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Press Release

November 21, 2005
Development of auto-blade changer that carries out fully automatic dicing blade replacement work

DISCO Corporation (Headquarters: Ota-ku, Tokyo, President: Hitoshi Mizorogi) has developed an "auto-blade changer" that carries out full automatic dicing blade replacement work for fully automatic dicing saws.
The "auto-blade changer" will be exhibited as a reference product at SEMICON Japan 2005, which will be held from December 7 to 9, and shipments will start from June 2006.

Product Development Background

With the progress of high functionality and high added value electronic devices, the requirements desired for the dicing saw in the production of semiconductor devices have increasingly become important. This is true in particular for the lowering to production costs and improvement of process quality.
In the 300 mm wafer production line, automation is being promoted and targeted processes are expanding. However, the blade replacement work in the dicing process depends on the manual work of the operator and is one of the obstacles to automation progress and downtime reduction.
The downtime needed for maintenance during operation causes lower production volume and leads to higher costs. Accordingly, DISCO has developed an auto-blade changer that carries out fully automatic blade replacement work, as the first step to realize unattended operation.
Product Summary

The auto-blade changer is a fully automatic process that implements from blade removal to blade re-attachment in about sixty seconds, and then re-starts the dicing operation. By setting replacement blades in a stack, which is positioned inside the dicing saw, it is possible to automate regular blade replacement by specifying the cut distance (cut length, number of cuts) and usual replacement when the blade has reached its blade life. In addition, if the blade is damaged during fully automatic operation, without waiting for the operator's response, the dicer immediately starts the blade replacement operation. This leads to an improvement in operation efficiency and a reduced downtime of the dicer. Automating the conventionally manual blade replacement work contributes to quality stability. It is also effective for avoiding human error such as blade tip damage, due to mistaken contact of the blade circumference when replacing the blade, and poor blade mounting, due to excess or deficiency of the tightening torque. In addition, automatic blade replacement reduces the operators work load.
Main Specifications

- Supported dicer types: Able to be installed as an option on the following machines
8-inch Wafer Fully Automatic Dicing Saw (DFD6340)
300 mm Wafer Fully Automatic Dicing Saw (DFD6361)
- Supported blades: 2-inch hub blades
- Number of blades in a stack: five blades per spindle
- Replacement time: About 60 seconds
- Replacement timing: for regular blade replacement (set cut length or number of cuts), or when blade damage is detected.
Future Plan

2005/12 An actual machine will be exhibited at SEMICON Japan 2005 from December 7 to 9
2006/06 Shipments start
Contact:
DISCO Corporation
Corporate Strategy Division
Management Strategy Department
Marketing Communications Team
Phone: 81-3-4590-1090Fax: 81-3-4590-1094
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