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Adaptability in the Semiconductor industry

The semiconductor industry is ever-evolving and constantly changing. The semiconductor industry outlook is predicted to increase massively in the coming years as the world continues to shift toward digitalization, automation, and Smart technologies. In the semiconductor world, remaining agile and adaptable is the key to staying competitive in this volatile, fast-growing market.

Whether your focus is manufacturing semiconductor wafers or semiconductor equipment, there’s major value in staying on top of new technologies and Smart tools. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of adaptability in the semiconductor industry, and the different Atlas Copco Smart tools and solutions that can help along the way.

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Adaptability matters

The semiconductor industry can typically be characterized by complex production manufacturing processes. Even focusing on just one specific component, such as a power box, there are hundreds of variations that can be manufactured. Semiconductor assembly lines depend on their ability to produce these units according to the specification of each individual unit model with high precision. There is often little to no opportunity to set up dedicated lines for single models. Instead, each assembly line is required to adapt to multiple different models that run along the same line.

This is why having Smart tools properly implemented into these workstations can significantly improve the performance of assembly lines. Further, they support the adaptability requirements that allow your line to keep up with high production rates. The combination of Smart tools and advanced software solutions provides not only flexibility during the manufacturing process, but also peace of mind; the process is fully controlled through clear operator guidance, complete data collection, and full process transparency.

Currently, it’s quite common to find semiconductor assembly lines that rely on more basic tools, such as a mechanical torque wrench, to complete complex processes. The wrenches may be getting the job done, but they aren’t necessarily the best way to complete the work. Mechanical torque wrenches are often considered entry-level tools that are unable to provide operator guidance, traceability, or data collection. This opens the door to operator error, rework, and a multitude of other assembly issues.

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The Tensor IxB family of integrated controller tools – Semiconductor gamechangers

Atlas Copco’s Tensor IxB tool family consists of two wireless nutrunners that feature integrated controllers: The Tensor ITB and the Tensor ICB. Because the tightening controller is integrated directly into the tool itself, gone are the days of separate, physical controllers that take up space in the workstation and make for complex cable management. Further, the Tensor ITB and Tensor ICB integrated controller tools are extremely advanced Smart tools that were designed to meet the demands of today and the future.

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Tensor IxB applications in the semiconductor industry

With its integrated controller that shares the very same commonality with Atlas Copco’s next-generation Power Focus 6000 controller, the Tensor IxB family of tools is ideal for multiple semiconductor equipment manufacturing applications. Take the assembly of semiconductor etching equipment as an example. Once implemented into an assembly line, these machines take on a very critical job that must be executed perfectly to avoid health, safety, and environmental issues.

For a job like this, mechanical wrenches can cause ergonomic issues in operators. As stated above, they also don’t offer any data collection capabilities, nor do they provide the necessary operator guidance needed to avoid rework and production errors. This is where the Tensor ICB integrated controller tool enters the picture. The Tensor ICB provides an optional eHMI that enables clear operator feedback. Because the tool doesn’t rely on a separate controller, the Tensor ICB contains all the data it requires to run on the tool itself.

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Another application example: the assembly of chemical vapor deposition machines. Typically assembled using a mechanical torque wrench, this application suffers from common assembly errors including floating or missing screws, crossed threads, and bit cam-outs. Using a Tensor ICB integrated controller tool, these issues can be completely avoided. This integrated controller tool allows for easy identification of tightening issues, improved angle, and torque accuracy, and significantly increased product quality.

Are you interested in learning more about how Atlas Copco can take your semiconductor manufacturing facility to the next level? Contact us and schedule a demo today!

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