SERVING THE 200MM FAB RENAISSANCE
Thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), the proliferation of wearable devices, and growth in power semiconductors for the automotive market, 200mm wafer fabs are experiencing a renaissance. As a result, new 200mm wafer processing equipment is in hot demand and hard to come by.
Why? Over the last decade, smart phone sales drove the industry to invest in 300mm fabs. While they continued to produce legacy 200mm systems, many semiconductor original equipment manufacturers shifted investments to developing 300mm tools, optimizing them for advanced technology nodes.
But then smartphone sales slowed and market drivers shifted to the IoT, medical, and automotive electronics, and 200mm fabs reached capacity. New fabs were built, and tool supplies dried up. There was also a shortage in spare parts for existing tools.
This has created a vibrant market for 200mm refurbished tools. But not just any 200mm tool will do. They must be optimized for the latest processes and technologies. That’s where Kinetics excels.
Not only is Kinetics a leader in design, manufacture, and installation of new process equipment, we also have extensive experience in both 200mm and 300mm refurbished process equipment. We provide installation, start-up, troubleshooting, spare parts, system retrofits, upgrades, maintenance, and repair services.
Kinetics supports multiple manufactured process systems and can work with you to optimize your tool investment. As an example, we sell completely refurbished FSI Systems to meet your specifications. To extend a system’s reliability and operational life, we can provide our expert service team to refurbish tools that have been purchased in a secondary market or refurbish your existing tools.
From our experienced engineers and technicians, who have worked extensively with FSI Systems inside a fab environment, we can replicate or enhance their operational functionality by replacing or upgrading system components. Allow us to leverage our expertise to add value to your equipment and operations.
Process equipment is one of the less-likely places where a manager will takes chances: There are enough variables attached to supply-chain management, process controls, and personnel supervision to look at the hardware side of manufacturing as a bastion of reliability. In this environment, refurbished equipment can appear to be an unwelcome idea and an undesirable reality.
Kinetics, among the most proficient and reputable makers of FSI process equipment, has an entirely different view of the landscape of purchasing options. This is not solely because the company excels at giving new life to proven platforms: The global, competitive realities of manufacturing provide a strong rationale for the selected application of refurbished equipment.
Quite understandably, the concerns around this general category have some basis in reality. These concerns can often be rooted in business and personal purchasing categories that may include pre-owned automobiles, and have little direct correlation to process equipment.
To more fairly evaluate the FSI refurbished process equipment option, the associated worries – those that have grown to mythic proportions – need, at minimum, a considered second look. And that includes both outside purchasing as well as refurbishing existing in-house systems.
Myth #1: Refurbished is for start-up or struggling operations.
Reality: Frequently, well-established plants are among the first to search for this category. That’s often because they have a clearer idea of what constitutes meaningful, measurable performance in their particular operation. In other words, their spec is tighter.
Myth #2: Refurbished pushes us backward on the technology curve.
Reality: In many process stages and steps, consistent performance relies more upon functionality than future-facing features. If process and environmental concerns have been identified and addressed, then reliability across numerous (or even, rapid) cycles is paramount.
Myth #3: Refurbished is, at best, holding our own.
Reality: A well-chosen subsystem may elevate the entire process when it represents an upgrade in quality, cycle time, control, materials utilization, or operator consistency. The assumption that results will regress is what puts choice refurbished equipment in the hands of savvy competitors.
Myth #4: This is about buying someone else’s problems or failures.
Reality: The scrutiny attached to a coherent refurbishment process is a barrier to inheriting the shortcomings or imperfections of equipment. In other words, the prior user’s experience attached to the system becomes a baseline from which to build (versus a deficit that needs to be overcome).
Myth #5: Companies in this category are looking for transactions, not relationships.
Kinetics is an example of a company that creates, designs, and builds new systems as their primary business focus. Through working with clients globally, the recognition of the need for a trusted source of refurbished equipment – selected to exacting specifications – has continued to grow.
To progressive manufacturers with an eye on performance, the refurbished equipment path has become a well-worn one. Not simply as a defensive method of saving money, but as a coherent strategy to streamline manufacturing operations. It starts with putting distracting emotions on hold and busting some myths.
Click HERE to learn more as Kinetics is a recognized leader in the design, manufacture and installation of process equipment in providing installation, start-up, troubleshooting, spare parts, system retrofits, upgrades, maintenance, and repair service for process equipment. In addition to Kinetics-branded tools, the team has extensive experience in refurbished process equipment.