Ashland Electronic Chemicals achieves certification
Ashland Specialty Chemical Co. (Dublin, OH), a division of Ashland Inc., has been awarded QS 9000 certification at its worldwide manufacturing plants that produce wet-process and photresist strippers for the semiconductor industry. The company's Electronic Chemicals Division, a supplier to the microelectronics industry, operates the facilities located in Dallas; Easton, PA; Pueblo, CO; Milan, Italy and Pyongtaek City, Korea. The company's chemical management service operates at Motorola's MOS 9 facility in Scotland and also received QS 9000 certification. -SF

NCCF, CTI team to fight childhood cancer
The National Children's Cancer Foundation (NCCF) has teamed with CT International (CTI), a California-based glove and specialty product manufacturer and pharmaceutical distributor. CTI will donate a percentage of their proceeds to the foundation for research and has received support and assistance from the NCCF. The two organizations are working together to launch a national campaign, promoting the sale of the CTI Helping Hands latex and nitrile gloves, now packaged with artwork provided by children affected by childhood cancer. -SF

Space equipment cleanroom
Japan's Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Co. has built a cleanroom for the test assembly of space equipment at its business foothold in Tomioka, Gunma Prefecture, north of Tokyo. IHI is now integrating all its space equipment operations, excluding those connected with the H-2A rocket, at its business footings in Tomioka and Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture, also north of Tokyo.

Conexant and The Carlyle Group enter agreement
Conexant Systems, Inc. (Newport Beach, CA) and The Carlyle Group (Washington, DC) have signed a definitive agreement to establish an ISO-9000 certified wafer fab, which will have 100,000 square feet of ISO Class 3 cleanroom space.

Under the terms of the agreement, Carlyle will be the majority owner, and Conexant will be a minority holder as well as a customer of the new company. The two companies did not release the name of the new facility, but sources say it will be announced later this month.

The Newport Beach-based pure-play foundry will manufacture semiconductor wafers using specialty process technologies such as silicon germanium bipolar CMOS (SiGe BiCMOS), according to published reports. The new facility will have the capacity to support 20,000 eight-inch wafer starts per month.

EPA approves anti-microbial surface coating
Alistagen Corp. (New York, NY) announced that its natural mineral-based, anti-microbial surface coating Caliwel has received U.S. retail market clearance from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Through independent testing the product is said to be 99.9 percent effective against more than 20 microbes that cause diseases such as asthma, allergies, staph infection, influenza, polio, hepatitis, cholera and Legionnaires' disease. The coating has also been found to be effective against the bacteria Bacillus subtilus. Caliwel's active ingredient is calcium hydroxide.

“This product represents a breakthrough in the control and spread of infectious diseases,” notes William Mallow, chairman of Alistagen's technical advisory board.

Shellcase opens expanded facility
Shellcase has opened its $8 million expanded production facility in Jerusalem with 15,000 square feet of ISO Class 6 and ISO Class 7 cleanrooms.

The expansion began in May 2001 following the closing of a $20 million private placement in April 2001. The facility processes 6 inch and 8 inch semiconductor silicon wafers and packages them in the company's miniaturization packaging technology expected to increase productivity three fold by the end of 2002.

According to Shlomo Oren, Shellcase president and chief executive officer, “This larger facility, with state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment, provides Shellcase with significant competitive advantages with regard to cost-per-wafer, yield and overall productivity.” -SF

Ashland Specialty Chemical Company raises prices
The Electronic Chemical Division of Ashland Specialty Chemical Company (Dublin, OH) announced a price increase from 5 to 15 percent for many of its ultrapure wet- process chemicals and ACT strippers that it produces and supplies to the semiconductor manufacturing industry.

“Industry downturns that reduced market volume and pricing between 1997 and 2001, combined with raw material increases and significantly increased demands for product service improvements, have eroded our ability to achieve a reasonable level of profitability,” says Charles W. Cook Jr., vice president and general manager of Ashland Specialty Chemical's Electronics Chemicals Division. -SF

Air cleaners improve air quality
Environmental Dynamics Group received a congratulatory notice from Duracell (China) Limited regarding the efficiency of Dynamic Air Cleaners at its Dongguan, China plant. The Dynamic Air Cleaners were installed by Alison Technologies International Limited as air handling units at roof level to replace existing HPA filters.

According to Duracell, particle counts were reduced 30 percent, energy cost savings of 30 percent were achieved, rate of air change increased 50 percent and the installed cost of the new filters was approximately one third that of the previous HPA filters. -SF


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