Semiconductor Company Drastically Reduces Caustic Chemical Cooling Time

Challenge

A large semiconductor chip manufacturer approached our customer with a unique challenge and opportunity. In semiconductor chip manufacturing highly concentrated acids and caustic chemicals are commonly used. As part of the wet bench manufacturing process for example, large volumes and concentrations of sulfuric acid (H2S04) at high temperature (130°-180°C) are used during wet etch and photoresist metallic stripping of wafers. The semiconductor chip manufacturer needed a solution for the safe and reliable cooling of the hazardous chemical in a timely fashion as it is critical for the safety of process engineers, equipment maintenance staff and all others in the fab environment. They were also looking for a solution that could cool high volumes of acid in a short time, allowing the chemical to be disposed of quickly, thereby increasing throughput. The customer was contracted to provide the heating equipment, but contacted Valin to assist with the control platform.

Solution

Valin worked with a reputable heating equipment company on producing a stand-alone dualchamber cooling system with redundant safeguards; capable of cooling four liter batches of 98% concentrated by volume H2S04, in 3-5 minute intervals. Valin supported the design and development of the control platform necessary to achieve this specification. An Omron CJ2M Series PLC, paired with a compact pneumatic solenoid valve manifold provided the flexible yet reliable control of the directional control valves in a redundant fashion. Valin also provided onsite consultation and programming throughout the duration of the project. Valin Application Engineers and Technical Specialist were able to support our customer in the development of control paradigms necessary to achieve safe control of this critical process.

Customer Benefits

The dual-chamber cooling system drastically reduced the time it took to cool the highly concentrated acids and caustic chemicals. This helped increase the semiconductor chip manufacturer's throughput and helped ensure the safety of their staff.