Edited by Leland Teschler
Semiconductor process automation firm Brooks Automation Inc., Chelmsford, Mass., devised a movable test stand to better check out gas-handling systems for front-end processes in semiconductor manufacturing.
Working with integrator Martindale Associates, Bedford, Mass., Brooks created a standard front end for the testing platform that let it handle different equipment configurations and test sequences. An application for developing a human-machine-interface (HMI) program let developers create a collection of graphic interfaces for testing various processes, patterns, and sequences. The development tool, ioDisplay from Opto22, Temecula, Calif., helped create a common look and feel for the HMI so operators could easily work with the family of routines.
The test stand takes the form of a 19-in. rack containing the operator terminal, Snap Ultimate I/O controllers, and B3000 I/O processors. Operators wheel the rack around to test beds typically holding valves and sensors for gauging gas flow to semiconductor-processing equipment.
The test stand replaces a similar unit that was 12 years old and which employed a computer running under an OS2 operating system. Converting to the updated Opto22 system let operators better document tests and work with test beds that had been modernized with more accurate valves and pressure sensors.
Adjustments to test profiles take place through the ioControl program and its flowchart programming. Additional modules are swapped in as needed to accommodate new tests or different procedures.