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GASGUARD® EQUIPMENT AND ITS STANDARD ADDED VALUE—LOWERING FAB COSTS

Since our first gas cabinet delivery in 1983, the Versum Materials GASGUARD® systems have represented the company’s commitment to providing state-of-the-art equipment for specialty gas storage, delivery and control to the global semiconductor industry.

The GASGUARD product line includes automatic, semiautomatic and manual systems in a variety of configurations—from a single-source system to a three-cylinder source system and purge system.  The different models can accommodate a full range of hazardous gases—flammable, pyrophoric, corrosives, toxics and highly-toxics, all tailored to meet your needs and provide you with numerous value-added benefits.

Lowest Cost of Ownership

As they focus more on throughput and efficient material handling, fabs are evaluating their purchase of new equipment on the total cost of ownership (TCO) principle. Investing in superior equipment can save in the long run. Delivery equipment is a core competency at Versum, and molecule-specific expertise is a significant part of the overall value offered by our team of experts.

A leading semiconductor fab found that GASGUARD and CHEMGUARD systems have the lowest exhaust requirements in the industry—two to four times less than other systems, to be exact. This finding results in a lower cost-of-ownership over time. While savings may vary based on local electricity rates, this customer realized a yearly savings of $1,500 per cabinet, resulting in a 20% reduction in overall cabinet cost of ownership.

Purge gas is another area to lower the cost of ownership by using the smallest amount of process gas required to flush the system adequately. The CHEMGUARD systems can reduce the amount of expensive helium push gas required, allowing for high purity N2 for canister changes. This brings volume savings of 99% for helium savings (in volume gas).

We are committed to solving real industry problems with real industry solutions. Versum Materials develops its technology to support and extend the life of its value-added gas and chemical delivery equipment.

All Delivery Systems and Services (DS&S) equipment is backed by decades of experience in the cost-effective, safe and reliable delivery of high-purity liquids and gases to the semiconductor, display and photovoltaics industry. We continually introduce and enhance equipment features beyond those available from other delivery equipment suppliers.

Auto-Restart Saves Time and Lessens Process Interruptions

Interruptions to the process are certainly not desired, but they do happen. Recently, a GASGUARD customer experienced a partial power brownout, including a power loss on their ammonia gas pad.

The plant operators only became aware of the brownout when they discovered some older competitive gas cabinets were off-line and not in standby. There was no warning of the brownout. The power failure incident was reported, and action taken.

When the technicians went to the remote locations to restart the GASGUARD systems, they discovered (to their pleasant surprise) that the newer bulk delivery systems with the GASGUARD AP11 controller had already restarted, and the systems were online, resulting in only a slight interruption to the process.

The technicians reported that had they needed to go to all of the remote gas cabinet locations, much effort would have been required to put all the systems back online to the fab. Since the system recovered automatically, it saved the customer a lot of startup time and significantly lessened the interruption to process.

Like the Automatic Recovery System, the GASGUARD AP11 controller’s Automatic Restart System is designed to minimize downtime and any disruption to the process of gas delivery.

In the event of a power loss while gas is flowing, when power resumes, Automatic Restart is designed to return gas flow to the setting when power is disrupted. No manual restart is required. The GASGUARD Automatic Restart will not override safety inputs, allowing all safety actions to proceed.

BSGS eV Provides Needed Service in Smallest Footprint Saving Space, Time and Expense

As the adage goes: “Invest in real estate — they are not making any more.” Fab space comes at a premium. Fab construction costs are estimated to be between $1,250 and $2,000 per square foot.

Semiconductor companies around the world claim that wafer processing costs average around $5 or more per square centimeter of silicon, and the estimated price per square foot of fab space is as high as $3,000. Regardless, it just makes sense to optimize fab space. Recently, when a fab was looking to expand, plans were made to add more bulk gas systems to supply the entire facility with critical process gases.

At the specified flow rates, legacy systems required at least 9.7 square feet of space. The Versum DS&S team was consulted and recommended the BSGS eV system. With advanced technology, the new bulk system was not only capable of providing the flow rates, it required a significantly smaller footprint (3.0 square feet)—making room in the plant for other production equipment.

Not only does BSGS eV have a small footprint, it also can handle four sources of gas (2Y x 2 or ISO x ISO). The fab found that BSGS eV could replace multiple gas cabinets while being able to supply up to 800 slpm of critical process gas.

Automation, Monitoring and Control Reduces Interruptions to Production (ITP) by Three Times

Throughput is becoming important as a measure of productivity, as downtime anywhere in the flow is disastrously expensive. Toolmakers and fab designers put increasing emphasis on reliability, which includes extensive qualification of components. Not all gas delivery systems are created equal.

If a fab produces 50,000 wafers a month, downtime costs can be up to $250,000 an hour. So, there’s a huge incentive to keep your operation running smoothly, whether you’re preventing failures or reducing unscheduled or even scheduled maintenance.

A customer using the GASGUARD AP11 Controller on the plant’s Valve Manifold Boxes (VMBs) found that the AP11’s monitoring and alarm capabilities, help them be more proactive and preemptive of potential problems. As a result, the factory found three times fewer interruptions to process on systems using the AP11 than on systems without the AP11.

To find out more about our new GASGUARD eV Temperature Control System, please contact:

Kerry Lanza, GASGUARD Offering Manager (Kerry.lanza@nullversummaterials.com)

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