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New Product: Aquest Systems ‚??FabEX‚?? boosts 300mm wafer moves

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AquestProduct Briefing Outline: Aquest Systems has introduced its new ‘FabEX’ No-Wait-Productivity (SM) Improvement (NPI) solution that is designed optimize material movement in an existing fab by eliminating bottlenecks and congestions that impact IC manufacturers' fab productivity.  The solution is claimed to connect without any changes to the IC manufacturers' existing automated material handling systems (AMHS). Aquest has integrated the FabEX 'highway' into Powerchip Semiconductor's current AMHS, which is designed to provide additional capacity to move 8,000 FOUPS per day at high speeds between their two fabs, 12A and 12B, with average delivery times of less than 140 seconds, the company said.

Problem: Addressing the widely-found areas in a typical fab where existing AMHS with overhead transport (OHT) vehicles cannot keep up with IC fab productivity improvement requirements, FabEX eliminates unnecessary delays and reduces the load on already-installed systems.  By adding Aquest's FabEX Transporter to their existing AMHS, IC manufacturers are able to circumvent the congestion using an alternative route or 'highway' to move front-opening unified pods (FOUPs) at high speeds (>3 meters/second) between various critical locations in the fab.  In turn, it is claimed that chipmakers see a reduction in FOUP delivery times, as well as an increase in fab-wide transport capacity.

Solution: Enhancing fab productivity, while also removing risk, this advanced solution works in tandem with existing automated systems.  The FabEX NPI connects to installed stockers, OHT vehicles and material control systems (MCS), without requiring any changes to the existing AMHS.  With proper planning, Aquest's NPI solution does not require a fab to slow down or stop production.  In fact, the NPI can be expeditiously integrated with any fab's current AMHS without mechanical or software modifications, reinforcing Aquest's No-Wait-Manufacturing SM vision of enhancing fab ROI by boosting fab productivity, the company claims.

Applications: 300mm fabrication facilities.

Platform: Aquest's No-Wait-Manufacturing ('NWM') is part of a family of products and services that provide IC manufacturers with a solution to significantly reduce or eliminate the unnecessary 'waits' or delays that affect manufacturing productivity in an IC fab

Availability: November 2007 onwards.


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