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.
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.
- 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