November 14, 2007 – Aquest Systems has unveiled a “no-wait productivity” system based on its recently released FabEX Transporter, to optimize material movement in a fab in areas that existing automated material handling systems (AMHS) with overhead transport are insufficient to keep up with productivity needs.
The FabEx NPI connects to installed stockers, OHT vehicles, and material control systems (MCS) and can be integrated with any fab’s current AMHS without mechanical or software modifications, without requiring any changes to the existing AMHS, according to the company, and “with proper planning” requires no slowdowns or stoppages in production.
Combining FabEx with existing AMHS lets fabs circumvent congestion by using an alternative route to move FOUPs at high speeds (>3 m/sec) between locations in the fab, cutting FOUP delivery times and thus increasing fab-wide transport capacity and productivity.
One publicized user of FabEx is Powerchip, which is using the system with AMHS to move 8000 FOUPs/day between its two fabs (12A, 12B), with average delivery times of <140secs, noted Michael Brain, Aquest's VP of technology and marketing, in a statement.
This SST-exclusive animation and video segment, shot at Aquest Taiwan during factory acceptance testing, shows the company’s recently released FabEX Transporter in action, a system similar to what Aquest installed at Powerchip Semiconductor earlier this year. The segment shows an existing installed OHT loading a FOUP onto the Aquest Transporter, which then delivers it to another stocker or OHT, usually in a different fab or module of the fab complex. (Source: Aquest)