4M340 - Minor ME: The Linear Cluster Tool (LCT) Mock-Up


Cluster tools are integrated systems used in semiconductor manufacturing. They consist of process modules, wafer transport modules and cassette modules through which the wafers enter and leave the system. Wafers are transported according to predefined recipes. Linear cluster tools, LCT, are especially suited for high-mix production and flexible recipes. Fig. 1 shows an LCT configuration with 2 links.


In a previous project, a 1-link LCT mock-up has been designed and a part of it is realized. Specifically, a wafer transport module and a frame have been realized and assembled. The design includes mechanical and electronic components (hardware).  The purpose of this project is to complete the design and realization of remaining modules (hardware) including the resource and supervisory control layers (software).  

The requirements for the LCT mock-up are as follows. It should be easy to extend the mock-up to more links. The maximal footprint of every module in the link should be 25cm x 25cm. The mock-up will be used for demonstrating the impact of supervisory control strategies on throughput and flow time. Since fault tolerance will also be taken into account, simulation of faults should be incorporated in the design.

The project is divided in four phases:

1. Evaluation
Evaluation of the previous design and realized hardware; literature and patent study combined with acquisition of missing knowledge

2. Concept design (hardware and software)
A structured design process is required, and feasible alternatives should be analyzed using suitable models. The outcome of this phase should be: global cost estimation, functional mechanical and electronic design.

3. Final design and its analysis
The outcome of this phase should be: detailed 3D models and assembly drawings, electronic block diagrams, delivery times of components, functional description of the resource-control layer.

4. Realization and testing
The implementation should be compatible with the available platform (CIF/chi + EtherCAT). This phase should start with setting up a list of relevant test cases and expected results. 

Required courses

Required courses (from major ME B-programme):
4A550 Control Engineering
4C530 Analysis of Manufacturing Systems
4C620 Design Principles
4C370 Mechanical Electric Drives
4ZZ11 Tools for Design