Schneider, IBM team to deliver advanced process controls

Schneider Electric has announced it will work with IBM to deliver integrated advanced process control (iAPC) solutions to the semiconductor manufacturing industry.


Schneider Electric has announced it will work with IBM to deliver integrated advanced process control (iAPC) solutions to the semiconductor manufacturing industry. The worldwide agreement includes the opening of Schneider’s regional competency center in Japan.

iAPC is the use of add-on sensors, data collection, and fault detection systems to automatically monitor and optimize semiconductor manufacturing processes. Technologies include plasma arc detection, particle monitoring, residual gas analysis, and automatic endpoint systems.

The two companies have been working together for more than five years to develop and deploy iAPC solutions within IBM’s 200 mm and 300 mm manufacturing facilities. Based on technologies from both companies, the offerings also incorporate products from third-party suppliers to help today’s advanced semiconductor fabrication facilities. The iAPC solution uses IBM Microelectronics Common Architecture.

IBM says its iAPC use decreases the mean time it takes to detect abnormal operating conditions in its manufacturing operations, and speeds recovery of optimal manufacturing operations when abnormalities occur. “Semiconductor manufacturers can greatly reduce risk and shorten the long lead times traditionally associated with integrated control solutions by utilizing iAPC solutions that have been pre-integrated, tested, and proved in IBM’s manufacturing facilities,” said Geoff Williams, Schneider Electric vice president, Global Enterprise Customers.

Said Kevin Reardon, general manager, IBM Global Electronics Industry, “Becoming an On Demand enterprise requires the use of tools and technologies which enable companies to sense and rapidly respond to changes in their business and process control systems. This partnership will provide the technology and integration necessary to make this on-demand transformation a reality for our mutual clients.”

—Jeanine Katzel, senior editor, Control Engineering,

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