The Challenges of Supporting Plastic Spares for Legacy Semiconductor Equipment

As 150mm and 200mm fabs grow older, the legacy wafer processing equipment inside these fabs becomes more challenging to support with each passing year. 200mm fab capacity is increasing and will reach the same wafer starts in 2018 as 2008, which is approximately 5.4M 200mm wafer
per month1. IoT (Internet of Things) products are driving demand for the discrete/power, MEMS, and analog devices produced by these older fabs.
Clearly, the importance of 200mm fabs is growing and wafers starts are growing rapidly again. Obtaining cost effective, high-performance, readily available plastic spares is now more important than ever before. It can be challenging to obtain spares from legacy equipment because the OEM’s are either no longer in business or have been purchased by other companies. Furthermore, when an OEM sells or closes a division, pricing increases dramatically for the spare parts–assuming they are still available.

An example of a plastic spare that skyrocketed in price is the liquid trap HF Bottle for the Watkins Johnson (WJ) APCVD999 equipment. A customer contacted us and explained how the price of the HF Bottle increased 300% as the ownership of the WJ999 and WJ1000 system spares were purchased and sold several time. Semplastics invested 6 months of engineering time to develop the product. The product was tested and further improved over an additional 6 month period. The customer was never charged for the engineering services and benefitted by saving literally thousands of dollars per HF Bottle assembly (both the manual fill and the auto fill bottle).


Aviza P/N 906799-001, Manual Fill & Aviza P/N 919616-001, Bubbler, High Flow –APL

From Semplastics’ perspective, a key benefit of reverse engineering is that it provides an excellent opportunity to make product improvements. Design improvements were made to the HF Bottle assembly, which further cost reduced this product. The HF Bottle is maintained in stock and is available for immediate delivery. Several other examples exist of improvements made to semiconductor spares through our reverse engineering process. Please visit the products page or contact us today to discuss further details.

1 Source: Global 200mm Fab Outlook, Semi 2015