A Semiconductor Industry's Unplanned Downtime Is Costly

When an equipment in the manufacturing line fails, production is down. It may take days or even weeks for repair and replacement to be completed. Workflows are interrupted, there is a loss in output capacity and revenue.

Of the companies who experience an unplanned downtime, 46% could not deliver services to customers, 37% lost production time on critical assets, and 29% were completely unable to service or support specific equipment or assets.

Aberdeen Research

Unplanned downtime affects 82% of companies at USD $260,000 per hour across all manufacturing industries.

Preventive Maintenance Is Important

Systems breakdown due to a number or combination of factors, rarely just one. This results in devestating loss of equipment in the Semiconductor Industry. 

Lacking or irregular maintenance procedures also increase the likelihood of equipment failure or human error. Combine this with inconsistent processing situations, the result can be costly with unplanned downtime.

Unplanned downtime negatively affect production capacity and increase operating expenses. The damaged equipment must be inspected properly and repaired fast before beginning operation again.

Preventive maintenance increases the reliability of equipment which is critical to achieve long-term profitable operations and tackle rising materials costs. This entails having detailed site-specific maintenance shcedules, procedures, and training.

Maintenance procedures should include five phases:

  1. Initial Survey of Process

  2. On-Site Study

  3. Development of Schedule and Training

  4. Implementation of the Maintenance Plan, and

  5. Follow-Up to Determine Success Rate. 

Heat Exchangers in the Semiconductor Industry

Heat Exchangers in the Semiconductor Industry is often referred to as process chanmbers or reactors for manufacturing. 

There are six major classification of Heat Exchangers for the manufacturing of semiconductor chips:

  1. High-Temperature Film Furnaces

  2. Ion-Implantation Chambers

  3. Etch Chambers

  4. CVD Reactors,

  5. Heat exchangers for the metallisation process, and

  6. Heat exchangers for heating chemical fluids. 

These Heat Exchangers perform heat transfer by conduction, convection, or radiation. For the shell and tube type heat exchangers, it it important to monitor the conditions of the tubes to prevent failures.

Minimise Tube Failures

Three main areas for improvement to minimise future in-service tube failures are: 

  • Tube Testing 

  • Re-Tubing Strategy During Turnarounds

  • Design Improvements in Heat Exchangers

For the first point of tube inspection, we recommend using a suitable tube inspection device. This device needs to have the ability and accuracy to detect the common flaws found in the Heat Exchangers. 

Common Problems

  • ​​Process Corrosion

  • Process Fouling

Heat Exchangers to Inspect with APRIS

  • Chillers

  • Liquid Coolers

Tube Inspection with APRIS

Technologies for inspecting Heat Exchanger tubes are constantly changing and improving rapidly. With increased sophistication and complexity of today’s Non-Destructive Examination (NDE) techniques, the operator’s skill level is becoming more vital. 

To correctly identify the flaws and tube failures, a reliable technology and technician is needed.

APRIS is a smart tube inspection device that doesn’t compromise the ease-of-use with higher complexity and sophistication. 

A typical tube inspection tool would require a user to have years of experience. But with APRIS, any technician can accurately find flaws with little training.  

apris tube inspection equipment

© All 2023 All rights reserved. Talcyon Pte. Ltd.