Working for the semiconductor industry in Scotland:
Moving tools into a wafer-fabrication cleanroom
Logistical flexibility meets a new semiconductor challenge. The experienced SCHOLPP Dresden team had a sense of what to expect when called to Greenock near Glasgow for a move-in project in the fall. Over the course of five days, 14 modules were to be moved into the cleanroom of a semiconductor production facility on behalf of GFAB–Diodes Semiconductor.
US-based Diodes Group operates a wafer-fabrication facility in Greenock. Here, 14 components were to be moved into the cleanroom (class 1; class 10k semi-clean). These were modules for vertical furnaces, three of which weighed up to 1.0 metric ton. GFAB is a new customer that came to us on the recommendation of our long-standing partner, ASM Europe B.V., in the Netherlands. An ASM facility, an A400TMDuo reactor unit, was also on the machinery list.
SCHOLPP team takes all its special equipment to cleanroom installation
SCHOLPP had a total of five days to complete this project. The schedule was tight and needed several factors to align. Not all worked out perfectly but that’s when the flexibility of the team worked best. The installation team arrived in Scotland on time, via Dresden and the airports in Berlin and Glasgow. The team first met with the customer project manager and agreed the actions needed to make the project successful. The following day began with safety training for the cleanroom environment, after which the SCHOLPP team coordinated with an installation team from JHel, a Scottish installation company with eight specialists also involved in the job.
The SCHOLPP equipment for the scheduled installation steps arrived on the same day: Tools and lifting gear, an aluminum gantry for placing and erecting tall parts, a triangular structure to carry the machinery, various rotating trolleys for internal transport in the hall, and a forklift. With the lifting equipment unpacked and the pre-assembly completed, the site was ready on schedule. All that was missing now were the tool components. But delivery was late, with delays in the transport from the Netherlands to Scotland. The complex customs registrations for transferring the equipment from Germany to the UK had been dealt with in advance by the SCHOLPP planners together with specialists from the Chemnitz Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the freight forwarder.
Logistics delay calls for flexible organization
The original schedule therefore had to be adjusted. It was not until the next day that the parts arrived and could be unloaded from the truck. With several hours lost, this meant an extra shift late into the evening for the German–Scottish SCHOLPP/JHel team. In the meantime, the weather had taken a turn for the worse, with wind and rain compounding the fitters' work. They had to be systematic getting the sensitive system components into the buildings as quickly as possible.
While unpacking the delivered parts, SCHOLPP also inspected them and documented any damage. In the course of this, a defective thread that was urgently needed for attaching lifting gear was detected on the second of three heavy parts. At the mercy of the elements and with darkness setting in, the SCHOLPP fitters recut the thread to precision. The part could then be securely fastened and tipped horizontally for moving in. This was done outside using a gantry and forklift, before a triangular structure on rotating trolleys completed the move-in.
Technical expertise and international experience
All procedures and verbal instructions for the various steps of the installation were precisely defined in advance by the German–Scottish team—none too easy a task given some of the idiosyncrasies of Scottish English. What proved invaluable here was not only the technical expertise of the SCHOLPP and JHel fitters, but also their many years of experience in international assignments. This enabled all the parts to be safely maneuvered through the airlocks from the outside area into the anteroom, then into the cleanroom in compliance with the agreed protocol. Once inside, the team restored the tools to an upright position.
After a short night, the fitters moved the last of the three large components to its final location. This required the joint efforts of the entire SCHOLPP and JHel team. Setting up and positioning were the finishing touches of the installation. With the job completed on time, the installation equipment was immediately dismantled and packed for transporting to SCHOLPP’s technical center in Chemnitz. The acceptance reports were signed during the debriefing with GFAB. And so the project was successfully completed on time, despite the challenges posed by logistics, installation, and weather. Good Job.
GFAB – Diodes Semiconductor UK Ltd.Industry:
Semiconductor / Photovoltaic industryProject type:
International relocation projectsTask:
Moving-in of 14 tools and 2 tilted move-ins into the cleanroom (class 1; class 10k semi-clean) of a wafer-fabrication facilityEquipment used:
Aluminum gantry, triangular structure for carrying machinery, rotary trolleys, forkliftUnique factors:
Cleanroom move-in, management of customs formalities, flexible organization owing to logistical delays, bilingual installation teamContact person:
Want to know more about this project? Please contact us.