How to Qualify Which Semiconductor Equipment Manufacturers Meet Your Requirements

how-to-qualify-which-semiconductor-equipment-manufacturers-meet-your-requirementsThere are a number of things to keep in mind when you review which supplier to use from a list of semiconductor equipment manufacturers. From the ability of a manufacturer to customize solutions to meet specific client needs, to company reputation, the quality of the equipment sold, and after-sales support, there is a lot to consider. Only after you create a shortlist of potential companies to work with should you consider pricing and other minor details.

The Customization Question

Whether the need is to upgrade lines or replace old equipment with new machines, every semiconductor foundry or research facility is different, and comes with very specific requirements. Often, equipment newly purchased needs to be able to interface with systems already in place, and at other times, space or system size concerns override all other areas of consideration.

Equipment may also need to be internally customized with specific feature additions in order to be able to deliver on client requirements. Equipment manufacturers need to provide extensive experience and expertise with such customizations. Before a specific semiconductor equipment manufacturer can be chosen, they need to be able to demonstrate that they are able to work with clients, and to supply systems that are customized to their needs.

Reliability of Equipment

Once equipment has been purchased and set up, it needs to stay online for long stretches of time with minimal downtime. The best way to determine if a manufacturer is able to supply equipment of such description, is to contact references and study reliability statistics. Suppliers should be asked to furnish detailed information on scheduled downtime requirements, and logbooks obtained from actual installations.

After-Sales Support

Equipment warranties and support capabilities are the last item on the list to look at before a contract is signed with a selected supplier. Warranty policies should be simple and straightforward, and yet be comprehensive in describing what’s covered. All new equipment should typically come with at least a one year warranty.

It’s also important to check on the strength of every company’s service department. The most generous warranty policy would not be of much use if there were few personnel able to deliver on it. If there are third-party service providers that are on call, rather than an in-house department, it might be a warning sign that the manufacturer is not well-equipped to deliver a quality after-sales experience. Since third-party service providers usually deal with products from multiple companies, they are not likely to be as expert in their fields as in-house personnel. The best way in which to check on a company’s service ability is to simply call with a question prior to purchase.

Use a Supplier with a Proven Track Record

Finding the right equipment supplier is a vital step in the set-up of a semiconductor manufacturing facility or research center. The equipment from a supplier will affect future productivity, and quality of output. Since many suppliers have come and gone over the years look for one that has a proven track record that has been around for awhile. In addition the systems and equipment they sell should be continually improved to keep up with the latest technology and allow for easy upgrades.

Modutek’s Experience, Expertise and Longevity

Modutek has over 35 years of experience as a semiconductor equipment manufacturer, and has continually operated during that time to improve their equipment and address the needs of many clients. Not only does Modutek design and assemble their own equipment, all their software is designed in-house as well. They provide expert support through its own employees, rather than though agreements with third parties. In addition Modutek is committed to complete customer satisfaction, and has a record that shows it. Contact Modutek for a free quote or consultation to discuss your specific semiconductor manufacturing equipment requirements.


Discover the Advantages of Modutek’s IPA Vapor Dryer

IPA vapor dryer (Marangoni Drying) in fab

Our IPA Vapor Dryer, also called Marangoni Drying, provides an alternative to current drying processes used in semiconductor and related manufacturing. The Modutek IPA Vapor Drying system is housed in one free-standing chamber. The unit also allows for quick and easy bottle changes to eliminate down time. Discover the other advantages of the Modutek IPA Vapor Dryer.

Why is Marangoni Drying so popular for semiconductor production? The process originally developed in 1990, allows for the production of ultra clean and dried surfaces on flat substrates. This is accomplished as the water/IPA slowly drains around the substrate wafer. Nitrogen gas breaks the surface tension of the wetting film which dries the substrate. The process also allows for very low particle counts, no watermarks and no feature damage.

The following are some of the benefits of the IPA (isopropyl alcohol) Vapor, drying process:

  • The IPA Vapor Dryer does not have moving parts which are common in spin drying. This allows for the production of thinner substrates.
  • The IPA Vapor Dryer reduces the chance of particle contamination due to residue after evaporation, often seen as a problem with spin rinse dryers.
  • Because the IPA Vapor Dryer is different from other drying processors, fewer chemicals are needed which reduces chemical costs and the need for disposing of them. This is important from an environmental standpoint.
  • Production costs are also reduced with the IPA Vapor Dryer because drying times can be as short as 10 to 15 minutes. The fact that there are no moving parts also means there should be less maintenance required.
  • Reduced particle counts make the IPA Vapor Dryer the preferred choice over other drying processes.
  • Excellent for high aspect ratio structures.
  • Production is increased because the IPA Vapor Dryer reduces the chance of substrate breakage during the cleaning and drying process.
  • The IPA Vapor Dryer also reduces damage caused by electro-static discharge because there is no build up between metallic surfaces. The result is higher production of quality substrates.
  • The IPA Vapor Dryer also leaves no watermarks, a common problem resulting in yield loss.

IPA Vapor Drying is important for the semiconductor industry as well as those industries that use this technology including computer disk drive manufacturers, solar panel manufacturers, and manufacturers using electro-chemical cells. Industries that use micro-electronic mechanical systems (MEMS), such as the automotive and medical equipment, would also benefit from the substrates produced by IPA Vapor Drying.

If your company needs a drying process upgrade, consider our IPA Vapor Dryer for your application. Call us at 866-803-1533 to discuss your needs and to get a quote.