Process Safety in the Semiconductor Industry

Risk Mitigation and Prevention in Semiconductor R&D and Manufacturing

As in every process and manufacturing industry, process safety in the fast-evolving semiconductor sector requires evaluation of energetic materials to eliminate hazards and control risk. Because its processes often involve the use of highly flammable, pyrophoric, and water-reactive chemicals in exothermic reactions, characterizing these hazards is critical. While the hazardous properties of commonly used chemicals are well documented, innovation frequently leads to the use of new chemicals with unknown characteristics.
The SEMI standard S30-0719 “Safety Guideline for Use of Energetic Materials in Semiconductor R&D and Manufacturing Processes” provides a minimum set of safety criteria for the procurement, storage, handling and use of energetic materials in semiconductor R&D and manufacturing processes in all phases of use. It addresses the responsibilities of both suppliers and users of energetic process equipment and chemicals. Approaches to curb the number and degree of incidents caused by energetic materials begin with safe design and emphasize using the safest materials for any given application. Other strategies include the incorporation of safety and warning devices, hazard alerts, administrative procedures and training and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Appropriate safety methods are determined according to the results of various hazard analyses recommended by the new standard.
Safe operation can only be achieved with a thorough understanding of all chemical process materials and their by-products. Our experts have extensive experience in providing full-scale testing of materials involved in semiconductor manufacturing. This includes testing recommended in the SEMI standard to characterize reactivity, pyrophoricity, oxidizer class and corrosivity of chemicals used in semiconductor production. These test results can be applied to establish safety criteria for procurement, storage, handling and use of energetic materials.
The SEMI guideline seeks to provide a framework to promote safety and reduce or eliminate incidents putting life and property in jeopardy.
In addition to testing services, we provide on-site audits of your manufacturing facilities to ensure compliance with applicable national and local codes and standards. We specify production equipment safety-related devices such as emergency relief vents. Our experts ensure protective measures such as mechanical mechanisms, gas detectors, or alarms are appropriate and proportionate to the degree of hazard in your facility.
Trained and qualified staff is yet another vital part of safe semiconductor manufacturing. Our training courses prepare technical and operating personnel for the safe handling and processing of energetic materials in the semiconductor industry.
In order to obtain relevant process safety data and to ensure a safe manufacturing environment, reactivity, flammability and other hazard testing can be performed to characterize your material per the Material Characterization Form recommended by the SEMI standard.
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