International SEMATECH Manufacturing Initiative (ISMI) has launched a new Environment, Safety & Health (ESH) Technology Center in Austin, Texas, dedicated to providing green technology solutions that lead to reduced energy consumption, lower costs, and greater productivity in semiconductor manufacturing.
|Scott Kramer, VP of manufacturing technology at ISMI|
In addition to the current ISMI members, participation in the ESH Technology Center is open to all chipmakers and equipment and materials manufacturers for a modest fee, in keeping with ISMI’s status as a non-profit. "The member companies of ISMI are overwhelmingly supportive of this change," Scott Kramer, VP of manufacturing technology at ISMI, told SST. He likened the new membership model to the changes SEMATECH underwent five years ago when ISMI was first formed.
The new center will drive ESH programs, built over 15 years by SEMATECH and ISMI, to promote energy and resource conservation through technical evaluations and demonstrations; advance green semiconductor operations and processes; and provide forums for sharing ESH benchmark data, surveys, and best practices. Additionally, the center will target areas such as energy reduction in process equipment. Ron Remke, ISMI’s ESH program manager and head of the new center, identified the two most important areas to members as energy conservation (e.g., energy, water footprint), and being proactive in the future (e.g., LEED [Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design] activities).
|Ron Remke, ISMI’s ESH program manager and head of the new ESH Technology Center.|
The current plan for the center is to focus on the programs in place today — it’s too early to plan out specifics on working within President Obama’s administration’s ESH efforts, noted Kramer, who added that there is always a possibility to partner with some public entities to reach its ESH objectives.
"We will work through all levels of the supply chain to address the industry’s need for sustainability, productivity, and cost-effectiveness," said Remke. "We’ll be a source of data-driven best practices to tackle the challenges of sustainable manufacturing and act as a proving ground for technology solutions."
"Sustainable manufacturing is vital for the long-term growth of the semiconductor industry," said Kramer. "There is a high level of interest in the center, and we’re convinced that it will bring significant value to existing ISMI member companies and new participants alike." Signaling the importance of ESH to its members, Kramer said that a conscious decision was made to launch in January 2009 despite the economic situation. "These issues we’re dealing with in manufacturing sustainability are urgent and current," he explained. "They will not wait for the economy to improve, or the climate to become better, or a convenient time to announce the center. Our member companies have placed a high priority on this, so we are going to press on and go do it."