Implementing ergonomic engineering principles to reduce operator strain and effort can increase safety and help prevent accidents. Established safety guidelines such as those of the Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI), the “SEMI S8-0712 – Safety Guidelines for Ergonomics Engineering of Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment,” can help manufacturers design their installations accordingly. Such designs make it easy for operators and technicians to reach controls and work with semiconductor wafers. Modutek follows these guidelines and has included specific features in their wet benches and other equipment to allow for ergonomic and safe operation. In addition, when dealing with specific customer requirements or retrofitting existing installations, Modutek can develop customized ergonomic solutions.
Swing Arm Interface Mount
When technicians have to monitor a process or operate tools when troubleshooting they must be able to see the operator interface and input commands safely and ergonomically without stretching or assuming unnatural positions. The normal resting location of the interface is to the side and out of the way. The swing arm allows operators to pull the interface out and over so it is visible and within reach when they are monitoring the process or handling tools.
The swing arm can rotate on three axes and tilt to let operators place it in any desired position. Once the operator pulls the interface into place and orients it in an optimal way, a single push button actuates pneumatic locking by pressing two large bearings together, preventing further movement. With this rigid and low bounce design, the interface can be positioned with one hand, and the design eliminates further movement such as might result from the operation of the touch screen.
Its epoxy powder coating and anodized aluminum finish together with its internal cabling make the swing arm easy to clean with low particulate generation for clean room applications. The fact that one technician can place the arm into a convenient position and lock it with one hand means that a second person to assist with the operations is often not required.
Easy to Load Wafer Holding Devices
The impact of safe and ergonomic design increases greatly when applied to operations that have to be carried out regularly and frequently. When wafer trays and holding devices are designed to make it easy for operators and technicians to use them, even small improvements in ergonomic design can make a big difference in both productivity and safety.
In Modutek wet benches, robot arms move the wafer holding trays to the front of the station to a position optimally located for easy and effortless loading and unloading. Modutek applies such ergonomic design principles to wet bench access for increased safety of operators and technicians working in semiconductor fabrication facilities and research labs.
Ergonomically Designed Upgrades and Customization
When a facility is upgraded or additional equipment is retrofitted, standard ergonomic designs may not meet the needs of the completed installation. Equipment that fully satisfies ergonomic design principles on its own may be difficult to operate when placed in specific configurations. Modutek can apply the company’s experience with ergonomic design to customize installations, ensuring that a customer’s specific ergonomic requirements are met and that the installation as a whole is easy and safe for operators and technicians.
Modutek processing stations are available in a wide variety of configurations and the company works with the customer’s engineering team to custom design the best processing equipment for the particular application. The ergonomic engineering required to ensure easy and safe operation is integrated in these designs and guides the company when customizing their equipment for specialized needs.