EV Group (EVG), a supplier of wafer bonding and lithography equipment for the MEMS, nanotechnology and semiconductor markets, today announced that WIKA Group, a global leader in pressure, temperature and level measurement technology, has placed an EVG HERCULES lithography track system into production for manufacturing pressure sensor devices. The HERCULES system has already been installed and is in operation at WIKA’s fabrication headquarters in Klingenberg, Germany.
The EVG HERCULES system combines spray coat, development, wafer prime and bake/chill modules with a mask alignment and exposure tool in a fully automated production platform. To meet WIKA’s unique high-product-mix manufacturing needs, EVG has implemented several new features to this highly customized system. These include fully automated mask selection, handling and alignment capabilities, which allow users to keep the system in continuous operation while switching out substrate lots that require different geometry masks and carrier sizes for variable customer demands. This mode is also supported by optimized smart scheduling software, which automatically manages process recipes and ensures optimal process flow by pre-calculating the estimated process duration and time of transfer between process steps for each carrier substrate or lithography mask. The smart scheduling software ensures that critical process steps are carried out with repeatable, fixed durations, and can adjust to changes in material or process flow in real time. Benefits include improved process control, throughput optimization and productivity.
“Our business involves the lean production of a wide variety of specialized sensors that include many different materials and design features for customized requirements. As a result, we need manufacturing solutions that are stable, flexible and can be easily adapted to our diverse production needs,” stated Dr. Lorenz A. Kehrer, Sensor Development at WIKA. “EV Group has been our supplier of choice for lithography track systems, and adding their fully automated HERCULES system to our production flow allows us to increase manufacturing capacity and yield to meet the growing demand for our high-quality products from our versatile customers. EV Group’s expertise in providing world-class automated process solutions for MEMS and sensor manufacturing makes them an ideal partner to support our premium production needs.”
“EV Group’s integrated HERCULES system is a key component in our lithography product portfolio not only in the field of nanoimprint lithography but also for our MEMS customers applying photolithography processes,” stated Hermann Waltl, executive sales and customer support director at EV Group. “HERCULES leverages our expertise in mask alignment, resist processing, automation and software engineering to provide customers with a comprehensive future-proof lithography track solution for their volume production needs. Adoption of our lithography solutions, including HERCULES, has been driven not only by commercial applications such as advanced packaging and MEMS, but also by highly specialized applications where the customizable nature of our products coupled with our process and engineering expertise allows us to tailor our solutions to meet each of our customer’s unique requirements.”