software may have to be adapted to calculate and track custom chemical use. Modutek writes all its own software and can therefore customize and adapt the program code. Customers can rely on Modutek to maintain and support the non-standard software and make sure it works the way the customer wants.
Automation With Customized Characteristics
Modutek’s standard wet processing equipment is available in fully automated, semi-automated or manual versions but customers may require some automated functions while other functions remain manual or semi-automatic. Prototypes often rely on manual controls to define basic process parameters. Then the process is optimized in semi-automatic operation while eventually running in fully automatic mode when in full production. Existing product manufacturing may require only full automation but the manufacturing process may need operators to execute some manual functions.
Depending on the customer’s manufacturing needs, Modutek can design automation combining manual and automatic controls as specified by the customer. The automatic process may run until operator intervention is required to execute a command or check a specific condition. Modutek can adapt its systems to meet such special automation needs.
Customized Process Components and Subsystems
Process components and subsystems may include chemical delivery, baths or tanks, wafer handling and wafer drying. Modutek can integrate some of these functions into a single unit or place separate units into a custom arrangement. For example, a chemical delivery station can have local or remote tanks and can be placed behind the processing stations to save space. An IPA vapor dryer can include de-ionized water rinsing and vapor drying in one unit. With the company’s experience as a leading wet bench manufacturer, Modutek can design custom arrangements that carry out the required wet process functions within the parameters set by the customer.
Modutek’s Customizations Improve Process Performance
Modutek has a complete line of standard wet process stations, all designed and built in house. For new customized projects, the custom system is evaluated for special requirements and possible solutions. Modutek then works closely with the customer to ensure that the chosen customizations reflect the special process requirements and will produce the expected results.
When Modutek builds such custom systems, they choose customization over standard systems because the customization will improve overall performance. Improvements can include higher throughput, better output quality and lower costs. Working transparently with the customer, Modutek can demonstrate how its proposals will produce better results and ensure that the finished system meets expectations.