Akrion expands production facility
Oct. 29, 2002 — Allentown, PA — In response to growing demand for its automated and semi-automated immersion cleaning systems, Akrion, which provides chipmakers with wafer-surface preparation solutions, has expanded its primary manufacturing facility at company headquarters in Allentown, PA.
The new facility began operations in September 2002 and is slated to reach volume production in 2003. At full capacity, the facility will employ up to 50 people. The new facility has 9,600 sq ft of space with 2,500 sq ft dedicated to manufacturing Akros and V3. Introduced in July 2002, Akros is a fully automated immersion cleaning system that can handle advanced front-end-of-line (FEOL) and pre-epitaxial cleaning at the sub-100nm level for a wide range of semiconductor devices. The V3 is a high-end, semi-automatic wet station designed for cleaning, etching and stripping wafers and related products.
“The facility expansion was necessitated by a surge in interest for the new Akros and strong demand for V3,” said James S. Molinaro, president of Akrion. “We have received our first orders for the V3 platform, indicating that our customers are beginning to gain confidence in the gradual recovery under way in the semiconductor industry. We are excited about our long-term prospects for 2003 and look forward to bringing more job opportunities to the Allentown area, which has been hit hard by the ongoing softness in the high-tech sector.”
The new facility’s location adjacent to Akrion’s main building will allow engineering and management in the main building to monitor and control manufacturing in the new facility, improving overall efficiency and productivity. Since Akrion’s GAMA platform is manufactured in the main building, process improvements can be easily shared between the GAMA production line and the Akros and V3 production lines. (The GAMA automated wet station performs advanced FEOL cleaning, back-end-of-line cleaning, photoresist stripping, and nitride and oxide etching.)
The new facility also has a training station, garment room, storage and office space, which includes conference rooms. Utilities include clean dry air, nitrogen supplies, and a microelectronics-grade deionized water system.