Orbital welding creates pure and precise weld for semiconductor manufacturing

One of the unexpected consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the shortage of semiconductors in the global market. This has dramatically affected production as well as further technological research in many chip-dependent industries, ranging from automotive to electronics. However, some of these industries are taking the initiative to develop fabs to manufacture more semiconductors. The worldwide construction of 19 new high-volume fabs by 2021 and 10 more in 2022 will ease the demand in the near future. 

In fulfilling this goal, orbital welding can be one process that industries can rely on. With its efficiency, purity, precision, consistency, and safety features, orbital welding can fabricate high-specification and high-quality welds—the output that is greatly desired when establishing new semiconductor fabs.

The Details of Semiconductor Fabrication

As industries seek to add more processing capabilities in smaller sizes, the attention to intricate details in the manufacturing of semiconductors is crucial. This means an increased necessity for controlling the parameters like voltage and temperatures to ensure proper deposition of material like silicon on the chip and reduce thermal stress and distortion to a minimum. 

To achieve a precise deposition, a pure supply of gas like pyrophoric is required. The semiconductor fabs thus require a network of fluid lines that supports the transportation of this highly flammable gas in the purest form. This is where orbital welding comes in. 

Semiconductor manufacturers have employed mechanized processes such as orbital welding with TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) to ensure adequate fusing the pipelines. In most cases, this is done utilizing the closed weld head to shield the weld from environmental influence and minimize the oxidation and contamination of the weld bead. For metals like stainless steel, orbital TIG welding produces high-quality welds with a smoother finish. These are highly desirable qualities when it comes to building efficiency and productivity in new semiconductor fabs.

How Can New Semiconductor Fabs Benefit from Orbital Welding?

As we discussed, the advantages of orbital welding are immense. But as new semiconductor fabs seek to alleviate the chip shortage, orbital welding can have specific benefits for the manufacturers.

  • With orbital TIG, it is possible to ensure high-integrity weld of pipes and tubes, primarily stainless steel. The transport of hazardous gas like pyrophoric with ease and without leakage or contamination supports a safer operating environment.
  • The automation of orbital welding offers a high degree of accuracy and precision. At the same time, it provides excellent reproducibility and repeatability. For semiconductor manufacturing, this means products with precise specifications and zero possible variation in each production.
  • The precision weld with orbital welding facilitates high-quality welds in each run, thus less rework. This not only means increased productivity, but also reduced manufacturing waste.
  • Welding in semiconductor fabs includes working with stainless steel and the risk of exposure to a carcinogenic substance like hexavalent chromium. New semiconductor fabs can ensure the safety of their workers with automation and the remote monitoring capability of orbital welding.

The safe, sanitary, precise, and repeatable results from orbital welding are sure to boost the production of semiconductors in no time. 

Leveraging Orbital Welding to Meet Production Demands

Is orbital welding worth it? As we discussed, with the high demands of the semiconductor production process, it is clear that every step needs to be effective and efficient if we are to increase productivity and do more to support the supply chain in the current situation. For the same reason, adopting an orbital welding system seems to be crucial for new semiconductor fabs. The high purity, precision, and quality demands can be met with the automation and efficiency of orbital welding — attributes especially helpful to meet the current unprecedented demand. 

Arc Machines, Inc., a leading orbital TIG welding technology provider with decades of experience and expertise, is here to support the needs of your existing or new semiconductor fabs. Contact us to learn more. Arc Machines looks forward to providing the equipment and service to help you meet your goals. For product inquiries, contact sales@arcmachines.com.

Engineering Department | Arc Machines, Inc.

The first engineers at Arc Machines were also part of NASA’s Apollo program, and we continue to hold our staff to those that level of drive and quality. Not only do we produce the best welding machines on the market, but we can also build customized machinery—tailored to your operation.

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