Archive: Jul 2022

Semiconductor Clean Room Design Requirements 101

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Semiconductors are in almost every electronic device, from everyday items like smartphones and coffee makers to complex automobiles, defense equipment, and spaceships. Manufacturers make semiconductors in special semiconductor cleanrooms because the wafers are extremely sensitive to environmental contaminants.

Semiconductor cleanroom

Here we explore semiconductor cleanrooms in more detail, including all their design requirements.

Semiconductor Cleanroom Design: Meet Air Quality Standards

Semiconductor cleanrooms are enclosed environments located within semiconductor foundries or fabs, that have tight control over the following:

  • Temperature
  • Humidity
  • Airflow
  • Temperature change over time
  • Noise
  • Vibration
  • Lighting
  • Airborne particles

Semiconductor facilities must precisely regulate these parameters to maintain the highest air quality standards, all while optimizing productivity. Following these standards is paramount as even a particle of dust can render a chip useless.

A proper cleanroom design must have a well designed HVAC system that focuses on temperature, humidity, filtration, and the attributes noted above to treat and circulate air within acceptable limits. Each machine may have individual exhaust systems for removing contaminated air and particulates. Every cleanroom must be able to control particulate matter, static, outgassing, and equipment failure, which can lead to contamination events. These failures can include power glitches, pressure malfunctions, fan motor failure, and wafer handling machine breakdowns.


Controlling Temperature, Humidity, and Airflow

Semiconductors have an inverse relationship between temperature coefficient and resistance. When heated, semiconductor conductance increases and resistance decreases. The outermost electrons separate from the material compound’s atomic nucleus. As free electrons multiply, resistance drops accordingly. When manufacturing semiconductors, it is vital to keep temperatures within a certain range so the finished chips perform properly in their application.

Relative humidity in semiconductor cleanrooms should fall between 30-50%. This range is optimal for both inhibiting bacterial growth and the comfort of cleanroom personnel. Airflow should follow vertical laminar flow, where air blows from the ceiling to the floor. The air should enter vents in the floor, be purified by HEPA filters and regulated for temperature and humidity, and then recirculate into the room.


Cleanroom Classifications for Semiconductor Manufacturing

Semiconductor cleanrooms are required to meet ISO 14644-1 Class 5 or lower, which mandates a maximum of 3,520 particles at 0.5µm or smaller per cubic meter of air. They must also comply with ISO 14644-2, which requires the implementation of a quality control system that meets rigorous classification criteria.

Depending on the application, a semiconductor fabrication plant may also have industry-specific regulations from the EPA, the SEMI Standards Program, a variety of industry task forces and technical committees, and other regulatory bodies. There is further variation based on the type of fabrication process, wafer size, and line width. All these standards are followed in conjunction with ISO to ensure the cleanroom environment is under control 24/7 and that the products produced are of consistent and long-lasting quality.

Custom Environmental Control Solutions for Semiconductors

Air Innovations’ custom environmental control units (ECUs) provide precise temperature and humidity tolerances to meet even the most exacting requirements. Minor temperature differences in the environment during semiconductor scanning can result in false readings. Our semiconductor ECUs control for temperature variations within 0.02 °C, resulting in more accurate readings. Other tolerances include the following:

  • Airflow: up to 4000 CFM
  • Humidity: ± 0.5% relative humidity
  • Setpoint temperature: 19 °C – 23 °C
  • Temperature change: max of 1°C/5 minutes
  • Humidity change: max of 1% relative humidity/3 minutes

Our skilled team of engineer can design and develop a custom ECU to satisfy nearly any semiconductor manufacturing application or customer specification. We design our ECUs to fit inside or next to the fabrication environment, and they are available in vertical or horizontal configurations.


Semiconductor capabilities

Contact Us for Your Semiconductor Cleanroom Air Conditioning Needs

To meet and maintain stringent quality standards, your semiconductor cleanrooms require a custom ECU. At Air Innovations, we are experts in specialized HVAC, environmental control, and cleanroom systems. We test and validate all our engineered solutions through a dedicated R&D department. Our products are certified to meet ETL, CSA, UL, CE, ANSI, SEMI, or MIL-STD safety and performance standards. Contact us today for more information.

Dispatch Desk Design Tips for Personal Comfort and Productivity

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Dispatch centers are tasked with receiving communications and initiating appropriate responses. Different agencies and sectors, such as manufacturing, transportation, and law enforcement, use dispatch centers to coordinate and manage operations. Police departments, for instance, use 911 dispatch consoles to respond to calls and establish the proper response needed for each situation.

dispatch desk

Since dispatchers spend long hours at these workstations, ergonomics and desk comfort are critical. Comfort and efficiency directly impact performance in these workstations, so the dispatch desk setup, climate control, and surrounding factors must be optimized.

