Samsung is expanding the use of automation in its sub-fabs that supply gases and chemicals to fabs, TheElec has learned.
The South Korean tech giant is automating the drum logistics systems and installing more automatic clean quick couplers in its sub-fabs, sources said.
This was being done to increase worker safety at sub-fabs in response to South Korea imposing stricter safety regulations.
The new V1 fab at Pyeongtaek has already such systems installed at its sub-fab, they said. Since last year, old fabs were getting a similar upgrade, they added.
Fabs have the main fab that has a cleanroom and where chips are manufactured.
The sub-fab is right underneath and supplies the electricity, gas and other chemicals used in production.
Most works at the sub-fab were done by human workers in the past. Tank lorries brought in were coupled with the tanks in the sub-fabs by people and this was a safety risk.
ACQC was adopted so that if the tank lorries were placed in a certain location, the coupler would automatically connect it with the tanks.
Drums used to carry the chemical within the tanks to the fab are also now automated.
Hanyang ENG and STI developed these systems and started supplying them to Samsung in 2019.
Meanwhile, the tech giant suffered a hydrofluoric acid leak at one of its fabs in 2013 and another carbon dioxide leak in 2018. In 2021, SK Hynix saw a hydrofluoric acid leak at one of its fabs.
South Korea imposed stricter safety regulations since last year where such accidents could result in the CEO of a company responsible being punishable by jail sentences.