IBM Japan, Ltd. and Panasonic Corporation’s subsidiary, Panasonic Smart Factory Solutions Co., Ltd. have agreed to collaborate to develop and market a new high-value-added system to optimize the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) of customers’ semiconductor manufacturing processes and to achieve high-quality manufacturing.
Panasonic currently develops and markets edge devices and manufacturing methods that contribute to improving semiconductor manufacturing of advanced packaging. These new devices and methods include dry etching equipment, plasma dicers to produce high-quality wafers, plasma cleaners that increase metal and resin adhesion and high-accuracy bonding devices. Panasonic and IBM Japan will combine their respective strengths to a create smart factory technology: Data analysis systems including advanced process control (APC) and fault detection and classification (FDC), as well as an upper-layer manufacturing execution system (MES).
Through the collaboration announced, IBM Japan and Panasonic will jointly develop a data analysis system that will be incorporated into Panasonic’s edge devices. The aim of this system is to reduce the number of engineering processes required, to stabilize product quality, and to improve the operating rates of manufacturing facilities. Specifically, the companies intend to develop an automatic recipe generation system for plasma dicers, which is a new advanced packaging production method that is drawing increased attention in the semiconductor manufacturing field, and a process control system that incorporates an FDC system in plasma cleaners — equipment that has demonstrated good results in the back-end process. Going forward, the new system and IBM Japan’s MES will be connected to optimize OEE factory-wide and to realize high-quality manufacturing.
The two companies intend to develop the new system for the back-end process first, then explore an expansion of the scope to the front-end process in the future.
Features of the new system
Advancing plasma dicers through automatic recipe generation
The computing algorithm jointly developed by the two companies enables their customers to enter their desired dicing shape (etching shape), which varies from product to product, and automatically generate equipment parameters consisting of several hundred combinations. This feature is expected to reduce product launch times and engineering costs. It can also be applied to the APC system, which automatically adjusts equipment parameters according to varying processing quality from front- and back-end processes; which will keep processed shapes stable, resulting in a high-quality dicing process.
Advancing plasma cleaners through FDC
FDC continuously accumulates operational data from operating manufacturing equipment, detects failures through its own data analysis method, and enables the condition of equipment to be interpreted automatically. This feature generates equipment maintenance target areas and frequency needs, forecasts and prevents failures, optimizes maintenance scheduling, reduces equipment downtime, and improves operating rates.