Dispatchers play an important role, so any upgrade that increases their performance is worthy of consideration. Here are some tips on how to make your workspaces more comfortable.

Key Dispatch Desk Features for Creating Optimal Workspaces

Here’s how to design a dispatch workspace for comfort and productivity.

Provide an Ergonomic Chair and Desk

The furniture in the dispatch center greatly determines how comfortable and productive dispatchers will be. Recurring pain due to an uncomfortable chair or desk can lead to distractions, reduced productivity, and even absences from work. Ergonomic workspaces are important because they prevent repetitive motion injuries, lower back pain, fatigue, and other forms of physical discomfort.

Properly Position Office Supplies and Equipment

Office supplies and equipment should be easily accessible to maximize efficiency. You should consider the positioning of items to ensure they are within reach but not so close they cause distraction or cluttering. Paperwork should be organized and quick to access because delays in dispatcher response could mean life or death.

Install Personal Climate Control Systems

Optimal temperature is also crucial for comfort and productivity in dispatch console stations. However, since each person tolerates temperature differently, it may be not ideal to have a “one-temperature fits all” approach in the dispatch center.

Regulating heat and airflow for every workstation is the best solution to keep every dispatcher attentive and comfortable during their long work shifts. Specific solutions include filtered air fans that circulate room temperature air, built-in console fans, and separate standing fans. These personalized solutions also prevent frustrating thermostat wars in the dispatch center and reduce workflow disruptions associated with temperature variations.


Benefits of Having a Personal Climate Control System

Adding personal climate control systems to dispatch console workspaces is an essential step toward enhancing comfort and productivity. Below are some of the advantages of having a personal climate control system.

Optimizes the Workspace

Every office setting has many demographics and people with different climate preferences. Since there is no perfect temperature that fits everyone all of the time, having personal climate control systems is the best way to optimize the workspace and ensure employee satisfaction.

Lowers Costs and Enhances Energy Efficiency

Any agency, business, or institution cares about energy usage and costs. Installing climate control systems in individual spaces can be more efficient and cost-effective than controlling the climate in the entire room or building, particularly when occupancy is lower. In addition, controlling temperature at the individual desk can allow the dispatch center to raise the room temperature in warm months or lower it in cooler months, while still offering end users comfort. These efficiencies help conserve energy and reduce operating expenses.

Boosts Productivity

Ensuring employees are comfortable is a proven way to optimize productivity in a workplace. Reducing distractions and discomfort enables workers to focus on their tasks, which improves output. In addition to an ergonomic chair and desk, an individual climate control system allows dispatchers to customize their environment to their preferences so they can perform their high-stress jobs without additional discomfort.

Reduces the Spread of Airborne Diseases

Central HVAC systems are one of the reasons for the spread of airborne diseases in the workplace. Considering current global health issues, how workplaces limit the spread of airborne diseases is a key concern. Installing climate systems with filtration onboard in individual workspaces can be an effective solution.


Upgrade Your Dispatch Center’s Desks with MyZone® Systems

Optimizing comfort and productivity does not end with upgrading your dispatch center with ergonomic chairs and desks. The MyZone® desk console management system can help you achieve ultimate comfort in your dispatch workstations. This innovative personal comfort system is designed to boost comfort and productivity, and the device conveniently integrates lift functions, lighting, environmental control, and HEPA filtration within a single unit. It also has a non-fixed controller, so you can place it anywhere on the desk without hassle.

MyZone Unit

Below are the features and benefits of the MyZone® system:

  • Integrated heating and cooling
  • Sit/stand desk leg lifts
  • Task light dimmer
  • Convenient touch screen controls
  • Excellent power efficiency (automated motion sensors help switch off the system after 10 minutes of inactivity)
  • Adjustable louvers to direct air toward the worker
  • Programmable for up to 15 different users
  • Adjustable white noise generator, clock, and calendar
  • HEPA filtration option


Contact Air Innovations Today for More Information

Ergonomic furniture and the proper placement of items are great ways to improve personal comfort and productivity in dispatch stations. Individual climate control systems take these workplaces a step further by allowing the dispatch center to conserve energy while creating safe and comfortable workspaces. MyZone® units are an important add-on to consider for dispatch centers because they provide ultimate flexibility, control, user safety, and comfort to boost productivity to the highest level.

The MyZone® system is a product of Air Innovations, which specializes in developing innovative and custom climate control systems. Contact Air Innovations today for more information or to request a free quote.