Product Briefing Outline: KUKA now provides fully integrated wafer lines and single machines for silicon slicing to meet the demand for high-quality wafers and high technical availability of the production machinery. The 3800 and 4800 series Advanced Wire Saw Machines (AWSM) are characterized by innovative technical features and numerous advantages, such as slicing of a wide range of hard materials.
Problem: With the increasing pressure on wafer and cell ASP', coupled to greater upfront capital cost for capacity expansions, production yield, product quality and machine uptime is a key requirement to reduce production costs. Continuing cell/module price declines require thinner wafers and or higher wafer quality to reduce material costs and improve conversion efficiencies.
Solution: KUKA AWSMs can use different wire types for the sawing process. This is in line with the trend towards finer saw wires and the fact that diamond wire is becoming more popular. The integrated capstan wire tensioning device also optimizes and controls the wire tension, thereby significantly increasing the service life of the principal mechanical components. This reduces downtime and maintenance time of the saw and optimizes the spare parts requirements, with a major influence on the operating costs. The optimized ingot loading offers ergonomic advantages, as does an optionally available swiveling unit that enables suspended unloading.
Applications: The 3800 series is a fully automatic three wire guide saw machine for slicing hard and expensive materials such as ingots of Silicon, Germanium, GaAs, InP and other materials. The 4800 series is a fully automatic four wire guide saw machine for slicing hard and expensive materials up to 18″ in wafer diameter.
Platform: The design of the machines utilizes advanced methods for improving stability parameters and long service life of the parts subjected to higher stress (bearings, shafts, wire guide etc.). The lifetime of the parts is claimed to be a minimum of twelve. KUKA Systems also offers AWS machines and individual components, such as circular cross-cut saws and automated square-sawing machines.
Availability: March 2010 onwards.