Secondary equipment gets a new lease with SEMI, SEC/N pairing

by Debra Vogler, Senior Technical Editor, Solid State Technology

Oct. 1, 2008 – SEMI is acquiring Surplus Equipment Consortium Network (SEC/N), a non-profit trade association for secondary semiconductor equipment markets. SEC/N’s stated mission is fostering cooperation, fair and ethical business practices, and the development and distribution of standards and definitions specific to the secondary equipment market.

Rich Salsman, VP of global sales and membership services at SEMI, told SST that ~60% of SEC/N’s membership are also members of SEMI, so “by combining forces, we can take [SEC/N’s mission] to another level.” SEMI’s global reach encourages a richer agenda by having more people participate, he added.

By acquiring SEC/N, SEMI also plans to tackle challenges that impact the growing secondary market such as having new standards that deal with liability issues, field support, a code of conduct, even the basics such as when equipment should be classified as refurbished, and when it should be classified as used.

As an indication of the interest in the secondary market, SEMI projects that by 2009 this market will be >$8B. Another indication of the growing interest is a survey of mostly North American fab managers SEMI conducted in August, in which more than half (~53%) said they expect to increase their use of secondary equipment within the next 2-3 years.

Salsman also pointed out to SST the inaccuracy of the notion that secondary equipment, whether used or refurbished, is not leading-edge. Some secondary equipment is retrofitted with new features and other IP that enables up-to-date requirements for operational efficiency and agile manufacturing including improved throughput, productivity, and flexibility, he mentioned. — D.V.


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