Industrial automation of a semiconductor manufacturing process 

Reducing costs with an industrial PLC Arduino and some sensors

Optimising process control


The semiconductor materials manufacturing industries have been improving their products at exponential levels for years. Technology advances very quickly and small changes are very important in order to compete on the market.

A distribution company is looking for a solution to implement some system for its final customers that will allow them to make a qualitative leap and get ahead of the competitors. In this case, the aim of Industrial Shields is using its programmable logic controllers to optimise process control and reduce costs.

Industrial automation of a semiconductor manufacturing process

Summary


In recent years, semiconductor materials have become increasingly important in our world.

Today, they are present in almost all areas of our lives and are a key part of them. They can be used both as conductors and as insulators, depending on their characteristics, providing great usefulness in the industrial environment.

 

Open source based industrial PLC


Goals


Our customer is looking for a solution to optimize some part of the semiconductor manufacturing, reducing costs to compete in the market.

As the whole creation process is already following strict requirements, Industrial Shields has focused on optimizing the clean room where the silicon wafers are stored before processing.

The goals are to implement:

  • different types of sensors and

  • an electrical solution

to regulate the lights and optimize their consumption.

 Conclusion (hardware)

Clean rooms must be permanently in very specific conditions so as not to damage the products. In the case of semiconductor materials, they should be exposed to an ideal room temperature of 22 degrees, between a maximum of 26º and a minimum of 18º; humidity levels should be between 30 and 60 %. In addition, there cannot be dust levels higher than 80k units for 0.028m3.

The system proposed to be installed will consist of an open source based industrial PLC controller that will act as a master controller for all sensors and will allow to:

  • send the data to an external server and

  • monitor an alarm system.

In addition, an extra touch screen will be placed to interact with the system from outside the clean room.

Industrial automation of a semiconductor manufacturing process

The first sensors to be implemented will be temperature ones. For a better measurement, it will be necessary to set some in the different places of the room, since any variation could permanently damage the products. Like the temperature sensors, the humidity and dust sensors will be placed throughout the room to obtain the maximum reliability in the results.

Industrial Shields PLCs for arduino automation can be set with multiple sensors working at the same time, choosing one of their communications, such as I2C or RS845 with Modbus, depending on the devices and the distance to operate. All collected data will be sent via Ethernet or Wi-Fi to a "backup" database server and also to a cloud server that could be monitored  rom another location. 

      Advantages

      The strenghts of working with open source based PLCs are:

      Economic price

      Cheaper devices than others with similar characteristics, manufactured by big private license brands.

      Wide variety of options

      Flexible and adaptable devices, as well as safe and resistant, designed to the industrial environment. Several families of industrial controllers.

      Ownership

      You as a customer will become the owner of the whole application, thanks to the fact that you will know the code used.

        Extra features could be added later to improve the system. One option would be to control the lights in the room with a DALI system, timing when they should be opened or turned off, thus saving money.

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