Revolutionizing Manufacturing: Singapore Plant Sets New Standards in High-Tech and Safe Operations

GlobalFoundries Expands with State-of-the-Art Facility Featuring Automated Wafer Transportation System

GlobalFoundries has unveiled its expanded factory in Singapore, introducing an innovative overhead automated material handling system designed to enhance workplace safety and alleviate concerns regarding potential hazards associated with manufacturing roles.

According to Dan Steele, Senior Director of Global Environmental, Health Safety and Security Operations at GlobalFoundries Singapore, the implementation of robotics has enabled the automation of repetitive tasks, thus liberating employees from mundane and laborious duties.

The advanced overhead automated material handling system boasts the capability to execute an impressive 110,000 front-opening unified pod (FOUP) moves on a daily basis.

Steele emphasized that contemporary manufacturing transcends traditional stereotypes, moving away from labor-intensive, low-cost production methods toward more advanced and technology-driven processes.

To bolster employee safety measures, Steele highlighted the company’s investments in state-of-the-art detection technology for hazardous gases. Continuous real-time monitoring of the work environment enables prompt evacuation protocols in the event of gas detection.

Steele emphasized that the company sets stringent gas detection limits well below mandated thresholds established by regulatory authorities, ensuring proactive safety measures.

In addition, an environmental safety team conducts regular fire drills and emergency response training sessions to equip employees with the necessary skills to effectively handle emergency situations.

Reimagining the title as “Next to Campus: GlobalFoundries’ State-of-the-Art Expansion Facility”:

Nestled adjacent to GlobalFoundries’ campus in Woodlands Wafer Fab Park, the newly erected 23,000-square-meter expansion fabrication plant stands as a testament to the company’s commitment to innovation and collaboration.

“Being situated next to our existing facilities also enables us to easily tap into and share resources across fabs,” remarked Tan Yew Kong, Senior Vice President and General Manager of GlobalFoundries Singapore.

This strategic location decision aligns with the company’s global expansion strategy, focusing on incremental capacity building at existing sites to achieve greater economies of scale.

With a substantial investment of US$4 billion (S$5 billion), the plant commenced operations in September 2023, heralding the creation of over 1,000 high-value jobs.

The workforce primarily comprises equipment technicians, process technicians, and engineers, reflecting GlobalFoundries’ dedication to nurturing local talent.

Furthermore, the expansion facility boasts cutting-edge Industry 4.0 technologies, including AI deep learning wafer pattern recognition.

This innovation harnesses artificial intelligence to enhance productivity by automating defect classification and identification processes, thereby reducing human intervention and streamlining operations.

Machine Learning Predictive Maintenance is another groundbreaking feature, predicting maintenance requirements based on real-time data to minimize downtime, ensure optimal wafer quality, and preempt potential tool failures.

Additionally, the facility integrates AI Computer Vision Tool Fingerprint Search, a sophisticated tool that expedites troubleshooting by swiftly identifying and correlating wafer defects with specific equipment fingerprints.

This streamlined process accelerates issue resolution, mitigating downtime and enhancing overall production efficiency.

Advancing Factory Goals: GlobalFoundries’ Expanded Production Facility

The newly expanded fabrication facility aims to significantly bolster GlobalFoundries Singapore’s output, projecting an additional annual production capacity of 450,000 wafers (300mm).

This expansion propels the overall capacity of the Singapore site to over 1.5 million wafers (300mm) per year, marking a substantial leap in manufacturing capability.

In alignment with its commitment to environmental stewardship, the expansion facility prioritizes sustainable practices to enhance overall environmental performance.

Through the implementation of cutting-edge technologies, the facility aims to elevate energy efficiency and maximize water recycling efforts.

Notably, measures such as water reuse and recycling initiatives and the gradual phasing out of fossil fuels underscore the facility’s dedication to environmental sustainability.

“Both the Administration and Manufacturing buildings have achieved Green Mark Gold status from Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority,” noted Steele, emphasizing the facility’s adherence to stringent environmental standards and its recognition for sustainable design and operations.

To minimize environmental impact, the facility employs electricity-driven heat pumps for water heating, eliminating exhaust emissions and reducing overall energy consumption.

Additionally, advanced abatement systems integrated into manufacturing tools ensure the effective treatment of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in exhaust emissions.

The thermal oxidizer system, specifically designed for VOC treatment, demonstrates remarkable efficiency, targeting a reduction in VOC concentrations ranging from 90% to 99.5%.

Through these concerted efforts, GlobalFoundries’ expanded production facility not only aims to meet increased manufacturing demands but also strives to lead the industry in sustainable and environmentally responsible manufacturing practices.

Greg Swanson
Greg Swanson
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