High automated transport systems in semiconductor wafer fabs
Dr. Christian Heedt
Team Leader Equipment Engineering
Sitronic AG, a global acting silicon wafer maker, is running three 300mm wafer fabs in the word for more than 10 years. Beside a very high data automation in the production line the material transport today is mainly manually based. For quality and also productivity reasons Siltronic decided to automate also the transport of the wafers.
In the area end-of-line, where the wafers are transported in front-opening unified pods (FOUPs) ceiling-mounted transport systems (OHTs) are commercial available on the market also for retrofits. But there are also large areas in the line in which a OHT system cannot be used for several reasons. In addition, the introduction of an automatic transport system should be possible without major construction activities because the production cannot be stopped for a longer time. Siltronic has therefore chosen the way to use an autonomous guided vehicle (AGV) on which a 6-axis robot–system is doing the handling of the boxes.
For quality reasons it is important that a wet transport of the boxes is also possible. The presentation shows the essential milestones and the current status of the project and the ways to successful implementation as well as the pitfalls during this project.
Dr. Christian Heedt (m) studied electrical engineering at University of Duisburg, Germany, gaining his Ph.D. in semiconductor devices with the main focus on heterostructure field effect transistors on InP substrates (III/V-materials) in 1995.
He joined Siltronic AG in 1995. In Siltronic AG he was responsible in several leading positions (SCC, technology and operation) since 2009 he is responsible for equipment engineering Germany. Since 2014 he is also responsible as the site manager of the Freiberg site of the company.
During his job as the leader of the equipment group he is responsible also for several automation projects in the 300 mm lines of Siltronic. Examples: end of line automation transport of FOUP carriers, automatic cleaning