Twelve years of continuous operation. That amounts to over 18.9 billion rotations at 50Hz. In mid-January 2017, a COBRA BC dry screw vacuum pump passed this remarkable milestone in a semiconductor foundry in Germany, living up to its reputation for robustness, reliability and low maintenance.
The COBRA BC in question has been in continuous operation at the GLOBAL FOUNDRIES production site in Dresden, Germany, since 2005 and is the longest-operating COBRA BC at the site, which is known as Fab 1. Fab 1 in Dresden was the world’s first fab to manufacture microchips with copper wiring in industrial quantities – a technology that is now the basis for semiconductor production throughout the world.
A total of 203 COBRA BC 0100 dry screw vacuum pumps are installed at the Dresden site, which produces 300 mm wafers for the semicon industry. Thirty one of these COBRA BCs have been in continuous operation for over 10 years, and 15 of the COBRA BC vacuum pumps have passed the milestone of 100,000 operating hours (over 11 years of operation). Generally, continuous operation over five or six years is the industry expectation in load-lock applications.
COBRA BC vacuum pumps are predominantly used in the load-lock applications of epitaxy and physical vapour deposition (PVD) processes, as well as in other contamination-free processes for wafer handling and metrics to assure the quality of the lithography process.
The COBRA BC 0100 is a dry screw vacuum pump within the proven COBRA BC series portfolio that is a compact state-of-the-art load-lock solution with additional process capabilities for the most demanding solar, flat panel and semiconductor applications. It has excellent powder handling capabilities as a result of its unique screw pump design.
The COBRA BC series is also available in a COBRA BC Premium Efficiency class with a reduced energy footprint that results in lower electrical energy use of up to 40%. The Premium Efficiency class is based on the proven technology platform of the COBRA BC.
Busch Vacuum Pumps and Systems maintains a service team in Dresden, which consists of nine service technicians and one team leader in a 24/7 shift system, ensuring very high system availability of the nearly 900 installed Busch vacuum pumps. Furthermore, the service team maintains the waste gas abatement systems.
GLOBAL FOUNDRIES is among the top semiconductor companies in the world and manufactures at its Dresden fab 40 nm to 22 nm nodes. The Dresden fab is Europe’s largest fab for the production of microchips.