TARGETING PURE PERFORMANCE
Semiconductor and other advanced technologies are the ultimate expression of harnessed obsession. With tolerances so fine, depositions so precise and varied, as well as performance standards so tight, margins are miniscule.
That applies to the chemicals, slurries, gases and water intrinsic to the process. As in their purity, steady-state flow rates and availability. Reliable delivery through high purity process piping is a necessary element in both R&D and production environments.
Since 1973, Kinetics has been an industry leader in designing, fabricating, installing and certifying high-purity systems for chemicals, slurries, gases and ultrapure water required for semiconductor and other advanced technology applications — all against elevated standards.
Kinetics has installed critical process systems in more than 150 factories, for 50 of the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturers. Kinetics focuses its extensive experience on the turnkey design and installation of critical process systems while serving as the single point of responsibility.
It all begins in close collaboration with clients to understand their technical, schedule and budget requirements to develop optimized factory designs and process solutions. In the fab, Kinetics’ tool hook-up teams enable the installation and ramp of critical production tools within strict scheduling windows.
Proven project management and quality assurance processes enable Kinetics to meet tough customer requirements either as part of new factory construction, or the expansion of existing facilities. This includes high-purity process piping. Then, during operation, Kinetics’ TCM and TCGM (total chemical & gas management) on-site teams operate critical chemical and gas systems to high standards of safety, efficiency and reliability.
Kinetics provides process systems for a range of demanding applications:
By definition, and in practice, high-purity systems transport chemicals, slurries, gases, and waters to, through, and out of process stages and steps. Nowhere is the need as intrinsic as in semiconductor manufacturing. The same is true for other advanced technologies. From the R&D environment to high volume manufacturing facilities, nearly all of the requirements are stringent. That means they are non-negotiable, regardless of the volumes being delivered.
Kinetics recognizes that specifications are simply an expression of what best suits the tools being supplied, along with the unique operational and control environment present in each facility. Five checkpoints inform the company’s view of system piping and provide specific criteria to be aligned with process owners prior to finalizing specifications. All of this happens well before fabrication, installation, certification, and operation.
CHECKPOINT #1: MATERIAL CHARACTERISTICS
As semiconductor makers know, high-purity components take many forms, some of which carry significant safety implications (well beyond their value to the fab). Kinetics believes there’s no room for making assumptions about the composition, behavior, stability, and consistent of chemicals, slurries, gases, and water: All deserve respect. That’s why they provide detailed documentation to ensure integrity in piping, controls, and interfaces with tools.
CHECKPOINT #2: PROCESS EVOLUTION
Kinetics has seen that consistently high-performing operations all account for some level of material variability. They also factor in fluctuations in volumes, inspection cycles, and even changes in process chemistry and methods over time: Process piping without adaptability defies the notion of continuous improvement. Once again, this checkpoint is not an afterthought, or an optional luxury.
CHECKPOINT #3: METRICS DASHBOARD
High-purity process piping doesn’t exist outside of enterprise goals, facility metrics, and manager KPIs. The same holds true in R&D facilities, where accountability is attached to budgets, grants, and funded initiatives. Working back and forth between piping plans and desired outcomes allows the team — with Kinetics as a contributing member — to check assumptions. Will piping support the expected results, or represent an obstacle to quality, uptime, volume, or adaptability if given lesser consideration?
CHECKPOINT #4: RELIABILITY DOCUMENTATION
This is not a science experiment, casual endeavor, or place to flex health and environmental stands in favor of ‘learning by doing.’ The validity both of engineering and execution must be fully documented and attached to facilities using parallel materials, volumes, and performance metrics. Stretching back to 1973, Kinetics has occupied the top tier in design, fabrication, installation, and certification of relevant systems in over 150 factories for 50 of the world’s largest producers; with documentation to support this status.
CHECKPOINT #5: OPERATIONAL REALITIES
The ‘who’ attached to the ‘what’ needs to reflect the ‘how.’ Once installation and certification are complete, the operation of high-purity process piping systems can’t be left to good intentions, rote staffing plans, and static operational manuals. Oversight must accompany safe, efficient, and successful production cycles across an extended period of time. Once Kinetics’ hook-up teams enable ramp-up, the ready option is to extend the company’s services into on-site operational teams. The result embeds the five checkpoints into the culture and habits of the facility.
Each of these five checkpoints illuminates the importance of letting insight inform plans and practices in high-purity process piping. Kinetics takes each seriously as an acknowledged global leader in microelectronics and advanced technology. To learn more about applying regret-avoiding rigor in a planned or upgraded facility, click HERE.