Parallel Process Transferring System Developed to Promote Post-Process Automation

DISCO Corporation (Head Office: Ota-ku; President Kazuma Sekiya) has upgraded the parallel process transferring system, which was exhibited as a reference at SEMICON Japan 2017, in order to make it easier to install in existing post-process equipment lines. This system promotes automation of post-processes while improving both the effective utilization of space and the transferring volume. Parallel Process Transferring System will be exhibited at SEMICON Japan 2018 (December 12–14, Tokyo Big Sight.)

Developmental Background

Automatic transferring* is popular in the front-end process, which performs processing on the entire wafer surface during semiconductor manufacturing, because the processing time is short and cassette used to store multiple wafers are transferred frequently. The post-process after dicing, which performs processing on individual die formed on the wafer, has a longer processing time than the front-end process. Thus, cassettes are usually transferred between processes by an operator.
As a proposal for the promotion of automation in the post-process, DISCO presented the Parallel Process Transferring System in 2017. This system allows for improved throughput, human error prevention, and a low-cost equipment operation rate improvement by adopting a method which enables the automatic transfer of wafers instead of cassettes. However, issues with the increased footprint due to the installation of on the backside of existing equipment and poor tracking performance for transfer volume fluctuations on the belt conveyor remained.

This system, which will be exhibited at SEMICON Japan 2018, solves these issues.

*The AMHS (Automated Material Handling System), which transfers wafers using OHT (Overhead Hoist Transfer), was adopted for automatic transferring.

並列加工搬送システム Ver.2
Figure 1. Parallel Process Transferring System
AGV Automatic Guided Vehicle
Dedicated lane Paths on which AGV runs
Dedicated tray Stores wafers during transfer
Elevator unit A unit takes each wafer from the cassette, loads/unloads them in the dedicated tray, and transports them to/from the AGV
Processing equipment Equipment that can be connected to the dedicated lane (Dicing saws, laser saws, etc.).

Features of Parallel Process Transferring System

  • Utilization of Space Above the Equipment
    The footprint does not need to be increased beyond what the existing equipment requires because the lane for wafer transferring is installed above the equipment. Existing equipment can be retrofitted with this system. Thus, it can be installed to match the process and processing performance.
  • Improved Tracking Performance for the Transfer Volume Fluctuations
    Because an AGV is used for wafer transferring, installation of the transfer path is more flexible than the belt conveyor system. By creating a layout which enables paths to cross or processes to be bypassed, transferring appropriate to the situation, such as processing high-priority wafers first, is achieved. In addition, transfer volume fluctuations can be controlled by the number of AGVs.


Please feel free to contact us with any questions or inquiries.