As clear as daylight: innovative automation increases efficiency

Wafer production places high demands on the technology used, while the market demands maximum efficiency from manufacturers. The new, environmentally friendly diamond wire technology for wire saws doubles the cutting speed of saws. Siemens offers optimized automation concepts for high-performance ingot cutting machines. A key advantage is the ability to supply not only the automation components, but also the matching motors and drives. That's why Siemens is currently a market leader for the automation and supply of machines and plants for wafer production, including bricking machines, wire saws, wafer separation machines, and wafer cleaning machines.

Wafer production

Your requirement: optimal performance to secure your place in the sun

There are many arguments in favor of automating the machines for wafer production.

Safety and productivity as of the very first sunbeam

What matters most is maintaining productivity when handling an extremely fragile product, as exemplified by the high-precision adjustment of ingot feed and the control of wire tension and speed. Automated processes also ensure that errors are avoided and that less waste is produced.

Energy efficiency from a world market leader

Not even we can accomplish the impossible, but thanks to intelligent automation we can ensure that wafer production doesn't consume too much energy. For example, the braking energy from the winding motors for the diamond wire saws is fed back into the system when the saws move through the silicon block at a defined speed profile. We also offer integrated automation concepts for the further processing of cut wafers – including separating, grinding, polishing, and cleaning – for maximum productivity and minimal costs.

Technological core: the wire saw

The silicon blocks (ingots) are cut into wafers using wire saws. Rollers guide the saw wires across a wire field where the distance between wires determines the thickness of the wafer. The saw wires are moved back and forth between an unwinder and a winder at a speed of > 20 m/s and kept at a constant tension by a dancer control. 


During the sawing process, the ingots are slowly lowered at a constant speed from the top onto the wire field and cut into wafers over a period of several hours. The precise interplay between the movements of the diamond wire and the silicon block offers rich potential for increasing productivity. In addition, the trend is toward increasingly thinner diamond wires to minimize the cutting width and yield more wafers from the ingot – with significantly faster production speeds.

Your benefits

  • Production of high-quality wafer thanks to the high-precision motion control functionality
  • Prevention of expensive wire breaks thanks to reliable operation even in the event of short-term power failures using Smart Energy Management
  • Cost savings thanks to efficient engineering and integrated technology functions in the SIMATIC controllers and SINAMICS S120 drives
  • Space savings and prevention of conventional circuits in the control cabinet thanks to Safety Integrated 

Products used

SIMATIC S7-1500F failsafe controller as machine controller and SIMOTION D as motion control system for complex motion control and extremely high performance

PROFINET and PROFIsafe for communication with the drives and the SIMATIC ET200SP distributed I/O modules

SINAMICS S120 modular, scalable drive system and SIMOTICS M-1PH8 water-cooled motors for the winders or SIMOTICS S-1FK7 servomotors for highest precision of traverser and dancer drive as well as feed motor.

Wafer production in practice

Maximum productivity and cost efficiency

All the solutions for your wafer production, from automation to the power supply – from a single partner.

More information

Automation for wafer production

For more information about our automation concepts for wafer production, contact our experts directly.