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Optimizing Equipment Preventive Maintenance to Improve Wafer Fab Productivity

by | Oct 19, 2021

The worldwide shortage of chips has highlighted the importance of wafer fabs to many different industries.

Work from home is speeding the growth in PC, 5G, and cloud, forcing wafer fabs, especially foundries and fully depreciated 200mm fabs to allocate supply.

As a result, fab managers are striving to expand wafer output.

Since preventive maintenance (PM) is a significant reason for equipment downtime, equipment and maintenance engineers are working overtime to optimize these procedures.

Manual cleaning of the process chamber, wafer transfer robotics and chamber components by maintenance techs are a critical, overlooked step in every PM procedure.

Due to the poor absorbency and particle pickup of current fab wipers, PM procedures require large volumes of consumables and associated tech time.
Incremental particulate contamination removed by MiraWIPE® after the last unstained polyester wiper indicated that the platen was clean.

Equipment techs are trained to clean the chamber with successive wipes until there is no trace of contamination on the wiper. As the video in the link below demonstrates, thorough cleaning consumes large amounts of ever more valuable tech time. Cleaning time is directly related to the very poor absorbency and particle pickup of polyester knitted wipers, the most widely used wiper type in fabs.

To improve green to green times through reduced pump times, much-improved post PM particle counts and first-pass qual rates, the most advanced foundries and memory fabs have adopted MiraWIPE®, MiraWIPE® 256 and MiraSAT.

To contact our subject matter experts in wafer processing tool maintenance: