Semiconductors are often small and complex, and are essential components found in numerous electronic devices and equipment. They can be found in multiple day to day products — from computers, smartphones, to gaming hardware, medical equipment, military systems, transport systems, CNC controls and many other applications.
Responsible for making memory chips, microprocessors, logic gates, and power transistors, semiconductor factories are currently racing towards producing chips that are smaller, faster, and higher in computational power to satisfy the immense and fast-growing demands of the electronics sector.
Trends faced by the semiconductor industry
There are four major trends that influence the development of the semiconductor industry around the world today:
With the wide range of microchips, fusion components, and system-on-a-chip devices — all requiring an ever-growing number of sensors — semiconductor factories require production processes that are highly automated and efficient.
Regulations on pollution control and the reduction of the planet’s carbon footprint, electric power (as opposed to oil and gas) could be the dominant form in the future. Electrification is increasingly seen in public transportation with the growth of hybrid and electric vehicles, as well as in our daily lives.
#3 Digital Connectivity
In an increasingly sensor-driven “smart world”, it is predicted that all electronic devices will deploy IoT (Internet of Things) technology to communicate with each other. This ubiquitous connectivity will govern virtually all platforms and devices — from infotainment and connectivity in vehicles for driverless technology, healthcare sensors communicating the health of the wearer, to smart factories.
#4 Heightened Security
As cyber criminals prowl the Internet, the security and protection of connected devices become ever more critical. To prevent interconnected systems and devices from being maliciously hacked and failing, devices need to have inbuilt security solutions.
Challenges faced by Semiconductor Manufacturers
The huge and sudden spikes in worldwide demand for microchips has overwhelmed the semiconductor manufacturers.
Manufacturers face great challenges in producing more stringent components with faster delivery times. To meet the increasing “demand is higher than supply” situations, the techniques for machining semiconductor parts must adapt accordingly, and fast.
How to Choose the Right Machining Solution for Your Semiconductor Manufacturing
Many semiconductor components tend to be small yet complex in design. There are also rather big parts and systems like manufacturing wafer chambers. CNC machining allows micro dimensioning and intricate part production.
To meet the demanding needs, manufacturers of semiconductor components need to invest in the right CNC machine tools.
A better-quality machine (for example Hwacheon’s Vertical Machining Centers VESTA Series) not only provides better performance — it also ensures that the cost per part manufactured is lowered not only in the short term but over the long-term. This is especially crucial for the complex, intricate, and costly mass-produced parts used to make semiconductor chips.
Customers who switched from cheaper machines to our VESTA Series have enjoyed the following advantages:
- Better surface quality
- Higher consistent accuracy
- Faster production cycle
- Better flexibility
- Longer-lasting cutting tools
This is because our range of VESTA-660 and VESTA-1000+ CNC machines have the following features which are superior to lower cost machines:
- Higher machine rigidity
- Quality parts used in our machine (e.g. linear guideways which result in better rigidity, longer cutting tool live and for that faster cycle times)
- Better spindle design and reliability (supporting faster feed rates and better surface quality)
- Stable machine performances
- Steady repeatability and accuracy
- Much longer cutting with one tool / insert due to longer tool life
These features help manufacturers to enjoy increased profits while justifying their higher initial investments, making our CNC machines ideal for semiconductor component manufacturing.
Do consider our SIRIUS-UM+ and SIRIUS-UL+ for even higher demands and application levels should the cost per part justify your CNC machine purchase. These machines provide even better cycle times at higher quality, greater accuracy, consistent performance, and a more profitable cost per part ratio.
For manufacturers of components used in multiple industries, consider our 5-Axis Machining Center D2-5AX. These CNC machines can handle a wide range of parts and materials — their outstanding structural designs, universal spindles, and automation systems (Automatic Workpiece Changer & Multi Pallet System) make them perfect workmates for flexible machining.
Common CNC Semiconductor Parts
Here are some of the in-demand semiconductor parts that can be made using a high-performing Made-by-Hwacheon CNC machines:
- Semicon High Precision Moulds (VESTA-660)
- Wafer Conductor Processing Units (VESTA-1000+)
- Casings and Enclosures (VESTA-1000+)
- Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) (SIRIUS-UM+)
- Heat Sinks (VESTA-1000+ and SIRIUS-UL+)
- Socket and Connectors (SIRIUS-UM+)
- Wafer Chambers – small size (VESTA-1300)
- Chip Processing Plates (VESTA-660)
Customer Testimonials from the Semiconductor Industry
Keen to see how the right high-quality CNC machines can help your semiconductor component manufacturing?
Read these customer success stories from semiconductor industry clients of Hwacheon.
Since we knew how to machine our plates well, the initial tests made in Hwacheon factory in Gwangju, South Korea, provided us a clear understanding of the improved performance and design of their VESTA-660 with 12,000rpm spindle.
After some consideration and analysis, we finally ordered the first batch of ten machines with Hwacheon. It was some risks for us – which paid off very well.
After we used the first batch of machines and gained valuable experience with them, we learned that our tools lasted much longer and we were able to push the machines harder.
We also realized how consistent our parts became — there was no need for adjustment midway during the process.
Based on the positive experience, we ordered a second batch of three followed by a third batch of another three machines. Due to the demand for semiconductor parts, we placed another order for six units in mid-2021, this time with 15,000rpm spindle.
Overall, all the machines run effectively 24/7 as demand for semiconductor has potentially increased due to Covid-19. We appreciate the effective and speedy service provided by the local Hwacheon office, which ensured that all the machines keep on running smoothly for us.
Due to the increasing demand, we are considering purchasing yet another batch soon.
The investment in Hwacheon machines is higher in the initial stage, but having experienced how the machines perform, the additional investment is returned easily and fast. This is beneficial in the long run.
Chief Production Manager
Semiconductor Part Manufacturer (Chip Processing Plates), Singapore
However, our management gave me the order to look for a better-quality machine tool with modern designs and good local service in Singapore by the manufacturer itself.
That’s when the name HWACHEON was recommended by friends from other manufacturing companies. In my position as Production Manager, I put a team for the search together to find suitable specifications and a good reliable partner, which we found in Hwacheon.
After visiting other users of Hwacheon machines in the market, we ordered the first batch of three VESTA-1000+ with 15,000 rpm spindles. The installation went smoothly in mid-2021, the machines are performing well to date as they machined parts required for our own designed semiconductor machines.
In the meantime, we ordered another Hwacheon, a 5-Axis Machining Center D2-5AX with Automation System, which is expected to arrive beginning 2022 at our factory. This 5-Axis Machining Centre, with a 20 station Automation System, will improve not only our capacity but will increase our flexibility and help to make us more competitive in the market.
Today we know that Hwacheon is a reliable partner to our company, now and for the future.
Semiconductor Equipment Manufacturer, Singapore
Prior to Hwacheon, we used Horizontal and large sized 5-Axis Machining Centres from Japan. For standard parts, we used made-in-Taiwan Vertical Turning and Vertical Machining Centers.
I first approached Hwacheon in 2018 to buy two small size standard 2-Axis Turning Centers with 8” Chuck and Box Guideways. The machines were delivered at the end of 2018 and beginning 2019 respectively.
I found both machines ok and decided to give a try in purchasing from Hwacheon their 1m Vertical Machining Center VESTA-1000+ with 12,000 rpm. This machine was delivered beginning 2020 to our company. Before the machine was delivered, we already decided that we would increase our production of semiconductor parts further.
Immediately after installation of VESTA-1000+, we recognised its better performance compared to made-in-Taiwan machines. Since the installation, all three machines had been very good in supporting our production. The service support from the local Hwacheon office was found good and fast reacting too.
Beginning 2020, I further decided to buy a special Double Column Machining Centre with X-axis of 2.5m, the Hwacheon L2-2500 with 12,000 rpm spindle. In mid-June 2020, the machine was delivered to us. An impressive machine indeed, and as with the three previous machines, this machine was installed and put into operation in a very short time. Since then, we have further purchased a Vertical Turning Center VT-650R-std from Hwacheon.
Overall, we are satisfied with the machines’ quality and performance as well as the local service and technical knowledge of the Hwacheon sales team. We are already in discussion with Hwacheon for our next investment.
Aerospace & Semiconductor Part Manufacturing, Singapore
As the semiconductor industry booms, will you get ahead or get left behind? When accuracy, speed and costs are essential to the success of your semiconductor projects, you need to consider how you can stand out among competitors.
To do so, you will need a reliable CNC machine partner — one like Hwacheon Machine Tools.