As robots are becoming simpler to operate, they open the door to a whole host of new applications in semiconductor manufacturing.
FREMONT, CA: The manufacturing of semiconductors is complex. But the disruptive shifts in technology are playing a crucial role in improving the production of semiconductors. Among various technologies, robotics plays an integral role in the automated manufacturing of semiconductors. Complex assemblies and tiny parts make flexible robotics the ideal solution for the rapidly-changing semiconductor manufacturing market.
Semiconductor manufacturers need speed and flexibility to tap into a market segment before consumer tastes change profitably. Using robots makes sense for semiconductor manufacturers to handle small parts. This will enable the production line to move fast in the industry. In semiconductor manufacturing, moving silicon wafers at high speeds without causing damage is fundamental task robots are called on to perform. As wafer size increases, those tasks become more demanding. Robotics is more than capable of meeting this requirement without causing damage to components.
Vision-enabled robots also play a vital role in the inspection and testing of semiconductors to ensure that they are doing their job properly. Robotic inspection and testing are significant applications in semiconductor manufacturing. Deployment of higher resolution cameras is essential because semiconductor manufacturing is dealing with many small and delicate parts. Only high-resolution cameras can locate these parts and inspect their particular features. Robots are also used increasingly in the assembly and testing of silicon wafers in the course of manufacturing semiconductors.
The semiconductor industry has moved production to low wage countries, and robots outfitted with vision systems can help bring manufacturing of semiconductors back home, along with some employment associated with it. Intelligent robotics with vision allows semiconductor manufacturers to reduce hard automation and tooling, which were traditionally required in the manufacturing of semiconductors. As robots become intelligent, precise, and faster, their role in the manufacturing of semiconductors will increase across the globe. The value of this change comes through increased production at a much lower price.
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